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MRU Women’s Hockey crowned U SPORTS National Champions

Credit: U Sports

MONTREAL, QC. (U SPORTS) – Emma Bergesen scored the golden goal for Mount Royal as the No. 8-seeded Cougars defeated the No. 3 Concordia Stingers 4-3 in overtime in the gold medal game of the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship at CEPSUM in Montréal on Sunday night.

Neither team could get ahead in a physical first period, with chances limited and both goalies standing tall. The Stingers had a 10-6 shot advantage but nothing to show for it in a 0-0 tie after the first.

The Stingers first intermission message worked, as they watched Chloe Gendreau break the tie to put the defending national champions up 1-0, 1:31 into the second period. The Stingers looked like they may pounce on the momentum, but the Cougars finally found the answer with three minutes remaining. Tori Williams tipped a point shot home and tied the game 1-1 after two.

Mount Royal was in control early, taking a 2-1 lead on a powerplay goal from Breanne Trotter two minutes into the third. The Cougars calmly kept the Stingers at bay until Rosalie Bégin-Cyr capitalized on a penalty shot to even the score. It was once again Concordia’s powerplay that made an impact as Megan Bureau-Gagnon put the Stingers up 3-2 with nine minutes remaining. MRU kept pushing and, with under two seconds on the clock, tied the game thanks to Breanne Trotter’s second goal of the night. This game headed to overtime at 3-3.

The Stingers had a powerplay opportunity in the extra frame, but Kaitlyn Ross made several crucial saves. She was eventually rewarded when Emma Bergesen tapped home the golden goal, giving Mount Royal the win and their first-ever national championship.

“I don’t know if its sunk in yet, but it feels pretty unbelievable,” said Head Coach Scott Rivett. “So proud of this group and how far they’ve come and the adversity that we’ve dealt with and their resiliency through it all. Now we get to call ourselves National Champions.”

Kaitlyn Ross was as solid as she has been all weekend, stopping 29 of 32 shots in the gold medal win. Alice Philbert made 20 saves on 24 shots in the loss for Concordia.

“I have no words to describe this, its one of the best feelings in the world,” said Cougars goaltender Ross. “We deserve this, we’ve worked so hard for this all year and its so nice that all of our hard work paid off.”

As the 8-seed, the Mount Royal Cougars complete their magical run to claim the school’s first women’s hockey national championship. The RSEQ champion Stingers claim silver for 2022-23 with the loss.

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