Hunter, Oleksuk shine as Tommies down Panthers 3-1

Hunter, Oleksuk shine as Tommies down Panthers 3-1

The St. Thomas University Tommies downed the first place University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, 3-1 in AUS women's hockey action Saturday night at the Grant Harvey Centre.  

The Panthers opened the scoring on a bullet from Taylor Gillis, beating rookie goalie, Marandee Hunter, on her glove side. 

The Tommies responded early in the second period when Emily Oleksuk found the back of the net on the powerplay, giving the Tommies their first marker with the advantage. 

St. Thomas had gone 0 for 31 to start the season on the powerplay.  

"We were using more motion at the top trying to generate more shots," Tommies head coach Peter Murphy said of the powerplay. "When your powerplay goes cold, there are a lot of reasons why that could happen, but you just have to keep practicing." 

The Tommies did not stop there when Alexandra Swift let a shot go from the point, only to have it redirected in front by Olivia Reid. It was a big night for the top line of Mariah Carey, Reid, and Oleksuk, as they combined for all three goals and were a +6 on the night 

"We were getting chances, but we just weren't capitalizing on them," said Reid. "After Oleskuk got her goal today, that gave us some confidence."  

Oleksuk rounded out the scoring when she redirected an Alex Woods shot on the powerplay to put the game out of reach for the Panthers, helping the Tommies to bring their record to 4-4 on the season.  

"With us, adversity always helps us," said Murphy. "We missed a few bodies in the lineup at times last year, and in there came a 12-game winning streak." 

Hunter got the nod for the Tommies after Caroline Pietroski came off a 2-1 victory over the Reds on Wednesday. 

Hunter stopped 29 shots of the 30 she faced, continuing to start her AUS career off in stellar fashion. 

Camille Scherger, at the other end, came into the contest as the top goalie in AUS, supporting a 0.83 goals-against-average, with a .961 save percentage. 

"I want to be like that," Hunter said of Scherger. "I always want to step my game up to try and best the other goaltenders to try and become that good myself." 

The Tommies are back in action next Saturday when they pay a visit to the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus at 7:00pm in a cross provincial rivalry.