(Halifax,NS) In AUS women's hockey action, the first place Saint Mary's Huskies hosted the Dalhousie Tigers at the Dauphinee Centre in Halifax. After a close battle in the first two periods, a string of unanswered goals in the third saw the Huskies win 6-1.
The Huskies got off to an aggressive start, getting two shots in the first minute of play on goalie Taylor Beam (Brooklin, ON), who was starting in net for the second time this season. Dalhousie's usual starter, Fabiana Petricca (Woodbridge, ON) didn't dress for the game.
The Huskies almost opened the scoring with 13 minutes to go as Beam mishandled the puck behind her own net, but Taylor Keeping's (Hackett's Cove, NS) wraparound attempt went across the crease.
A couple of Dalhousie power plays killed the Huskies' momentum, but the home team regained control immediately after and opened the scoring when the top power play in the AUS went on the man advantage.
The Tigers' best chance of the period was by Bobbi Strople (Halifax, NS), who had a partial breakaway, but goalie Rebecca Clark (Keswick, ON) made a pad save on the play.
The first period ended 1-0 for the Huskies, and they led 17-6 in shots.
Early in the second period, Dalhousie scored to tie the game. On a messy zone entry, Taylor Joyce (Halifax, NS) snuck behind the Huskies' defence and when the puck popped to her, she was in close range to put the puck in the back of the net. Tara Morning (Aurora, ON) assisted on the equalizing goal.
That goal gave the Tigers some life as they pressured the Huskies, outshooting them 15-7 in the second frame.
Some undisciplined play by the Huskies, in the 2nd, saw them spend a lot of time in the penalty box and back on their heels. Late in the period, however, they rallied to once again pull ahead. A centring pass meant for Keeping went past the forward as she was tied up in front of the net, but Miranda Hatt (Eastern Passage, NS) skated onto the puck and sent a high snap shot into the net. That put the Huskies up 2-1 to end the second period.
That momentum carried over as the Huskies wore down the Tigers in the final frame and opened up their lead.
Four minutes into the final period, a shot from the point from Kiana Wilkinson (Prince George, BC) was tipped by Birch. Beam made the initial save, but the rebound went to Keeping, who had a wide open net to slide the puck in, to make it 4-1 SMU.
After battling in the corner, Caitlin Pejkovic (Sherwood Park, AB) scored her first goal of the season short side on Beam. Madison Gray (Hammonds Plain, NS) and Katie Peddle (Labrador City, NL) got the assists.
The line of Keeping, Murphy and Birch scored again with four minutes to go. Keeping got her second goal of the game, while her line mates both assisted.
The Subway Player of the Game was Siobhan Birch.
The Tigers' next game is against Moncton on Nov. 23 at the Halifax Forum, while the Huskies host StFX on November 24th.
Sarah Moore, SMU
Photo Nick Pearce