The St. Thomas women’s hockey team played the Dalhousie Tigers in the first round of Atlantic University Sports playoffs Monday.
The Tommies played the Tigers four times in the regular season. The Tommies won the first two games of the season, while Dalhousie came away with the last two.
“There always seems to be some kind of rivalry between us,” said team captain Kelty Apperson. “Tension gets high, tempers get high, and it tends to get pretty rough out on the ice.”
The Tommies finished the season with a record of 10-10-4. The four overtime losses are the most in the league, with one against Dalhousie near the end of the season. Dalhousie scored on a power play in overtime to win the game.
“We definitely learned what we need to do, and what we need to accomplish,” said Apperson.
As the Tommies finished fourth in the AUS, they will get home ice advantage for the first round of playoffs. Game one is played in STU’s Grant Harvey Center. Game two will be played in Halifax on Thursday. If needed, game three will be back in Fredericton on Saturday.
“Home ice advantage is huge for us, because it will be the only round that we get it,” said Apperson.
If STU defeats Dalhousie, they will then play the Saint Francis Xavier X-Women, who finished with the best record in the AUS. Though the Tommies were unable to pull out a win against the X-Women, they did have close games.
“We’ve had some real nail bitters against them, but we haven’t played to our full potential against them. So even if we do come up against them, I think we’re all going to be really excited to show them that we’re not just a team that they usually beat,” said Apperson. “It’s not regular season anymore, so anything could happen.”
The Tommies haven’t played since Feb. 6, when they defeated the second place Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus 2-1. Tommies head coach Peter Murphy has used the time off the run high tempo practices to push his team to reach their full potential.
The first game of the playoffs was Monday night. See www.theaq.net for details on that game.