The first round of OUA women’s hockey playoffs is officially in the books and it was as thrilling as we expected it to be. Eight teams battled it out for a spot in the semi-final round.
Guelph Gryphons vs Windsor Lancers – Gryphons 2-0
The Guelph Gryphons did exactly what you would expect as they swept away the Windsor Lancers in two games. Guelph took game one 3-0 with two goals from third year Kaitlin Lowy (Toronto, ON) while Valeria Lamenta (Montreal, QC) stood tall between the pipes, making 27 saves in the shutout. The Gryphons also went two-for-two on the power-play in this one.
Game two was a similar story as the Lancers were able to get 34 shots on Lamenta, however the Gryphons were able to score in the final minute of the third period to take the lead before adding an empty netter for the 4-2 win. With five different goal scorers in the two games, Guelph once again shows the depth that they have on this team as they head into round two.
Nipissing Lakers vs Laurentian Voyageurs – Lakers 2-1
The Lakers were able to take game one 5-2 thanks to a 49 save performance from goaltender Jackie Rochefort (Ajax, ON). Two empty net goals makes it look like a blowout, however the Voyageurs were able to compete with the Lakers for the majority of the game. This was seen once again in game two as the Voyageurs defeated the #2 seed Lakers by a score of 4-3 with two goals from Morgan McCann (Parkhill, ON).
The series would go to a decisive game three back in North Bay where the Voyageurs had a chance to upset the Lakers in round one. However, Nipissing was able to show why they are a nationally ranked program, hanging on to win 2-1 despite a late third period push from the voyageurs. Jade Gauthier (Callander, ON) scored both goals for Nipissing while Rochefort was solid again, making 25 saves in the win.
Toronto Varsity Blues vs Queen’s Gaels – Varsity Blues 2-1
The Varsity Blues entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the country and went up against a team that is always tough in the playoffs, the Queen’s Gaels. The Varsity Blues were able to take game one 3-2 after two special teams goals from Taylor Day (Ilderton, ON), once on the power-play and another while short-handed.
Game two went the other way as it was the veterans of the Gaels who led Queen’s to a 2-1 victory. Addi Halladay (North Augusta, ON) and Katrina Manoukarakis (Scarborough, ON) scored while Jessica Wakefield (Lucan, ON) had an assist on both tallies. The win sent the series to game three at Varsity Arena in downtown Toronto.
Game three was another close game and ended up being one of the most exciting games of the season for not only both teams, but the entire conference. The Varsity Blues were all over the Gaels, getting 48 shots on net and finally, Meagan O’Brien (Brampton, ON) scored in double overtime to send the Varsity Blues to the next round, eliminating the Queen’s Gaels who will host the national championships in a few weeks time.
Waterloo Warriors vs Western Mustangs – Warriors 2-1
The #4 vs #5 series lived up to the hype that we expected. The Warriors were able to hang on and take down the Mustangs in three games after the first two game went to overtime. Veteran goaltender Stephanie Sluys (Clinton, ON) got the call for all three games for the Warriors after it was rookie Taylor Reimer (Morden, MB) who played the majority of games late in the regular season.
The Mustangs came close to knocking off the #4 seed, however the offence went silent in game three and that was the difference as Waterloo was finally able to find some depth in scoring, with five different goal scorers in three games. The Warriors took game three by a score of 2-0 and advance to the semi-finals. Stephanie Sluys recorded her first career playoff shutout while the Warriors win their first playoff series in program history.
- The top two point and goal scorers in the OUA this season, Krystin Lawrence (Windsor) and Lyndsay Kirkham (Western) have both had their seasons come to an end while the two combined for only one point in five games – a big reason as to why both of their teams are going home.
- The top four seeds all move on to the semi-final round after eliminating the 5,6,7 and 8 seeds.
Guelph (1) vs Waterloo (4)
Game 1 – March 1st – 7:30 pm.
Game 2 – March 4th – 2:00 pm.
Game 3 (If Necessary) – March 5th – 2:30 pm.
Nipissing (2) vs Toronto (3)
Game 1 – March 1st – 7:00 pm.
Game 2 – March 3rd – 7:00 pm.
Game 3 (If Necessary) – March 4th – 7:00 pm.