The stage is officially set for the 2016-2017 McCaw Cup championship game for OUA women’s hockey, with a berth to the national championships at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, ON on the line. The game will feature the Guelph Gryphons and the Nipissing Lakers, the two best teams all season long.
The two teams will face off after having played the same amount of playoff games in the last few weeks, as both sides have only lost once in the postseason. The Gryphons were forced to a game three in the semifinal round against the Waterloo Warriors, however, it was the usual suspects Kaitlin Lowy (Toronto, ON) and Kelly Gribbons (Port Elgin, ON) who combined for five points in the 4-1 victory. The back end was huge for Guelph in the deciding game, as Valerie Lamenta (Montreal, QC) only had to make 22 saves en route to the win.
The Nipissing Lakers on the other hand took care of the Toronto Varsity Blues in two games after being forced to game three in round one against the Laurentian Voyageurs. The Lakers won 5-2 and 3-2 against Toronto with seven different goal scorers over the course of two games. One of the league’s better defences has been a slower than expected in the playoffs, however with the scoring depth up front, along with Jackie Rochefort (Ajax, ON) holding down the fort between the pipes, this Lakers team will be tough to beat come Saturday. Five players from Nipissing find themselves inside the top six in playoff points. They will need all of their lines firing if they want to be the first team to take down the Gryphons at home this season and punch their ticket to nationals.
Special teams may play a key factor in Saturday’s championship game. The Guelph Gryphons have a power-play firing at 33% this postseason and a penalty kill that has yet to allow a goal in that time. We will have a close eye on that factor as it may just be the deciding one as the two best teams all season long face off for all the glory.
Nipissing: Jackie Rochefort – 2.13 GAA, .922 SV %, 4-1. (All numbers are from the post-season)
Guelph: Valerie Lamenta – 1.20 GAA, .951 SV %, 4-1. (All numbers are from the post season)
Team Leaders (Postseason)
Goals: Jade Gauthier (4)
Assists: Samantha Strassburger (5)
Points: Jade Gauthier (8)
PIM: Samantha Strassburger (10)
Goals: Kaitlin Lowy (4)
Assists: Kaitlin Lowy (4)
Points: Kaitlin Lowy (8)
PIM: Meagan Lee (14