Fredericton, NB – Out of the four regular season games that had the St. Thomas University Tommies play the University of New Brunswick Reds, three of them ended with a score of 2-1 for the Tommies.
It was only fitting that the first game of their best of three Atlantic University Sport (AUS) semi-final finished 2-1 for the Tommies.
The opening period had STU control the play for the majority of the period, outshooting UNB 12-5 heading into the last minute, when Megan Pardy (Courtice, ON) took an interference penalty, sending the Reds to the power play. 47 seconds into the power play Hayley Hallihan (Miramichi, NB) slid the puck on net that squeaked between the legs of goaltender Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL).
"I went into the locker room and like I do every time, I asked the players how they felt that period went," said head coach Peter Murphy. "One of the players said, "I think that was a really good period" and I said I didn't have anything to tell them. Keep playing that way and good things will happen."
Murphy and the Tommies didn't have to wait long into the second period for those good things to happen as just five minutes into the frame Stephanie Ford (Cobourg, ON) got the game evened up for the "home" side. Alisha Gilbert (Chipman, ON) followed that with a goal of her own just 1:14 later, giving the Tommies a lead they wouldn't surrender.
"Woodland played well tonight," said Murphy. "Just like Abby, I'm sure they both want a second look at the first goals they let in. It's tough when those go in on good goalies, but sometimes that's the only way you score on them."
Clarke had 15 saves for the Tommies in the win, while Woodland (Kamloops, BC) made 28 saves in the loss.
The third period saw the Tommies forecheck come out in full force, limiting the opportunities for the Reds, as they could only muster five shots in the final 20 minutes.
Game three is scheduled for Monday night at 7:00pm at the Aitken Centre, and game three, if necessary, Wednesday February 27th back at the Grant-Harvey Centre.