The Cinderella story has ended in Regina
Cougars go the distance against U of S
Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer
The women’s hockey team came within one goal of winning the Canada West championship on Mar. 2nd after a wild ride throughout the playoffs.
The Cougars finished the regular season under .500 and was definitely overlooked by teams with better records than them throughout the playoffs.
Yet, the Cougars ladies found a way to win during their three series’ in the playoffs this season. After a disappointing first round exit in 2012-13 to UBC, the girls were out for redemption this time around, beating Manitoba and Alberta, but eventually being eliminated by their cross provincial rivals, the Saskatchewan Huskies.
But the ladies have nothing to hang their heads about.
After playing upwards of 280 minutes in the final series, the Cougars lost in the second
overtime of game three – in the 17th period of action for the series. After three straight games that went into multiple overtimes, it definitely was an overwhelming feeling for the squad. Games one and three both went to the second overtime while second-year Cougars forward Alexis Larson became the hero and ended game two in dramatic fashion in the fourth overtime.
It was a marathon and for Cougars star goaltender Jennifer Schmidt, there’s no way to put it all into words, and something she won’t forget any time soon.
“I don’t think you could put a level [of exhaustion] to that game,” Schmidt said. “Between periods we were really excited because we wanted to get back out there and win, especially because our life was on the line. All of us started to feel the effects in the morning of the third game, but we were passed that [by game time] and having to go into overtime in the third game, it was a level none of us have ever felt before.”
As anyone could fully imagine, the locker room was quite bleak after the devastating loss in Saskatoon last weekend, especially for forwards Kendra Finch, Katelyn Kennedy and Kaitlin Shervin, who officially played their final games in a Cougars uniform. Yet Schmidt said she was definitely proud of her girls for the level of sportsmanship they displayed.
“It was full of disappointment,” she said. “I don’t think anyone sees a team get happy silver medals. The loss was shocking for everyone. It was really sad when you think about our fifth years – playing in their final game in their career. Our team handled the loss with a lot of sportsmanship; even though we lost we still accepted the silver medals.”
When asked about what the Cougar ladies could gain from the loss, Schmidt believes gaining the experience of just getting to that position is all the experience that they need.
“It isn’t what we’re gaining from the loss,” said the third-year education student., “It’s what we’re gaining from the experience in itself. From winning, thus far we now know it takes a full team buy-in to win games and to compete at that level. I don’t think we did anything in particular to lose that game. I think someone had to win and someone had to lose, both teams were working hard and some of the bounces didn’t go our way. What we can take away from this loss is it’s a team game and with hard work we can get back to this point in the upcoming years.”
As the season comes to a screeching halt for the ladies, that drive for a Canada West Championship certainly will not. These games just show how great this team is and how they will stop at nothing to get back to the point in which they were this season, one bounce away from being Canada West Champions.