NAPANEE, Ont. (U SPORTS) – For the second time in as many days the No.2 Guelph Gryphons found themselves on the losing end of a shootout as the No.3 Saint Mary's Huskies stole a 4-3 win in the second consolation semifinal at the 2017 U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont.
The Huskies were able to storm back after trailing 3-1 heading into the second period, eventually taking the win in a shootout. The AUS champions now see their season advance to the final day of the U SPORTS Championship, as they will battle the host No.8 Queen's Gaels for fifth at 11 a.m. ET Sunday on OUA.TV.
For the Gryphons, they see their season come to a close after losing both of their games at the national championship in a shootout.
"To be honest, I thought we were pretty good the whole game even being down 3-1 after the first," said Huskies Head Coach Chris Larade. "Even with the penalties against us, most of which we deserved, I thought we battled hard."
Overall, Larade was much more impressed with his team's performance Saturday.
"Our zone time and possession time was good. I think I'd like to see us put a few more pucks on net, but for the most part the effort was there. We just kept it simple, it was a bit of a grind game. Last game I didn't think we were able to be us. Today we actually played to our potential."
The Huskies were led by Caitlyn Manning, who not only scored to tie the game but secured the win with the shootout winner, beating Guelph goaltender Valerie Lamenta. The Gryphons saw all three of their goals come in the opening period, including power play markers from Sophie Contant and Brittany St James, which came just 37 seconds apart.
Guelph goaltender Lamenta made 25 saves throughout the contest. At the other end of the ice, Rebecca Clark turned away 16 pucks picking up the win.
In the first, the Gryphons used their power play to push themselves to an early lead. After scoring with a five-on-three advantage, St. James scored with a quick shot from inside the circle for a second power play tally to make it 3-1.
The second period saw the Huskies storm back to tie the game at 3-3. After Laura Polak scored to make the Guelph lead just 3-2, Manning tied the game up with a shot that was deflected off a Gryphon and past Lamenta.
After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game headed to a shootout.
In the shootout, after the first three shooters were turned aside, Manning scored for the Huskies, forcing a must-score situation for Guelph. The Gryphons' final shooter Kaitlyn Lowy was stopped by Clark to seal the Saint Mary's victory.
"I said it yesterday, but we are really proud of our group," commented Guelph head coach Rachel Flanagan on her team. "They're young and we're just not ready yet. We have talked about that and we are not yet at the peak of our mountain, and we are going to take a lot away. We want to walk away from this and not forget what it feels like. Hopefully everyone will learn some lessons about the good and the bad, and how to deal with adversity and pressure."
GAME NOTES: The Gryphons have gone to a shootout in three straight national championship games, losing their semifinal in 2016 to UBC, along with the pair in 2017… Manning had both the game-tying goal and shootout winner.
1. GUE Emma Forcey (1) (Wong, Lawrence), 6:19
1. SMU Brooke Murphy (1) (Lanceleve), 9:16
2. GUE Sophie Contant (1) (Young, Merrick), 18:06 PP
3. GUE Brittany St. James (1) (Lowy), 18:43 PP
Wilkinson (SMU) Tripping, 16:41.
Askin (SMU) Cross Checking, 17:32;
2. SMU Laura Polak (1) (Breanna Lanceleve), 12:06 PP
3. SMU Caitlyn Manning (unassisted), 16:36
Baker (SMU) Body Checking, 1:24;
Manning (SMU) Body Checking, 6:01;
Shell (GUE) Holding, 10:22;
Blanche (SMU) Slashing, 13:38.
GUE - Claire Merrick - Missed
SMU - Brooke Murphy - Missed
GUE - Sydney Davison - Missed
SMU - Caitlyn Manning - Goal
GUE - Kaitlin Lowy - Missed
GOALS (by period)
SMU 1-2-0-0-1: 4
GUE 3-0-0-0-0: 3
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
SMU 8-7-9-4-1: 29
GUE 8-3-5-3-0: 19
SMU – Rebecca Clark - (W, 1-1, 19 shots, 16 saves, 3 GA, 70:00)
GUE – Valerie Lamenta - (L, 0-2, 28 shots, 25 saves, 3 GA, 70:00)
SMU: Breanna Lanceleve
GUE: Sophie Contant
REFEREES: Gabrielle Ariano-Lortie
LINESWOMEN: Jenn Berezowski and Justine Todd
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times ET)
Thursday, March 16
3:00 p.m. Quarter-final 1: No.4 McGill 3, No.5 StFX 1
7:00 p.m. Quarter-final 2: No.1 UBC 2, No.8 Queen's 1
Friday, March 17
11:00 a.m. Quarter-final 3: No.3 Saint Mary's 1, No.6 Alberta 2
3:00 p.m. Quarter-final 4: No. 2 Guelph 3, No. 7 Concordia 4 (SO)
7:00 p.m. Consolation 1: No. 5 StFX 0, No.8 Queen's 2
Saturday, March 18
11:00 a.m. Consolation 2: No.3 Saint Mary's 4, No.2 Guelph 3 (SO)
3:00 p.m. Semifinal 1: No. 4 McGill vs. No.1 UBC (OUA.TV)
7:00 p.m. Semifinal 2: No.6 Alberta vs. No.7 Concordia (OUA.TV)
Sunday, March 19
11:00 a.m. 5th place: No.8 Queen's vs. No.3 Saint Mary's (OUA.TV)
3:00 a.m. Bronze (OUA.TV)
7:00 p.m. Final (OUA.TV)