The Pride of York sets sights for OUA playoffs
With York tied in third place with U of T and Queen’s for the finals, the players knew they needed a win to fuel their playoff hopes.
Eager anticipation was felt in
the chilly air of the arena, as the puck cued the sounds of sticks clashing, skates cutting across the ice, devastating body checks, and blows dealt to both sides.
After getting handed a defeat by Brock only months earlier, the Lions were determined to return the favor. York, one of the hottest teams in the OUA right now with
a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games, were determined for a win.
“It’s a tight race in the OUA right now, not a lot of points separate third place and not getting in the playoffs, so we needed to compete hard and play to win,” says head coach Dan Church. “The assistant coaches have done a great job in coaching the players and I think the players understand what we do on the ice and they’re working real hard in executing our game plan. Overall that’s the big difference between our first half of the season and the second half.”
York took the lead late into the first period with a goal and in response, the Badgers delivered a devastating check to end the first period to one of the York players.
With the game tied and tensions rising, the Lions were attacking the Badgers’ defensivline over and over again relentlessly. The air held the tension of uncertainty and belief in the team, their prayers would soon be heard.
Halfway into the second period, Kristie Wilson scored the tie-breaking goal amid defenders. Her fourth year playing for the Lions, she is experiencing a breakthrough year and is one of York’s top scorers.
“We just wanted to get the points we needed the win,” says Wilson. “We have to make bumps and be more aggressive when necessary.”
She is happy with the state of the team this year.
“A lot of people stepped up,” Wilson says. “We had a lot of people who graduated from last year, so people had to step up to fill the position and we have really good goaltending this year. We |had a good year this year and we are looking forward to the playoffs.”
After penalty killing the Badgers’ five-on-three advantage, York would go on to score one more time in the second and enter the third period with a two-point lead over the Badgers.
The third period remained the same with the Lions continuing to dominate the Badgers’ team.
In a power play halfway into the third period the Lions’ Dallas Boyd scored her second goal of the game. But it wasn’t over for the Lions and as they continued to attack the Badger defensive line and manage to score again soon afterwards.
The Lions have two more games remaining in their season on February 11 and 12 at the Canlan Ice Centre, it’s going to be interesting to see what becomes of this team as they have played without their captain, Chloe Milano, due to injuries. She will be returning next game.