By Ankur Kumar
(WINDSOR, ON) – After surrendering a 3-1 lead to the Guelph Gryphons, the Lancers lost 4-3 on home ice for the first time this season. Despite Natalie Barrette’s first marker and her fourth point on the weekend, the defensive contribution was overshadowed by Windsor’s frequenting the penalty box, an aspect head coach Jim Hunter knew had to be fixed in less than 24 hours, before the arrival of the Brock Badgers.
“An old nemesis such as penalty minutes showed up,” Hunter stated.
The Lancers went to the box nine times, including a costly cross checking penalty that resulted in Leigh Shilton narrowing the score by one. Kaitlyn Mora tied it up with her third goal of the season and Jessica Pinkerton was the lone scorer to secure the comeback in the shootout.
The Lancers followed up against the Brock Badgers in merciless fashion.
Larissa Borowiec, Candice Chevalier, and Jillian Rops once again started up front for the second night in a row.
“They are our energy line. They came out just the way we needed them to,” elaborated Hunter.
It took the Lancers 1:44 to strike first.
Cycling through their top three forward lines in less than two minutes, the Lancers were an offensive juggernaut, quick to humble the visiting Badgers. Halfway through the period, Erinn Noseworthy and Jenny MacKnight would build upon the lead 16 seconds apart.
There were two periods left to play and it foreshadowed the incredible night ahead for Regina, SK’s, MacKnight. She would eventually complete the hat-trick but it was the first goal at 10:03 of the first period that was most memorable.
“I wasn’t sure why they were keeping the puck,” the fifth-year forward explained with a laugh. “I had no idea I was close to anything like that.”
Jenny MacKnight scored her 100th career point in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport with that first goal. The party was just getting started, as she would score twice more.
“It was a great game. It was a team win and that’s what we needed,” continued MacKnight.
Last season, MacKnight became the first Lancer in school history to earn the OUA scoring title and was ranked second overall in Canada when she put up 15 goals and 25 assists in 24 games. To follow up with a milestone really puts the Lancers on the map.
“People might not look at Windsor and think of us as a good hockey team, but hopefully now they will,” explained MacKnight.
Before closing the first half of the season against the Ridgebacks, the Lancers will meet the Queen’s Gaels. It will be the first meeting between both teams since the Gaels defeated Windsor in last season’s playoffs.
With second place on the line, the Lancers are hopeful for redemption and to build on the momentum inspired by their recent surge.