Feb 25, 2017
On Saturday night, the Voyageurs, in a do-or-die situation, beat the Nipissing Lakers 4-3 to force a third and deciding game in their first round matchup.
Morgan McCann, who was by far the best player on the ice for both teams on Saturday, opened the scoring early for the Vees just 34 seconds into the game, beating Jackie Rochefort on the blocker side. McCann's goal would be the only goal of the period and Karen Collins made saves on all nine shots she faced.
The Vees doubled their lead early in the second period, this time off a Sara Habal shot redirected by Taylor Weber. Kennedy Lanktree picked up the second assist on Weber's goal. The Lakers', feeling the pressure from the Vees, proved to everyone why they finished 17-7 this season, scoring two goals in 21 seconds to tie the game. First, Janica Vossos redirected a shot past a screened Collins to cut the lead in half. Then, at 10:15, Brooklyn Irwin managed to sneak one by Collins as she was falling on a partial break, tying the game up. Both teams would head to the second period tied at two a piece, determined to come out on top in the final period.
However, the Voyageurs answered the call in the third period, regaining their lead early. Kennedy Lanktree, who has been a standout rookie for the Vees this season, used her speed to get by a Lakers' defender and picked the corner high on the short side, giving the Vees a 3-2 lead. Just over five minutes later, Morgan McCann scored her second of the evening and third point of the game on an incredible solo effort, again restoring the Voyageurs' two goal lead. The Lakers would inch a little closer as Bronwyn Bolduc beat Collins on the blocker side with the extra attacker on the ice. However, that would be as close as the Lakers would get.
Head coach Stacey Colarossi said that Saturday's victory was a "huge team win. To win games in the playoffs, teams need to execute the intangibles and tonight we did that."
While every Voyageur should be mentioned for stellar efforts on Saturday night, Morgan McCann, Karen Collins and Jessica Staats had incredible games for the ladies in yellow.
The third and deciding game will be played tomorrow afternoon in North Bay at 4 PM, with the winner advancing to the OUA semi-finals.