With 10 new players this season, the St. Thomas University women’s hockey team knew there was going to be some learning before they
would be consistent.
“It will come with more experience,” said team captain Kelty Apperson. “We have a lot of new girls so they are just getting used to the league.”
The wake-up call came Saturday night. The Tommies won their first two road games the weekend before, but on Saturday they fell to the Université de Moncton Aigles 6-1. Kenya Marcelline got the lone goal for the Tommies.
“We lacked intensity. We were out-worked,” said Apperson.
Between the posts, STU has two rookie goaltenders: Taylor Cook and Abby Clarke. Cook played Saturday and faced 44 shots.
“It’s always a little nervous having two rookie goaltenders in, but they’ve done very well. They’re both very capable goaltenders,” said head coach Peter Murphy.
Another valuable addition is Marina Sergina from Russia. Sergina played for the Russian national team and competed in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
“She’s somebody who’s explosive. She can make something happen on her own or she can work with other players on the ice to create a scoring chance,” said Murphy. “Her line will come along and they’ll benefit from her experience.”
Murphy also expects Lauren Henman to make an impact. In the Tommies’ second game of the season, she scored the game-winner against Dalhousie to make it 4-3.
“She’ll turn some heads in the crowd,” said Murphy.
Last year, the Tommies had the chance to play at CIS nationals as the host team. Murphy said those games showed that his team’s biggest weakness was goal scoring.
Apperson thinks the national experience helps the team know what they need to reach that level.
“We understand what it takes to be there,” said Apperson. “We hope to be in the top two throughout the year.”
The loss will put them behind the Aigles, but they will still conclude the weekend with a 3-1 record as they beat UPEI on Sunday.
“We need to get a little sharper,” said Murphy. “ But I think we’re right there. As you play more teams, you’ll get a better feel for where you’re going to sit, but right now we’re quite optimistic.”
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