Concordia Stingers

The first game that needed more than 60 minutes took place on  Friday afternoon as the No.7 Concordia Stingers took down the No.2 Guelph Gryphons in a shootout at the 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship at the Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, Ont.

The Stingers now advance to the semifinal round where they will meet the No.6 Alberta Pandas tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. ET live on OUA.TV and look to make their first gold medal appearance since 1999.

For Guelph, they suffer a shootout loss in the national championship for the second straight year after losing to UBC in 2016 in the semifinal round. The Gryphons will take on the No.3 Saint Mary’s Huskies on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. ET on OUA.TV in the second Consolation semifinal.

“That game was a huge character win for us,” said RSEQ Coach of the Year Julie Chu after the win. “Obviously Guelph is a tremendous team, (and) having to go down 1-0  we had to bounce back and we did with a great second period. That’s where we got our momentum and started to play gritty, hard, aggressive hockey. In the third period, we both pushed back, so it was a great backandforth game. That’s what nationals is about.”

Tracy-Ann Lavigne had a two-point afternoon to lead the Stingers, who had goals come from three different players, all in the second period.

The Gryphons saw seven different players register a point in the game, with Stephanie Gava picking up the tying goal late in the third period.

Katherine Purchase stopped 19 of 22 shots faced and shut the door on two Guelph’s shootout attempts, while Valerie Lamenta turned aside 35 shots in 70 minutes.

Guelph opened the scoring at 14:12 in the first period. Kaitlin Lowy scored for the Gryphons, after driving hard to the net, and patiently potting a rebound.

In the second period, Concordia responded, scoring three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead. The third tally came just 2:40 after Brigitte Laganiere gave the Stingers their first lead of the game. Sophie Gagnon finished off a three-on-two break, deflecting in her own rebound.

In the third period, Guelph fought back to tie the game 3-3. Nearing the halfway mark in the period, Katherine Bailey scored for Gryphons, after crashing the net and chipping in a rebound. In the dying minutes of the third, it was Gava who tied the game, scoring with a quick snap-shot from the slot forcing overtime.

Both teams pushed hard in the 10-minute overtime session but it solved nothing and the game headed to a shootout.

In the shootout, after the Gryphons pulled even but needed a Lamenta save to continue on, Claudia Dubois scored the game-winner with a quick shot from the slot.

“It’s frustrating to lose a game of this magnitude in a shootout,” said Guelph head coach Rachel Flanagan. “We’ve been here before – last year we lost in a shootout in the second round. We talked to our team, it was a pretty gutsy way to come back after being down 3-1 going into the third period.”

GAME NOTES: Concordia outshot Guelph 39-22 on Friday afternoon…former Concordia head coach and women’s hockey pioneer Les Lawton was on hand to present Player of the Game awards…Concordia captain Tracy-Ann Lavigne notched a pair of assists in the win…Guelph G Val Lamenta surrendered three goals in a game for the first time since Feb. 12 (eight games).