Warriors drop a pair in final weekend of the term

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Photo courtesy UW Athletics

Playing a pair of games this weekend to close out the first half of the season, the women’s hockey team unfortunately fell short in both. Despite leading in the shots column on both occasions, they suffered losses due to only netting a single goal in each game.

Hosting the Western Mustangs on Nov. 26, the Warriors had a big confidence boost from the fact that they had already defeated their opponent this season, and that they were on a three-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Mustangs were victorious in the evenly-matched affair as they came away with a 2-1 win in the lengthy double overtime game.

Mustangs’ Amanda Pereira would open the scoring in the closing minutes of the first period, putting her team up 1-0. Warriors’ team-leading scorer Rachel Marriott netted the equalizer in the dying minutes of the second frame, bringing the score to 1-1. Marriott’s goal was assisted by Carolyn Burke and Amy Barnard.

The final period of the matchup saw unsuccessful offence from both sides, forcing the teams to fight for a game-winner in overtime. The first overtime period was still not enough time for either team to capitalize, so a second overtime period followed. A couple of minutes in this frame was all it took for Mustangs’ Pereira to score her second goal of the game, winning it for her team and snapping the Warriors’ win streak.

Rookie goalie Taylor Reimer would pick up her first loss in her young OUA career. Regardless of the result, their teammates still complimented her goalie on another strong performance. “Taylor made some amazing saves at the end of the third and in OT,” said forward Alyssa Gee.

Stephanie Digness enjoyed the tough matchup and added, “I thought it was an awesome game. They are a very similar team to us and it could have gone either way. We played hard and it just didn’t go our way. Reimer kept us in it.”

The Warriors suffered a greater loss in St. Catharines the following afternoon, losing 4-1 to the Brock Badgers. Despite recording 42 shots on net, almost double the total of their opponent (23), they had a very tough time converting on their opportunities. Marriott was the only Warrior in the game to get her shot past the Badgers’ net minder, converting on a power play opportunity with the help of teammates Marissa Redmond and Angela MacDonald.

Following the game, Warriors’ goalie Stephanie Sluys commented on the disappointing loss, “We played well, but the puck wasn’t bouncing our way. We overwhelmed them down low but just didn’t have the right touch to put it in the back of the net.”

Picking up the loss, Sluys now has a 5-4 record. On the offensive side, Marriott now has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) and leads the OUA in power plays goals (four) alongside MacDonald.

The pair of losses last weekend surprisingly didn’t affect the standings for the Warriors, as they remain in third place with 23 points.

After taking a month-long break with the rest of the league, the women’s hockey team will be in action Jan. 5 in Guelph against the OUA’s top-seeded Gryphons.

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