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Women's Hockey
Lester helps Hawks edge Ridgebacks
Laurier: 2 UOIT: 1

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WATERLOO, Ont. (January 27, 2013) - The No. 3 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's hockey team picked up their 19th win of the season on Sunday night at the Waterloo Recreation Complex as they defeated the UOIT Ridgebacks 2-1 in a shootout.

Team captain Fiona Lester of Peterborough, Ont., playing in her final regular season home game, scored the only goal of the three-round shootout on a beautiful deke to beat Ridgebacks netminder Jessica Larabie of Pickering, Ont.

"It was definitely an exciting way to end it," said Lester of the goal. "The whole game wasn't my best game by far but it was exciting to finish it well."

"What a fitting finish for her last home game," commented Laurier head coach RICK OSBORNE. "She's got that move down. She goes at high speed and just knows how to finish."

Laurier, who trailed most of the game 1-0 thanks to the outstanding play of Larabie, forced the shootout on a third period tally from Andrea Shapero of Toronto. UOIT's Jill Morillo of Whitby, Ont., opened the scoring in the contest just two minutes and 14 seconds into the first period.

The Hawks, who dominated the game for long stretches, outshot the Ridgebacks 49-18 on the night, including 5-0 in the overtime period where Laurier spent much of the extra five minutes in the UOIT zone. However, Larabie was there on every occasion, finishing with 47 saves, the most shes made this year.

As for the Hawks netminder, Erika Thunder of Buffalo Point, Man., made her first start in two weeks and finished the game with 17 saves to pick up her 11th win of the year.

The win was an important one for the Hawks as they give themselves a small amount of breathing room atop the tough OUA conference. Laurier (19-1-3) now sits three points clear of the second place Guelph Gryphons (18-3-2) and five points clear of the Queen's Gaels (17-3-2) with just three games remaining and Osborne knows that his teams last three games will be a battle.

"That's why tonight was so huge because in the loss column were three points ahead of Guelph," stated Osborne. "We have Brock and Guelph next week so the plan would be to go in and beat Guelph head on and that would put us in pretty good shape heading into Queen's."

Laurier will kick off their three-game road trip to close out their regular season on Saturday against the aforementioned Badgers. Game time is set for 3:15 p.m. at the Seymour-Hannah Centre in St. Catharines.
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