Antigonish, NS – The Mount Allison Mounties almost played spoiler and snapped the StFX X-Women's winning streak, but the AUS first place X-Women prevailed with a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon at the Keating Centre in the final game of the regular season.
Up until that point, the X-Women had been fighting from behind the entire game.
The Mounties used special teams to their advantage, scoring all three goals on the power play.
They scored one in the first period and another midway through the second period to take a 2-0 lead over the U SPORTS No. 9 ranked StFX X-Women.
Their first goal came with only 1:13 left in the opening period as Lauren Shaw (Sackville, NB) scored on the man-advantage, lifting a backhander over the shoulder of X-Women goaltender Cassidy McEwen (Lloydminster, AB).
Despite being outshot 16-7 in the first period, it was the Mounties who took the 1-0 lead into the locker room at intermission.
They added to the lead with their second power play marker at 10:20 of the second period as Samantha Jarron (Ajax, ON) scored on a screened shot from the point.
The X-Women responded a minute later and finally got on the board. Lea MacLeod made a nice move to bring the puck into the Mounties zone and get around the defenders, and after her shot on goal was saved by Bianca Zak (Stonewall, MB), McKinley was on the door step to put the rebound in.
All-Canadian defense Lindsey Donovan (Mirimichi, NB) knotted things up at 17:55 on a blast from the point that beat Zak.
The 2-2 score held up after 40 minutes as the X-Women outshot the Mounties 18-6 in the second period.
The feisty Mounties regained the lead 1:58 into the third period on another power play goal as Jarron notched her second of the game as she went through the StFX zone uncontested and scored on a nice shot from the slot.
Fourth year X-Women forward Kate Gotaas (Sherwood Park, AB) evened the game at 3-3 three minutes later as she was on the receiving end of a nice passing play by Donovan and Chloe Vukosa (Mississauga, ON).
The teams continued to battle throughout the third period until McKinley, the Subway Player of the Game, scored the deciding goal.
Final shots in the game were 46-18 as Zak made several key saves for her squad and was awarded the game's second star. StFX's Schurman was the third star with a pair of assists.
With the win the X-Women close out the AUS season with a 22-5-1 record, tied with Saint Mary's for first place in the standings. The Huskies will get the nod as the top seed heading into AUS playoffs as they have the tie breaker over the X-Women.
Both teams will await the quarterfinal winners for their semifinal opponents, having some time off before their best-2-of-3 series begin.
Meeting in the AUS quarterfinals will be the third place UPEI Panthers (20-7-1) against the sixth place Moncton Aigles Bleues (7-18-2), and the fourth place UNB Reds (18-9-1) against the fifth place St. Thomas Tommies (13-14-1).
Courtesy StFX Sports Information