Mustangs Ride Away With 2018 Judy McCaw Cup
The Western Mustangs capped off an exciting playoff run with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Queens Gaels Saturday afternoon in front of ruckus crowd at the Kingston Memorial Centre. The Judy McCaw Cup enjoyed its return back to London, where in less than four days the U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship will take place for the first time in 20 years.
SHOW, PLACE, WIN a reference printed on the back off the ladies warm up shirts and a message continuously preached throughout the year in the locker room. It refers to them being the more then just a host and how the girls wanted to come into this National Championship highly touted and after earning their pathway via a Championship victory.
Carmen Lasis continued her remarkable rookie campaign between the pipes. She looked her usual comfortable self stopping all 28 shots, as Carmen recorded her second shutout of her perfect 5-0 OUA playoff career.
The Mustangs struck first on the powerplay 11 minutes into the game. It was the captain Emma Pearson who wristed one from the point beating netminder Stephanie Pascal to silence an otherwise insanely loud crowd. Head Coach Kelly Paton had preached the importance of the first goal of the contest pre-game and the 5th year Captain delivered.
The Mustangs played a steady 2nd period limiting the Gaels to just 3 shots in the frame. Alyssa Chiarello continued her impressive offensive playoff run extending Western's lead to 2-0 with only 22 seconds left on the clock. Chiarello lead the Mustangs offensively all playoffs providing 4 goals and 3 assist giving her a team high in both categories for 7 points.
Early into the 3rd the rowdy Queen's crowd thought they had a goal to cheer for, only for it to be quickly waived off after a clear kicking motion was made in a desperate attempt to try and beat Carmen Lasis.
The Gaels continued to press, Matt Holmberg took his chances pulling the netminder Pascal for the extra attacker on three different occasions during the final five minutes of play. It would be the jets of April Clarke who rushed through the neutral zone making a selfless pass to Amanda Pereira who finished things off with an empty net marker at 18:14 of the third to secure the 3-0 win for Western.
Both the Mustangs and Gaels will now head to the U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship next week, with Western hosting the event from March 15-18 at Thompson Arena.
Queen’s still will have a shot at National glory, despite falling short of provincial accomplishments. It won’t be an easy task though, having to now start against the #1 ranked team in Canada and the Canada West Champion Manitoba Bisons on Friday afternoon. The Mustangs next opponent will be the #6 ranked Montreal Carabins the finalist of the RSEQ on Thursday Night, a team they beat in Calgary, Alberta in the Semi-Finals in 2015 on their way to their first and only National Championship in program history. The Purple and White will look to ride this impressive 11 game winning streak coming into this must win Quarter Final Game.