by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the final cross-town matchup of the 2019-20 season, the Dalhousie Tigers once again played host to the Saint Mary's Huskies at the Forum on Friday. It took a second overtime frame to find a winner, but the Huskies came away with a 5-4 win.
It was a back and forth game for much of the first period, with both sides holding short stints of pressure in the attacking zone, but neither team was able to create much of a scoring chance.
Late in the period, Caitlin Pejkovic (Sherwood Park, AB) found Taylor Keeping (Hackett's Cove, NS) with a beautiful breakout chip-pass off the boards, and Keeping broke into the Tigers end and fired a quick near-side shot under the arm of Kaelyn Budden (Halifax, NS) to open the scoring for the Huskies.
It took less than two minutes for the Tigers to find the equalizer before the end of the period as Kennedy Whelan (Alliston, ON) picked up a neutral-zone turnover and made a nifty short-side move to lift a tight shot over the shoulder of the Huskies keeper to make it 1-1 heading into the second period.
It didn't take long for the offence to come out in the second period, as Miranda Hatt (Regina, SK) picked up a turnover at the attacking blue-line to break into the Tigers zone on a 2-on-1 chance. Hatt drove to toward the corner and found Laura Horwood (Grandfalls-Windsor, NL) in the high slot to one-time the shot home for a 2-1 lead in the opening minutes of the second.
The Tigers were given a prime opportunity to answer the goal again as they found themselves with nearly a minute and a half of 5-on-3 time, but the Huskies penalty-kill was strong to limit the Tigers chances and kill off the advantage.
Instead, it was the Huskies who were able to convert on a power play chance, as Shae Demale (Red Deer, AB) stepped off the half-wall and wired a low shot through a big crowd in front and under the pad of Budden for a big 3-1 lead as they went into the third period.
This time it was the Tigers who were able to open the period with a goal. On an early power play opportunity, Lauren Ellerton hammered a hard shot from the point that found the inside of the post after making its way through a crowd to bring the Tigers within one.
The Tigers once again were given an extended 5-on-3 chance, and as they worked the puck around the perimeter, they closed in on the slot for Ariana Pinchuk (Sherwood Park, AB) to rip a hard shot into the right-side corner to even the game up at 3-3.
With just over a minute to go in the third period, Natalie Stanwood drove into the attacking end with Danika Phillips trailing behind her. Stanwood patiently worked toward the corner to allow Phillips to create space in the slot and found her for the easy tap-in goal to take a dramatic 4-3 lead.
With the game looking like it was already over, the Huskies with an empty net caused a scramble in front of the Tigers goal where the puck was picked up by Horwood in the crease to even up the game with just 12 seconds left to send it to overtime.
It took a full overtime period, and moving to 3-on-3 overtime to find the winner, but after a faceoff win in the attacking zone, Caleigh Meraw (Red Deer, AB) ripped a slapshot over the shoulder of Budden to give the Huskies the win.
The Tigers are right back on the ice tomorrow as they host UNB, while the Huskies will travel to take on StFX tomorrow.