Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Women defeated the visiting St Thomas Tommies by a 2-0 scoreline in a Sunday matinee at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
The first period was an entertaining affair with StFX having more time in possession in the St. Thomas zone, while the main Tommies chances came via the counterattack. X-Women forward Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, AB) was buzzing early and often and it was a case of when rather than if she would score her ninth goal of the young season.
The goal would come at the 14:58 mark. StFX controlled the puck well in the Tommies end and defenceman Santana Gravelle (Lumsden, SK) put a shot through to the net. The shot found Meropoulis who switched from forehand to backhand before putting it into the net.
The Tommies had a number of two-on-one chances, with Olivia Reid (Aurora, ON) the main threat to score. On the back end, Alex Woods (Courtice, ON) was excellent in her own zone and made some fine breakout passes to send her forwards charging into the X zone.
The Tommies had two power-play chances. X-Women netminder, Madison McClure (Grand Falls, NB) was well positioned to make key saves, some harder than they might look, when the Tommies forwards found themselves in dangerous positions. Shots after the first period were 11-10 for StFX, with both goalies equally impressive.
The second period was a scoreless affair. The Tommies had two power-plays but were unable to convert. While they moved the puck nicely in the zone, it was mostly along the perimeter. The shots they did have were well-handled by McClure.
The young Tommies line of rookies Erin Arsenault (Oakville, ON) and Emma Wilson (Midhurst, ON), under the guidance of able sophomore Kaylee Vader (Sherwood Park, AB) created some of Tommies' most dangerous chances down low.
For StFX, veteran Lydia Schurman (Summerside, PE) used her great forechecking skills to give extra time in the offensive zone. Near the end of the period it looked like X would double their lead when Emma Thomas (Red Deer, AB) fired a shot from the point that was ably tipped by Jayden Thompson (Aurora, ON) but just sailed wide.
Not long after, the impressive two-way player Mariah Carey (Avonport, ON) found herself on the X-Women doorstep but could not solve McClure. After two periods of play shots favoured StFX 22-20.
The third period began with the X-Women on the power-play looking to extend their precarious one goal lead, but it was again Pietroski to the fore. StFX put 21 shots on the young netminder, compared to five for STU.
Throughout the period the defensive pairing of Amy Graham (Ottawa, ON) and Josie Chisholm (Antigonish, NS) continued their fine play in creating good chances in the offensive zone and being immaculate in their own zone. As the period wore on, players tired and both teams took careless penalties. St. Thomas had the first opportunity to draw even half-way through the period. StFX then had two power-plays but were again unable to score.
Time was now of the essence for the Tommies, who began to press in search of the equalizer, as Paige Jackson (Stoney Creek, AB) showed her impressive offensive skills to assist her forwards. Alas, the Tommies could not find the goal they deserved. With the net empty, Lacey DiMaulo (Okotoks, AB) scored into the empty net to seal the victory for the home side.
X-Women forward Lea MacLeod (Dartmouth, NS) earned third star honours in the game, while Tommies netminder Caroline Pietroski (Etobicoke, ON) was the second star, finishing with 41 saves on the afternoon. X-Women defense Lindsay Donovan (Miramichi, NB) was the first star and Subway player of the game.
The Tommies (5-5-0) will next see action when they host Saint Mary's Saturday, November 9th in Fredericton at 7:00 pm. StFX (6-3-1) will host UNB on Saturday in Antigonish, also at 7:00 pm.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information