Laurier: 1 Queen's - Game 1: 2
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WATERLOO, Ont. (February 26, 2014) - Jessica Wakefield of Lucan, Ont., scored on a powerplay eight minutes and 30 seconds into overtime to lift the No. 8 Queen's Gaels past the No. 4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks womens hockey team by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Waterloo Recreation Complex.
Wakefield converted a pass from Morgan McHaffie of Guelph, Ont., to give the Gaels the victory after Laurier had tied the game with 5.9 seconds left thanks to a goal from Blair Connelly
of Amherstburg, Ont.
The win gives Queen's a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three OUA Championship.
"I really thought we had the momentum going into overtime," said head coach RICK OSBORNE
following the game. I"t was a tough kill we had to do in overtime. They got a bounce and we need to get a bounce next game."
"Definitely a high-tempo game," added Connelly. "Both teams played hard, we battled hard. That's all we could do and we just need to focus on the next game."
In what was a fairly even, tight-checking game, neither team was able to generate much in the way of quality scoring chances through the opening 40 minutes. The Gaels held a narrow 13-12 edge in shots through two periods but the two teams remaining scoreless.
That would all change midway through the third period. After a turnover by the Hawks at the Gaels blueline, McHaffie moved the puck up ice before feeding Taryn Pilon of Peterborough, Ont. The third year forward made a great move on Hawks goalie Amanda Smith
of Burlington, Ont., and slid the puck into the open net to give Queen's a 1-0 lead.
Laurier upped their desperation level to try and find the tying goal but with time winding down, they could not find the equalizer. After getting a whistle with 15.6 seconds left, the Hawks lost the draw but were able to scrum the puck along the boards. With the game on the line, Devon Skeats
of Whitby, Ont., pushed the puck to the front of the net where Connelly was waiting. She fired a one-time shot through Mel Dodd-Moher of Stittsville, Ont., to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
"We just knew we had to get there for the bounces and get a stick on it," said Connelly on her tying goal, her third of the playoffs. "Luckily it came right out to me and I was able to put it into the net."
With momentum on their side, the two teams headed to overtime but Queen's was able to respond and win the game with their powerplay tally.
Dodd-Moher earned the victory in net for the Gaels as she made 22 saves while Smith was credited with the loss after stopping 21 shots.
Laurier will now head to Kingston for Game 2 of the series on February 28 needing a win to force a third and deciding game. Puck drop on Friday is set for 3 p.m. at the Kingston Memorial Centre.
NOTES: Queen's is now 3-1 in the playoffs in overtime while the Hawks are 1-1...Connelly now has seven points in the playoffs matching her total from the 24-game regular season...the last three OUA playoff games between Queen's and Laurier have all ended with 2-1 overtime victories for the Gaels