X-Women face tough goalie in shootout loss to Reds

Photo credit James West
Photo credit James West

(FREDERICTON, NB) Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, BC) put on a show with a stellar 59-save performance to help lead the UNB REDS to a 2-1 shootout victory over the STFX X-Women on Saturday afternoon at UNB's Aitken Centre.

"She's incredible every game and we have so much confidence in her," said REDS forward Ashley Stratton (Mount Pearl, NL). "It's unbelievable the things that she can do. We have a lot of trust in her and she played excellent today."

The REDS relied on their veteran goaltender, who was under constant pressure from a strong X-Women attack.

"STFX is a very offensive team, and we knew they were going to have a lot of shots on net today," said Woodland. "I thought overall we came together as a group near the end. It was a pretty crazy game in all, but all that matters is we got the win."

The X-Women had several chances, outshooting the REDS 17-6 in the first frame, but were unable to solve Woodland.

The X-Women were finally able to beat her at 8:37 of the second period when Maggy Burbidge (Falmouth, NS) was able unload a wrist shot that beat the REDS netminder short side, on the power-play. 

"It was a nice little seam play we were able to capitalize on," said STFX head coach Ben Berthiaume. "When Maggy gets time and space from that spot she' pretty lethal and she was able to find space shot side,"

Heading into the third period and being heavily outshot, it looked like it was going to be difficult for the REDS to come back in the game.

That was until Stratton was able to corral her own rebound on a 3-on-1 break and put it past X-Women netminder Amaya Giraudier (Assiniboia, SK) at the 7:32 mark.

"It was a nice rush by my linemates that ended up giving us a 3 on 1," said Stratton. "It was tic tac toe from there. I was able to put in the rebound. It was a good feeling to tie it up."

Woodland continued to hold her team in the game making, a number of key saves down the stretch sending the game to overtime.

Overtime solved nothing, and the game was decided in the shootout.

Lily George (Nipissing First Nation) was the shootout hero as she was able to beat Giraudier five-hole to put UNB ahead, while Woodland stopped all three X-Women shooters to give the REDS the victory.

"I had full confidence in Lily going into the shootout," said Woodland. "It was definitely a lot of pressure off me once that one went in and gave me a lot of confidence to face the final two shooters."

The REDS sweep their weekend homestand and move to 16-1-1-1 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and will host on the St. Thomas Tommies on Wednesday night.

"I think playing a full 60 is big for our team," said Woodland. "It's playoff hockey from here on out, and we need to be able to play a full 60 minutes and give our 100-percent all."

With the loss, STFX falls to 12-3-1-1 and will face the Dalhousie Tigers, in Halifax, on Friday.

"We had a lot of quality chances in this game that really showed our consistency as a group today which is a big thing we've been working on," said Berthiaume. "That's a huge positive for us and if we can continue to perform like that it's going to lead to success for us."


RECAP BY: Evan Richtsfeld/UNB Athletics