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March 17, 2018 | Hockey (W)

Brigitte Laganière in action versus the Manitoba Bisons.

Shootout loss sends Stingers to bronze medal game

It took 70 minutes and a shootout for the No. 1-seeded Manitoba Bisons to defeat the Concordia Stingers 2-1 in semifinal action at the U SPORTS women’s hockey national championship in London, Ont. on Saturday night.

The fourth-seeded Stingers will meet the No. 7-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies in the bronze medal game Sunday at 1 p.m.

“It doesn’t take away from the fact that we have an opportunity to win a bronze medal, which not a lot of people get to,” said Stingers head coach Julie Chu after the tough loss. “We’re some of the rare teams that get to have that opportunity to play to the last day possible of the season, and we’re going to make sure we make the most of the opportunity.”

Concordia will battle for the bronze for a second consecutive year. Last March, the Stingers finished fourth at nationals after losing the third-place game 2-0 to the UBC Thunderbirds.

The Stingers also played in bronze medals games in 2001, losing 1-0 to the McGill Martlets, and in 2000 when they defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues 6-0.

At the 2018 championship the first period was scoreless, and the Stingers grabbed the momentum early in the second frame when Sophie Gagnon scored an unassisted goal to give Concordia a 1-0 lead after just 31 seconds.

The lead stood until 6:55 of the period when Manitoba’s Lauren Warkentin evened it up at 1-1. There was no more scoring in regulation or in 10 minutes of overtime.

In the shootout, Jordyn Zacharias and Alanna Sharman scored for Manitoba, while Bison goaltender Lauren Taraschuk shutdown Concordia’s shooters – Claudia Dubois and Keriann Schofield.

Taraschuk turned away 21 of 22 shots on net for Manitoba.

Concordia goaltender Katherine Purchase stopped 27 of 28 shots. She was named Player of the Game for the Stingers.

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