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Edged by UBC, Gaels finish sixth at CIS women’s hockey

March 10, 2013

Two goals 38 seconds apart late in the second period doomed the Queen’s Golden Gaels to a 2-1 defeat Sunday afternoon at the hands of the British Columbia Thunderbirds at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s hockey championship tournament in Toronto.

The loss, the third one-goal defeat in the tournament for Queen’s, left the Ontario-champion Gaels to finish sixth at the six-team event.

Earlier, the Gaels were beaten in overtime by St. Francis Xavier, 2-1 on Friday, and by Calgary, 5-4 on Saturday.

Sunday’s game was scoreless until Nadine Burgess, a third-year forward from St. Catharines who didn’t score a goal in 28 regular-season games for UBC, got the puck past Queen’s goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher at 15:54 of the second period.

As happened in the second period against Calgary on Saturday, Queen’s immediately gave up another goal, to Genevieve Carpenter-Boesch, and the Thunderbirds, upset winners over Calgary in the Canada West final, had a 2-0 lead to take into the third period.

Brittany McHaffie scored on a power play in the fourth minute of the period to pull the Gaels within a goal but Queen’s could not tie the game, though UBC took three minor penalties after that, including one with 86 seconds to play that allowed the Gaels to pull their goalie and use six skaters against four.

The Gaels, who played Sunday without team-leading scorer Morgan McHaffie — she was hurt near the end of the Calgary game — stifled UBC’s top scorers, Tatiana Rafter, Rebecca Unrau and Kaitlin Imai, who accounted for almost half of the Thunderbirds’ regular-season goals. Queen’s also killed all seven of its penalties.

Such defensive excellence, however, couldn’t overcome a dreadful power play, which Sunday was just 1-for-8.

A team that was third in Canada in the regular year in power-play success (converting 22.9 per cent of its chances), Queen’s was just for 2-for-19 with a player advantage in its three games. From the close of the second period through the early part of the third Sunday, the Gaels were on the power play for five minutes and 19 seconds straight — 1:30 of it with a two-skater advantage — before McHaffie finally scored.

Queen’s, which outshot UBC 25-20, including 13-6 in the third period, spent more than eight and a half minutes of the final period skating with a player advantage.

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