Tommies hold on to third place, moving further away from Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s in the push for the playoffsBranden Andersen – The Aquinian
sThe St. Thomas women’s hockey team won a crucial game at home over the weekend by beating the St. Mary’s Huskies by a score of 4-3 in a shootout. Before the game the two teams were tied for third place in the AUS with 24 points each with three games remaining in the season. With the win the Tommies gained some breathing room on the Huskies and the Dalhousie Tigers.
The Tommies had a solid first period as they controlled most of the action. Both teams crashed the net a lot, which led to many scoring chances. Unfortunately for Julia Sharun and Jillian MacIsaac, however, this also led to them being run over several times. The referee let the teams play though, leading to a wide-open game with frustrated players and lots of rough stuff.
STU’s forecheck gave them a lot of scoring chances and overwhelmed the SMU defence. Eventually it led to SMU taking a lazy tripping call putting STU on the powerplay. Just as the penalty expired Kathleen Boyle made a great play to keep the puck in the zone and feed Caroline Hammerheim. Hammerheim walked in and sniped one high glove side to put the Tommies up 1-0. Shots through one were 13-9 STU with both goalies putting on a show.
The second period was more of the same as the Tommies’ forecheck continued to impress. Jillian MacIsaac kept her team in the game though, coming up with several point-blank saves on odd-man rushes and one-timers. This fired up her teammates and they knotted the game up with about 8 minutes to play in the frame. Melissa Young picked up a loose puck on the doorstep and shovelled it home to knot up the score at one apiece.
Less than two minutes later SMU’s Rebecca Mosher took a holding call and sent STU back to the powerplay. The Tommies had been playing very well on the powerplay all game and moved the puck extremely well. This powerplay was no different and Katelyn Brewster redirected a Lyse Rossignol shot five-hole, bringing the Tommies bench to their feet and putting the STU up once again.
The game was getting fairly rough by mid-second period and several skirmishes in front finally made tempers boil over. A big body check in the corner led to a shoving match and off-setting penalties. It also led to a high-paced, aggressive start to the third period.
Just 1:16 in, Jenna Currie took a slashing call and ten seconds into the powerplay a shot from the point seemed to have eyes as it squeaked in. Katelyn Brewster got credit for the goal that put the Tommies ahead 3-1. The game slowed down slightly until about halfway through when a point shot handcuffed Julia Sharun and pulled the Huskies within one.
It didn’t take long for SMU to tie the game with that momentum. Kyla Thurston broke in on a breakaway and pulled Julia Sharun almost completely out of her crease with a sweet deke before dishing it into the empty net.
Play tightened up significantly until the end of regulation as the two teams geared up for overtime. The extra frame was chippy with a lot of play along the boards and in the neutral zone, but SMU controlled the play in general. Julia Sharun made some big saves and helped the Tommies hold on through overtime and into the shootout.
The Tommies scored on all three of their first shots and Julia Sharun stoned all SMU shooters but one as the Tommies would hold on for a 4-3 shootout victory.
The Tommies’ next home game is on Sunday, February 21 as they host UdeM. Puck drop is at 3:00.