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Women’s hockey fall 1-0 to UPEI in shootout

Heartbreaking loss makes playoff picture unclear

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Despite disciplined and defensive play, the Dalhousie Tigers’ women’s hockey team suffered a tough loss Jan. 30, falling 2-1 in a shootout to the UPEI Panthers.

The Tigers were unable to avenge their 5-0 loss to the Panthers in their last contest at the Civic Centre Friday night. However, from the drop of the puck the atmosphere was tense with both teams vying for pivotal points in the AUS standings.

Dal came out of the gate a little flat. The team turned over the puck in the neutral zone and failed to maintain pressure offensively in the early going. The Tigers were unable to convert on any of their three power play opportunities in the opening frame, including a five on three in the final minutes of the period. On the doorstep with a two-man advantage, Courtney Sheedy couldn’t find the back of the net after a beautiful cross-ice feed in the dying seconds of the first frame.

Heading into the second with no score, Dal was unable to utilize their remaining time on the power play. Soon after, UPEI’s Madison Clarke was sprung on a partial breakaway. Streaking up the left wing, Clarke swooped in and took a low wrist shot on Tigers’ goalie Jessica Severeyns, who shut the door. Clarke gathered her own rebound and attempted to stuff it in, but Severeyns managed to get across and deny Clarke for a second time. The Panthers celebrated what they thought to be the go-ahead goal, unaware that Severeyns had shut the door. However, Clarke had the last laugh, scoring seconds after the next faceoff to take a 1-0 lead.

Dal kept up the pressure late in the second with a few quality scoring chances, but was once again unable to convert on the man advantage.

Heading into the third down a goal, the Tigers came out strong. Getting pucks deep and on net took precedent over more prolonged offensive pressure. Dal’s persistence paid off midway through the third frame as Marita Alfieri jammed home the tying goal as players from both teams scrambled for the loose puck in front of UPEI’s goaltender Marie-Soleil Deschenes.

The Panthers took their sixth penalty of the game in the last minute of frame, giving the Tigers a power play to lead off overtime. Despite strong pressure and a couple good scoring chances, the Tigers once again could not find the back of the net, sending the team to their third shootout of the season.

Both teams traded chances in the shootout, but none of the first nine could end the game, including two chances by Dal’s lone goal scorer, Alfieri.

It was Clarke who sealed the victory for the Panthers, ringing one off the short side post to end the game.

The Tigers now sit fifth in the AUS standings, only one point ahead of UPEI. They will be back in action again Feb. 6 at the Civic Centre against the Saint Mary’s Huskies. They then take on the first-ranked St FX X-Women the next day.

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