Despite an amazing effort from their back end, the Mustangs women’s hockey team was unable to pick up a much needed win on the road against the Guelph Gryphons when they squared off on Saturday night.
The Gryphons took an early lead when right-winger Kaitlyn Mora scored just 6:58 into the first period.
The Mustangs didn’t take long to respond when defender Katelyn Gosling netted one of her own four minutes later.
The second period, however, was a different story as the Gryphons came out firing on all fronts. Both Emily Corbett and Jenna Lanzarotta scored for the Gryphons in the second. Lanzarotta’s goal turned out to be the game-winning-goal in Guelph’s 5-2 win over the Mustangs.
Gryphons coach Carly Haggard knows her team won because of the system they implemented against the Mustangs.
“Our keys were to be physical, to battle, to get lots of shots and to crash the net. We get success when we have at least 30 shots,” Haggard explained. “One thing we really focus on—especially on our Olympic ice—is skating. In practice we usually do a lot of skating drills, receiving the pass with speed and driving wide.”
Coming out of the gate in the third period, defender Allison Galloway scored for the Mustangs to cut the deficit in half. It was at this point that Mustangs goaltender Olivia Ross took over and shut down the Gryphons for most of the period. This was until Mora scored once again for the Gryphons with 2:30 left in the third period. After that, Lanzarotta provided the dagger with an empty net goal to give the Gryphons the 5-2 victory.
Despite the loss, the play of goaltender Olivia Ross was a bright spot for the Mustangs. Ross made 30 saves Saturday night and was the big reason why Western had a chance in the third period after being out-shot 35-18 in the game.
“She definitely kept them in the game. With six minutes left in the third period, the score was 3-2 so she definitely gave them a chance to win and that is what you need from a goaltender in this league,” Haggard said.
Ross, however, was quick to thank her team for helping them stay in the game.
“Ultimately it is a team game and everyone has a job to do. I just do my best to stop the puck and communicate with the other girls,” she said.
If the Mustangs want to have a shot at the playoffs, they will have to create more chances for themselves and have a more consistent scoring attack.
“We just need to get some more shots and traffic to the net. We make it to easy on other teams’ goalies. Effort and talent are definitely there, we just have to play a little more consistently and keep our heads up,” Ross said.
The Mustangs now have a record of 7-11 and will travel to both Laurier and Waterloo next weekend to take on the undefeated Golden Hawks and the Warriors. With playoffs approaching fast, the Mustangs will have to recover from this loss and be ready for the remaining games that lie ahead.
We won’t have any trouble bouncing back. We can learn from our mistakes and acknowledge the positive aspects, but that’s as far as we will take the last few games,” Ross said. “There is no sense dwelling on the past. This weekend is really big for us with playoffs coming up, so I know the girls will be ready to go.”
Ross’s thoughts are echoed by Gosling.
“Next weekend we just have to come out strong. We came close with Laurier last game and have previously beat Waterloo over the Christmas break,” Gosling said. “We know we’ve got what it takes to play a close game against both these teams and possibly come out with four points on the weekend.”