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Women's Hockey
(Credit: Eva Ou)
(Credit: Eva Ou)
PREVIEW: WHKY close out the season in Northern Ontario
Game Dates/Times: Saturday, February 17 - 4:30 p.m. (at Nipissing); Sunday, February 18 - 1:50 p.m. (at Laurentian)
Game Locations: Memorial Gardens, North Bay (at Nipissing); Countryside Arena, Sudbury (at Laurentian)
Live Webcast: OUA.tv

THE LOW DOWN
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey team hits the road to close out the 2017-18 season this weekend as they head up to Northern Ontario to take on the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Voyageurs.

Although the Hawks’ playoff hopes have long been extinguished, the team will have plenty to play for in their final two games. Laurier enters the weekend trailing the Windsor Lancers, who have completed their regular season, by one point meaning a victory will move them out of the basement of the OUA standings.

As well, the purple and gold will be hoping for a strong defensive performance in both games to maximize rookie goaltender Hannah Miller’s (Georgetown, Ont.) chances of being in the conversation for OUA Rookie of the Year when year-end award voting takes place.

Finally, Laurier, as they did last weekend, will be looking to extend their winning streak to send head coach Rick Osborne out on a high-note in the final games of his coaching career. Thanks to their back-to-back victories against UOIT and Queen’s, Osborne sits at 414 career victories across all competitions, a number the team will be looking to add to against Nipissing and Laurentian.

NEED TO KNOW
- the Hawks are currently enjoying their first winning streak of the season thanks to a pair of 3-2 shootout victories last weekend against UOIT and Queen’s
- the two victories helped Laurier surpass their win total from 2016-17 when they won just three games
- Laurier lost their previous meetings with Nipissing and Laurentian this season, losing 4-1 at home on January 12 to the Lakers before falling 1-0 to the Voyageurs at home on January 13
- Nipissing enters the weekend in a battle for the fourth seed in the OUA, and home ice advantage in the first round, as they sit one point up on Toronto 
- Laurentian heads into the final weekend of the regular season one point behind Waterloo for the eighth and final playoff spot

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (2-1-14-3)

F Morgan Bates (Thamesford, Ont.)
- with assists in back-to-back games, Bates has moved into a tie for second in team scoring with five assists accounting for all five of her points this season
- the third year winger has now established a new career-high for points in a season with her performance in 2017-18

Nipissing Lakers (12-2-6-2)

F Maria Dominico (North Bay, Ont.)
- the rookie forward is also in the conversation for OUA Rookie of the Year along with Laurier netminder Hannah Miller as she sits second in league scoring with 14 goals and 11 assists this season
- is riding a three-game point streak (four goals, one assist) and registered a pair of helpers against the Hawks earlier this year

Laurentian Voyageurs (8-1-10-3)

F Samantha Morell (Lombardy, Ont.)
- fifth year forward has been the Voyageurs go-to player this season as she has set new career highs for goals (nine) and points (13) in a season
- has one goal and two assists in her last five games
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4. Concordia (7)
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6. Montreal (4)
7. Western (9)
8. Saskatchewan (8)
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10. Nipissing (10)
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