Gryphon hockey women waste little time in OT to stop Brock
GUELPH – Centre Kelly Gribbons of the Guelph Gryphons celebrated the team’s Senior Day game by scoring the only goal of the match as the Gryphs edged the Brock Badgers 1-0 in overtime in OUA women’s hockey league play Thursday night at the Gryphon Centre.
“There was just no one lined up on that side of the faceoff dot so I just kind of won it that way and beat the girl wide and it happened to go in so that was great,” Gribbons said of her goal right off the opening faceoff of the four-on-four period.
She carried the puck down the left-wing side before cutting in to fire the puck home.
“It kind of changes for me because I’m a centre, but usually I come the other way,” Gribbons said.
Gribbons had the only point of the game as her goal came on an unassisted effort eight seconds into extra time.
“That was a pretty good effort from start to finish,” Gryphons coach Rachel Flanagan said. “At the beginning of all the periods, we struggled to really get some shots on net. I thought we controlled the play a lot, but didn’t get a lot of shots on net until kind of halfway through the periods.”
Brock goaltender Jensen Murphy stopped 38 Gryphon shots while Guelph’s Valerie Lamenta stopped 21 shots for her fourth shutout of the season.
“She’s a southpaw which makes it even harder,” Gribbons said of Murphy. “A lot of the girls were shooting glove side where normally it would be a goalie’s blocker, but it was nice to find a way right at the end.”
“They’ve got a great goalie who they’ve rode all year,” Flanagan said. “We knew we were up against it and probably could’ve put more pucks to the net in certain situations, but she made some unbelievable saves to keep that game at 0-0. They’ve got some great players as well, but she’s the reason they’re really doing well this year. We knew that going in so nice for one of our seniors to get that goal so early in the overtime. I wish she’d gotten it about 15 seconds earlier.”
If that would’ve happened, It would’ve been a win in regulation time and one more point in the standings for the Gryphs.
The Gryphs were scoreless on four power plays and Brock was scoreless on two.
“They do a good job of when they collect the puck, someone’s always going out of their zone,” Flanagan said. “That pulls your D back and it creates a lot more space for their forwards to skate into.”
This season, 1-0 hasn’t been a real kind score for the Gryphs. The three previous games by that score this season were all losses. The game was also the fifth of the eight the Gryphs have played in 2018 that was decided by two goals or less.
“Every game from here kind of feels like a playoff game,” Gribbons said. “It’s nice to have the close games where it’s kind of back and forth. It’s great.”
The win kept the Gryphs in third place as their record improved to 11-4-5-0 while Brock is tied for sixth at 8-3-7-3. Top eight qualify for the playoffs. The Gryphs are a single point away from clinching a berth in the playoffs.
The game was the final home game of the regular season for the Gyphs. They have four road games to go – Saturday against the 13th-place Windsor Lancers (2-1-16-2) at the South Windsor Arena at 4 p.m.; Feb. 9 against the fourth-place Nipissing Lakers (10-2-4-2) at North Bay’s Memorial Gardens, Feb. 10 against the eighth-place Laurentian Voyageurs (8-1-6-3) at Sudbury’s Countryside Arena and Feb. 17 against the sixth-place Ryerson Rams (7-5-5-2) at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletics Centre.
“It’s not a great schedule to end the season, but road games aren’t always a bad thing, either,” Flanagan said. “It teaches you to have to play in situations and with travel and everything, if we can’t compete in those situations, when we get into playoffs we could struggle. It’s not too bad a thing.”
Gryphons 1 Badgers 0 (OT)
Penalty: Cohoon Brock (head contact), 15:54.
Penalties: Berg Brock (holding), 3:24; Ieradi Brock (body checking), 7:54; Crossman Gue (tripping), 17:51.
Penalties: Roepcke Gue (interference), 1:26; Whiteye Brock (tripping), 15:39.
1. Guelph, Gribbons (unassisted), 0:08
Shots on Goal
Goalies: J.Murphy (OL, 39 shots-38 saves), Brock; Lamenta (W, 21 shots-21 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Brock 0-2; Guelph 0-4.
- Guelph Sports Journal