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Smith backstops WHKY to Game 2 win
Laurier: 2 Queen's - Game 2: 0

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KINGSTON, Ont. (February 28, 2014) - On the strength of a 39-save shutout from Amanda Smith of Burlington, Ont., the No. 4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women's hockey team forced a Game 3 in their OUA Championship series with a 2-0 win over the No. 8 Queen's Gaels on Friday afternoon.

Smith was especially impressive in the third period as she made 16 saves to preserve what was a 1-0 lead until late in game. The shutout was the first of her playoff career and third since she started with the Golden Hawks at the start of the year.

"We got great goaltending," said head coach RICK OSBORNE following his teams win. "It was a great time for Smitty to pitch a shutout today and I'm very proud of her performance."

"You wouldn't know that she's a rookie," added fifth year forward Devon Skeats of Whitby, Ont., who scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period. "She's played amazing all throughout the entire season and leading up to this game. She's someone we can really count on in the net and it's really comforting thing to know that she's back there standing on her head."  

Asides from Skeats, rookie forward Jessica Prevette of Mississauga, Ont., also found the back of the net for Laurier as she scored the insurance marker for her first career playoff tally.

Facing elimination on the road, the Hawks came out with a much better effort compared to Game 1 to open the game. Skeats would get the games first chance just three minutes in but her shot was turned aside by Queen's goalie Mel Dodd-Moher of Stittsville, Ont., who would finish the game with 25 saves.

The Gaels would respond shortly thereafter thanks to some strong work from their team captain Morgan McHaffie of Guelph, Ont. The fifth year forward generated two chances but Smith was there both times to keep the game scoreless after the opening 20 minutes.

Laurier would break through midway through the second thanks to some more strong work from Skeats and her linemates Jessie Hurrell of Palgrave, Ont., and Tammy Freiburger of Wingham, Ont. After working the puck through the middle of the ice, Hurrell slid a pass to Skeats who got two chances before slipping it past Dodd-Moher to give the Hawks their first lead of the series.

For Skeats, the goal was her fifth of the playoffs and 20th career playoff goal overall.

"They get a lot of pressure on the opposition," said Osborne of what was arguable his best line on Friday. "That line really was a catalyst for us today and Skeats scored another big goal for us in the playoffs."

Queen's would get a chance before the period was out with the games first powerplay but Smith and her penalty killers stood tall and sent the game to the third period with their team in front 1-0.

With a chance to win the championship on home ice, the Gaels came out strong to start the third but once again, Smith was there each and every time.  Her most impressive save was a diving poke check after a loose puck found its way to the front of the net.

With less than two minutes left, the Hawks were finally able to find the insurance marker as Prevette picked up a rebound off a shot from Kingston, Ont., native Emily Kekewich

From there, the Hawks would hold off the Gaels to clinch the victory and tie the series at one, setting up a winner-take-all Game 3 showdown on Sunday night.

Puck drop on Sunday will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex and the game will be webcast live on Hawk TV.
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