Murphy reflects on Tommies’ best season yet
By Chris Fox
It was a record season for the St. Thomas women’s hockey team, and even though it didn’t end the way head coach Peter Murphy would have liked, he has trouble feeling disappointed about it.
The Tommies, who lost to the St. FX X-Women in an AUS semifinal three weeks ago, won more games than ever before and have the highest goal total and lowest goals against total in school history.
“The girls played very well and definitely took the team to a new level that we hadn’t been before,” said Murphy. “There was a ton of records and I am definitely pleased with where we are going because as far as the regular season goes and the performance we got out of our players this was by far our best season.”
The Tommies finished in third place with a 14-5-5 record and advanced to the conference championships at UPEI. They beat the host Panthers 1-0 in an AUS quarterfinal March 6, but lost to St. FX 3-1 the next day. They had split the season series with the X-Women 2-2 entering the game and Murphy said the sting of the loss may have been felt a little more, knowing that his team could beat the 19-3-2 X-Women.
“Everyone in that room realized that we could beat them, so it did hurt. In the first period we came close three times to getting that first goal and that could have changed the game completely,” he said.
The Tommies will lose several pieces from this year’s team including fifth-year captain Ashley Duguay and fifth-year blue liner Catherine Boudreau, but Murphy said he thinks the team has enough returners to battle for an AUS championship next year.
AUS rookie of the year Julia Sharun, who had the second best save percentage in the AUS (.935) and the third best goals against average (1.71) will be back as will the teams three highest point getters in Lyse Rossignol (9 goals, 18 assists), Jillian Coughlin (12 goals, 5 assists) and Kayla Blackmore (10 goals, 7 assists).
Murphy also has secured commitments from two players he expects to make a major impact in the AUS right away.
Courtney Fox, a defenseman who helped Woodstock High School to three AA provincial championships during a four year career there, will join the team after a year playing NCAA hockey with the Main Black Bears and Katie Brewester, a highly sought-after high scoring forward from New Hampshire’s Brewster Academy will also don a Tommies jersey.
“I don’t think Maine is too pleased with us because we are ending up getting Courtney Fox and Katie Brewster, who they were after as well,” Murphy said.
Murphy added that he hopes to add three more players over the course of the off season, including a recruit out of Ontario that visited the campus last week and another from Ontario that is just waiting for official acceptance into the university before declaring her intentions.
“We have a real chance over the next two years to solidify ourselves into that top end position in the AUS,” he said. “We want to go to nationals next year.