X-Women hockey advance to AUS final with 5-3 victory over Tommies

Photo courtesy St. Thomas sports information
Photo courtesy St. Thomas sports information

Fredericton, NB – The StFX X-Women defeated the St. Thomas Tommies 5-3 Tuesday evening to win their Subway AUS semifinal series 2-1, punching their ticket to the Subway AUS best-of-three final series against the Saint Mary's Huskies.

All wins in the semifinal series came from the visiting team as the X-Women took Game 1 by a 6-2 score in Fredericton and the Tommies won Game 2 in Antigonish 2-0.

X-Women fifth year captain Kara Power (New Glasgow, NS), the Subway player of the game, scored two goals for the X-Women in Game 3, as did forward Jenna MacDonald (Osgoode, ON). Power leads all AUS scorers in playoff points with 10 (six goals, four assists).

She opened the scoring in the game with a power play goal at 6:03 of the first period, off a nice feed from Daley Oddy (Cranbrook, BC). Nicole Halladay (Smith Falls, ON) also picked up an assist on the goal.

The Tommies came right back and potted a goal of their own from Subway player of the game Lauren Henman (Cow Bay, NS). Emily Oleksuk (Thunder Bay, ON) and captain Kelty Apperson (New Hamburg, ON) assisted.

Only 14 seconds later the X-Women came back up ice and MacDonald sniped her first goal of the game, giving the X-Women back their one-goal edge. Linemates Lydia Schurman (Summerside, PE) and Emily Power (Airdrie, AB) had helpers on the play.

Schurman then connected again with MacDonald on her second goal of the night at 14:35 of the first period.

Oleksuk pulled the Tommies to within a goal when she tallied a power play marker at 16:10, from Eliza Snider (Fort Saskatchewan, SK) and Henman.

The 3-2 StFX lead held after the first period as they outshot the Tommies 8-3 in the opening 20 minutes.

Kara Power put the X-Women up 4-2 scoring 2:53 into the second period, beating Tommies goaltender Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL) top corner on a breakaway after taking a pass from defenseman Heather Tillsley (Aurora, ON).

The momentum stayed with the X-Women throughout the period as they scored another insurance marker from Emily Power at 14:54 from Schurman and Tillsley, taking a commanding 5-2 lead into the locker room during second intermission.

The Tommies tried to rally and come back in the third period as they could see their AUS season slipping away. Henman scored on the power play at 16:56 from Oleksuk and Jessie McCann (Grand Bay, NB) but that was as close as they could get as the X-Women took the win.

Ariana Orasanin (Ancaster, ON), with 16 saves on the night, picked up her fourth playoff victory of the season.

Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL) took the loss in the Tommies net with 20 saves.

As the AUS second place and U SPORTS ranked No. 6 Tommies find their 2016-17 AUS come to an end, the AUS third place X-Women advance to the Subway AUS final, looking to knock off the first place Saint Mary's Huskies.

The schedule for the best-of-three final series will be announced in the coming days.