The women’s Cougar hockey team wrapped up its hockey season this weekend in Flint, Michigan. The Cougars qualified to play in the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association playoffs (CCWHA) in their inaugural season knocking out Notre Dame and Loyola University respectively. The Cougars currently play in the CCWHA which is a league within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The winners of this weekend’s playoffs punched their ticket to the ACHA National Championships in Dallas Texas.
GAME 1: SAULT COUGARS vs ADRIAN BULLDOGS
FLINT, MI – The Cougars found themselves up against a familiar opponent in the first game of the Regional Tournament as they went up against the Adrian College Bulldogs. The Cougars were looking to get off to a good start but it would be Adrian to accomplish that with two goals in the first to send the Cougars into a 2-0 hole in the first twenty minutes.
Adrian would strike twice more to open the second period before the Cougars began to claw back. Olivia Barsanti answered with a goal of her own to narrow the deficit to 4-1 before Mackenzie Monico scored an unassisted goal to narrow the lead even further.
Coming out in the third down 4-2, the Bulldogs would score a quick goal by Samantha Lhotak to restore the three goal lead. Adrian would not look back as they scored three more unanswered goals in the frame to take Game 1 with a score of 8-2.
Cougars Scoring: Olivia Barsanti (1G), Mackenzie Monico (1G), Mackenzie Nadeau (1A).
GAME 2: SAULT COUGARS vs MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
FLINT, MI – The Cougars path to Nationals would not get any easier as they went up against Michigan State in Game 2. Michigan State would score first early on in the first on a goal by Allyson Conley. Unlike Game 1, it didn’t take long for the Cougars to respond as Myla Angus potted a goal to even up the game 1-1. Before the end of the period, Michigan State would take back the lead 2-1 going into the second.
Michigan State would open the period the same way they finished the first with a goal to extend their lead. The Cougars wouldn’t go away in this contest as they scored again, this time from Taylor Nadeau to narrow the Spartans lead at 3-2.
Things tightened up in the third as both teams limited each other’s chances and Cougars goalie Jennifer King made some big saves to keep the Sault in contention. Jaedyn Orr would score on a feed from Taylor Nadeau to get back to within one as time was running out in the third. Despite the push by the Cougars, Michigan State would score late to put the game out of reach and hand the Cougars a 5-3 loss in Game 2.
Cougars Scoring: Taylor Nadeau (1G, 1A), Myla Angus (1G), Jaedyn Orr (1G), Rachel Barban (1A).
GAME 3: SAULT COUGARS vs NORTHERN MICHIGAN
FLINT, MI – With the hope of Nationals fading away the Cougars had one last shot to turn things around against Northern Michigan in the final round robin game of Regionals. The start of the game would come back to haunt the Cougars for a third time as Northern Michigan scored twice in the first for a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes.
Northern Michigan added another to start the second before Erin Gillespie scored to narrow the lead to 3-1. After the Gillespie goal, Shae Blewett of Northern Michigan would power her team with two more goals in the period for a 5-1 lead.
Cougars goalie Jennifer King turned away 20 shots in her third consecutive game but unfortunately for the Sault, the Northern Michigan offence would prove to be too much as Blewett scored another two goals in the final frame to send the Cougars home with a 7-2.
Cougars Scoring: Erin Gillespie (1G), Olivia Barsanti (1G), Kaitlyn Lambert-Mousseau (1A), Coleen O’Neill (1A), Mackenzie Nadeau (1A).
The coaching staff of Chad Mousseau (C) Brianne Veale (A), Tiggs Lambert (A) and Meagan Turcotte (Equipment Manager) are to be commended for their efforts and successes this year. Their dedication to the program for the 2019/2020 season is appreciated by the players and the College.
During the playoffs Mackenzie Monico and Jennifer King were selected as the Freshii co-athletes of the week for their outstanding play. Honorable mentions also go to Taylor Nadeau and Myla Angus.
Overall the Cougars were ranked 24th out of 55 teams in the ACHA this season.
“We are so proud of our women’s team and all that they have accomplished in their first year in Division II hockey: particularly their finishing in the top half of the division,” said Rick Webb, Manager Hockey Operations. “Our team has the skill and passion to compete at a high level and we are currently recruiting players for next year from across Canada and the United States. We had a great inaugural season in the ACHA with takeaways that will only make us a stronger team. We look forward to building on this momentum so we can take steps to make our way to Nationals next year.”
“Our College has top notch academic programs and we want a high level of skill on the ice to complement this. We are looking for players who want to be the best student athletes possible and who are ALL IN,” said Webb.
Come out and show us what you’ve got! We’re hosting prospect skates at the Rankin Arena April 4 at 5 p.m., April 5 at 10 a.m. and April 17 at 6 p.m. Skates are $20 per plater per ice time. For more information on the Prospect Skate, contact Rick Webb at (705) 542-9869.
FRESHII Athletes of the Week:
Jennifer King (Women’s Hockey): Jennifer started all three games for the Cougars at Regionals this past weekend in their attempt to make it to Nationals.
Mackenzie Monico (Women’s Hockey): Mackenzie had 1 goal over the weekend and was a factor in every game at Regionals for the Cougars.