The St. Thomas University women’s hockey team outmatched the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleu at the Grant-Harvey Centre Jan. 22, 3-0.
When the puck dropped the Tommies didn’t hesitate. Forward Stephanie Goertzen broke forward, netting the first goal in one minute and 30 seconds with their first shot. This quickly followed with another Tommies goal from forward Mariah Carey, who put it in after a battle in front of the net.
Goertzen, one of the Tommies’ new additions this season, said the credit for her goal should be shared.
“[Emma] Wilson made a really nice pass across,” she said.
“We play really well together. We both know where each other will be, so we’re finding each other on the ice a lot.”
The second period opened with another breakaway. Tommies’ goaltender Caroline Pietrowski rejected the shot with a pad save.
The Tommies faced a more challenging period after the Aigles Bleu returned from the dressing room to start the second period. Megan Pardy received a four-minute penalty for high sticking, leaving the Tommies shorthanded early.
Taking advantage, UdeM forced the game into the Tommies’ end. The defence combination of Florence Awde and Paige Jackson led the penalty kill, constantly firing the puck out of their zone.
The period finished with a quick burst of energy from the Aigles Bleu, who finally pushed through the Tommies’ defence. Pietroski made multiple saves after the puck was fought for in front of her net, stopping the play with her glove.
After spending most of the game in their end, UdeM’s frustration began to show in the last period. Aigle Bleu’s Gabrielle Saulnier finished the previous period with hooking penalty, leaving the Tommies with the majority of a power play to start the third.
Using a two woman-advantage, the Tommies mirrored their first-period style and circled their opponent’s net. Emily Oleksuk held on for a second before passing it to Woods, who landed a hard shot into the back of the net. The pressure continued, with Awde nearly netting a fourth goal for the Tommies.
Tommies’ Coach Peter Murphy was impressed with his team’s performance.
“We played a better team game, a little more support on the puck,” he said.
“I thought the first period we were really strong, it might have been the best best period we’ve played so far this term.”
Murphy also said the rookies on the team, including Goertzen and Wilson are meeting expectations set for them.
“The rookies are doing well. They’ve been asked to play a lot more than they would in a normal university team. We’ve been very pleased with all of them.”