It was an inglorious way to start a hockey game.
Against a team that came to town nine games below .500, the Queen’s Golden Gaels found themselves trailing 3-0 midway through the second period. It was certainly an undignified place for a team that has won two of the last five Ontario University Athletics championships to find itself.
Ultimately, the Gaels didn’t stay there for long.
Two goals before the end of the second period got the Gaels back into the game, another with less than three minutes left in the third period forced overtime, and Katrina Manoukarakis’ third goal of the game, three and a half minutes into the second extra period, gave Queen’s a 4-3 victory over the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks in an Ontario University Athletics women’s game at the Memorial Centre.
The victory allowed the Gaels to remain part of the seven-team logjam battling for second place in the OUA, where the teams currently standing second through eighth are separated by a scant five points.
"I think the girls just said enough is enough,” Gaels coach Matt Holmberg said, in a release, referring to the fact that his team was shut out Saturday afternoon, 3-0, by Guelph, the No. 1-ranked team in Canada.
By the time Manoukarakis scored at 10:43 of the second period Sunday, the Gaels had gone almost 94 minutes between goals, a stretch that included half a game against the team with the second-worst goals-against record in the country.
“I left it to the veterans in the room,” Holmberg said, “and the game went from there.
“We hope it's a momentum builder.”
An important point in the game came shortly after Tech took its 3-0 lead in the fourth minute of the second period. The Gaels found themselves playing two women short for almost a minute but they killed the penalty and it wasn’t long after that the rookie Manoukarakis scored her eighth goal of the season.
Manoukarakis scored her league-leading sixth power-play goal with 70 seconds left in the second period and after that there was no containing the Gaels, who outshot the visitors 24-3 in the third period, and 18-3 in the two overtimes.
Kayla Crouse scored her fourth goal of the season to force extra time.
Altogether, beleaguered Ridgebacks goaltender Cassie Charette faced 73 shots on the afternoon. Gabriella Lamanna, Victoria MacKenzie and Shalyn Pavlisko scored for Tech.
On Saturday, the Gaels were no match for the visiting Gryphons, who, at 16-3, lead the league. Ashlee Lawrence had a goal and an assist for the winners, while Karli Shell and Avery Nooren shared the other goals.
After a scoreless first period, Guelph scored twice in the first eight minutes of the second and sealed the victory with a breakaway goal by Lawrence midway through the third.
Guelph outshot the Gaels 26-21 as Valerie Lamenta, who leads the nation with both her 1.01 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, posted her sixth shutout of the season.
Queen’s, 11-7, is in fifth place with 34 points, one behind Western and Waterloo, both of whom have played one more game, and three behind second-place Nipissing, which has played three more games than the Gaels. Following close behind are Toronto and Laurier, both with 33 points, and Laurentian, with 32.
The Gaels will resume play Friday, when they begin a two-game trip to northern Ontario in North Bay, where they will play the Nipissing Lakers.