Meropoulis nets hat trick in 5-2 win over Tigers

File photo - courtesy Kendra Vigneau
File photo - courtesy Kendra Vigneau

Halifax, NS – In mid-week hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the StFX X-Women at the Halifax Civic Centre. The X-Women were able to find goals early in each period, helping them to a 5-2 victory over the Tigers. Freshman X-Women forward Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, AB) had a hat trick in the game to contribute to the victory.

It didn't take long to find the opening goal of the contest, with the X-Women applying pressure right off the opening draw. After a little chip shot missed the net and banked off the end board, a scramble ensued in the crease with Fabianna Petricca (Woodbridge, ON) and two other Tigers defenders down in the crease, but Lea MacLeod (Dartmouth, NS) was there as well to jam the puck through the crowd.

The Tigers were given a prime opportunity to make up the goal, with a nearly two minute 5-on-3 power play midway through the period, but they had trouble keeping the puck in the attacking end without having to reset in the neutral zone and the penalties were killed off.

In 4-on-4 play, the Tigers were finally able to get their first scoring chance of the game, and they made it count. After a battle along the side boards, the puck came free for Taylor Joyce (Halifax, NS) to pick up at the top of the circle and fire a hard wrist shot under the blocker of Cassidy McEwen (Lloydminister, AB) to even it up at 1-1.

It looked as though that would be it for the first period, but with just under a minute to go, a seemingly harmless dump in from Annika Rose (North Vancouver, BC) at center ice was a knuckleball heading toward McEwen. It looked as though McEwen would be able to stop it with her chest, but the puck took a dive and ended up going five-hole to give the Tigers a surprise 2-1 lead heading into the second.

Once again the X-Women had a strong opening to the period, holding possession in the Tigers zone when a pass came from the point for MacLeod at the right faceoff dot. MacLeod took her time and sent a beautiful pass to the top of the crease for Lindsey Donovan (Miramichi, NB) to redirect to the opposite side and make it 2-2.

A fantastic play from their own end, StFX started with a great breakout pass from Santana Gravelle (Lumsden, SK) through the neutral zone to Emerson Elliott (Aurora, ON) who was streaking along the left side boards. Elliott broke into the Tigers zone and found Meropoulis with her and sent a pass across the slot for Meropoulis to finish off the beautiful play and take the lead.

The Tigers came close the finding the equalizer midway through the period as a turnover in the attacking end was collected by Keana Oshowy (Woodbridge, ON) at the point and she sent a hard shot toward goal that got over the shoulder of McEwan, but rang off the crossbar and out of harm's way.

Late in the period, the X-Women found the back of the net again when Donovan sprang Meropoulis from her own blue-line on a partial breakaway. Meropoulis broke into the Tigers zone with speed and made a move to fake to the backhand and came back to the forehand and took a low shot. Petricca was able to get a piece of it as she was going the opposite way, but the puck slowly slid over the line, making it 4-2 in favour of the X-Women at the end of the second period.

The story remained the same in the third period with the X-Women once again finding an early goal in the final frame. Meropoulis carried the puck into the attacking zone and was able to beat a Tigers defender to come one-on-one against Petricca. Petricca made a poke checking stab at the puck on her way down, but it opened up the five-hole for Meropoulis to send home the hat-trick goal.

The Tigers were unable to generate scoring chances in the final period, and as a result, the X-Women came away with the 5-2 win.

Tyra Meropoulis was the clear choice to be named Subway Player of the Game in this one with a hat-trick performance, including the eventual game winner.

The Tigers will look to bounce back on Friday when they host Mount Allison at the Civic Arena. The X-Women will be back at home on Saturday when they face off against Moncton.


Courtesy Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Sports Information