MONCTON, NB – A goal by Sarah Bujold 44 seconds into overtime lifted the StFX X-Women to a 2-1 win over the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues in the second game of the AUS best-of-3 semifinals, Saturday evening at the J.-Louis-Lévesque Arena. With the win the X-Women take the semifinal series 2-0 and advance to the AUS championship series. Their opponent in the final best-of-3 series will be the Saint-Mary's Huskies who eliminated the St. Thomas Tommies in two games.
The win also punched a ticket to the U SPORTS national championship for the X-Women as the AUS conference has two berths in the eight-team event schedueld for March 15-18 at Western University in London, Ont.
Saturday's game saw Katryne Villeneuve (from Brittany Poitras and Marie-Pier Corriveau) score on the power play at the 43 second mark of the opening period, on a breakaway, to give a 1-0 lead to the Blue and Gold.
Nicole Halladay evened the score less than three minutes later. The game then progressed with no scoring in the second and third periods. Gabrielle Forget faced 34 shots on goal, including 15 in the second, in a losing cause for Moncton, while Carley Molnar made 20 saves in the X net for the win. Moncton was 1 for 5 on the power play and the StFX, 0 for 1.
"It was a very close game and Gabrielle (Forget) played well," Moncton head coach Denis Ross said. "We had a few difficulties during the game with our play, but in general, we lost against a better team than ours. They will represent the AUS well. I told the players ending their career not to look at the game tonight, but overall the years playing for our team. For those coming back, I instructed them to use this as gaining experience. Everything begins again in October."
According to X-Women head coach Ben Berthiaume, ''The series was very close. Moncton has a fast team like ours and tonight's game was no exception. We were lucky to win in overtime. In the championship series, we will use our speed and play well defensively. Saint Mary's will be a tough team. We will play one game at the time."
As first place finishers in the AUS regular season, StFX has home ice advantage and will host Game 1 of the Subway AUS final series against the Huskies. Game dates and times will be announced tomorrow.
Courtesy Normand Leger, UdeM Sports Information