The Warriors’ power play unit was dominant Oct. 15 as Waterloo, playing their second game in as many nights and defeating the Laurier Golden Hawks by a score of 3-2 at the Waterloo Rec Complex. Waterloo ended the game in overtime with a power play goal by Angela MacDonald to cap off a hectic weekend that saw the Warriors walk away with a 1-1 record. They had dropped a 2-0 decision against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at the CIF Oct. 14.
It was a big night for Waterloo’s top players as three Warriors notched two points each. Fifth-year Marissa Redmond scored the opening goal for the away team and added an assist on the game-winning goal. MacDonald, in her sophomore season, lit the lamp twice. Most notably, Waterloo’s leading scorer last year, Rachel Marriott, returned from an injury that sidelined her for the second half of last season. She scored two assists.
Laurier, playing in their season opener, were looking for a win after a second-round exit last year. Their mostly first- and second-year roster contrasts Waterloo’s veteranship, and this age difference showed on the penalty clock. The Golden Hawks took the vast majority of the penalties and the Warriors made them pay by scoring all three of their goals with the man advantage.
The game started out on the wrong foot for the Warriors, as an early power play turned upside down when Golden Hawk defenseman Jacky Normandeau sent a perfect breakout pass to Jessica Prevette. Prevette took the breakaway and made no mistake, putting the puck past rookie goaltender Taylor Reimer. The lead lasted for half the period until another Golden Hawk penalty put the Warriors a man up. After a clean faceoff win in the offensive zone, a point shot by Marriott was tipped under the Laurier goaltender by Redmond to tie the game at two.
Laurier scored the only goal of the second period, putting them up 2-1. A wrap-around attempt by Prevette caused a scrum around the Waterloo net, where forward Emily Woodhouse was waiting to chip the puck over Reimer’s blocker. Shots at the end of the second were 19 to 12, in favour of the Warriors.
As the game went on, the physicality of the sport started to sneak into the play, culminating in a rather nasty-looking hit to the head of Redmond by Laurier’s Madison McCulloch. She would receive a four-minute minor for the play and Redmond would stay in the game.
Trailing going into the third period, Waterloo would not give up and they wasted no time in scoring the equalizer. Starting the frame with a 5-on-3 power play, Waterloo quickly set up in the Golden Hawk zone and a shot from the point caused a rebound that MacDonald made no mistake in burying. Despite late pressure by Laurier, Reimer stood tall. The game was knotted at 2-2 and overtime would be needed to crown the winner. Shots at the end of regulation were 31 for Waterloo and 20 for Laurier.
Starting this year, overtime in the OUA is played as four-on-four for five minutes, three-on-three for four minutes, and if still no goal is scored the game moves to a shootout.
Laurier had the first opportunity to end the game when a turnover in front of the Golden Hawk net resulted in a two-on-two rush that ended with the puck hitting the post and bouncing out of harm’s way.
With just 54 seconds left in four-on-four play, Waterloo defender Michelle Tanel was hit from behind into the boards by Prevette. The play, while not malicious, still hurt Tanel, who managed to skate off of the ice under her own power. Prevette was given a two-minute minor and a game misconduct for the hit.
Waterloo would convert on this power play. On the break-in, Marriott took the puck around the Laurier net and centred it to MacDonald, who tapped the puck in for the game-winning goal.
Reimer stopped 20 of 22 shots for the Warriors in the win, while Lauren Webber stopped 31 of 34 for Laurier. The women’s hockey team’s next game is on Oct. 21 at the CIF, where they take on the UOIT Ridgebacks.