The Saint Mary's Huskies hockey team lost their home opener 3-2 against the StFX XWomen in this Thursday. It was a tight battle but a late goal from the visiting team would seal the game.
StFX came out flying, scoring their first goal just 55 seconds in. A slap shot from the point from Hannah MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) went past the screened SMU goalie, Rebecca Clark (Keswick, ON), and into the top of the net. Alley Goodreau (Airdrie, AB) and Emily Power (Airdrie, AB) assisted.
In the first half of the period, the Huskies struggled to break out, getting hemmed in their own end on a few shifts. By the end of the first frame, they had settled down and drew even with two minutes left in the period.
Leandra Timmerman (Rathwell, MB) stopped a StFX clearing attempt and threw the puck on net. X-Women goalie Carly Molnar (London, ON) cleared away the harmless looking shot with her blocker but Taylor Keeping (Hackett's Cove, NS) was on the doorstep to put home the bouncing rebound.
It was tied 1-1 after twenty minutes of play, with SMU dominating in shots 10-5. The second period was a similar story. In the first half, StFX scored. After a mess in the corner, the puck popped out to Patti Anne Tracey (Antigonish, NS) who patiently waited before putting a wrist shot over the shoulder of Clark and into the top corner.
Trailing again, the Huskies went on the power play twice in the last half of the period and were able to score on the man advantage with a beautiful passing play. Off the draw, the puck went across the blue line and cross-ice again to Brooke Murphy (Ball Philip, NB) for a one-timer. It was too far ahead for Philip but she managed to get a shot away and the rebound went off the pad of Molnar to Keeping, who tapped it in for her second goal of the game.
Going into the third tied 2-2, both teams played hard, physical hockey. SMU had the edge in scoring chances for most of the frame, but with three and half minutes to go, the Huskies first penalty of the game was called. SMU killed off the ensuing power play but StFX had the momentum after that.
With five seconds to go, Sarah Bujold (Riverview, NB) cut behind the Huskies net and passed the puck to Santana Gravelle (Lumsden, SK) who moved in from the point for a beautiful one timer that went in undeflected. Lindsey Donovan (Miramichi, NB) also assisted.
SMU called a time out and pulled their goalie but couldn't get anything going in the last few seconds and StFX took the game 3-2.
The Subway Player of the Game with the game-winning goal for the X-Women was Gravelle.
Next up, Saint Mary's travels to Moncton for a game on October 21, while StFX hosts UNB on October 19.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce