(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE) The UNB REDS will play for the bronze medal at the U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship, in Charlottetown.
The REDS move into Sunday's bronze medal game after a 4-0 loss to the Nipissing Lakers in Saturday's semi-finals.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed. It wasn't the result that we wanted," said REDS forward Tamina Kehler. "Most of the disappointment comes from the fact that the group of girls that we have here are so capable. We had so much potential here, and I feel that we didn't show everything that we have."
After an opening nine minutes that saw both teams kill penalties and some good end to end action, the Lakers were first on the board.
From in close, Madison Desmarais managed to shovel a rebound past REDS' keeper Kendra Woodland.
In the second, the Lakers added to their lead 4:54 in, when Madison Solie's shot from the blue-line found a way past Woodland.
The REDS came close a short time later, Melanie Drost tipped a Jenna MacLean pass just wide of the Nipissing net.
The Lakers extended their lead to 3-0 at the 15:23 mark, when Malory Dominico, left unchecked, redirected the puck past a sprawling Woodland.
Late in the third period, with the Lakers short-handed, REDS head coach Sarah Hilworth elected to pull Woodland to create a 6-on-4 situation.
The Lakers scored into the empty UNB net.
"They're big, but that's not an excuse," said REDS forward Frederike Cyr. "Obviously, we're a fast team, but we didn't take advantage of our opportunities and they did. The play was in their favour."
The Lakers used their size and strong defence to neutralize UNB's usually potent offence.
"I feel like we came out a little hesitant," said Kehler. "They were bigger than us and we were a step behind a little bit. It was mostly mental for us."
Despite the loss, the REDS are still in contention for a medal.
They'll face the No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies in Sunday's bronze medal game. That begins at 2:30pm ADT.
"We need to regroup as a team," said Cyr. "We need to get a good night's rest and... there's still so much on the line. We just need to get ready, get a good night's sleep, hydrate, do the little things that's going to make us successful tomorrow."
"We have always been a close group and we're going to lean on each other and we're going to get through this," said Kehler. "I know for a fact that we're going to wake up tomorrow and we're going to be ready to go."
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Mike Needham and Janessa Hogan/for UPEI Athletics