Tommies edge Panthers Saturday night in AUS action

Tommies edge Panthers Saturday night in AUS action

The St. Thomas University Tommies edged the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 2-1 in AUS women's hockey action Saturday night. 

The Panthers were all over the Tommies in the early going and broke the deadlock when rookie sensation, Jolena Gillard (Deer Lake, NL) ripped a loose puck home past Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL), putting the Panthers ahead 1-0. 

Head Coach Peter Murphy mentioned the importance of capitalizing on their scoring opportunities this weekend and moving forward.  

"They're two different teams and two different styles of play," said Murphy. "There weren't many clean chances both ways, so chances were hard to come by." 

The Tommies responded a period later when Mariah Carey (Horton, NS) was given a slick feed from Megan Pardy (Courtice, ON), forcing the game back to a tie. 

The powerplay kept on rolling for the Tommies when Alisha Gilbert (Chipman, NB) hacked away at the loose puck and found the twine to give her team their first lead of the night, 2-1. 

"Today we had a lot of unlikely scorers," said Murphy. "I was pleased, but we need to be a little sharper towards the end of the game." 

With the win, the Tommies lock down a first-round bye and will look to close in on the top seed with one more win.  

"Whichever seed you get you're going to say that's the one we wanted," said Murphy. "We just have to keep playing good hockey." 

The Tommies have a pair of crucial games heading into the playoffs coming up against the Saint Mary's Huskies and St. Francis Xavier X-Women.  

"When we play them, you don't have to tell the girls they have to be on their A-game. Saint Mary's is important because they're a potential opponent long term, they're ready for us and we need to be ready for them."  

The Tommies are back in action this Friday when they pay a highly anticipated visit to Halifax to take on the Saint Mary's Huskies at 7:00pm. UPEI hosts Mount Allison on Wednesday night for a midweek tilt with puck drop set for 7:00pm.