SMU Huskies

Huskies top Tommies 4-2, clinch playoff bye

Huskies top Tommies 4-2, clinch playoff bye

(Halifax, N.S.) The Saint Mary's Huskies (17-3-1) picked up a 4-2 win over the St. Thomas Tommies (11-7-3) on Bell Let's Talk day Wednesday night at Alumni Arena.


It was a spirited game throughout, with both teams battling for playoff position.


Breanna Lanceleve (Middle Sackville, N.S.), Taylor Keeping (Hackett's Cove, N.S.) and Nicole Blanche (Dunville, N.L.) scored for SMU; Kiana Wilkinson (Prince George, B.C.) added an empty netter.


Rebecca Clark (Keswick, Ont.) finished with 20 saves to pick up her 12th win of the season.


Lauren Henman (Cow Bay, N.S.) and Olivia Reid (Aurora, Ont.) scored power play goals for STU.


Abby Clarke (Springdale, N.L.) made 23 saves for the Tommies.


Lanceleve opened the scoring 32-seconds into the second. Kaitlin Howarth (Thunder Bay, Ont.) intercepted a pass at the Tommies blue-line and worked into the high slot for a shot – Lanceleve followed up and buried the rebound low blocker from the low slot.


Henman tied it up at 12:51 of the second. With the Tommies on a five-on-three power play, Emily Oleksuk (Thunder Bay, Ont.) won an O-zone draw back to Alex Woods (Courtice, Ont.), who fed Henman for a shot that went wide from the right dot.


Henman picked it up in the corner and took it to the right dot for another shot. The rebound squirted out the other side, Henman was able to track down the loose puck work back into the slot and send a backhander just under the bar.


Keeping made it 2-1 Huskies, with a highlight reel goal, 8:45 into the third. She picked up the puck inside the Huskies blue-line on the right-wing and chipped it past the defender to herself in the neutral zone. She flew up ice toe-dragged to the middle past the last Tommie back and sniped high glove from in tight.


Blanche pushed it to 3-1 just 58-seconds later. Brooke Murphy (Balla Phillip, N.B.) forced a turnover in the neutral zone and worked up the left-wing on a two-on-one with Blanche. Murphy patiently waited for Blanche to crash the back post and put a pass right on the tape for Blanche to bury.


Reid got the Tommies back within one at 3-2 at 12:28 of the third. Kristina Kocsis (Burlington, Ont.) ripped a shot from the right-point, Clark made a right pad save and Reid pounced on the rebound from a few feet out.


Wilkinson sealed it for Saint Mary's with an empty netter at the 18:57 mark. She blocked a point shot, corralled the puck, took a couple steps up ice and hit her target from five feet inside her own blue-line.


SMU won the shot battle 27-22.  With the win, the Huskies secure 2nd place and earn a bye into the playoff semi-finals. 


Up next, the Tommies head to Charlottetown P.E.I. to face the UPEI Panthers on Friday, February 3, and the Huskies will be on the road across Halifax at the Civic Arena to play the Dalhousie Tigers.


Cam Honey-Webb

Photo Nick Pearce