Gryphons come out flat in loss to Queen’s
GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons turned in the kind of outing that might have been expected in their return to OUA women’s hockey league play Saturday as they were handed a 2-0 setback by the Queen’s Gaels at the Gryphon Centre.
“We just weren’t ready mentally. It’s not about our skill, size or desire,” Gryphon coach Rachel Flanagan said. “It really was just we weren’t there. I can understand it if it was our first game back, but it wasn’t and our first game back was so complete. It’s a little bit disappointing, but we take opportunities like this to learn.
The Gryphs had returned from the Christmas and exam break with a 3-0 home-ice victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues last Sunday. With the exception of the play of goaltender Aurore Beaulieu, there was nothing similar about the loss to Queen’s.
“This isn’t on our young players, but we have a young group and I think that maybe some of our inconsistency this year is not having as much of that older group here knowing how to play through those really tough games,” Flanagan said. “We had moments where we were good tonight and we had moments where we were just not mentally very aware of what was happening around us.”
The scoring by Queen’s was limited to a two-minute portion of the second period, but the Gryphs didn’t mount much of an attack or a response to those goals. And both teams spent a lot of time killing penalties as the Gryphs took 18 minutes in penalties and Queen’s took 16. All the penalties were minors and none were coincidental, meaning the Gryphs killed off nine penalties and Queen’s killed off eight.
“Again, we talk about having a young group and we had a lot of players who didn’t get a lot of playing time either,” Flanagan said. “Our special teams group are pretty spread out, but we have a couple of kids who don’t play and that’s frustrating for them when they get out there. It’s hard to put together a couple of good shifts when you’re only playing once every five minutes.”
The Gaels also did a good job of keeping the Gryphs at bay as they held their hosts under double digits in shots each period. In the end the Gaels outshot the Gryphs 26-17.
“We knew at the beginning of the game that it was going to be difficult to get inside their house,” Flanagan said. “They did a really good job of keeping us to the outside and we didn’t adjust real well to finding a way of getting into that place.”
Beaulieu made 24 saves with shots by Taylor Hicks and Kaylie Dennis getting by her for the goals for Queen’s. Brigid Goris, Nicole Posesorski and Hailey Wilson each had an assist.
“Aurore did everything she could to give us the opportunity to win,” Flanagan said. “We didn’t help her out a lot. The goals that they got came off of mistakes. That’s really frustrating because I thought Aurore had another good game.”
The loss leaves the Gryphs tied with the Ryerson Rams for seventh in the standings with 26 points apiece. Toronto leads with 34 while York Lions have 31, Nipissing Lakers 30, Queen’s and Waterloo Warriors 28 apiece and Brock Badgers 27. Western Mustangs are ninth at 25.
Top eight qualify for the playoffs.
The Gryphs have nine games left in their regular season. They’re to host the 13th-place Windsor Lancers (8 points) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Gaels 2 Gryphons 0
- Guelph Sports Journal