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Jessica Wakefield scores in overtime as Gaels upset Laurier 2-1

February 27, 2014

A power-play goal by Jessica Wakefield in the ninth minute of overtime Wednesday gave the Queen’s Golden Gaels a 2-1 win over the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks in the opening game of the Ontario University Athletics women’s hockey final in Waterloo.

Stationed at the side of the net, Wakefield cashed the rebound of a shot from the point by Alisha Sealey with just 28 seconds left in the Laurier penalty.

The defending champion Gaels can win their third conference championship in the last four years Friday afternoon, when they will host the Hawks in the second game of the best-of-three series at 3 o’clock at the Memorial Centre.

The first 51 minutes of Wednesday night’s game were scoreless, until a Laurier turnover at the Queen’s blue line led to a goal by Taryn Pilon for Queen’s with eight and a half minutes remaining in the game. It appeared that goal might stand up until Laurier’s Blair Connelly scored with 5.9 seconds remaining in the third period.

For the defender Connelly, who shares the league playoff scoring lead with seven points — matching her regular-season total — it was her third goal of the post-season.

Queen’s outshot the home team 4-1 in overtime, as the Gaels won for the third time in four overtime games this post-season.

Goaltender Mel Dodd-Moher, in collecting her fifth win in a row, lowered her playoff goals-against average to 1.07 and raised her save percentage to .955 as she out-duelled Laurier’s Amanda Smith. Each team had 23 shots on goal.

For the rookie Wakefield, it was her third goal of the playoffs. She also assisted on an overtime goal by Kyla Crouse that won Game 2 of the Gaels’ first-round series with Windsor.

This was the first time this year Queen’s, 16-4-4 and the eighth-ranked team in Canada, defeated No. 4 Laurier, 18-3-3. Laurier won both regular-season meetings, one in overtime and the other in a shootout. This victory, however, was the third in a row for the Gaels over the Hawks in post-season play, dating to 2011. The previous two were also 2-1 overtime decisions.

Laurier has won nine of the 12 league titles since 2002, and this is the third time the Hawks and Gaels have met for the league championship. Laurier won the two previous times, in 2007 and 2004.

 

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