OUA WHKY Takeaways: Lakers don’t lose a step to start

TORONTO, ONT –  The final conference to drop the puck in Canadian university hockey, the OUA Women’s Hockey season, began last week, with the Brock Badgers kicking off their McCaw Cup title defence and the rest of the conference looking to topple them. 

While the Badgers opened with a win against Guelph and a loss to Toronto, they weren’t the biggest story of the weekend. 

For those, 49 Sports takes a look in Week 1 OUA Women’s Hockey Takeaways. 

Nipissing didn’t lose a step

(TMU Bold Athletics)

It’s only been two games for the Lakers, but they haven’t slowed down after making the 2021 McCaw Cup final, where they fell to the Brock Badgers. 

Their team’s statistical performance in a vacuum may come off as though their defence has been stellar, allowing three goals in two games. However, in Saturday’s game against the TMU Bold, the Lakers had a challenging time with clean defensive zone exits, failing to move the puck up to their more offensive players. 

One of the many things the Lakers must address, in addition to making sure they have clean defensive zone exits, is their powerplay. So far, it’s converting at a 14.3 percent rate, a clip the team will need to work on as the season moves past opening weekend. 

The Lakers are returning to the Memorial Gardens on Oct. 28th to host the Windsor Lancers. Winning two games on the road is quite the statement to start the season, especially holding some of TMU’s talented forward to just a lone goal. 

There has been no standout for the Lakers like Katie Chomiak, who has been all they could have asked for and more. The second-year forward is off to a hot start this season, scoring three goals and looking a step faster than the defenders she’s faced. 

Early season struggles for the Gryphons

(Brock Athletics)

The Guelph Gryphons played just 13 games last season, leaving their team full of question marks regarding how they would start 2023. Yet, after the first weekend and losses to Waterloo and Brock, there are more questions than answers for head coach Rachel Flanagan. 

The first weekend of the season wasn’t what Guelph would have desired. In their home opener, they fell 6-1 to Waterloo, giving up five powerplays to Waterloo and failing to force much pressure on the Warriors’ defence. 

In their second game, the Gryphons made an improved effort, falling 2-1 in overtime to the defending McCaw Cup Champion Brock Badgers. The Gryphons outplayed the Badgers for most of the night, putting more shots on net in all three periods, but failing to beat Tiffany Hsu more than once. 

A critical moment for the Gryphons now will be to improve their goalscoring, which hasn’t been up to the levels they would desire, only scoring two goals in as many games. On the back end, their defence has struggled, allowing eight goals and a -6 goal differential,  tied with Laurier for the worst in the OUA after opening weekend. 

Despite the two losses and lone point, the Gryphons have positive takeaways to build on from the weekend, as their penalty kill clips along at a perfect 100 percent, killing six of six penalties against.

Sure, the Gryphons have many questions to answer, but the improvements from game one to game two were exponential and are a sign of good things to come as they prepare to face the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks and Queen’s Gaels next weekend. 


49 Sports’ Women’s Skater of the Week: Keiara Raitt, Waterloo (3 goals in 2 games)

49 Sports’ Women’s Goalie of the Week: Emma Wedgewood, York (28 save shutout v Nipissing)


W: Oct. 28 – Toronto Varsity Blues @ TMU Bold (6:00 pm EST)

W: Oct. 29 – Brock Badgers @ Queen’s Gaels (7:30 pm EST)

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