Feb 26, 2017
On Sunday afternoon, the Voyageurs women's hockey team had their season ended in the third and final game of the first round of playoffs after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Nipissing Lakers.
The Lakers hit the ice clearly motivated by a loss to the Voyageurs just a day earlier. Jade Gauthier gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead at 9:12 of the first period, finishing off a rush set up by Samantha Strassburger. Gauthier's goal was the only tally of the period.
The second period was almost an identical storyline, as Jade Gauthier pounced on a loose puck in the slot and managed to get it by a sprawled out Karen Collins, giving Nipissing a crucial 2-0 lead. Despite having a 5-on-3 powerplay opportunity in the second, the Voyageurs were unable to score and ended the second period down by a pair.
The Voyageurs hit the ice in the third in complete desparation mode, pushing the pace towards the Lakers' zone as much as they could. Jessica Staats got the ball rolling at 13:33 of the third, finally getting one by Jackie Rochefort and cutting the Lakers' lead in half. Despite an incredible push in the remaining minutes, and outshooting Nipissing 10-5, the Voyageurs could not muster up the tying goal before the buzzer signaled the end of regulation and effectively the Voyageurs season.
For the second straight season, the Voyageurs had taken one of the top seeded teams to the third and final game of the first round of playoffs, proving their worth as a team, despite having been in the OUA for just four seasons.
The Voyageurs will say goodbye to some crucial veterans this year but have a tremendous upside in the young talent that will carry the torch in the years to come. Voyageur fans have a lot to look forward to in the coming years and should be excited to see the Lady Vees back on the ice in September next year.