Gee-Gees make a play in front of the Tommies’ net. Photo: Savannah Awde.
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Women’s hockey team continues to look strong as start of season approaches

On the weekend of Sept. 28, the women’s hockey team played the St. Thomas Tommies and Queen’s Gaels in their final exhibition matches, coming away with a win and a loss respectively.

The home game versus the Tommies was a close affair, and despite the quick movement in the opening minutes of the game, the style of play transitioned into a slow grind as both teams battled in the ends.

Both teams racked up a total of 24 minutes worth of penalties throughout the game.

The time on the power-play was put to good use, as the Gee-Gees outshot St. Thomas 15-4 in the first period. The low shot tally for St. Thomas was due in part to a series of three offsides, as the Gee-Gees defended against the Tommies’ own man advantage.

Both teams battled into the second, neither gaining an advantage until a beautiful cross-crease pass from Mélodie Bouchard set up Roxanne Rioux to put the Gee-Gees in the lead.

The Tommies attempted to answer back on their next power-play, but were stonewalled as goaltender Sarah-Maude Labrecque endured a barrage from the blueline to keep the momentum firmly with the Gee-Gees.

After the game Labrecque, who stopped 18 of 19 shots, attributed her performance to the team.

“We played well, the defence were awesome,” she said. “It was pretty easy for me to do my job.”

The team closed out the second period with another goal, Mélodie Bouchard gaining her second point of the night, putting the Gee-Gees in control of the game, up 2-1.

St. Thomas battled desperately to comeback in the third period, and managed to sneak a goal past Labrecque in a scramble in front of the net.

The comeback was stopped when Alexe Drouin scored the final goal of the night, sealing the Gee-Gees win over the Tommies.

By the end, the Gee-Gees outshot the Tommies 33-19, and spent 16 minutes total on the power-play.

“We haven’t practiced a lot of power-plays yet, but we had some nice plays tonight,” Gee-Gees captain Mélina Roy said. “It’s good and shows that we are disciplined, but we’ll keep working on it.”

The Sept. 30 game in Kingston versus the Queen’s Gaels was a similar affair but had a different result, with the Gee-Gees suffering their first and only loss of the preseason in a tight 2-1 contest.

While they did eventually concede the loss, the Gee-Gees and Gaels were fairly evenly matched, with the game forced to go to a shootout.

In the loss, the Garnet and Grey peppered Queen’s goaltender Makenzy Arsenault with 44 shots, forcing her to be nearly flawless in the net. She only let the one goal from Rioux slip by in the third period.

With the final two games of the preseason played out, the Gee-Gees looked strong going into the regular season with a 3-1.

The regular season will finally open on the road on Oct. 19 against the University of Montreal Carabins.

“We’re going to focus on our plan, keep improving and get better every game” Roy said. “We are really excited to start the beginning of the season.”

The Gee-Gees will then return for their home-opener on Oct. 21 at the Minto Sports Complex, going head-to-head with the Concordia Stingers. Grab tickets here.