(Halifax, NS) In AUS women's hockey action, the first place Saint Mary's Huskies hosted the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus and came out with a 3-0 win.
Saint Mary's got off to a quick start, forcing Moncton to ice the puck during the first shift after being trapped in their zone. The pace slowed down a bit after that, until the Huskies went on a power play.
On the man advantage, the Huskies opened the scoring with 13 minutes into the period. In a tic-tac-toe play, Kiana Wilkinson (Prince George, BC) passed the puck from the point to Ellen Laurence (Kentville, NS) on the half wall, to crossed it to Siobhan Birch (Mississauga, ON) in the low slot. Birch tipped the pass into the top of the net to put the Huskies ahead 1-0.
The Aigles Bleus had a good chance in the last few minutes of the period, as Janelle Bastarache (Memramcook, NB) came down the left wing and fired a shot on Rebecca Clark's (Keswick, ON) glove side. Clark made a shaky save, but Moncton's forward following up the play couldn't corral the rebound.
Headed back the other way, Aimee O'Neill (Glace Bay, NS) made a nice move in front of the net and slid the puck five hole on goalie Audrey Berthiaume (St-Bruno, QC) for a 2-0 Huskies lead to end the first period.
Shots were 11-5 in favor of Saint Mary's after 20 minutes of play.
The Huskies started off the second period working the cycle down low, and they were rewarded five minutes in with another goal. Off of a face off in Moncton's end, Shae Demale (Red Deer, AB) got the puck at the goal line and put a sharp angle shot into the net short side. Wilkinson and Miranda Hatt (Eastern Passage, NS) assisted.
Moncton then changed goalies, putting in Méoldie Arsenault (Acadieville, NB.
Despite the three-goal deficit, UdeM didn't sit back. They had a couple two on one opportunities, and on several dump, ins followed the puck with an aggressive forecheck that forced Clark to come out of her crease to play the puck.
The last minutes of the period were spent largely in the Huskies' zone, but the Aigles Bleus couldn't get many shots on net as the period ended with Saint Mary's up 3-0.
The Huskies controlled most of the play in the third period, containing their lead and kicking up the physicality of the game a bit. They kept the Aigles Bleus to five shots, just as in the two previous periods, and left the game with a 3-0 win.
The Subway Player of the Game was Siobhan Birch for the Huskies.
Moncton have a short turnaround as they travel to Antigonish to play the St FX X-Women tomorrow, while the Huskies travel to Fredericton to take on the UNB Reds on Sunday.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce