The Université de Moncton Blue Eagles soared over the Lady Tommies and stole third place in the AUS with a 4-1 win at the Grant-Harvey Centre Saturday night.
Both teams started with high energy levels leading to quite a bit of back and forth play. UdeM got on the board at 4:45, while STU was struggling to get their first shot on goal. That opportunity came eight and a half minutes into the first period, with captain Katie Brewster scoring STU’s lone goal only seconds later.
The Lady Tommies had a more focused technical game in the second period, but UdeM got past goaltender Kristin Wolfe twice more. The Blue Eagles finalized the 4-1 win early in the third.
STU was in third place in the AUS standings heading into the match, sitting only one point above the fourth-place Blue Eagles. With the loss, UdeM jumps over the Lady Tommies, taking the third spot by only a point.
Peter Murphy, in his 11th season as head coach of the women’s hockey team, said he was hoped for a similar result after Friday night’s win against Dalhousie.
“We looked alright in last night’s game and improved from last week, and thought we were going to have a strong game. At times we did, but at other times they just out-competed us for the puck,” he said.
Goaltender Kristin Wolfe was instrumental in the game, making important saves in the third period and keeping the team down only three. Forward Jordan Miller left the game in the third with an upper-body injury after a mid-ice collision.
The Blue Devils had strong neutral-zone capabilities, part of which made it hard for STU to get shots on net. Murphy credits UdeM with having one of the best backchecks in the league.
“That’s what they do best. They protect the middle of the ice very well and they make it hard to get pucks to the net.”
The loss comes just 24 hours after beating the Dalhousie Tigers 2-1 at the Grant-Harvey. According to Murphy, not much changed between the games.
STU is 7-7-4, and has won four of the last 10 games. The team faced UdeM last weekend in Moncton and lost 4-1.
The team has been working on offensive skills and forechecking. Murphy says the team is improving, but with games like this, the improvements aren’t coming fast enough.
“We’re seeing some progress, but the progress has to come quicker,” he said.
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