Photo: Kyle Darbyson.
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After two straight victories against Carleton, U of O sits atop RSEQ

The Minto Sports Complex played host to a real nail-biter on Sunday, Nov. 20, with the University of Ottawa women’s hockey team managing to sneak in a 4–3 shootout win against Carleton.

This latest victory came hot on the heels of a successful outing at the Carleton Ice House on Nov. 14, where the Gee-Gees thoroughly trashed the Ravens by a score of 5–1. However, Sunday’s match-up proved to be much more of a challenge for the Gees, since the Ravens were out for blood.

The visiting team made their intentions known throughout the first period, picking apart the U of O’s defence with ease and scoring two unanswered goals.

Luckily, the Gees were able to regroup from the onslaught in the second period. They started the period with goaltender Sarah-Maude Labrecque replacing Maude Levesque-Ryan in net, and with the change came a renewed sense of purpose.

They soon managed to close the gap to a respectable 2–1, thanks to a wicked wrist shot from team captain Vickie Lemire.

“We got a lot of scoring chances. Even in the first period we could have scored at least six goals,” said head coach Yanick Evola, reflecting on the resiliency of his team’s offence and the necessity of capitalizing on these scoring chances. “We have a team that believes in each other right now and it shows … so that’s really exciting.”

The real turning point in this game came in the third period, when the Gees successfully killed off a two-man advantage, despite the fact that their defensive game had been pretty shaky up until that point.

The Gees were able to generate a considerable amount of momentum from the kill. Forward Roxanne Rioux tied the game up with a power-play goal of her own, and then Shanie Deschatelets gave the U of O a 3–2 lead with a swift wrap-around on Carleton goaltender Summer Roberts.

Unfortunately, the Gees’ sloppy defence would come back to haunt them. With less than two minutes to go in the third period, Carleton forward Delaney Ross scored a shorthanded goal to send the game into overtime.

Despite dominating the majority of these five extra minutes, the Gees couldn’t find the back of the net and both teams were forced to settle the score in a shootout.

After five missed opportunities, Rioux decided to step up for her team, sneaking the puck through Roberts’ five-hole and winning the game 4–3 for the Gees.

Even though this tremendous comeback victory propels the Gees to the number-one spot of the Réseau de sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), Evola cautioned that his team shouldn’t start celebrating just yet.

“We’ve got to show better consistency on the road of course,” he said, citing the team’s less-than-stellar 1–2  record in away games thus far. “We need to get some points on the road if we want to finish in a good position for the playoffs.”

The Gees will get their chance to salvage their away game record by taking on the Montreal Carabins on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. They’ll also get a second crack at taking down the Concordia Stingers at home on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here