Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Crosstown rivalry holds greater meaning with Pink at the Rink event

As one of the most visceral rivalries in CIS women’s hockey, the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees renewed their rivalry in a November 9 tussle. The most exceptional element of the game was that it featured the Gee-Gees’ Pink at the Rink effort.

With several members of the Gee-Gees volunteering in charitable efforts in the community, the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser for breast cancer represented a great point of pride. Part of the philosophy of head coach Yanick Evola is to emphasize the importance that being a Gee-Gee involves being part of the community.

Boasting an undefeated home record against the Ravens this season, the Pink at the Rink event helped to outline the defensive wizardry of Victoria Germuska. Having emerged as a key component of the defensive game, she has also incorporated an element of offense as the Gee-Gees are one of the top teams in the QSSF.

Ravens goaltender Eri Kiribuchi was a key factor in the contest remaining scoreless after one period of play. With the Gee-Gees outshooting the Ravens by a 14-10 margin in the first frame, it would prove to be a busy affair for the Ravens netminder.

The 3:02 mark of the second stanza would see the Gee-Gees break the deadlock as Cindy Laurin buried the puck with a solid effort. Despite the defensive pressure from the Ravens, Laurin had solid puck control in the crease, bouncing the puck off a Ravens blueliner into the net. With assists going to Maude Laramee and Carolann Upshall, it marked the beginning of the Gee-Gees trying to add to their lead.

Applying pressure throughout the period, their persistence would pay off on the power play. With fifth-year player Kelsey VanderVeen serving a checking penalty, the Gee-Gees capitalized. As there were only five seconds remaining in the power play, Maude Laramee scored for her second point of the game. Cynthia Wissell and veteran Asha Kauffeldt logged the assists.

As the first fifteen minutes of the final frame were scoreless, the Ravens played with a sense of urgency. Despite having two Gee-Gees in the penalty box for a period of over 30 seconds, the Ravens failed to take advantage.

With Kiribuchi having made 25 saves in the first two periods, she was essential in nullifying two Gee-Gees power plays in the third. Providing the Ravens with a calming presence, Ainslee Kent would spoil Stephanie Mercier’s shutout bid with only 3:08 remaining.

Although the Ravens would outshoot the Gee-Gees in the third, any effort to tie the game was spoiled once Carolann Upshall logged an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining in the contest. While the Gee-Gees went on to prevail by a 3-1 tally, the true winners were the potential lives saved with the $1,000 raised for breast cancer research.   

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