Jordan McGavin / GAZETTE

After the first two days of competition, the women's hockey U Sports National Championship quarter-finals have concluded. The top eight university women's hockey teams from across Canada all played one quarter-final game, but only the winners of the four games remain in contention for the national title.


Quarter-final 1: Saskatchewan Huskies vs. Saint Mary's Huskies

Liam McInnis / GAZETTE

Opening the tournament on Thursday afternoon was the battle of the Huskies. The seventh-seeded University of Saskatchewan defeated the second-seeded Saint Mary's Huskies in a 3–2 upset victory.

The play went back and forth for much of the game. Saskatchewan's Kaitlin Willoughby opened the scoring halfway through the first period.

Saint Mary's responded in the second period with two back-to-back goals by Caitlin Pejkovic and Breanna Lanceleve. But that would be it for Saint Mary's. Saskatchewan's netminder and Canada West Player of the Year, Jessica Vance, stood strong, stopping 29 of 31 shots.

Saskatchewan's Abby Shirley found the back of the net late in the second period to tie the game at 2, and a power-play goal by Kennedy Harris late in the third closed the deal, handing Saskatchewan the 3–2 win.

Saskatchewan advances to the semifinals on Saturday where they will meet the Western Mustangs at 4 p.m. while Saint Mary's will head to the consolation semifinals where they will meet the Montreal Carabins.

— Jordan McGavin, Managing Editor of Design


Quarter-final 2: Montreal Carabins vs. Western Mustangs

Liam McInnis / GAZETTE

The stellar play of Mustangs goaltender Carmen Lasis continued on Thursday as she posted her third shutout of the postseason in a 41-save, 4–0 victory over the Montreal Carabins.

After a scoreless first period, the Mustangs came out firing on all cylinders to start the second, scoring three goals in the span of three minutes and 16 seconds.

Shailyn Waites scored the first and third while Ali Beres scored the second on a Mustangs power play.

The fourth and final goal of the game was an empty-netter by Rachel Armstrong with just over a minute left to play in the third period.

The Mustangs advance to the semifinals on Saturday where they will meet the the Saskatchewan Huskies at 4 p.m. while the Carabins will head to the consolation semifinals where they will meet the Saint Mary's Huskies.

— Jordan McGavin, Managing Editor of Design


Quarter-final 3: Queen's Gaels vs. Manitoba Bisons

Liam McInnis / GAZETTE

The Manitoba Bisons decisively defeated the Queen's Gaels 4–0 Friday night at Thompson Arena. The game was the third quarter-final of the U Sports Women’s Hockey National Championship.

Manitoba scored early in the first period and three times in the second to seal the victory.  

Despite Queen's pulling their goalie with six minutes left in the third period, the desperation move didn't pay off and the Bisons were able to preserve their 4–0 lead.

Both Manitoba and Queen's will play again Saturday. Manitoba will see the Concordia Stingers in a semifinal action on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Gaels will take on the St. Francis Xavier X-Women in a consolation semifinal game on Saturday at 1 p.m.

— Charlie Marshall, Contributor


Quarter-final 4: St. Francis Xavier X-Women vs. Concordia Stingers

Courtesy of Brandon David Photography

The final quarter-final game of the tournament saw the Concordia Stingers and Saint Francis Xavier X-Women, ranked 4th and 5th respectively, compete. According to the rankings, this was set to be the closest match of the quarter-final round. The score reflected differently however, as the Stingers defeated the X-Women 8–1.  

Concordia opened up the scoring halfway through the first after a several unsuccessful chances including a breakaway opportunity. The floodgates had been opened.

The high-scoring game was "definitely a tough loss" said X-Women head coach Ben Berthiaume.

"St. FX came out strong; I just think we were stronger," notes Stingers' two-goal scorer Sophie Gagnon.

With the win, Concordia moves forward to the semifinals tomorrow night where they will take on the University of Manitoba at 7 p.m.

"Enjoy it for a little bit. But when we step on the bus we're turning the page," Concordia Coach Julie Chu says of the team's focus moving into tomorrow. "It's one-game seasons now."

The X-Women will move into the consolation bracket to play against Queen's University tomorrow at 1 p.m.

— Aleah Balas, Contributor