By: Sean Crocker, BA'19
The Saint Mary's Huskies downed the St. Thomas University Tommies 2-1 in game two of the AUS women's hockey best-of-three semifinal series Saturday night at the Grant-Harvey Centre.
The Tommies came into the game down 1-0 in the series, and with the win the Huskies advance to the best-of-three championship series and earn a berth to the U SPORTS National Championships.
The Huskies opened the scoring when Mary Worndl found a loose puck in a mad scramble in front of the net and slid it under Abby Clarke for a 1-0 lead.
Tommies head coach Peter Murphy was pleased with his team's performance throughout the game and the season.
"The girls had a great season," he said. "We faced some adversity in the second half of the season, we had some tough games all at once, but it was just a matter of not coming out on the winning end."
The Tommies' top line found the back of the net in the second period when Olivia Reid buried the puck in a scrum to knot the score at 1-1.
Clarke was stellar in net for the Tommies, making 28 saves in the contest.
"She played well all through the playoffs for us," Murphy said. "Abby's played well all season, and her numbers show she's been very good."
The Tommies came up short on a few chances, hitting the crossbar to keep the game even.
"Becky Conner hit a crossbar, but that's how you keep her off the scoresheet," Murphy said. "If she had the opportunity, she would have put it in the net."
The Huskies scored the go ahead marker in the third period when Nicole Blanche netted her first of the series on the powerplay, putting the Huskies up 2-1 midway through the frame.
The Tommies struggled to generate offense and despite their efforts weren't able to close the gap.
With the season over for the Tommies, Murphy is looking to the future and what it will take to bring the Tommies back to the AUS finals.
"We're going to bring two defenders in," Murphy said. "We are bringing in a few new players, so it'll be very competitive to see who gets ice time."