A day after giving up three goals in the last 10 minutes against Calgary, the Guelph Gryphons pulled off virtually the same feat to defeat the Alberta Pandas 3-2 in the sixth round-robin game at the FHC-CIS women’s field hockey championship at the University of Calgary, Friday afternoon.
The win improves Guelph’s record to 1-2 and keeps its medal hopes alive with one game left in the preliminary round. The Gryphons even still have a slim chance of reaching the championship final but would need some help.
Alberta, meanwhile, drops its second match of the tournament and will need to pull out a victory in one of its two games Saturday to keep from being eliminated.
“It couldn’t be a more exhilarating game for us,” laughed Guelph head coach Michelle Turley. “They scored two goals early, and then we outplayed them for the last 25 minutes of the first half, but we just didn’t really put it on each other’s sticks.
“At the end we would have been willing to take a tie, but the kids were so fired up that they just weren’t going to lose.”
After giving up a pair of goals in the first eight minutes to the Pandas, Guelph began to carry the play and the field started to tilt in the Gryphons’ favour. They pressed into the second half and were finally rewarded in the 57th minute.
Alberta’s Carly Flemming committed an intentional, yellow card foul in the circle, resulting in a penalty stroke opportunity for Guelph’s Brittany Seidler. The OUA player of the year from Oliver, Ont., sent a dribbler that just snuck inside the left post beyond Alberta netminder Tory Spencer for her tournament-leading fourth goal to put the Gryphons on the board.
“When we scored the first one on the stroke, I thought we were on fire and nobody was going to stop us,” said Turley.
Just five minutes later, Seidler added another – this one a beauty. Stepping just inside the circle, Seidler flicked a rocket toward the goal that glanced off the crossbar and in, leaving no chance for Spencer. Three minutes after that, Candace Hawksworth beat Spencer to complete the comeback with the eventual game-winner.
Kinsco Santha opened the scoring for Alberta in the sixth minute, while Jenny Gluska added to the lead just two minutes later as the Pandas dominated the first 10 minutes of the game.
Alberta returns to action Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Mountain versus host Calgary Dinos (1-1), and then has a tilt against defending champion and top-seeded Toronto (1-1) at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, Guelph faces UBC (3-0) at 12:20 p.m. in its round-robin finale.
ALB: Kinsco Santha (1), 6th
ALB: Jenny Gluska (1), 8th
GUE: Brittany Seidler (4), 57th
GUE: Brittany Seidler (5), 62nd
GUE: Candace Hawksworth (1), 65th
GUE: Kaye McLagan (W, 70:00, 2 GA, 1-2)
ALB: Tory Spencer (L, 70:00, 3 GA, 0-2)
Players of the Game
GUE: Brittany Seidler
ALB: Jacqueline Trautman
Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/fh/index
1. Toronto (OUA champions)
2. UBC (Canada West champions)
3. Calgary (Canada West second place)
4. Guelph (OUA finalists)
5. Alberta (Canada West third place)
STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times local: Mountain Time)
Round-robin standings (after 6 of 10 games)
GP W L T GF GA PTS
1. UBC 3 3 0 0 8 3 9
2. Toronto 2 1 1 0 3 3 3
3. Calgary 2 1 1 0 5 6 3
4. Guelph 3 1 2 0 6 7 3
5. Alberta 2 0 2 0 2 5 0
NOTE: 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie.