Tommies Bested by Aigles Bleues 2-1 in AUS Exhibition Play

By: Sean Crocker, BA'18

The St. Thomas University Tommies were bested by the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleues 2-1 in AUS pre-season women's hockey action Saturday afternoon at the Grant-Harvey Centre.

The Aigles Bleues struck first when Brittany Poitras found the loose puck in a scramble in front of the Tommies' net to give her team a 1-0 lead.

Katherine Dubuc doubled the lead shortly after when she buried the puck from the top of the crease.

Tommies head coach Peter Murphy said the team got off to another slow start.

"I think they had the better chances early," Murphy said. "We caught up a bit late and we brought the shot total closer."

The Tommies responded when newly named captain Emily Oleksuk batted the puck behind goaltender Sabrina Lebrun to the back of the net to narrow the lead to 2-1 at the end of the first period.

The Tommies pressed for the tying goal throughout the second period, but weren't able to capitalize despite out-shooting the Aigles Bleues.

"We thought our effort level had to be higher," Murphy said. "Exhibition is all about playing and making sure you're progressing as you go through."

The Tommies struggled to convert on their opportunities as the 2-1 score stood to be the final.

"In the end, they're protecting a lead," said Murphy of the final minutes. "From a coaching standpoint, the chances were fifty-fifty in the third."

The two teams finished deadlocked in shots with 24 each with the Tommies dominating the final two periods outshooting the Aigles Bleus 19-12 in that span.

LeBrun earned the win in net for the Aigles Bleues with 23 saves, while Abby Clarke made 22 saves in a losing cause for the Tommies.

The Tommies are back in action tomorrow when they visit the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleues in Moncton.