The St. Francis Xavier University X-Women have taken a one game lead in the best of three Atlantic University Sport women's hockey finals, thanks to a 4-0 win over the St. Thomas Tommies.
Both teams came out physical to start the game and were rewarded with seven penalties in the first 20 minutes of play.
The X-Women took full advantage of a Becky Conner (St. Paul, MB) roughing penalty as Lydia Schurman (Summerside, PE) scored the first goal of the game, with assists coming from Emily Power (Airdrie, AB) and Lindsey Donovan (Miramichi, NB).
The game was much the same for the second period, as the parade to penalty box continued, and StFX would capitalize on another power-play when Sarah Bujold (Riverview, NB) pounced on a loose puck in the slot and slid it past Tommies goaltender, Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL).
"It's difficult," said St. Thomas head coach Peter Murphy about the penalties. "You can't roll your lines. You have players who don't play power play or kill penalties so they're cold."
After the second period StFX held the advantage in shots as well, up 33-18.
The Tommies struggled to get any consistent pressure in the X-Women zone, and at the 10:59 mark of the period Tyra Merolpoulis (Edson, AB) stole the puck and quickly shot short side on Clarke to push the lead to 3-0. From there StFX locked it down defensively and Emerson Elliott (Aurora, ON) sealed the game with an empty net goal.
Carley Molnar (London, ON) made 25 saves in the shutout, while Clarke made 36 in the loss.
"We had our opportunities for sure," added Murphy. "I don't think that final score is indicative of the game in any way. They were able to capitalize on some power plays and we were not."
Game two will shift to Antigonish, NS on Tuesday, March 5th where the X-Women can clinch the AUS title with a win.