CHARLOTTETOWN — Rookie Nicole MacKinnon scored the game-winning goal as the No. 3 Guelph Gryphons defeated the defending champion Manitoba Bisons 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2019 U Sports women’s hockey championship.
MacKinnon pounced on a Manitoba turnover and beat goaltender Lauren Taraschuk with a quick shot at 5:53 of the third period.
"Taking down any team would feel good right now, but just the fact that they’re the defending champions gave us that extra motivation," MacKinnon said.
Captain Kaitlin Lowy and Sydney Davison also scored for the Gryphons, who are casing a first national title. OUA goaltender of the year Valerie Lamenta made 21 saves.
Alanna Sharman scored both goals for the Bisons, bringing Manitoba back form a 2-0 deficit.
The Bisons had a chance to take a lead with two consecutive power-play opportunities, but Guelph’s penalty killers came up big.
Taraschuk made 18 saves for Manitoba.
The Gryphons will face No. 2 Montreal in the semifinals on Saturday after the Carabins beat the host UPEI Panthers 3-0 in the second quarterfinal on Thursday.
Carabins goalie Aube Racine registered the shutout, while Alexandra Paradis, Kaleigh Quennec and Alexandra Labelle scored for Montreal.
Toronto faces Alberta and McGill meets St. Thomas in Friday’s quarterfinals.