Tommies take Game 1 of women's hockey semifinal series

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

ANTIGONISH, NS - The St. Thomas Tommies skated away with a close 3-2 win over the STFX X-Women in Game 1 of their Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women's hockey best-of-five semi-final series.

Tommies captain Ekaterina Pelowich (Stouffville, ON) was named player of the game for her two point effort, including an assist on the game winning goal.

The Tommies came out fast early in the opening period, but the X-Women matched their pace and the score remained even. St. Thomas had a powerplay midway through the period, but some strong forechecking by Kamdyn Switzer (Stittsville, ON) and Maggy Burbidge (Falmouth, NS) kept the visitors off the score sheet.

The X-Women had a powerplay of their own a few minutes later, but St. Thomas goalie Katie Sweeney (Tecumseh, ON) kept the door shut. The teams continued to play it tight, and the first period ended 0-0, with STFX leading in shots, 11-8.  

St. Thomas had an extended powerplay early in the second period, and while the Tommies hemmed the X-Women in the defensive zone for most of the four minutes, the home team prevented the visitors from taking advantage.

St. Thomas got on the board first late in the period, with Jacey Dane (Aurora, ON) potting one with just over two minutes to go, with Amy Dvernichuk (Regina, SK) and Aislynn Byers (Melancthon, ON) assisting.

Nadia Lavoie (St. Isidore, AB) found the back of the net for the Tommies again just over a minute later, with Pelowich getting the helper as the visitors took a quick 2-0 lead late in the period and carried the momentum with them into the final period.

The STFX X-Women came out fast early in the third period, and it was Burbidge who got them on the board, firing a shot from inside the faceoff circle while on the powerplay, with the assists going to Terryn Mozes (Kanata, ON) and Ireland McCloskey (Barrie, ON).

The Tommies replied quickly with a powerplay goal of their own, with third star Laura Brown (Scarborough, ON) scoring from close in with a shot from a sharp angle, off a pass from Pelowich. 

AUS rookie of the year McCloskey, who was named second star of the match, made it a one goal game with two and a half minutes to play, with Burbidge and Kallie Hastman (Calgary, AB) assisting.

STFX pulled goalie Amaya Giraudier (Assiniboia, SK) with two minutes to go, but they weren't able to find the equalizer. Shots at the end of the game were 36-30 in favour of STFX.

Sweeney made 34 stops for the win, while Giraudier had 27 saves while picking up the loss. The two teams return to the Charles V Keating Centre on Wednesday night for Game 2 of the series in Antigonish.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics