With a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over the Guelph Gryphons this afternoon, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team has earned a spot in the U SPORTS national semifinals for the first time since 2001.
The Stingers, who went into the eight-team championship as the seventh-seeded program, will meet the No. 6 Alberta Pandas tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont. The Canada West qualifiers upset the No. 3-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies in its opening round game, also played this afternoon.
The Stingers had to overcome an early deficit to get to advance. Guelph scored the only goal in the first period when Kaitlin Lowy banged in a rebound.
In the second period, Concordia responded scoring three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. Brigitte Laganière, Sophie Gagnon and Tracy-Ann Lavigne tallied to give the Stingers the momentum heading into intermission.
In the third period, Guelph fought back to tie the game 3-3. Katherine Bailey scored after crashing the net and chipping in a rebound. In the dying minutes of the third, it was Stephanie Gava who tied the game and forced the overtime.
Both teams pushed hard in the 10-minute overtime session, but it solved nothing.
In the shootout, Concordia’s second shooter Keriann Schofield beat Gryphons goalie Valerie Lamenta. Guelph evened up the score on a goal from Lowy. Then Stinger Claudia Dubois delivered the winner.
“That game was a huge character win for us,” said Concordia head coach Julie Chu. “Obviously Guelph is a tremendous team. In the second period, that’s where we got our momentum and started to play gritty, hard, aggressive hockey. In the third period, we both pushed back, so it was a great back-and-forth game. That’s what nationals is about.”
GAME NOTES: Stinger netminder Katherine Purchase stopped 19 of 22 shots in 70 minutes… Concordia outshot Guelph 39-22… Former Concordia head coach and women’s hockey pioneer Les Lawton was on hand to present Player of the Game awards to Dubois and Lamenta.
1. GUE Kaitlin Lowy (1) (Mallory Young), 14:12
1. CON Caroll-Anne Gagné (1) ( Valerie Wade), 11:07
2. CON Brigitte Laganière (1) (Tracy-Ann Lavigne), 13:56 PP
3. CON Sophie Gagnon (1) (Tracy-Ann Lavigne, Claudia Dubois), 16:36
2. GUE Katherine Bailey (1) (Claire Merrick), 9:16
3. GUE Stephanie Gava (1) (Sydney Davidson, Brittany St James), 13:15
GUE - Sydney Davison - Missed
CON - Marie-Pascale Bernier - Missed
GUE - Claire Merrick - Missed
CON - Keriann Schofield - Goal
GUE - Kaitlin Lowy - Goal
CON - Claudia Dubois - Goal
SCHEDULE & RESULTS
McGill 3, St. FX 1
UBC 2, Queen’s 1
Alberta 2, Saint Mary’s 1
Concordia 4, Guelph 3 SO
Saturday, March 18
3 p.m. Semifinal 1: No. 4 McGill vs. No.1 UBC (OUA.TV)
7 p.m. Semifinal 2: No.6 Alberta vs. No.7 Concordia (OUA.TV)
Sunday, March 19
11 a.m. - 5th-place game (OUA.TV)
3 p.m. - Bronze medal game (OUA.TV)
7 p.m. – Gold medal game (OUA.TV)