Queen’s Golden Gaels scored three first-period goals Saturday night and that propelled them to a 5-2 Ontario University Athletics women’s hockey victory over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks at the Memorial Centre.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Gaels, who, at 10-6, are fifth in the league standings, one point behind Western, which has played one more game, and one point ahead of sixth-place Laurentian, which has played two more games than Queen’s.
In the tightly bunched pack well behind league-leading Guelph, the Gaels are just four points behind second-place Waterloo, with two games in hand.
Saturday, Queen’s spotted visiting Laurier an early one-goal lead before scoring three times in a span of just more than nine minutes. The last two came on a power play that had generated just one goal in its previous 16 player-advantage opportunities.
It was a striking reversal of form for the Gaels, who had scored just four goals in their previous four games. Queen’s, which hasn’t scored more than five goals in a game all year, nonetheless has its defensive game in order, having allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of its 16 games.
Laurier, 8-9, got within a goal late in the second period, but Queen’s regained the two-goal advantage when Micaela Smith scored her first goal of the year with just 35 seconds left in the period.
Kyla Crouse, Katrina Manoukarakis, Taryn Pilon and Courtenay Jacklin scored the other goals for Queen’s. Caitlyn Lahonen made 24 saves for her 10th victory of the season, as the Gaels outshot Laurier 43-26.
For the rookie Manoukarakis, it was her team-leading seventh goal of the year. She also had two assists, and she leads the Gaels with 16 points.
Jessica Prevette and Katia Piccoli, with her first goal of the year, replied for Laurier, which suffered its third loss in five games since returning from the Christmas break.
“Getting a couple of power-play goals in the first period was very important,” Gaels coach Matt Holmberg said, in a release. “That was the big difference between last night and tonight, getting our power play going.”
On Friday, the Gaels fell 3-1 to Waterloo at the Memorial Centre. Emily Jukosky’s first career intercollegiate goal was the only one of the first period, one in which Queen’s outshot the visitors 11-4, but two goals late in the second period, just 19 seconds apart, sent the Warriors into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
Marissa Redmond, Paula LaGamba, with her 10th goal of the season, and Kaitlyn McDonell, who scored with just more than five minutes left in the third period, scored for Waterloo, which improved to 12-6 when it won its fourth game in a row Saturday night at Ontario Tech.
The Gaels resume play Saturday, when they host league-leading Guelph, the No. 1-ranked team in the country, at the Memorial Centre.