GUELPH, Ont. (from Guelph Gryphons) – On a night in which the Gryphons women’s hockey team honoured their graduating seniors, it was only fitting that fifth-year standout Kelly Gribbons took on the role of overtime hero. The Port Elgin native scored just :08 seconds into the overtime period to lift the No. 8-ranked Gryphons to a 1-0 home win over the Brock Badgers. Gribbons was one of three graduating players to be recognized during pre-game ceremonies, with All-Canadian defenceman Katherine Bailey and fourth-year forward Mackenzie Wong also acknowledged prior to puck drop in what was the Gryphons’ final home game of the 2017-18 regular season schedule. Gryphons fourth-year goalie Valerie Lamenta turned away all 21 shots sent her way for the shutout.
“This is a really unique class as it’s three captains that are graduating,” said Gryphons head coach Rachel Flanagan. “They’re such great leaders on and off the ice. It’s going to be some tough shoes to fill next year. They’ve been a really big part of the success of our program.”
Finding the back of the net against a stingy Brock defence is something the Gryphons were well aware of heading into Thursday night’s game. When the two teams met up in St. Catharines back on November 18, it was the Badgers who came out on top of a 1-0 scoreline. Kelly Gribbons pre-game ‘Senior Night’ ceremony
The Gryphons outshot Brock 38-21 in regulation, with Badgers goalie Jensen Murphy coming up with several big saves, including a flurry of chances over the final eight minutes of the third period. Guelph’s best chance to win it in regulation came with just :28 seconds remaining in the 3rd, when a backhand from Ashlee Lawrence appeared to be headed for the back of the net, only to be denied by the glove of Murphy.
In overtime, however, the Gryphons would need to find the breakthrough with Gribbons gaining possession off the faceoff and blowing by the Brock ‘D’ before roofing a backhand just under the crossbar to give the Gryphons the 1-0 win. It was the 5th game-winning-goal on the season for Gribbons, who leads the OUA in that category. The
With just four games remaining on the regular season schedule, there is a good chance the Gryphons and Badgers could meet up in the opening round of the OUA playoffs, with the Gryphons (15-5-0) currently sitting in 3rd in the standings, while Brock (11-7-3) sit 7th in the conference. The top spot in the conference is still very much within the grasp of the Gryphons, who sit just one point behind second-place Western and just four points behind first-place Queen’s.
The Gryphons will head on their four-game road trip on Saturday (Feb. 3) with a visit to South Windsor Arena to take on the Windsor Lancers. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 pm EST.