Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Women picked up their fourth consecutive win with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Moncton Aigles Bleues Friday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
The X-Women dominated possession in the opening five minutes of play and generated several shots on goal but none that beat Aigles Bleues netminder Audrey Berthiaume (St-Bruno, QC).
They finally found the back of the net at 9:54 when Lea MacLeod (Dartmouth, NS) tipped in a shot from the point by Santana Gravelle (Lumsden, SK). Kristen McKinley (Rothesay, NB) also assisted as she did a nice job digging the puck out of the corner and getting it to Gravelle. McKinley was strong on the X-Women fore check all period.
The 1-0 score held up at first intermission as the X-Women outshot the Aigles Bleues 16-6.
The second period was back and forth action as both teams earned scoring chances. Cassidy McEwan (Lloydminster, AB) was sharp in the X net as she turned aside a point blank shot from Gabrielle Saulnier (Memramcook, NB) midway through the period in Moncton's best scoring chance of the period.
The Aigles Bleues had a power play opportunity with five minutes left in the period but were unable to solve McEwan.
The 1-0 scoreline held up after 40 minutes of play as the second period was scoreless. Shots favored the X-Women 14-8 in the middle frame.
StFX added to their lead 5:32 into the third period when Lindsey Donovan (Mirimichi, NB) connected with team-leading scorer Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, AB) who notched her 11th goal of the season. After picking off an Aigles Bleues clearing attempt, Donovan got the puck down low to Meropoulis who followed up on her own rebound to tuck the puck past Berthiaume.
The Aigles Bleues pressured to get on the board and back into the game and had several big shots on net while on the man advantage with six minutes left in the period but McEwan and the X-Women held them off.
Moncton pulled Berthiuame with a minute and a half left in favour of the extra attacker but the X-Women responded with an empty net goal with 34 seconds left as Donovan fired a long shot down the ice and into the net.
Final shots in the game were 38-24 in favour of StFX McEwan held on for the shutout victory.
Berthiuame was the third star of the game with 35 saves. X-Women defense Hannah MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) earned second star honours while forward Meropoulis was the first star and Subway player of the game.
The X-Women will be back on the ice Sunday afternoon as they travel to Halifax for a 3:00 pm game against the Saint Mary's Huskies.
The Aigles Bleues will be in Halifax Saturday night to face-off against the Dalhousie Tigers. Puck drop is 7:00 pm.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information