TORONTO (from Queen’s Gaels) – The No. 8 Queen’s Gaels spoiled the Toronto Varsity Blues (13-0-8-2) senior night, handing them a 3-1 come-from-behind win over Toronto on Friday night.
With the Gaels’ (14-3-3-3) regulation victory, they now sit with 51 points on the season with one game remaining and have clinched first place in the OUA standings heading into the playoffs.
The first period of play was a back-and-forth affair, with puck pressure coming from both sides. The first quality opportunity of the game came from Gaels Clare McKellar (London, Ont.), whose shot was stopped when Toronto goaltender Madeline Albert managed to pull off a spectacular goal-scoring save. Coming back the other way, it was Varsity Blues forward Breanna Berndsen who put the home team on the scoreboard with eight minutes remaining in the first. Despite leading in shots 10-7, the Gaels would enter the second period down 1-0.
The second period started out similar to the first, both teams battling, pushing the pace on the ice. With seven minutes remaining, Gaels leading goal scorer Katrina Manoukarakis (Scarborough, Ont.) came up big for the Tricolour, burying a shot to level the score 1-1. Not done yet, Manoukarakis would find the net again with a snapshot to give the Gaels the edge 2-1 with just two minutes remaining before the final period.
Coming out firing in the third period, the Gaels kept the offensive pressure up on the Varsity Blues. A scrappy affair, the Gaels would hold their lead and add one more empty-netter off the stick of Jessica Wakefield (Lucan, Ont.) to secure the 3-1 victory.
The Gaels will culminate the regular season in Waterloo tomorrow night when they take on the Laurier Golden Hawks. Puck drop is set for 7 pm EST.