Women's hockey: Pandas out of nationals; Laurier gets by Guelph

A month of Sundays hit the calendar: As Richard noted below, the women's hockey nationals in Antigonish, N.S. will not include the Alberta Pandas, upset 3-2 in triple overtime by the Manitoba Bisons on a goal by rookie sensation Nellie Minshull after 35:29 of free hockey.

The other five spots will include regulars McGill (the prohibitive favourite), Laurier, Moncton, Ottawa and host St. FX, although the No. 2 Golden Hawks had a narrow escape in the OUA final.

Expanding the tournament to eight teams, or reconsidering how the sixth spot is awarded to go along with the four league champions and host, should be on the table. The argument is that the calibre of play is good enough to fill out an eight-team field, whereas not too long ago, it was tough to have six teams. The top teams who are not named McGill aren't cakewalking through to nationals. Both semi-finals and the final in the OUA went the full three games.

Canada West
  • Stacey Corfield's stopped 107-of-113 shots, including 46-of-48, 37 saves, including combined on Pandas captain Jennifer Newton and star scorer Tarin Podloski.

    Alana Cabana, easily the best-named player in maybe any CIS team sport, scored two goals in Alberta's 3-1 win in Game 2. In the opener, Leanne Kisil scored Manitoba's game-winner with 4:45 left and got the empty-net goal with 42 ticks left.
  • Lauren Barch more or less carried Laurier to a pair of one-goal wins over Guelph, 2-1 and 3-2, as the Golden Hawks got back to nationals the hard way after dropping the series opener. Guelph was 20 minutes from its first OUA title Sunday when Barch scored tying and go-ahead goals; Kingston native Kaley Powers then scored the eventual game-winner with 5:54 remaining before Guelph pulled a goal back with 77 seconds left.

    Barch also got a goal right off the second-period opening faceoff that proved the winner on Saturday. Guelph had 'em, and one can only figure that coach Rachel Flanagan's team is starting to narrow the gap between Laurier and everyone else in that conference. Tori Woods was excellent in the playoffs for the U of G, with five goals in six games.
  • McGill had little trouble getting by Ottawa, sweeping the Quebec final 2-0. Marie-Andree Leclerc-Auger and Vanessa Davidson each had two goals and an assist in Friday's 7-1 clincher vs. the Gee-Gees, who of course are headed to Antigonish thanks Quebec being gifted with a second berth due to McGill's win last season.
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1 comment:

  1. Why should the women's tournament expand to eight teams when the men do fine with six teams at the University Cup? Frankly I think the importance and status of any national CIS tournament is enhanced when only the top four to six teams make the cut, and all are (hopefully) legitimate contenders for the gold medal.