Tough match ends in tie

Ulrich steps it up with 32 saves

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western women's hockey

Jonas Hrebeniuk

PULLING MORE FIGURE EIGHTS THAN EMANUEL SANDHU. Despite generating a number of chances, Western's women’s hockey team was unable to come away with a win over Waterloo on Sunday.

Playing on Sunday at Thompson Arena, the Western Mustangs women’s hockey team skated to a 2-2 draw against the visiting Waterloo Warriors.

Gaining only a single point from back to back games this weekend puts Western in seventh place in Ontario University Athletics standings with a 2-3-3 record. Western lost to Laurier on the road 4-1 on Saturday.

“Our effort was good today, but our confidence at making good puck decisions at times wasn’t, and we’re just not scoring as much as I thought we would be,” Mustangs head coach Paul Cook said.

The Warriors were coming off a 2-1 win versus Windsor on Saturday. “Both teams were tired,” Waterloo head coach Geraldine Heaney said. “We knew it would be a tight game. It took us a little while to get going.”

Western got on the board first midway through the first period. On the powerplay, Western forward Ellen Seedhouse took a cross-ice pass from defenceman Cassandra Welten. Streaking down the left wing, Seedhouse went five-hole on Warriors goaltender Jenna Pletzer.

Waterloo was active in the first frame, outshooting Western 10-9 but Western’s goaltender Jessica Ulrich was solid between the pipes in the first 20 minutes.

The Purple and Silver struck again early in the second, with forward Amy Groen squeezing a shot just past Pletzer on the blocker side after receiving a lead pass from blueliner Leigh Trimm-Combes. Waterloo pulled a goal back in the last minute of the second period.

With Western shorthanded and on a poor line change, Waterloo forward Mandy Harrop fed Caitlin Brydges with a pass on a 2 on 0. Ulrich made the initial save sliding quickly to her left but Brydges stayed with the play and centered the rebound to forward Randi Wilson who found the top corner of the Mustangs’ net.

“They’re just so young right now, when you have a team down you have to bury them, and we didn’t " we let people back in the game,” Cook said.

At the start of the third period, Western came within an inch of adding an insurance marker, but forward Bianca Emanuele’s snap shot from the left wing glanced off the Waterloo cross-bar.

The Warriors pestered Western’s goal in the first half of the third, but Ulrich made some important saves, stacking the pads against Wilson when the Waterloo forward muscled her way to the net. Ulrich made a glove save minutes later on Waterloo’s Jo-Ann Scott.

“I thought our goaltender gave us opportunities to win the game today, and that’s all you can ask from goaltending,” Cook said.

But at 12:32 of the third the Warriors fought back again. Forward Kelly MacLean picked up a loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Ulrich on her stick side.

“They never gave up,” Heaney said. “A great effort by the girls. We’re not the most talented, but they worked hard.”

Seedhouse echoed those words, commenting on the determination of both teams.

“I think we were a little overwhelmed from yesterday [versus Laurier],” she said. “It was a tough game but they stepped it up and next time we just have to finish.”

With the teams deadlocked at two a piece the game went into overtime.

Western had a glorious opportunity to win it, after Waterloo’s defenceman Karen Vanderhoek took an interference penalty at 2:18. Western called a time out to organize its attack but was thwarted shot after shot by Pletzer.

“I thought the girls did a pretty good job of what we wanted to accomplish,” Cook said. “We had set someone up to screen the goalie and we had our opportunities.”

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