Guelph tops defending champs to advance to U Sports women's hockey semis
Guelph to meet Montreal in semis, Saskatchewan and Alberta men move on
Rookie Nicole MacKinnon scored the game-winning goal as the No. 3 Guelph Gryphons defeated the defending champion Manitoba Bisons 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2019 U Sports women's hockey championship.
MacKinnon pounced on a Manitoba turnover and beat goaltender Lauren Taraschuk with a quick shot at 5:53 of the third period.
"Taking down any team would feel good right now, but just the fact that they're the defending champions gave us that extra motivation," MacKinnon said.
Captain Kaitlin Lowy and Sydney Davison also scored for the Gryphons, who are casing a first national title. OUA goaltender of the year Valerie Lamenta made 21 saves.
Alanna Sharman scored both goals for the Bisons, bringing Manitoba back form a 2-0 deficit.
The Bisons had a chance to take a lead with two consecutive power-play opportunities, but Guelph's penalty killers came up big.
Taraschuk made 18 saves for Manitoba.
The Gryphons will face No. 2 Montreal in the semifinals on Saturday after the Carabins beat the host UPEI Panthers 3-0 in the second quarter-final on Thursday.
Carabins goalie Aube Racine registered the shutout, while Alexandra Paradis, Kaleigh Quennec and Alexandra Labelle scored for Montreal.
Toronto faces Alberta and McGill meets St. Thomas in Friday's quarter-finals.
Alberta, Saskatchewan men move on
National player of the year Luke Philp scored two goals as the top-seeded Alberta Golden Bears beat the host Lethbridge Pronghorns 7-1 in a U Sports men's hockey quarterfinal on Thursday night.
Ben Carroll, Cole Sanford, Sawyer Lange, Trevor Cox and Brandon Magee also scored for the defending champion Golden Bears.
Connor Sanvido replied for the Pronghorns.
The Golden Bears will face the No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies in a semifinal on Saturday.
Carson Stadnyk scored two goals to lead the Huskies to a 6-1 win over the No. 4 Guelph Gryphons in the opening quarterfinal on Thursday.
Levi Cable, Logan McVeigh, Wyatt Johnson and Evan Fiala also scored for the Huskies, while Collin Shirley had four assists.
Scott Simmonds was the lone Gryphon to beat Huskies goalie Taran Kozun.
Guelph outshot the Huskies 32-27, but Saskatchewan was far better on special teams, going 3 for 4 on the power play while killing off the Gryphons' three chances with the man advantage.
"Special teams and goaltending is probably going to be the difference in a one-game competition or championship like this and ours was a little bit dead in the last game of the Canada West finals," Huskies coach Dave Adolph said. "We got a little life [Thursday], and hopefully it continues."
Friday's quarterfinals pit the No. 2 New Brunswick Varsity Reds against the No. 7 Carleton Ravens and the No. 3 Queen's Gaels versus the No. 6 St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
The final is Sunday.