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UPDATE: Gryphons win U Sports championship at UPEI


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Guelph Gryphons are national champions.

Captain Kaitlin Lowy, playing with a separated shoulder, scored the only goal of the game Sunday night and Valerie Lamenta stopped 20 shots for the shutout in a 1-0 victory over the McGill Martlets before an announced crowd of 1,139 at MacLauchlan Arena.

“This is huge,” third-year forward Kristen Jay said. “This is the first time in history we’ve ever won a national title for women’s hockey at Guelph, so it’s huge milestone.”

Jay’s father Shawn grew up in Linkletter and his father Blair and brother Chuck and his family live in Summerside. They were in attendance for the tournament.

Guelph Gryphons forward Kristen Jay, who has Island roots, displays her U Sports gold medal after Sunday’s final in Charlottetown.
Guelph Gryphons forward Kristen Jay, who has Island roots, displays her U Sports gold medal after Sunday’s final in Charlottetown.

“This is really exciting for our team,” Jay said. “We had a lot of seniors on this team who are really deserving of this national championship. I am so glad that we got to do it, not only in front of my friends and family but theirs as well.”

As the final second ticked off the clock the Gryphons poured off the bench and headed for Lamenta to celebrate the U Sports title. After the medal presentations, Queen’s “We Are The Champions” played throughout the rink as members of the Gryphons sang along, arms wrapped around each other and gold medals dangling from their necks.

“I always think this is the cheesiest song to play at a championship but to hear them singing it, it’s amazing,” head coach Rachel Flanagan said. “They’re just such an awesome, amazing group.”

She said it has a tremendous collection of leaders who have driven the program to the top spot in the country. The Gryphons didn’t have an award recipient at Wednesday’s gala, but had a dressing room full of players with heart.

“This has been a long time coming, but it doesn't happen unless you have a group like this,” Flanagan said. “You can’t win with all the skill in the world unless you have a group that wants to be in it together – and that's what they did this week.”

The third-seeded Gryphons, who won the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) title March 9, started the tournament Thursday by defeating the defending champs, the Manitoba Bisons, 3-2 before punching their ticket to the final with a 5-0 victory over the Montreal Carabins in Saturday’s semifinal.

“All three games, we brought top-notch play,” Jay said. “We were relentless in every aspect of the game and that’s why we’re standing here right now.”

Stephanie Gava and Karli Shell had the assists on the gold-medal clinching goal.

Fifth-ranked McGill defeated the top-ranked Alberta Pandas 1-0 in Saturday’s other semifinal after defeating St. Thomas 10-2 in Friday’s quarter-final.

Montreal defeated Alberta 2-1 in the bronze medal game Sunday while Manitoba shut out Toronto 2-0 to finish fifth.

Related links:

Kristen Jay will have Islanders cheering for her at U Sports hockey championship

Panthers show they belong


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