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Triple overtime goal by Shawna Griffin gives Queen’s 2-1 victory at Guelph

February 20, 2014

A person might get the impression the Queen’s Golden Gaels enjoy playing the Guelph Gryphons. When they meet in the playoffs, it’s as if they don’t want the games to end.

Wednesday night, the teams were deep into the third overtime period when Shawna Griffin scored for Queen’s to give the Gaels a 2-1 win in the first game of their best-of-three Ontario University Athletics women’s hockey semifinal.

From the Gryphons’ point of view, however, the contests aren’t so pleasant.

Wednesday’s game was the second time in four years the Gaels and Gryphons have engaged in a marathon. The first game of the 2011 final went six overtimes before Queen’s prevailed. The second game in that series went a measly extra 10 minutes before the Gaels won.

Three times in the last four years Guelph and Queen’s have met in the playoffs. Each year, Guelph finished higher in the standings; each of the last two times the Gaels won, anyway. Last year, Queen’s first victory ended a 16-game Guelph winning streak; this time it ended a 14-game stretch of success.

It finally happened Wednesday when Griffin, the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals in the regular season, got her second of the playoffs in the game’s 117th minute. It came after Nadia Larocca kept the puck in the Guelph zone at the blue line and found Kyla Crouse at the side of the net. Crouse, who scored the game-winner in the second overtime of the last quarter-final game against Windsor, then fed Griffin, who lifted the puck over Gryphons goaltender Stephanie Nehring.

It was the second overtime victory this post-season for Queen’s, which has won all three of its playoff games by a single goal.

Jessica Wakefield’s goal early in the first period gave the No. 8-ranked Gaels a 1-0 lead that stood up until Kimberly Wong scored for Guelph, the nation’s third-ranked team, with just 76 seconds remaining in the third period. It was Wong’s second goal of the year.

The Gaels survived three minor penalties in the second period unscathed, but they failed to capitalize on six minutes of power play in overtime.

Mel Dodd-Moher made 42 saves for the goaltending victory.

The series resumes Friday night, 7:30 p.m., at the Memorial Centre.

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