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Strong Start, Good Finish leads to perfect weekend for Gryphon Women

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Written by Stephen Sweet

The Guelph Gryphons women’s ice hockey team made it a perfect 2-for-2 at home this past weekend following a 4-1 victory over the Brock Badgers on Sunday. The Gryphons’ strong start led to their eventual victory, as they scored three goals in the first period alone, which turned out to be more than enough to win.

The afternoon didn’t start off very well for the Badgers, whose bus broke down on the way to Guelph from St. Catharines. Eventually they made it to Guelph, but the game ended up starting 35 minutes late as a result. The Gryphons took advantage of a stressed Badgers team, and less than 4 minutes in, Carla D’Angelo’s point shot hit the post, the back of Badger goalie Sara Kirchner, and fell into the net, giving the Gryphons a 1-0 lead. Arden Sullivan and Nicole Latreille both did an excellent job of keeping the play alive and getting the puck back to D’Angelo to lead to the goal. They almost made it 2-0 on a powerplay shortly thereafter, but Kirchner spread across the crease to keep the puck out.

Late in the period, the Gryphons showed the strength of their puck control when they controlled the puck in the Brock zone for almost a whole minute. The Badgers got the puck to the blue line, but not out, as Elysia Desmier stopped it by pushed her way around the first defender, deking around the second and blasting a howitzer that went just under the crossbar to give the Gryphons a 2-0 lead. With the Badgers temporarily stunned, the Gryphons went onto the attack again.

Brittany Roberts carried the puck into the Badger zone and managed to hold the puck and avoid all five Brock players as she cut across the middle of the ice. In hockey, where contact is allowed, that is a very dangerous play as it’s more than likely that the puck carrier will have their head on a swivel by the end of play. However, all levels of women’s hockey are non-contact and since there was no bodychecking permitted, this was a very good play. Roberts dropped the puck to Latreille, who headed towards the corner boards with a defender following her. This allowed Sullivan to get in front of the net and Latreille wasted no time sending the puck out front where Sullivan slapped home the one-timer, giving Guelph a 3-goal lead.

With the Gryphons clearly in control, Brock head coach Todd Erskine called a time-out to calm down the women and switch goalies. Realistically, this wasn’t entirely warranted, as none of the goals, especially the last one, were easy-to-stop goals; regardless, Beth Clause replaced Kirchner for the remainder of the game. Despite a 2-player powerplay, Brock couldn’t score a goal, ending the first period down by 3.

As the game entered the second period, its bizarre nature continued. Brock’s Maggie Young got her stick stuck in between Gryphon Sarah McClinchey’s blade and boot of her skate, which took her and her ankle for a little spin until Young mercifully dropped the stick. One of the referees got tangled up with a Gryphon heading up ice and while the official was able to finish the period, he was unable to continue, leaving the game with two linesmen for the duration.

It didn’t take the Gryphons long to strike again in the second period, as after only 20 seconds Carla D’Angelo scored her second goal of the game from a strange bounce off of a Brock player in front of the net. Now with a four-goal lead, the Gryphons focused their efforts more on defense, as Brock used its 13 powerplays to put a lot of pressure on goaltender Aleisha Lusk. Lusk was up to the task however, with excellent lateral movement and great rebound control. Despite the goaltending clinic she was putting on, Brock finally put one past her, as Kelly Walker waltzed through the defense pairing in front of the net to slip in a backhander. The Gryphons went into the second intermission holding a 4-1 lead.

The Guelph parade to the penalty box continued into the third as they picked up five straight minors, including a questionable interference penalty to Arden Sullivan. Lusk stole the show in the third period though, making most of her saves at a time where the Gryphons needed to keep Brock out of the game. She held her ground as Katie Allgood tried to stuff a puck between her and the post and then made a spectacular glove save off of Allgood once again. Lusk ended the game with 36 saves as the Gryphons held on for a 4-1 victory.

With there being no official announcement of the game’s three stars, this is how this writer picked them and why:

Third star: Elysia Desmier, 1 goal – Desmier used her size and strength all afternoon to create fits for the Brock defenders. She scored a goal on a slapshot that had eyes on it and when her team was well ahead she was instrumental in both icing and ragging the puck to ensure that the other team didn’t get quality scoring chances.

Second star: Aleisha Lusk, 36 saves – Lusk was fantastic as the game progressed. She was a key factor in why Brock only went 1-for-13 on the powerplay. Following some of her tighter saves, she would curl into a ball and roll to her left, an acrobatic move to stay out of the way of any traffic in front of the net.

First star: Carla D’Angelo, 2 goals – D’Angelo was involved at both ends of the rink all afternoon. She possessed great accuracy with her shot and cleared the front of her net with ease. In the end D’Angelo, along with her teammates, played a complete game.
The Guelph Gryphons women’s ice hockey team made it a perfect 2-for-2 at home this past weekend following a 4-1 victory over the Brock Badgers on Sunday. The Gryphons’ strong start led to their eventual victory, as they scored three goals in the first period alone, which turned out to be more than enough to win.

The afternoon didn’t start off very well for the Badgers, whose bus broke down on the way to Guelph from St. Catharines. Eventually they made it to Guelph, but the game ended up starting 35 minutes late as a result. The Gryphons took advantage of a stressed Badgers team, and less than 4 minutes in, Carla D’Angelo’s point shot hit the post, the back of Badger goalie Sara Kirchner, and fell into the net, giving the Gryphons a 1-0 lead. Arden Sullivan and Nicole Latreille both did an excellent job of keeping the play alive and getting the puck back to D’Angelo to lead to the goal. They almost made it 2-0 on a powerplay shortly thereafter, but Kirchner spread across the crease to keep the puck out.

Late in the period, the Gryphons showed the strength of their puck control when they controlled the puck in the Brock zone for almost a whole minute. The Badgers got the puck to the blue line, but not out, as Elysia Desmier stopped it by pushed her way around the first defender, deking around the second and blasting a howitzer that went just under the crossbar to give the Gryphons a 2-0 lead. With the Badgers temporarily stunned, the Gryphons went onto the attack again.

Brittany Roberts carried the puck into the Badger zone and managed to hold the puck and avoid all five Brock players as she cut across the middle of the ice. In hockey, where contact is allowed, that is a very dangerous play as it’s more than likely that the puck carrier will have their head on a swivel by the end of play. However, all levels of women’s hockey are non-contact and since there was no bodychecking permitted, this was a very good play. Roberts dropped the puck to Latreille, who headed towards the corner boards with a defender following her. This allowed Sullivan to get in front of the net and Latreille wasted no time sending the puck out front where Sullivan slapped home the one-timer, giving Guelph a 3-goal lead.

With the Gryphons clearly in control, Brock head coach Todd Erskine called a time-out to calm down the women and switch goalies. Realistically, this wasn’t entirely warranted, as none of the goals, especially the last one, were easy-to-stop goals; regardless, Beth Clause replaced Kirchner for the remainder of the game. Despite a 2-player powerplay, Brock couldn’t score a goal, ending the first period down by 3.

As the game entered the second period, its bizarre nature continued. Brock’s Maggie Young got her stick stuck in between Gryphon Sarah McClinchey’s blade and boot of her skate, which took her and her ankle for a little spin until Young mercifully dropped the stick. One of the referees got tangled up with a Gryphon heading up ice and while the official was able to finish the period, he was unable to continue, leaving the game with two linesmen for the duration.

It didn’t take the Gryphons long to strike again in the second period, as after only 20 seconds Carla D’Angelo scored her second goal of the game from a strange bounce off of a Brock player in front of the net. Now with a four-goal lead, the Gryphons focused their efforts more on defense, as Brock used its 13 powerplays to put a lot of pressure on goaltender Aleisha Lusk. Lusk was up to the task however, with excellent lateral movement and great rebound control. Despite the goaltending clinic she was putting on, Brock finally put one past her, as Kelly Walker waltzed through the defense pairing in front of the net to slip in a backhander. The Gryphons went into the second intermission holding a 4-1 lead.

The Guelph parade to the penalty box continued into the third as they picked up five straight minors, including a questionable interference penalty to Arden Sullivan. Lusk stole the show in the third period though, making most of her saves at a time where the Gryphons needed to keep Brock out of the game. She held her ground as Katie Allgood tried to stuff a puck between her and the post and then made a spectacular glove save off of Allgood once again. Lusk ended the game with 36 saves as the Gryphons held on for a 4-1 victory.

With there being no official announcement of the game’s three stars, this is how this writer picked them and why:

Third star: Elysia Desmier, 1 goal – Desmier used her size and strength all afternoon to create fits for the Brock defenders. She scored a goal on a slapshot that had eyes on it and when her team was well ahead she was instrumental in both icing and ragging the puck to ensure that the other team didn’t get quality scoring chances.

Second star: Aleisha Lusk, 36 saves – Lusk was fantastic as the game progressed. She was a key factor in why Brock only went 1-for-13 on the powerplay. Following some of her tighter saves, she would curl into a ball and roll to her left, an acrobatic move to stay out of the way of any traffic in front of the net.

First star: Carla D’Angelo, 2 goals – D’Angelo was involved at both ends of the rink all afternoon. She possessed great accuracy with her shot and cleared the front of her net with ease. In the end D’Angelo, along with her teammates, played a complete game.

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