W-HOCKEY PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Gryphons spoil Rams postseason debut with 2-1 OT win

W-HOCKEY PLAYOFF ROUNDUP: Gryphons spoil Rams postseason debut with 2-1 OT win

Thursday, February 19

Ryerson 1 @ Guelph 2 (OT) (Guelph leads series 1-0)

Guelph, ON - Thursday night at the Gryphon Centre, the University of Guelph women's hockey team opened their playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win against the Ryerson Rams.  Kelly Gribbons scored the OT winner for the Gryphons who now lead the OUA quarterfinal best-of-three series 1-0.  Game 2 goes Saturday at 2pm in Toronto.

Game 1 didn't start the way the Gryphons had envisioned. Guelph would get off to a rough start, taking a too many men penalty in the early minutes of the game. The penalty killers would stay strong, not allowing any real chances for the Rams. Moments later however, bad would turn to worse when a bouncing puck would hop over Mackenzie Wong's (Surrey, BC) stick, and land on Emma Rutherford's (Kanata, ON) with just the goalie to beat. She would look high on Stepanie Nehring (Oshawa, ON) and connect to make the game 1-0 Rams. It would take nine minutes for the Gryphons to get their first shot, but from that point on, the Gryphons would have the majority of the chances, missing rebound opportunities on the power play. The Rams would take their 1-0 lead into the dressing room after the opening 20 minutes.
 
The second period was a defensive battle for both teams. The Gryphons were trying to get the tying goal but the defensive play by the Rams stalemated any attempt. Ryerson's first year goalie Ally Sarna (Whitby, ON) would make a few big saves to keep the shut out alive, as well as maintaining the one goal lead. On the other side of the rink, the Gryphons were not allowing the Rams to increase their lead in any way. The back end of the Gryphons continued to keep it close.  With less then two minutes left in the period, the Gryphons would get their first big chance of the period when the puck came out front of the net for Kelly Gribbons (Port Elgin, ON), who would try and slide is past Sarna on her back hand. Sarna was able to get her pad down and slide over to keep the puck out. The second would end with the Rams still up 1-0 with a big third period in the future.
 
The Gryphons came out eager to tie it up at the beginning of the third period. Guelph wasted no time, keeping the puck in the Rams zone for the majority of the first half of the period. The Gryphons would get the chances, but Sarna would continue to be solid back between the pipes. With less than ten minutes left, an awkward bounce of the end boards would hit a Ram and trickle into the crease of Sarna, who was able to sit on the puck and keep it out, maintaining the lead.  With five minutes left Stephanie Chiste (Nobleton, ON) would take a body-checking penalty, putting the Gryphons on the power play.  With 11 seconds left in the power play Gina Murray (Lucknow, ON) would enter the zone with Averi Nooren (Aylmer, ON) trailing. Murray would drop the puck back to Nooren who took a high wrist shot eluding Sarna, going off her glove and bouncing into the back into the net to tie the game 1-1 with three minutes remaining. When the Gryphons and Rams met up in Guelph during the regular season, overtime was needed; the same would be true for Game 1 of the OUA quarterfinals as the two were locked at 1-1 after 60 minutes of play.

The Gryphons would dominate the overtime period, as they hemmed the Rams in their zone. Chance after chance would go the way of the Gryphons when finally a blocked shot would land on Kelly Gribbons stick, much like the play in the second period. This time, Gribbons was able to slide the puck underneath Sarna and into the back of the net, giving the Gryphons the victory in the all-important Game 1 of the series.

The Gryphons will now try to close out the series on Saturday, February 21st, in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.  Puck drop is set for 2:30pm.

Source: Guelph Gryphons

Toronto 3 @ Windsor 2 (Toronto leads series 1-0)

Fourth-year forward Sonja Weidenfelder netted the game-winner 6:24 into the third period as the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's hockey team defeated the Windsor Lancers 3-2 in Game 1 of their OUA quarter-final series on Thursday night (Feb. 19) at South Windsor Arena.

Veteran forward Amanda Ricker sparked the Blues, skating down the ice and beating a couple of Lancers defencemen to find Weidenfelder in front of the net for the eventual game-winner. The two teams were deadlocked at 2-2 since early in the second period.

"We battled right to the end," said Varsity Blues head coach Vicky Sunohara. "We played a simple game, stayed disciplined and got pucks to the net to battle for rebounds. We're looking forward to Game 2 at home."

Fifth-year U of T netminder Nicole Kesteris posted numerous great stops in her first game back after earning a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Grenada, Spain. Kesteris ended the night with 27 saves.

The Blues opened the scoring on the powerplay midway through the first period as rookie Kassandra Roache skated out from behind the net a snuck the puck past Windsor netminder Marissa Kozovski.

The Lancers evened the score two minutes later when Erinn Noseworthy scored on the man advantage and Windsor took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes with a goal off the stick of Jillian Rops.

Fourth-year defenceman April Looije evened the game up just 4:10 into the second frame. The Mississauga, Ont., native banged in a rebound off an Autumn Garnham point shot on the powerplay.

Game 2 is back at Varsity Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale here. The Game will also be streamed live on OUA.tv.

Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

Queen's 0 @ Laurier 1 (Laurier leads series 1-0)

WATERLOO, Ont. (February 19, 2015) - The No.6 Queen's women's hockey team fired 49 shots on net but could not find the scoresheet as they were defeated 1-0 in triple overtime against the Laurier Golden Hawks in the opening game of their best-of-three OUA quarter-final in Waterloo.

The Gaels will look to bounce back in game two which takes place in Kingston Saturday night at 7:30pm at the Memorial Centre. For ticket information visit www.gogaelsgo.com/tickets

It was the Amanda Smith show early on in the opening frame as the Laurier netminder held her ground fending off the Gaels in close. Queen's had a great chance late in the period when Alisha Sealey (Elora, Ont.) fired a point shot through traffic but Smith held her ground.

Not to be outdone Gaels starting netminder Caitlyn Lahonen (Sharon, Ont.) held her ground as made a huge pad save off a streaking Golden Hawk to keep the game scoreless after 40 minutes.

Regulation finished scoreless as goaltenders Lahonen and Smith grabbed the spotlight, collecting 27 and 25 saves respectively through 60 minutes. The goalies continued their dominant play in overtime as neither side could find the back of the net through the initial 10 minute overtime and the first 20 minute overtime.

The Golden Hawks ended the marathon at the 4:23 mark of the third overtime period as Tammy Freiburger collected the game-winning tally, banging home a rebound at the side of the Gaels net.

Final shots for the night totalled 49 to 40 in favour of Queen's. Lahonen was charged with the 39 save loss while Smith earned the impressive 49 save shutout victory.

The game marks the longest for the Gaels since last season when they took Guelph to triple overtime and won 2-1 on a Shawna Griffin (Redwood Meadows, Alta.) goal at the 16:29 mark. Their longest overtime game came back on March 2, 2011 when Morgan McHaffie scored at 17:14 of the sixth overtime period to lead the Gaels to a 2–1 win over the host Guelph Gryphons in the first game of the best-of-three OUA women's hockey final. The game, which lasted 167 minutes and 14 seconds, including 107:14 of extra time, is the longest on record in CIS or NCAA hockey – women's or men's. Winning goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher made 66 saves, while Danielle Skoufranis made 44 saves in a losing cause.

The Gaels will look to put the difficult loss behind them and even the series when they host Laurier Saturday night at the Memorial Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30pm.

Source: Queen's Gaels