The Dalhousie Tigers’ women’s hockey team played its Pink in the Rink game on Saturday night at the Halifax Forum. It was a success financially but unsuccessful on the ice as they lost the game 3-2 to the St. Thomas Tommies.
Pink in the Rink night is a game played as a fundraiser for breast cancer research. It is played in October because that is breast cancer awareness month. This is the first time the Tigers have had a Pink in the Rink game since the 2011-2012 season. The team raised a little over $2,000 for the event through bake sales, a Go Fund Me page and the game. The team wore pink jerseys in the game as well.
“We just got to play 60 minutes of hockey,” said Tigers’ assistant coach Shauna Neary. “From the drop of the puck we got to be ready, it’s a habit we got to break and hopefully tomorrow will be that time.”
“Despite the loss I think its really great that we all got together and promoted awareness and raised money for breast cancer research,” said Tigers’ goaltender Mati Barrett, who organized the event.
The Tommies got the first goal of the game with five minutes left in the first period. Tommie’s defender Samantha Squires got the puck below the right face-off circle and shot it from a tough angle into the top right corner of the net.
The Tommies stretched their lead 8:40 into the second period. Tommies forward Emily Oleksuk skated down the right wing and fired the puck over the glove of Tigers’ goaltender Jessica Severeyns and into the net.
Five and a half minutes into the third period the Tigers’ managed to cut the Tommies lead in half. Tigers’ forward Tara Morning shot the puck and it hit the boards behind the net and went to the opposite side to Annika Rose. Rose backhanded the puck that managed to squeak through Tommies’ goaltender Taylor Cooke and in. It was Rose’s first AUS goal.
“I’m so happy for her,” said second year defender Lauren Ellerton. “I remember when I got my first one so it is something you will never forget. It is an awesome feeling.”
Seven minutes after Rose’s goal, the Tommies regained their two goal lead. Tommies captain Kelty Apperson passed the puck to Oleksuk in front of the net and Oleksuk shot the puck past Severeyns to give the Tommies a 3-1 lead.
With four and a half minutes left in the game the Tigers went on the powerplay. Tigers’ forward Courtney Sheedy took a wrist shot from the point but Cook made the save. The rebound came out to Victoria MacIntosh who managed to bang the rebound into the back of the net. The goal broke the Tommies perfect penalty-killing streak, as they had not given up a powerplay goal up to that point. Elizabeth MacArthur was also credited with an assist.
“It is awesome to wreck their perfect streak,” said Ellerton.
With 1:35 remaining in the game the Tigers pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and with ten seconds left they went on the powerplay. The Tigers’ got a shot off from the point in the final ten seconds but were unable to score.
Dalhousie out shot St. Thomas 33-32 in the game. Cook made 31 saves for the Tommies and Jessica Severeyns made 29 saves for the Tigers.
Coming into the game the Tommies had the second best record in the league while the Tigers had the second worst. The game was evenly played and Tigers’ assistant coach Shauna Neary said that shows how close the league is.
“I think this league is so tight and it is evident tonight,” said Neary. “I think honestly in this league anybody can beat anyone on any night.”
Neary feels the team didn’t need any extra motivation to play against the Tommies. The Tigers knocked the Tommies out of the first round of the playoffs in 2015 while the Tommies did the same thing to the Tigers last year.
“I think we’ve kind of built a little rivalry with them especially in the last couple of years in the playoffs and I don’t think it takes every much for that dressing room to get fired up to play these guys.”