Caitlyn Lahonen posted her fifth shutout of the season Saturday, leading the Queen’s Golden Gaels to a 3-0 Ontario University Athletics women’s hockey victory over the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury.
Lahonen made 30 saves for her second shutout of the year against Laurentian, and her third shutout this season on the road.
The victory allowed the Gaels to leave northern Ontario with a split of two games. On Friday, they were beaten 3-1 by the second-place Nipissing Lakers in North Bay. Queen’s emerged from the weekend with a 12-8 record, good for 36 points in a cluster of teams battling for places three through six as the season heads into its penultimate week.
As it turns out, Nipissing’s victory over Queen’s Friday night was a big step in killing the Gaels’ quest for second place, as they now stand seven points behind the Lakers, even though they've played three fewer games than has Nipissing.
Similarly, Queen’s win on Saturday essentially kicked Laurentian out of the race for fourth place. The Voyageurs have 32 points, four behind Queen’s and Western, who are tied for fourth place, three points behind Toronto.
In between, Waterloo and Laurier are tied for sixth place with 35 points apiece.
Emily Jukosky’s second goal of the year was the only one of the first period and, as it turned out, the only one Lahonen would need to fashion a vicgory. After a scoreless second, the Gaels got goals from Clare McKellar and Kyla Crouse, into an empty net, in the third.
Friday night in North Bay, Jessica Wakefield of Queen’s scored the first goal of the game, but the Lakers tied the game before the first period ended and they took a 3-1 lead into the third. Katrina Manoukarakis scored her 11th goal of the year for the Gaels, her league-leading seventh power-play goal, but in the final dozen minutes Queen’s couldn’t get another puck past Nipissing goalkeeper Jacqueline Rochefort, despite outshooting the home team 12-5 in the final 20 minutes.
The Gaels return to Kingston this weekend for two matinees, hosting the Ryerson Rams Saturday and the Toronto Blues Sunday, both at the Invista Centre.