Mustangs advance past Moncton, will play for spot in CIS championship game

Mustangs advance past Moncton, will play for spot in CIS championship game

(Photo by David Moll)

CALGARY (CIS) –The second-seeded Western Mustangs scored twice in the third period to fend off a challenge from a tenacious Moncton Aigles Bleues squad, taking a 3-1 victory in the third quarterfinal of the 2015 CIS women's hockey championship.

"Quite truthfully when they tied it up they were the better team," said Western head coach Chris Higgins. "Then we had some penalty trouble the first five or six minutes of the third period and I thought we gutted that out, and when we killed that last penalty I thought, 'you know what, I think this game is going to be ours.' It was killing those penalties in the last part of the second and first part of the third [that did it]."
 
"I think it was pretty even on both sides, obviously one of the teams scored more goals, in the first period we didn't have good shots on net and so their goalie looked pretty good," said Moncton head coach Denis Ross. "We had our chances on the power play, we killed a 5 on 3 and they killed a 5 on 3, so I would say those two teams are even, it just happened that they got the bounces and the goals."
 
Western's two third period markers came from the defence corps as Anthea Lasis and Brianna Iazzolino scored at 5:59 and 13:09 respectively to send the Mustangs into the semi-finals.
 
Getting scoring from the blueline came as no surprise to Higgins, as it's something the Mustangs have done all season.
 
"Take a look at our stats, after Kendra Broad our next two leading scorers are [Katelyn Gosling] and [Brianna Iazzolino], and [Anthea Lasis] is going to be a stud in this league. I've been saying that all season. She's got a heavy shot from the point and she's going to get a lot of goals in this league," said Higgins.
 
The opening period was primarily a back-and-forth affair before Western's Stacey Scott opened the scoring with a power play goal from the slot with just over three minutes remaining in the frame.
 
Although Western controlled possession in the opening minutes of the second, Moncton was next up on the scoreboard with a power play goal from Amelie Dion midway through the period. Following a blocked shot from the point, Dion picked up the bouncing puck and slid it along the ice to tie the game at 1-1.
 
Moncton was in prime position to take the lead thanks to three consecutive penalties from Western late in the second and early in the third, however the Mustangs were able to hold the Aigles Bleues power play at bay to keep the score tied.
 
Shortly after killing off their latest penalty Western took the lead off a booming slap shot from Lasis that sailed into the top corner of the net. Iazzolino added the insurance marker a little over seven minutes later to give the Mustangs a 3-1 victory.
 
"I give a lot of credit to Moncton, they did their homework on the video, on the power play they took away our high option, we didn't adjust quick enough to it," said Higgins. "They got in the way of our defencemen, our pucks weren't getting through, they're a well-coached team."
 
Kelly Campbell played strong in the Western net, stopping 27 of 28 shots she faced, while Gabrielle Forget made 21 saves for Moncton in the loss. Katelyn Gosling and Marie-Pier Corriveau earned player of the game honours for the Mustangs and Aigles Bleues respectively.
 
The Mustangs advance to their first national semi-final in program history and will face the winner of Friday night's quarterfinal on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. MT (8:30 p.m. ET), live on CIS-SIC.tv and Sportsnet ONE.

Source: CIS