(WINDSOR, ON) – Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Lancers were looking to improve on their 5th place standing in the OUA. The women took their destiny into their own hands by defeating UOIT Friday night by a 5-3 score. Coupled with a 4-1 loss by Queen’s to Western, Windsor was just a point behind the Gaels heading into their head-to-head match Saturday night.
Jennifer Sisson put the Ridgebacks in front at the 2:43 mark of the 1st period Friday. The period ended with UOIT holding the one goal lead, but Krystin Lawrence gave notice of things to come by earning a body checking minor penalty.
Erinn Noseworthy got Windsor on the board from Candace Kourounis and Shailyn Waites, just over 4 minutes into the second. The goal seemed to spark the Lancers and they followed up with a second tally at 6:25, by Danielle Butler, with assists to Larissa Borowiec and Laura Monforton.
However, a power play marker by Nicole LoPresti deflated the Windsor attack, and UOIT added their second goal of the period just before time, from Zoe Battie, and took a 3-2 lead into the 3rd.
Cue the Krystin Lawrence show.
The 1st year, multi-sport forward tied the game on a break away midway through the final frame, assisted by Candice Chevalier and Jillian Rops. Lawrence then found herself in the slot, with the man advantage, on the receiving end of a Borowiec pass. She wristed the puck to the top of the net for the go-ahead goal at the 16:30 mark. Waites was credited with the second assist.
UOIT pulled out all the stops to tie the game in the remaining minutes. With the Ridgeback net empty, Lawrence found the twine for the natural hat-trick to cap to put the game away and set up the showdown with Queen’s.
Prior to the face-off with Queen’s, the Windsor Lancers honoured the senior class of graduating athletes which included Adalena Tridico, Candice Chevalier, Candace Kourounis, Kayla Dodson, Jenny MacKnight, and Bree Polci. Head coach Jim Hunter will have his hands full filling the skates of the departing players.
Queen’s struck early in the game, as Addi Halladay beat Lancer goaltender Marissa Kozovski, on the power play, at the 1:21 mark. Noseworthy tied it up with a Gael in the box, with assists to Kourounis and Chevalier. However, Shawna Griffin restored the lead for the visitors and Windsor found themselves trailing after 20.
The two sides traded a goal each in the second with Nadia Larocca striking first and Kourounis replying, from Dodson , Natalie Barrette. For the second night in a row Windsor entered the 3rd period down 3-2.
This time there would be no game-saving heroics.
Clare McKellar scored at 1:52 followed by Griffin, with her second, at 5:29, putting the game out of reach.
With the weekend split, the Lancers finished 5th in the OUA standings and will face the Toronto Varsity Blues in the best-of-three quarter finals series starting February 18.