The Dalhousie Tigers’ women’s hockey team lost 3-1 to the St. Thomas Tommies on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Halifax Civic Centre. The Tigers were eliminated from the playoffs after losing the first two playoff games against St. Thomas in the best of three series.
“I thought our team played extremely well and I am proud of them for how hard they worked,” said Tigers head coach Sean Fraser.
There was no scoring in the first period. Both teams played tough defensive hockey. The Tigers had a checking line of Andrea Lyon, Victoria Macintosh, and Taylor Riecheld go against AUS’s second leading scorer Kelty Apperson’s line throughout the game. The Tommies narrowly outshot the Tigers 8 to 7 in the period.
On the power-play 12:52 into the second period, the Tommies struck first. Tommies forward Emily Oleksuk skated into the slot and fired the puck past Tigers goaltender Jessica Severeyns and into the net.
The Tigers tied the game 1:33 into the third period. Tigers defenseman Kenzie McPhee shot the puck from the point. Tiger Laura Brooks was standing in front screening the goalie Taylor Cook and the puck went into the top corner of the net.
With five minutes left in the third period, the Tommies got on a two-on-one break. Kelty Apperson had the puck and she fired it past Severeyns’s blocker to give the Tommies the 2-1 lead.
The Tigers got a power-play a minute, and even pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker 30 seconds in, but were unable to score.
With 44 seconds left in the game, Tommies forward Teah Anderson scored on the empty net to stretch and win the game for the Tommies by a score of 3-1.
The Tommies outshot the Tigers 33-17 in the game. Taylor Cook made 16 saves for St. Thomas while Jessica Severeyns made 30 saves for the Tigers.
The Tommies scored on one out of three power-play opportunities, whereas the Tigers did not score on their three opportunities.
The win means the Tommies move into the semi-finals to play L’Universite de Moncton. The loss means the Tigers season is over as they are eliminated from the playoffs.
This was a tough season for the Tigers. They battled injuries all season long especially near the end of the season where they had four players suffer season ending injuries.
“I think we had a great season. We pushed through a lot of adversity. Coach told us we only had six players all season play all our games out of 26 of us so that’s tons of injuries,” said defenseman Laura Brooks.
“This game was like a microcosm of the season where we went in, we were the underdog, it was tough, we battled through and we played through the adversity. Unfortunately we came up short. I’m proud of them because of everything we have gone through this year,” said Fraser.
Fraser thought his team battled hard in this series but lost to a good team.
“I thought we worked hard and they are a good team over there. We just got to continue and be ready for next season.”
The loss means it is the end of Joleen McInnis, Sarah Robichaud and Sarah MacNeil, as it is their last season with the Tigers.
“They have given so much to the program and everything they have gone threw from the suspension in their second year to playing home games at Saint Mary’s in their third year so they have gave so much and have helped push this team in the right direction and when we do win a banner down the road they have been every much as part of it because they helped push us in the right direction,” said Fraser.
Sarah Robichaud believes her experience with the Tigers has made her a more mature person.
“I have definitely matured over the years especially with Sean appointing me assistant captain in my third year. I have definitely taken on a role that acquires a lot of leadership and just holding the girls accountable and making sure the team is doing the right things. I am very thankful for that because it has allowed me to mature as a person and be a better person and player.”
Next year is Brooks’ last season as a Tiger and she is really excited for the season to start.
“We have a couple of amazing rookies coming in. We are loosing good players but it is only three so I think we can hold it together and limit the injuries. I think we are going to have a really good team next year and I am excited.”