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First period goal sinks Hawks 1-0
Laurier: 0 CIS Championship - Alberta: 1

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ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Leah Copeland’s (Calgary) first period power play marker at 1:11 gave the Alberta Panda’s all they needed to defeat the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks both squads first match in the CIS Championship round robin.

“The first period was a tough one for us,” said head coach RICK OSBORNE. “They had a good power play goal, and their penalty killing was really good the rest of the game.”

The last time these two teams met at the national tournament Laurier defeated Alberta 4-2 to advance to the gold medal game in 2008. The Hawks now have a 2-5 record against the Panda’s at the CIS championship.

”Any time Laurier and Alberta play the first goal will be really important,” continued Osborne. “It’s tough to score on them, but I still felt that we’d get a bounce and get a shot.”

Earlier in the day, the defending CIS champion McGill Marlets defeated the University of Montreal Carabins 2-1 in overtime. McGill will get Friday off, while the Carabins will be back in action against the AUS champion Saint Mary’s Huskies.

”We didn’t have a bead on Alberta coming into this game and they took us by surprise in the beginning,” said team captain Andrea Ironside (Collingwood, Ont.). “That was something we needed to adjust to and it took us longer than we wanted it to.”

Alberta scored less than two minutes into the first period on their first of four power play opportunities in the frame. Copeland received a pass in the slot and buried it past CIS Player of the Year Liz Knox (Stouffville, Ont.) on the first shot of the game.

”We came out a little bit flat,” said Knox in regards to the Hawks play in the first period. ”It’s tough to come out and play one of our biggest opponents in the first game.”

In the second period Laurier used their two power play opportunities to out shoot Alberta 13-2, but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Katherine Shirriff (Carrying Place, Ont.) created a turnover in the Panda’s zone and broke in, but was stopped by a Dana Vinge (Edmonton) pad save.

The Hawks kept coming in the third, but couldn’t connect on a late power play opportunity that saw goal scorer Leah Copeland in the box for a body checking.

Copeland ended up with player of the game honours for the Pandas, while Andrea Ironside was picked for the Golden Hawks.  

”We came out in the second and third period and gave them a good battle,” said Andrea Ironside. “We’re looking forward to X and you know the atmosphere is going to be great and were looking to feed off that energy and do what we can to play our best game.”

In net for the Hawks Liz Knox stopped 17 of 18 shots on net, while Dana Vinge was perfect, stopping all 17 for her third post season shutout.

With the man-advantage, Alberta went 1-5 while Laurier went 0-4.

The Golden Hawks will now play the St. Francis Xavier X-Women on Friday, March 11th at 7:30 p.m. Atlantic for their second game of the round robin portion of the tournament.
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