by Kyle LaRusic
(Halifax, NS) – In Friday night women's hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the University of New Brunswick Reds at the Halifax Forum. The Reds special teams led them to a 5-2 victory.
The action was back and forth to start the game as each team had good chances to take the lead early. The Reds had an early chance in the period when they continued pressure in the Tigers defensive zone. After several seconds a scrum was created in front of the net but goalie Fabiana Petricca (Woodbridge, ON) stood her ground.
After battling off more pressure from the Reds, the Tigers were able to come down the ice and got a great cycle going of their own. The Tigers had a couple scoring chances but were stopped by Reds goalie Haley Martens (Ladysmith, BC).
Moments later, the Tigers opened the scoring after capitalizing on a partial breakaway from Kennedy Whelan (Alliston, ON). Whalen blazed up the right side after taking a breakout pass off the boards from Lauren Ellerton (Toronto, ON) and rifled it past Martens.
Play continued at a very high pace afterwards as play went on for several minutes without a whistle. Goalies on both ends made great saves to keep the score 1-0.
The Reds were able to draw even after Ashley Stratton (Mount Pearl, NL) scored right off a faceoff win. Stratton gained control of the puck and potted it in the back of the net.
Shortly after tying the game, the Reds were sent to the penalty box on a holding penalty. The Reds league leading penalty kill flexed their muscles and were able to kill off the penalty sending the two teams knotted at one heading into the intermission.
The second period began with rougher play from each team as both sides came out with a new fire., This boiled over with Frederike Cyr (Candiac, QC) picking up her second penalty of the night. The Tigers had a different idea for this power play as they were able to create pressure early. After regaining control from the Reds in the offensive zone, Isabella Weist (Torbay, NL) was able to break the tie as she scored short side for her first career AUS goal.
The Tigers went right back on the power play after the goal, but Martens was able to turn away any pucks thrown her way.
The Tigers were able to carry the momentum through much of the period as the team gave a strong collective effort on the fore check. However, the Reds weathered the heavy pressure and picked up a powerplay off a hooking call. The Reds strong power play struck early after a redirect by Myah Bowal (Terrace, BC) in front of the net to tie the game at two.
The Reds had a little more jump in their step after tying the game and pressured the Tigers late, however the home team stayed strong and were able to keep the game tied heading into the final frame.
The Reds did not waste anytime this period as they broke the tie early. After a save by Martens on Lowther, Alayana Wagstaff (Olds, AB) came down the other end and threw a puck on net that found its way in.
The Reds stayed hungry for more after the goal but Petricca made two good saves including a sharp angle shot from Marley Van Den Oetelaar (Whitby, ON).
The Tigers were able to come up with minor chances through the first half of the period however a penalty midway through sent them back to the box. After some nifty puck work in the Tigers end, Ashley Stratton was able to leave the puck for Hanna Matchett (Nanton, AB) who scored a beautiful goal over Petricca's glove.
After the goal, intensity picked up from both sides as there was three penalties called in three minutes which led to some four on four action. The Tigers had the best opportunity as Whalen picked off a pass in the offensive zone, but the shot was blocked at the last second.
With the Tigers down two, they opted to pull the goalie for the extra attacker with just over two minutes left. The Tigers created minor scoring chances however Jenna MacLean was able to put the puck into the empty cage for a 5-2 lead.
The Reds' Ashley Stratton earned Subway Player of the Game honours.
The Reds took the 5-2 win with a stellar 32-save performance from Hailey Martens.
The Tigers will travel to Mount Allison to take on the Mounties tomorrow while the Reds continue their five-game road trip tomorrow against StFX.