By: Sean Crocker, BA'18
The St. Thomas University Tommies fell to the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 3-2 in AUS pre-season women's hockey action Friday night at the Grant-Harvey Centre.
The Panthers struck less than five minutes into the game when Ashtyn Bartlett buried the loose puck in the crease for a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers carried that lead to the end of the first period.
Tommies head coach Peter Murphy admitted it was not their best period of play in the pre-season.
"The first period is something I'd rather not see again," he said. "It was only our second game so it was okay. Some of our rookies still need to learn how to be physical at this level."
The Panthers were quick to extend their lead at the start of the second period with Jessie Brown scoring on the power play off a backdoor pass.
The Tommies countered with a power play goal of their own from defender Paige Jackson, who found the back of the net to cut the lead in half.
"The girls know how important that second shift is," Murphy said. "Even if it's just getting into the zone and getting a shot. Just getting something positive is important."
The Tommies took an early penalty to start the third only to kill it off and respond with a goal from Kaylee Vader to tie the game at 2-2.
"I thought the third period was the best period she's played," Murphy said of the rookie. "I was pleased with the goal and hopefully that gets her into the groove."
The Panthers responded moments later when Sydnee Baker scored to regain the lead midway through the period.
The Panthers held on to win 3-2 as the Tommies fell just short of the tying mark late in the third period.
"Tomorrow it's not necessarily about the result, but we need a better start," Murphy said. "We need a first period that looks a little like our third period, and then we'll go from there."
The Tommies are back in action Saturday afternoon when the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleues visit the Grant-Harvey Centre at 3:00pm.