Women’s hockey hopeful after a tough weekend

The St. Thomas University women’s hockey team continued their pre-season this weekend with a pair of exhibition games against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers and the Université de Moncton Eagles.

Friday night the Panthers were in town, looking to beat the Tommies again after a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win on Sept. 24.

St. Thomas struggled early into the game, as UPEI came out with lots of energy, scoring just four minutes into the game from Ashtyn Bartlett’s backhander that got past Tommies goaltender Taylor Cook. The Tommies were given two powerplay opportunities in the first but were unable to capitalize.

STU started the period with a penalty 54 seconds in. UPEI wasted no time and scored another goal.

St. Thomas tried to answer back, having a powerplay with 16:15 remaining, with Paige Jac

(The women’s hockey team struggled this weekend against UPEI and UdeM: Shannon Cornelius/AQ)

kson netting the Tommie’s first goal of the game. Teah Anderson and Danielle Ring were awarded with assists.

This momentum carried into the third, as St. Thomas played with tremendous energy. This lead to tying the game up at 2 with Kaylee Vader scoring a beautiful goal, cutting in front of the net and finishing with the backhand. However, UPEI quickly responded scoring just three minutes later.

The final score was 3-2 for UPEI.

St. Thomas was back in action the next day, taking on the Université de Moncton Eagles. STU came out with another slow start, as the Eagles scored two unanswered goals right off the bat. Tommies captain Emily Oleksuk scored off the rebound to bring her team right back into the game with Lauren Henman and Olivia Reid getting an assist.

The two teams competed hard for the rest of the game, but no one was able to score again. Oleksuk had another golden chance, being awarded a penalty shot after being tripped up on a breakaway.

“It was the right call,” said coach Mike Murphey, who is in his 16th year with the team.

“You get one penalty shot called for in a game you’re pretty lucky,” he said. Oleksuk made a slick move but hit the left post.

The game ended with a 2-1 UdeM win.

“The girls had a much better effort today,” Murphey said afterwards. “We ended up on the short end of the scoreboard but exhibition is all about progressing as you go through.”

St. Thomas will have their regular season home opener Oct. 20 against St. Francis Xavier University.

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