Aigles Bleues too much for Tommies to handle

The Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues got the ball rolling with two quick second period goals and didn’t look back in their 5-1 win over the St. Thomas Tommies in women’s hockey action Friday night.

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(Shawn Murphy/AQ)

“We played a good first period against them and had a good second,” said Tommies head coach Peter Murphy. “We came out stronger in the third before being down 3-1, but we’ve got to work on a lot of things.”

After a scoreless first period, Moncton’s Katryne Villeneuve scored 57 seconds into the middle frame and again almost three and a half minutes in to put the Aigles Bleues up 2-0.

“Moncton was very timely with their goals,” said Murphy. “We got a goal late and hoped we could make a comeback, but they took it to us in the second and we ended up fighting an uphill battle in the third.”

STU’s Kelty Apperson cut Moncton’s lead in half just over three minutes into period three, but Natacha Bergeron for Moncton answered 39 seconds later to restore the Aigles Bleues’ two-goal cushion.

“Our forechecking was alright, and backchecking was great,” said Murphy. “In the first period tonight, we were doing well, but in the second, we sort of let up on that a little bit and kind of got it back in the third.”

Moncton’s Manon Lamarre fired a wristshot from the point past Tommies netminder Abby Clarke on a power play to put the Aigles Bleues up 4-1, and Marie-Pier Arsenault sealed the deal by beating Clarke on another power play with 3.2 seconds remaining.

“When we’re playing a team like this, we can’t just be doing one or two things well,” said Murphy. “We have to try to do everything well.”

Moncton was perfect on the power play Friday against STU, while the Tommies were zero for three.

“It didn’t help that, when we took penalties, our best penalty killers ended up in the box,” Murphy said. “I thought we moved the puck well on the power play, and pucks were coming down from the point.”

Emilie Bouchard earned the victory between the pipes for Moncton and was named the game’s first star after turning aside 33 shots. Clarke blocked 37 shots in the Tommies’ losing effort.

“At this level, you expect your goaltenders to be good and be able to handle a high shot total one game and maybe fewer shots the next game.”

With Friday’s loss, the Tommies fall to 8-7-1, but they’re still sitting in third place, ahead of the UPEI Panthers (5-8-3).

Murphy said STU’s record is deceiving and he feels they’re better than a .500 hockey team.

The Tommies crossed the Confederation Bridge on Sunday to face the Panthers, and won that game 3-2 in overtime. They are on a Nova Scotia road trip next weekend, where they will face the St. Mary’s Huskies and the St. Francis Xavier X-Women.

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