by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancer women’s hockey team is hoping their past two wins can help them get back into the playoff picture once the second half of the OUA regular season and academic semester resume in 2016.
With their backs against the wall and their eyes up at the teams above them in the OUA standings, the lady Lancers came away with six points out of a two-game home-stand against the Brock Badgers and the third place Queen’s Gaels.
Head coach Jim Hunter said those two wins may be the turning point in the team’s season. The Lancers finished the first half of the season with a 2-8-1 record and will have only 13 games to move up the OUA standings once the athletes return from exam and holiday break.
“We can’t afford to lose too many more so for us to come up like that gives us some hope going into the second half,” Hunter said. “Those were definitely ‘must have’ and we got them. It gives us some confidence. When you work hard and stay at it and things work out for you it gives you hope and that’s exactly what we did.”
Solidifying those two victories was the standout play of third year goaltender Ingrid Sandven, who was named Lancers female athlete of the week after her solid weekend led the team to their first regulation wins of the season.
“It felt great getting those wins,” Sandven. “It’s a lot of pressure but I feel like we handled it pretty well and we kept rolling. We’ve had some issues with third periods so far this season where we would fall down but we’ve kept going. We’ve worked hard and got it.”
In the team’s two victories the Bergen, Norway native had only one goal against and made 47 saves over two games and earned a goals-against average of 0.979 on the weekend. Sandven has been in between the pipes for all three of Windsor’s wins so far this year as she was also in net for the Lancers 3-2 win over the York Lions Nov. 13
Against the Badgers, Lancers sniper Krystin Lawrence scored a pair of goals and had three points in a 5-1 romp at South Windsor Arena Nov. 27. Lawrence finished the first half of the season with six goals and nine points in 11 games played.
“We’ve had some issues scoring goals this year so it was good to get five in the game,” Sandven said. “We all sacrificed … and it feels great.”
The next afternoon featured a battle with the Gaels, who had recently dealt Windsor a 4-1 loss back in Kingston Nov. 20. The Lancers youth would serve them well in this game as freshman forward Shawna Lesperance made the most of an early opportunity and scored her sixth goal of the season just over four minutes into the contest. Windsor sat on the lead for the duration of the game and earned a 1-0 shutout victory.
“It was a great team effort, it’s tough to win a 1-0 game,” Hunter said. “We had to kill a penalty late and they pulled their goalie for a six-on-four and we stood tall. Ingrid made some big saves for us and we were able to kill that penalty off and secure the three points. It was important for us to get those three points, we had to win in regulation.”
Leading the way offensively is captain Erinn Noseworthy with 14 points on three goals and 11 assists.
Windsor’s first contest in 2016 will be Jan. 9 against the UOIT Ridgebacks at South Windsor arena with puck drop at 4 p.m.