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Second straight shutout gives Laurier OUA women’s hockey title

March 3, 2014

But for a 45-second span in the middle of the second period Sunday night, the Queen’s Golden Gaels were every bit a match for the nation’s No. 3-ranked team, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

Sadly for the Gaels, what a disastrous 45 seconds it was.

Laurier scored twice, and that ultimately gave the Hawks a 2-0 victory in the game and a 2-1 win in the Ontario University Athletics women’s hockey championship series.

For the second game in a row, rookie goaltender Amanda Smith was brilliant against the Gaels. In posting her second consecutive shutout, she stopped all 38 shots she faced, including 11 in the third period when defending champion Queen’s outshot the home team 11-5, despite having to kill the period’s only two penalties.

Beaten 2-1 in overtime of the series opener, Smith made 79 saves the rest of the way. The author of two shutouts, a 1.64 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in her first regular season of intercollegiate hockey, Smith got the best of the Gaels four times in five meetings this year, including once in a shootout when she denied all four Queen’s shooters.

In winning its 10th conference championship in 13 years, Laurier qualified for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport tournament, March 13-16 in Fredericton. The Gaels were denied their bid to win their third OUA title in four years.

Danelle Im scored the game’s first goal at 8:43 of the second period. Kingston’s Emily Kekewich scored less than a minute later to give Laurier a lead that Smith’s goaltending made insurmountable.

For both, it was the second goal of the playoffs.

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