Gryphon hockey women rebound from Saturday setback
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons bounced back from their loss to the Queen’s Gaels a day earlier with a solid effort in downing the UOIT Ridgebacks 4-1 Sunday at the Gryphon Centre.
“We know we can’t take any games off and yesterday was a really good game,” Gryphon coach Rachel Flanagan said of the 1-0 loss to Queen’s. “We were pretty disappointed after the game, but after reviewing some tape, we’re right there. It could’ve gone either way and we really felt that in the end we had a lot more quality chances than Queen’s did and we just couldn’t find a way to put it in.”
The Gryphs had entered Saturday’s game in third place, six points behind the Gaels. In OUA women’s hockey, wins in regulation time are worth three points, wins in overtime two points and losses in overtime one point.
After Saturday’s setback, they needed a good outing against the Ridgebacks and they responded, scoring three times in the first period and once in the third while the lone UOIT goal came in the second.
“It was great to have a response like that, especially our first period,” Flanagan said. “I thought we kind of let our foot off the gas a little bit in the second, but we responded well in the third to find a way.”
While UOIT is 11th in the 13-team league, 11 points out of a playoff spot, the Ridgebacks always seem to give the Gryphs a tough time. UOIT had won 1-0 in Oshawa Oct. 26.
“They have for years,” Flanagan said. “We always feel like we have a target on our backs and teams want to play their best when they play against top teams just like we do. The key to games like that is to make sure we play our game and stick with our game plan.”
Kaitlin Lowy opened and closed the scoring for the Gryphs while Emma Forcey and Claire Merrick also scored. Miranda Lantz assisted on two of the goals while Claire Merrick, Mallory Young, Ashlee Lawrence, Karli Shell, Lowy and Laura Crowdis each had one assist.
Grace Donaldson tallied for UOIT, assisted by Sarah Biesenthal and Nicole Augello.
Aurore Beaulieu had 21 saves to get the win in net for Guelph while the loss was charged to UOIT’s Celine Tessier who made 26 saves.
The Gryphs outshot the Ridgebacks 30-22 and neither team scored on the power play, the Gryphs on two power plays and UOIT on five.
Guelph is third in the league at 11-3-5-0. They trail fist-place Queen’s (12-3-2-3) and second-place Western Mustangs (12-2-5-2). The Nipissing Lakers are fourth at 10-2-4-2 and are followed by the Toronto Varsity Blues (11-0-7-2), Ryerson Rams (7-5-5-2), Brock Badgers (8-3-7-2) and Laurentian Voyageurs (8-1-6-3).
The Gryphs have five games to go in their regular season. They’re to host Brock Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Gryphon Centre. Their other four games are all on the road as they’re to play the 13th-place Windsor Lancers (2-1-16-2) Saturday at 4 p.m., Nipissing Feb. 9, Laurentian Feb. 10 and Ryerson Feb. 17.