NORTH BAY, Ont. – A goal from Cassidy Gosling midway through the third period proved to be the game winner, as the Western Mustangs won the first game of the OUA Quarterfinal series by a 3-1 score over the Nipissing Lakers at North Bay Memorial Gardens on Wednesday night.
With the win the Mustangs now lead the best of three series 1-0 and the purple and white will only need to secure one more victory to win the series and to advance to the OUA Semi-Finals and continue their quest for the national title.
Cassidy Gosling's goal came just prior to the midway mark of the third period, as the London native scored her third career playoff marker to put the Mus up 2-1, a lead they'd never relinquish.
Kelly Campbell got the win in net for the Mustangs, stopping 17 of 18 shots, while Jacqueline Rochefort turned aside 18 of 20 shots for Nipissing in the loss.
Both teams came onto the ice in the opening period determined to make game changing moves right from the start. The Mustangs were the first to the scoreboard as Stacey Scott found the back of the Lakers net just over two and a half minutes into the contest to give Western an early 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs could not hold onto that one goal advantage for long however as Brooklyn Kallusky responded for the Lakers less than two minutes later to tie the game at 1-1, eventually sending the game into the first intermission with a tie score.
Neither team was able to improve their positions on the scoreboard in the second frame, setting the stage for an exciting third period.
Although both teams were battling hard to gain the upperhand it would be the Mustangs who would put an end to the 45 minute scoreboard deadlock when Cassidy Gosling found the back of Rochefort's net midway through the third period to give the purple and white a 2-1 advantage.
With only 9:20 left in the contest the Lakers knew that they needed to respond quickly if they wanted to keep themselves in the game. The Lakers fought hard to put shots on Western's net but Campbell and the Mustangs defence held strong and were able to prevent the home team from capitalizing on any of their opportunities.
Nipissing pulled Rochefort for an extra attacker late in the contest, however it was the Mustangs who made their mark on the scoreboard as Katelyn Gosling picked up possession of the puck and passed it over to Sydney Kidd in the neutral zone who then skated it in and dumped it into the empty net to give Western a 3-1 win.
Western and Nipissing will square off in game two of their OUA Quarterfinal series this Friday at Thompson Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. and fans can watch all the action live on OUA.tv
Source: Western Mustangs