GUELPH, Ont. (from Queen’s Gaels) – The No.9 Queen’s Gaels took down the No.6 Guelph Gryphons to hold onto first place in the OUA with a 1-0 win in Guelph on Saturday afternoon.
The Gaels came out of the gate flying in the first few minutes of the game, control possession of the puck and keeping the offensive pace up. Queen’s then headed to the power play after an interference call against Guelph’s Kristen Jay.
The Gryphon defence picked up their game as the penalty kill unit didn’t allow a single Gaels shot. It took Queen’s until mid-way through the frame before they were able to land a shot. The Gryphons outshot Queen’s 10-8 in the opening frame as the game remained scoreless.
Two of the OUA’s best netminders were going head-to-head in this one as the Gaels Stephanie Pascal (Sudbury) did battle with the Gryphons Valerie Lamenta.
Just 3:42 into the second period, a harmless shot from the slot sailed wide of Lamenta and off the end boards. Katrina Manoukarakis (Scarborough) picked up the puck and quickly fired a hard pass toward the front of the net. The Gaels Clare McKellar (London) was right on the doorstep and able to deflect the puck past Lamenta to put Queen’s ahead 1-0. The Gaels finished the period with 13 shots compared to just four for Guelph and went into the third with a 1-0 lead.
The third period saw the Gaels’ Pascal and the Queen’s defensive unit keep the Gryphon attack at bay.
Guelph pulled their goaltender with 2:30 left in the game and were able to send multiple chances in on Pascal. Queen’s was able to withhold the barrage and hang on for the 1-0 shutout win.
Pascal stopped all 20 shots she faced for the win while Lamenta turned aside 27 of 28.
With the win, the Gaels swept the season series with Guelph and now hold a three-point lead on Western with a game in hand and a six-point lead on Guelph.
By the numbers
1 – Just one goal in this game between two of the better defensive teams in the country
6 – Points now separate Queen’s and Guelph in the standings
25 – Manoukarakis picked up her OUA leading 25th point of the season to tie her career-high mark she obtained as a rookie
The Gaels are back on the ice on Sunday afternoon when they visit the York Lions in Toronto. Puck-drop is set for 2 pm EST.