Gryphon hockey women national champions
CHARLOTTETOWN – A week after celebrating with Judy, the Guelph Gryphons got to celebrate with Cookie.
The Gryphs needed a single goal Sunday to edge the McGill Martlets 1-0 before getting to hoist the Golden Path Trophy emblematic of supremacy in U Sports national university women’s hockey.
That trophy, donated in 1998 by Katherine ‘Cookie’ Cartwright from Queen’s, will get a spot in the Gryphon trophy case beside the OUA championship McCaw Cup trophy named in honour of former Gryphon Judy McCaw that the Gryphs won a week earlier.
A pair of Gryphons playing in their very last game for the team played huge roles in the national championship win Sunday. Captain Kaitlin Lowy’s goal with 1:45 to go in the second period and the shutout goaltending of Valerie Lamenta gave the third-seed Gryphs the win over fifth-seed McGill.
Stephanie Gava and Karli Shell assisted on the goal while the shutout was the second in a row for Lamenta who didn’t yield a goal after the 1:02 mark of the second period of an opening-game 3-2 win over the defending champion Manitoba Bisons Thursday. She ends her Gryphon career with a shutout streak of 158:58.
While the Gryphs didn’t score on either of their power plays Sunday, they also didn’t allow McGill to score on a pair of tripping minors to Gava – the first one early in the first period and the second one early in the third.
The Gryphs outshot the Martlets 21-20, meaning both goaltenders, Lamenta and Tricia Deguire of McGill, a second-team all-star this season, made 20 saves. Lamenta was the U Sports player of the year in 2016.
As is the case with all U Sports national tournaments, the women’s hockey tournament started with the national awards banquet and that might have provided the Gryphs with all the motivation they needed as not one single Gryphon, player or coach, was honoured. No Gryphon was a major award winner or national all-star.
Lowy was the Gryphon player of the game in the final while three Gryphs – Lamenta, defenceman Mallory Young and forward Claire Merrick – were named to the tournament all-star team.
While the national title win was Guelph’s first in women’s hockey, the gold-medal win was also the first national medal win in women’s hockey for the Gryphs. Their previous best was a fourth-place finish.
Gryphons 1 Martlets 0
Penalty: Gava Gue (tripping), 3:58.
1. Guelph, Lowy (Gava, Shell), 18:15.
Penalties: Landry McG (hooking), 1:18; Desjardins McG (cross checking), 10:07.
Penalty: Gava Gue (tripping), 0:42.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Lamenta (W, 20 shots-20 saves), Guelph; Deguire (L, 21 shots-20 saves), McGill.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Guelph 0-2; McGill 0-2.
- Guelph Sports Journal