Emily Goodwin | Editor-in-Chief
Featured Image: Taylor Davison (centre) makes a pass to Becky Higgs (left) during the Lions last match with the Lakers. | Courtesy of Jojo Yanjiao Qian/York Lions
The Lions headed north this past weekend, stopping in North Bay on Friday to take on the Nippissing Lakers, and in Sudbury on Saturday to face off against the Laurentian Voyageurs. The Lions had a tough time, losing by one point in both games.
Friday’s game started off promising for the Lions when rookie Ava Ricker-Singh scored just under four minutes into the opening period with assistance from Leah Hibbert and Caroline Eagles.
Julia McLennan added the Lions’ second goal later in that same period, and Madison Davey and Hibbert recorded assists on this goal. However, the Lakers had also scored twice in the first period, which tied the score at 2-2 at the first intermission.
It would be the Lakers who took the lead early in the second period after Jetta Derenoski made her way past the Lions’ defence. This lead only lasted 10 minutes though, as Kelsey McHolm was able to score short-handed to once again tie the score. Sarah Power and Courtney Gardiner assisted McHolm.
The first half of the final period remaining tied at 3-3. After that, Brianna Gaffney of the Lakers capitalized on a power play and scored their fourth and final goal of the game.
Despite their best efforts, the Lions could not get past Lakers goaltender Chantelle Sandquist for the rest of the game and fell 4-3 to their opponent.
The following night, the Lions and the Voyageurs came out equally matched. Neither side was able to score in the first period despite a combined total of 21 shots on net.
The Voyageurs were the first to make it onto the scoreboard, with Regan Toltesi scoring at the seven minute mark in the second period, and Payton Bray and Ariana Bowditch assisting. This gave the Voyageurs a 1-0 lead heading into the third period.
The third period saw a flurry of activity, the highlight of which being McHolm’s hat trick for the Lions. Her trio of goals ultimately tied the game and gave the Lions a chance to win by forcing the game into a shootout. Gardiner assisted on two of these goals and Samantha Jones assisted on one.
The Voyageurs added another two goals in the final period, and the game entered overtime tied 3-3.
No goals were scored in the overtime period; the game went into a shootout, which did not go the Lions’ way. Kara Washer was the only Lion able to score, while Toltesi and Morgan McCann both scored for the Voyageurs, resulting in the game ending once again 4-3, with the Lions on the wrong side.
Despite these two losses, the Lions remain high in the OUA standings. The Nippissing Lakers have edged the Lions out by one point to claim second place.
The Lions will play both of their final regular season games on home ice. They return tomorrow Friday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Guelph Gryphons, and on Saturday, February 15 they will face off against the Laurier Golden Hawks at 2:15 p.m.