Canada West SemifinalsG1 - MANITOBA at ALBERTA: Thanks to the men's hockey team claiming the prime time slot, the women's game was pushed to 2pm MT. It seemed that both teams weren't too excited about the time as there was no scoring and only a few chances through the opening 40 minutes of play. Manitoba, however, came to play in the third period. Alexandra Anderson ripped a slap shot past Lindsey Post at 6:59 to put the Bisons up 1-0. They would strike again when Venla Hovi's shot was stopped, but Lauryn Keen slid the puck past the prone Post for the 2-0 lead. Cassandra Taylor added an empty-netter with 47 seconds to play, and the Bisons took Game One with a 3-0 victory! Amanda Schubert continued her outstanding play in stopping all 25 shots she faced for the shutout win while Post suffered the loss.
G2 - MANITOBA at ALBERTA: The home team would finally find the scoreboard in this game as Hannah Olenyk blew past a Manitoba defender and went over the blocker of Amanda Schubert at 3:49 for the 1-0 lead. The two teams would battle into the third period at that 1-0 score before Alanna Sharman was sent in on a breakaway where she snapped a puck over Lindsey Post's glove at 3:52 for the 1-1 tie! That score lasted 62 seconds as Ashley Morin scored from her knees in the slot to give Alberta the 2-1 lead. Despite a crazy amount of pressure late, Post held the fort as Alberta took Game Two by that 2-1 margin. Post made 25 saves in the win while Schubert was on the losing end.
G3 - MANITOBA at ALBERTA: Would we see another five periods of overtime? Megan Eady's point shot clipped a Bison defender on the way to the net and eluded Amanda Schubert for the 1-0 Pandas lead at 6:17. Kayleigh Wiens would tie the game up as she popped a rebound past Lindsey Post at 10:55, and Karissa Kirkup showed a ton of dangle at 16:28 when she danced past a couple of defenders and slipped a backhander through the five-hold for the 2-1 Manitoba lead.
Cayle Dillon brought the Pandas back even when her point shot at 6:01 found its way past Schubert for the 2-2 tie. Manitoba would respond again, though, as Lauryn Keen won an offensive zone face-off only to have Venla Hovi pick up the puck and wire it past Post for the 3-2 lead 12:31. That lead would hold until late in the third period when the Pandas pressed with Post on the bench. Their hard work would be rewarded when Sasha Lutz found room past Schubert with 13.9 seconds to play, sending this game to overtime tied 3-3!
This one wouldn't go five minutes, let alone five extra periods. With Alison Campbell in the penalty box, Alexandra Anderson ripped a point shot that split the wickets on Post at 4:31 of the overtime period to give Manitoba the 4-3 overtime win! Schubert stopped 13 shots in the win while Post took the loss. Manitoba now advances to the Canada West Conference Final against either Regina or UBC!
G1 - REGINA at UBC: One team hit the scoresheet in this game, and it was a trio of "M" names that did the scoring. Brooklyn Moskowy scored at 18:20 of the first period, Carleen Mezsaros added a power-play goal at 19:08 of the second period, and Jaycee Magwood deposited a power-play goal of her own in the UBC net at 11:36 of the third period to lead the Regina Cougars to the 3-0 win in Game One. Toni Ross stopped all 28 shots thrown at her for the shutout win while Samantha Langford took the loss.
G2 - REGINA at UBC: Sometimes, the bounces don't go your way despite playing a good game, and this game was a good example. Kathleen Cahoon scored the only goal of the game at 11:38 of the first period as UBC tied the series up with a 1-0 victory. Danielle Dube didn't allow a goal on 25 shot attempts for the shutout while Toni Ross was on the losing end in this one. I'm almost certain the goalposts at both ends of the ice made about 20 saves as well as there were clangs all night in this game.
G3 - REGINA at UBC: This game started off well for the home side as UBC got goals from Rebecca Unrau at 6:51 and Haneet Parhar on the power-play at 13:06. Regina had chances, but Danielle Dube was equal to the task. The second period would go scoreless as both Dube and Toni Ross stood tall, so Regina needed a comeback in the third period if they hoped to move on.
Instead, it got worse. Kathleen Cahoon shoveled home a backhander 4:43 into the period for the 3-0 lead. Regina, needing a boost, turned on some serious pressure through the last 15:17. Kylie Kupper would one-time a power-play goal home off a loose puck at 12:56 to make it 3-1. And despite Jaycee Magwood scoring a power-play goal at 19:59, it was too little and too late for the Cougars as the Thunderbirds won 3-2 and took the series 2-1. Danielle Dube stopped 22 shots in the win while Toni Ross couldn't hold the T-Birds from advancing.
UBC will host the Manitoba Bisons from March 4-6 in the Canada West Conference Final with a berth to the CIS National Championship in Calgary, Alberta on the line!
Ontario QuarterfinalsG1 - GUELPH at LAURENTIAN: Laurentian took the lead late in the first period as Emma Leger beat Valeria Lamenta on the power-play at 17:21. Things were looking good for the Voyageurs as they went into the third period with the same 1-0 lead, but Guelph would find an equalizer. Christine Grant scored on Emily Toffoli at 3:45 to make it a 1-1 game. Neither goalie would allow another goal through 60 minutes, so it was off to overtime to find a winner! It would take 5:07, but Claire Merrick would put an end to the game with her goal as the Gryphons win in overtime by a 2-1 margin! Lamenta earned the win by stopping 26 of 27 shots while Toffoli took the loss.
G2 - LAURENTIAN at GUELPH: This game would get going in the second period as Laurentian jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of goals by Morgan McCann at 10:32 and Taylor Weber at 17:06. It would become a 3-0 lead after Ellery Veerman scored on the power-play at 8:01 of the third period. The Gryphons would fight back as Kaitlin Lowy scored past Emily Toffoli at 14:16 and Jessica Pinkerton made it a 3-2 game at 18:34, but that's as close as Guelph would get as Laurentian forced a Game Three with a 3-2 win! Toffoli grabbed the win after making 29 saves while Valeria Lamenta was charged for the loss.
G3 - LAURENTIAN at GUELPH: Laurentian got on the board first after Samantha Morell's shot found net behind Valeria Lamenta at 8:23. Christine Grant tied the game for Guelph at 13:16 when she beat Emily Toffoli, but Ellery Veerman put the Voyageurs ahead again with her goal at 16:54. Guelph would tie the game before the horn, though, as Katherine Bailey scored on the power-play to make it 2-2.
Guelph would take the lead late in the second period as Averi Nooren dented the twine at 15:59 for the 3-2 Gryphons lead. There were chances for the Voyageurs to tie the game, but Lamenta held them off the board. Jessica Pinkerton would find the empty net at 19:34 as Guelph advances with the 4-2 win. Lamenta stopped 18 shots in the win while Toffoli took her second loss in three games.
G1 - QUEEN'S at NIPISSING: The Lakers opened the scoring 56 seconds into the second period when Ava Keis beat Caitlyn Lahonen for the 1-0 lead. It didn't last long, though, as the Gaels responded off an Addi Halladay shot that found room past Jacqueline Rochefort. We wouldn't see another goal for 44:02 as this game went into overtime tied at 1-1. It was in the extra period that Bronwyn Bolduc ended this game with her goal at 8:38 to give the Nipissing Lakers the 2-1 overtime win in Game One! Rochefort made 29 saves in the extended game for the win while Lahonen took the loss.
G2 - NIPISSING at QUEEN'S: This game was decided in 4:37 of play in the second period. Jade Gauthier scored at the 10:00 mark, Carly Marchment added a second goal at 13:14, and Marchment's power-play goal at 14:37 staked Nipissing to the 3-0 lead. Nadia Larocca would get Queen's on the board at 16:19 with her shot that beat Jacqueline Rochefort, but the Gaels were in a hole down 3-1 with one period to play. Mary Coughlin would score the only goal of the final frame on the power-play at 7:53, and the Nipissing Lakers advanced past the Queen's Gaels in a 2-0 sweep with the 3-2 victory! Rochefort made 28 stops in the win while Caitlyn Lahonen suffered her second-straight loss.
G1 - WATERLOO at WESTERN: There was a single goal scored in this game as the Warriors and Mustangs battled it out in a defensive chess match. Evra Levesque scored at 16:59 of the first period past Rebecca Bouwhuis, and Kelly Campbell took care of the rest as Western claims the 1-0 victory in Game One. Campbell stopped all 23 shots she faced in the shutout win while Bouwhuis stopped 18 of 19 in the loss.
G2 - WESTERN at WATERLOO: It's never a good showing when you don't score in two-straight playoff games. Western got goals from Anthea Lasis at 11:55 and Marlowe Pecora at 12:57 of the first period, Amanda Pereira 13 seconds into the second period, and Evra Levesque at 13:26 to pace the Western Mustangs to the 4-0 win. Kelly Campbell pitched a 37-save shutout to close out the series while Rebecca Bouwhuis lost her second-straight game.
G1 - LAURIER at TORONTO: These two teams were separated by ten points in the standings, but you'd never know it with how this series played out. Jacqueline Scheffel got Toronto on the board first when she beat Amanda Smith on the power-play at 11:20. Laurier responded with a power-play of their own at 15:40 when Robyn Degagne found a seam past Valencia Yordanov to tie the game, and they took the lead off Dollee Meigs' marker at 17:12 for the 2-1 Golden Hawks lead after one period.
Scheffel would strike again in the second period as she tied the game up at 2-2 at 14:47, and then we'd see the goalies take over. In fact, it was almost an hour between goals as both teams battled into overtime where we'd finally see a goal after 56:23 of play. Taylor Day dented the twine at 18:10 to give Toronto the 3-2 overtime victory in Game One! Yordanov made 19 saves in the extended game for the win while Smith made 18 stops in the loss.
G2 - TORONTO at LAURIER: It's always fun when the goaltenders show up and play on a different level from everyone else. Both Toronto's Valencia Yordanov and Laurier's Amanda Smith took their games to another level in this one as it took 65:12 to find a goal. Yes, that's right - another overtime between these two teams! Jessie Hurrell snapped a shot past Yordanov at 5:12 of overtime on the power-play to give the Laurier Golden Hawks the 1-0 overtime win and force a Game Three! Smith earned the win and shutout with no blemishes on 27 attempts while Yordanov suffered the loss despite stopping 20 of 21 shots she faced.
G3 - LAURIER at TORONTO: As you're aware, these two teams have already played eight periods of hockey, so what's a few more, right? Valenica Yordanov and Amanda Smith stared one another down some 200-feet away again as the two teams played scoreless into the third period. Lauren Straatman finally broke the dead-lock at 3:50 of the third period to put Toronto up 1-0. Laurier wouldn't go away, though, as Danielle Wark tallied for the Golden Hawks at 13:41 to make it a 1-1 game. And that's where the fun started.
The remaining 6:19 saw no goals, so it was off to overtime. The first overtime period solved nothing. The second overtime period produced the same results. We'd play into the third overtime period where this game and series would be settled. Dollee Meigs may have scored the biggest goal of her hockey career at 2:41 as the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks upset the Toronto Varsity Blues with a 2-1 triple-overtime victory to take the series 2-1! Amanda Smith had a whale of a game in stopping 41 of 42 shots fired at her while Yordanov was on the wrong end of the triple-overtime decision.
With the seedings still being a factor in who plays whom, Guelph would play host to Laurier while Western would play host Nipissing. The Gryphons and Golden Hawks will play their best-of-three semifinal series March 2, 4, and 6 while the Mustangs and Lakers would tangle on March 2, 5, and 6 in their series. The winners play for the McCaw Cup in the OUA Final starting March 12!
Quebec SemifinalsG1 - CONCORDIA at MONTREAL: The Stingers were looking for a big effort against Montreal, and they got the start they wanted. Marie-Joelle Allard found the back of the net on the power-play past Marie-Pier Chabot at 14:18, and the Stingers would take the 1-0 lead into the intermission. It would become a 2-0 lead when Suzie Sauriol's shot landed behind Chabot at 3:44 of the second period, and the Stingers would hold the fort through 40 minutes.
You can't count the Carabins out, though. Whatever was said in the intermission worked as Ariane Barker beat Briar Bache at 4:24, and they would tie the game 8:18 off Jessica Cormier's shot. The flurry of activity in the Stingers' zone didn't end there, but Bache would keep the Carabins from scoring as these two teams went to overtime! The first 20 minutes of free hockey decided nothing, so we'd move to a second period. Just 1:31 into the period with Concordia's Carol-Anne Gagne sitting for tripping, Barker scored her second goal of the game to give Montreal the 3-2 double-overtime victory! Chabot would make just 18 saves in the 81:31 of work while Bache stopped 37 of 40 shots in a losing effort.
G2 - MONTREAL at CONCORDIA: Much like they did in the regular season to Concordia, Montreal simply exerted its will upon the Stingers in this game. Alexandra Labelle put the Carabins up 1-0 at 1:13, and Ariane Barker made it 2-0 at 19:39. Concordia had chances and were outshooting Montreal 11-9 through two periods, but it would remain 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. Cassandra Dupuis would put the proverbial nail in the coffin at 3:07 of the third period with her goal as the Montreal Carabins advance with the 3-0 win! Marie-Pier Chabot was perfect on all 15 shot attempts for the shutout and win while Briar Bache suffered her second-straight loss.
G1 - OTTAWA at McGILL: The opening period would go scoreless, but the offence picked up in the middle stanza. McGill's Alexandria Serpico beat Maude Levesque-Ryan at 6:40 for the opening goal. Véronik Samson would tie things up for the GeeGees on the power-play when her shot got past Taylor Hough at 11:49. The Martlets would regain the lead at 17:07 when Gabrielle Davidson scored, and McGill would take a 2-1 lead into the third period.
McGill would make it 3-1 just 55 seconds into the final frame when Olivia Atkinson scored. Ottawa made things interesting when Camille Pauck-Therrien scored to make 3-1 at 6:16, but Gabrielle Davidson scored her second of the game 16 seconds later to put the Martlets up 4-2. That would be all the help that Hough needed as she backstopped McGill to the 4-2 win in Game One! Hough made 27 saves in the win while Levesque-Ryan took the loss.
G2 - McGILL at OTTAWA: It was do-or-die for Ottawa, and this game didn't start well. McGill jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Kelsie Moffatt beat Maude Levesque-Ryan on the power-play at 5:19 that would hold through the remainder of the period. The second period saw Ottawa come out of the gates on fire as Alex Lafleur beat Taylor Hough at 2:33 and Melodie Bouchard scored a power-play goal at 7:41 to give the GeeGees a 2-1 lead. That lead would be short-lived, though, as Melodie Daoust scored at 8:27 to tie the game at 2-2. McGill would take another one-goal lead into an intermission as Brittney Fouracres scored with 30 seconds left in the period for the 3-2 lead.
Ottawa tied the game up just 33 seconds into the third period as Melodie Bouchard found the back of the net. The 3-3 tie would hold through to the final horn of regulation time, so we'd need some free hockey to find a winner! The first period of overtime solved nothing, so we'd move to a second overtime period. 4:49 into this period, Melodie Daoust would beat Levesque-Ryan to send the McGill Martlets to the RSEQ Final with the 4-3 double-overtime win! Hough made 25 saves in her 84:49 of work while Levesque-Ryan stopped 37 shots in the loss.
Montreal and McGill will meet to determine the RSEQ representative in the CIS Hockey Championship in Calgary. The series starts on March 3 in Montreal before shifting to McGill on March 5. If a third game is needed, it will be played in Montreal on March 6!
Maritime SemifinalsG1 - ST. THOMAS at MONCTON: These two teams were separated by a point in the standings, so this should be an excellent series! Moncton opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the game as Jodie Dupere beat Taylor Cook for the early 1-0 lead. The Tommies would respond on the power-play later in the period as Kelty Apperson found twine behind Gabrielle Forget at 13:59. The Aigles Bleues would go into the intermission with the lead as Katryne Villeneuve scored at 18:48 for the 2-1 lead.
Emily Oleksuk would tie the game for St. Thomas at 13:09 of the second period, but Moncton would take the one-goal lead into the intermission again after Dupere scored her second of the game on the power-play at 16:46. The Tommies needed a boost, and they'd get one from Danielle Ring who scored at 8:03 of the third period to make it a 3-3 game. St. Thomas would then take their first lead of the game off Kelty Apperson's second goal of the game at 12:24! Taylor Cook was busy in the last 7:36, but she would surrender no additional goals as St. Thomas downed Moncton in Game One by a 4-3 score! Cook stopped 29 shots in the win while Forget took the loss.
G1 - MONCTON at ST. THOMAS: With the series shifting to Fredericton, Moncton was in a must-win situation. It started well for the home team as St. Thomas' Lauren Henman beat Emilie Bouchard just 28 seconds into the game. Katryne Villeneuve would square Moncton up at 8:21 on the power-play as she scored on Taylor Cook with her shot. Lauren Henman would restore the lead late in the second period as she found the back of the net at 15:45 for the 2-1 St. Thomas lead.
Despite the pressure mounted by Moncton, it would be Emily Oleksuk that scored the only goal of the period as she dented twine at 11:51 for the 3-1 St. Thomas lead. That score would hold through to the end of the game as St. Thomas advances to the AUS Final by sweeping Moncton! Cook stopped 20 of 21 shots for her fourth win in the playoffs while Bouchard suffered the loss in her only appearance in the post-season.
G1 - ST. FRANCIS XAVIER at SAINT MARY'S: 14 points separated these two teams in the regular season, but the post-season is a complete reset as we'll see in this series. The first 33 minutes of this game was dominated by the Huskies as they got goals from Caitlyn Manning at 14:04, Breanna Lanceleve on the power-play at 17:07, Laura Polak at 18:23, and Lanceleve again on the power-play at 12:22 of the second period to mount a 4-0 lead.
Comeback? Well, the X-Women weren't about to go quietly. Kara Power scored at 19:34 of the second period to make it 4-1. Schyler Campbell added a power-play goal at 1:55 of the third period to make it 4-2, and Jenna Macdonald would dent twine at 8:54 to make it 4-3! However, Rebecca Clark would allow no additional goals as she shut down the X-Women in the final ten minutes for the 4-3 Huskies win! Clark stopped 25 shots in the win while Sojung Shin took the loss despite stopping 32 shots.
G2 - SAINT MARY'S at ST. FRANCIS XAVIER: Game Two was a completely different story. The X-Women jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on the strength of goals by Lydia Schurman at 14:00 and Daley Oddy at 18:34. Caitlyn Schell got one back for the Huskies on the power-play at 19:40 of the second period, but the X-Women reasserted themselves in the third period. Oddy made it 3-1 just 51 seconds into the period, and Sarah bujold scored late at 19:04 to give StFX the 4-1 win! Sojung Shin picked up the win in stopping 28 of 29 shots while Rebecca Clark took the loss.
G3 - ST. FRANCIS XAVIER at SAINT MARY'S: Game Three goes Tuesday, so we'll have to update this game next week! It's a best-of-one, win-and-you're-in game for these two teams, so we'll see who advances to meet St. Thomas!
Lots of playoff action, and only a handful of teams remain. The Calgary Dinos have already punched their ticket to the CIS Championship due to their hosting the tournament, and they'll be joined by a few more teams come next weekend! If you have a chance, get out to any of the universities playing host to these games! You won't be disappointed!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!