The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s hockey playoff has gone almost exactly as scripted through the first two rounds, with the top seeds winning each matchup.
The top seeded St. Thomas University Tommies will hope to keep that trend going, as they are set to faceoff against the second seeded St. Francis Xavier X-Women in a three-game series for the AUS title.
These two teams have played each other four times through the regular season, splitting the matchups, with the home team winning every game.
“I expect it to be a fast-paced series with both goalies having prominent roles,” said head coach Peter Murphy, this year’s AUS Coach of the Year. “The two teams have been very even all year, so it should be fun for the fans to watch.”
Both team’s starting goalies, Carley Molnar (StFX) and Abby Clarke (STU), finished in the top three in every major statistical category in the AUS. Clarke was named the AUS’s 2nd Team All-Star goaltender.
This season marks the fourth time over a five year span the X-Women will have reached the AUS finals, and it marks the Tommies first trip to the finals since the 2015-2016 season.
The Tommies have been dealing with injuries for the majority of the season and will face the X-Women with a full squad for the first time all season.
“I think execution will be key. Whoever can best execute their game plan will be successful. I believe we need to rely on our depth in this game and show a dedication to our team, our fans and supporters,” said Murphy. “We are very proud of the support we get from Tommies Nation and also from the university as a whole.”
The Tommies will open the series at home on Sunday, March 3rd at the Grant-Harvey Centre, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00pm. Game two will go on Tuesday, March 5th in Antigonish, NS and game three, if necessary, will swing back to Fredericton on Thursday, March 7th.