AUS women’s hockey championship daily recap: Thursday
St. FX X-Women 3 – 1 Dalhousie Tigers
The Tigers were unable to pull off the upset Thursday when they faced the first place X-Women in the AUS women’s hockey championships.
The ladies lost 3 – 1 in a contest where you often couldn’t tell the difference between the league’s first and sixth place team. The Tigers kept the game tight for the first 40 minutes, but were unable to hold things together in the third.
Cassie Banfield was named player of the game for the Tigers. She thought her side was feeling confident going into the contest.
“We were going into it with a five-game win streak, so we were all pretty positive,” she said.
Dal’s confidence was not expressed in the first 10 minutes of the game, however. The X-Women’s Alex Normore looked to pass on a two-on-one attempt but took it in herself, putting St. FX up 1 – 0.
Tigers defensemen Miranda McMillan responded in the second. She scored on a slap shot from the blue line through traffic and over the glove of opposing goalie Katie Greenway, tying the game at one. That was as close as the Tigers would get.
Dal captain Elizabeth Matheson said her team stumbled in the final period.
“[In the third] we started to panic a little bit,” Matheson said. “We were only consistent on and off, and the times that we broke down they started getting more shots.”
Tigers goalie Zoe Zivolak kept the team alive during the third, making big stops in key situations.
“It was my first time playing in the playoffs so it was pretty scary,” Zivolak said. “Once you face the first couple shots you get the feel for the puck.”
Dal head coach Sean Fraser, sporting a pair of crutches after getting injured in a rec league game recently, thought the ladies did everything within their power to be successful.
“I thought we prepared and worked hard. We just couldn’t get a bounce today,” Fraser said.
The Tigers are in Pool B in the AUS championships. The only hope the Tigers have to move forward to the championship game is to beat UPEI on Friday and hope the Panthers can pull off a win against the X-Women Saturday. A tiebreaker would then decide which of the pool’s three teams would move on.
Fraser would like his team to go out on a winning note.
“We just need to come out with the same effort that we had today and just stay positive and execute,” he said.
Moncton Aigles Bleus 5 – 0 St. Thomas Tommies
The Moncton Aigles Bleus trampled the St. Thomas Tommies Mar. 1 in Pool B play at the AUS women’s hockey championships.
St. Thomas goalie Julia Sharun kept her team in it through two periods of play, stopping 28 of 29 shots. Aigles Bleus forward Johannie Thibeault, however, figured out Sharun in the third, recording the first hat trick of her AUS career and leading her team to a 5 – 0 win.
“I just took advantage of their bad play,” said Thibeault to her translator. “The first goal allowed us to break through.”
It was a quiet night for Moncton’s Kathy Desjardins in the other net. She stopped all 21 shots she faced, recording her mind-blowing seventh shutout of the year.
Moncton’s overtime loss to the Tommies last weekend in their final regular season game was still lingering in the locker room prior to the game. It was obvious that Desjardins was able to put that loss in the past.
“We were nervous, but [we] got ourselves back on the ground,” Desjardins said. “The win showed who we really are.”
Marie-Pier Arsenault netted the first goal for the Aigles Bleus on the power play in the first, banking it off Sharun from behind the net. Moncton continued applying pressure in the second but there were no results. The shots on goal at the end of that period were 29 – 10 for the Aigles Bleus.
They weren’t getting the goals they wanted yet, but head coach Dennis Ross wanted the ladies to keep doing what they were doing.
“I think we took the game one period at a time,” said Ross. “We knew the shots would convert into goals.”
Eventually, they did. Thibeault scored all three of her goals in that period, including an extra goal from Genevieve David, to win 5 – 0. Final shots on net were 48 – 19 Moncton.
The win results in a day’s rest for Moncton. They hope to continue their winning ways against the Mount Allison Mounties Saturday at 7 p.m. If Moncton comes out on top, they will be the Pool B representative in Sunday’s championship final.
St. Thomas plays Mount Allison themselves Friday at 7 p.m.