Notebook: Women’s hockey gears up for playoffs

Saturday’s 4-3 win over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers earned the Tommies women’s hockey team a first-round playoff bye.

As a result, St. Thomas University (17-4-3) and the first-ranked Saint Mary’s University Huskies (18-3-3) will sit on the sidelines until after the Atlantic University Sport quarterfinal round concludes.

“We’ll have to see who we’re playing to know exactly what we need to do,” Tommies head coach Peter Murphy said after STU fell 2-0 to the Université de Moncton Aigles-Bleues on Friday night at Grant-Harvey Centre.

“But at the same time, I don’t think this team goes into any game without expecting to win, so that’s what the plan is. We’ve just got to make it happen.”

Where STU had the better regular season record as the No. 2 squad in the AUS, the Tommies will host two games of the best-of-three semifinals at Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton.

The cellar-dwelling Mount Allison University Mounties (4-17-1) have been eliminated from the post-season, but final seeding for the third-place St. Francis Xavier University X-Women (15-8) and the Panthers (14-9-1) remained unclear until Sunday.

STU will face the highest-ranked remaining team after the quarterfinals in the opening semifinal contest on Friday, Feb. 24. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Grant-Harvey Centre.

Meanwhile, the Huskies will play the lowest-ranked team that prevails from Round 1. The top two squads after the semis will battle for the AUS title, seeding for the U Sports national tournament and, of course, bragging rights.

Tommies drop to fifth in national ranks

STU fell from fourth to fifth in the U Sports Top 10 national standings for the week of Feb. 1 to 7 in the second-last leaderboard of the regular season.

The Tommies had previously held the fourth spot for two consecutive weeks after being ranked second in Canada for four weeks in a row.

The Tommies’ decline followed a 4-2 road loss to the Dalhousie Tigers (7-16-1) on Jan. 27, which STU avenged the next day with a 5-3 victory over the Mounties the next day.

SMU held on to the third spot last week for the seventh straight time, but that could change when the final Top 10 ranks of the 2016-17 regular season are released on Tuesday.

McTague, Terry named Athletes of the Week

Carissa McTague of the STU women’s basketball squad and Ryan Terry of men’s track and field were named the Tommies Coors Light Athletes of the Week for Feb. 6.

McTague, a fifth-year post from Rothesay, N.B., went 10 for 14 from the field to score 23 points in the Tommies’ 79-42 win over the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

She also earned nine rebounds and two assists against UNBSJ.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, McTague notched 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 72-69 loss to the Crandall University Chargers.

McTague has 123 points, 96 rebounds and 15 assists in 11 games for the Tommies this season.

Terry, a first-year runner from Riverview, N.B., placed first overall in the 1,500-metre dash and 3,000-metre run in the 18 to 19 age category.

He set a personal best with a time of 4:25:05 in the 1,500-metre event.

Not only did Terry set a personal benchmark in the 3,000-metre competition, but he also established a new STU record with his time of 9:28:14.

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