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Women’s hockey team wins important game against Stingers

Katherine DeClerq | Fulcrum Staff

IN WHAT WAS a crucial matchup against the Concordia Stingers (3-11), the team separating the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (5-9) from the playoffs, the women’s hockey team came out victorious with a 4-2 win on Jan. 21.

“We knew it was a must-win situation,” said Yanick Evola, head coach of the women’s hockey team, after the win. “They are now four points behind [us].”

With slow passes and sluggish movement, the Gees and Stingers began the game by testing out the ice and each other. The Stingers made their first goal on a power play six minutes into the game with a slapshot that ricocheted off the ice into the right corner.

The Gees retaliated with some offensive manoeuvres and complete passes that resulted in a point of their own by first-year forward Elarie Leclair, who tapped the puck right into the net with an assist by first-year defender Valérie Watson.  The first period ended with the teams tied, 1-1.

“I don’t think we were lucky in the first half,” said Evola. “I kept telling the girls to be patient.”

“We were not playing our best in the first part but … we stayed focused, calm, talking on the ice,” agreed fifth-year forward Érika Pouliot. “I think that is why we got that win tonight.”

The second period saw a rough start for the Gees, with Concordia rushing the net for a goal within the first minute of play. This didn’t discourage the Garnet and Grey, as they continued to skate aggressively back and forth across the ice.

After an intense pile up, one Gee-Gee and two Stingers were sent into the penalty box. Ottawa rebounded on the power play with aggression, allowing third-year forward Fannie Desforges to tap a shot in to the net.

With newfound confidence, the Gees continued, with Pouliot taking a quick shot at the end of the third to bring the scoreboard to 3-2 for Ottawa. Evola attributes the Gees’ success to their preparedness in terms of their power play strategy.

“We’ve been really strong on our power-play lately,” he said. “We have been working on that aspect. We know that you win and lose games on power plays or on penalty kills. We are watching videos and we know how to adjust to our opponent.”

The Stingers let another goal slide in the final period during a scramble in front of their net, allowing the Gees to take the win, 4-2.

“I kept telling the girls to be patient,” said Evola. “And finally, we had mister lucky seven and we won the game.”

The Gees will host McGill University Martlets (12-1) on Jan. 27 at the Minto Sports Complex at 7 p.m.