By: Sean Crocker, BA'19
Emily Oleksuk tallied three powerplay points to help snap the St. Thomas Tommies seven-game losing skid, powering them to a 3-1 win over the Mount Allison Mounties.
The game marked the regular season finale for the Tommies, who locked down the third seed in AUS. They will face the UPEI Panthers in the first round of the playoffs.
The Tommies struck first on the powerplay when Alex Woods crashed the net and put the puck over Keri Martin to give the Tommies a 1-0 lead.
Woods tallied two points on the night, giving her a team-leading 22 points.
"She's dominant on the ice," said Tommies head coach Peter Murphy. "I don't know if there are any other defenders who dominate the same way she does. She's getting smarter with how she uses her speed and creativity."
The Tommies extended their lead to 2-0 when Oleksuk netted the STU squad's second powerplay marker of the game.
The Tommies held the two-goal lead until midway through the second period when Jessica Desautels scored on a tight angle to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Mounties drew a full two minute five-on-three powerplay shortly after their first marker, but the Tommies held their ground to kill off the powerplay unscathed.
The Tommies opened the final frame on the powerplay and Oleksuk capitalized, potting her second of the night and putting the Tommies at three-for-three on the powerplay. The Tommies captain earned Subway Player of the Game honours for her three-point performance.
"She reads the ice well and has an idea on where to go," said Murphy. "She's been very strong, so we're looking forward to that going into the playoffs."
The Tommies will now prepare for their series against the Panthers, and Murphy stressed the mental work required to prepare for the postseason.
"The girls know the importance of playoffs," said Murphy. "We're going to do a few things to make sure we go in as a good cohesive unit."
The Panthers finished sixth in the conference with a league high seven overtime losses.
"They're a hard working team. It's just the way they are," Murphy said. "Sometimes you get too caught up in what they're going to do, so we just want to play our game.
The Tommies are in action February 13 when the Panthers visit the Grant-Harvey Centre for the first round of the AUS Playoffs. Game time is at 7:00pm.