AUS Hockey

AUS Women’s Varsity Hockey Preview

Parent will be looking to shoot her team to another title

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

AUS Women’s Varsity Hockey Preview

With the regular season wrapped up and teams in their final playoff positions, it’s time to preview the playoffs and the drama about to unfold at the Dalhousie Memorial Arena.

Six teams will vie for a spot in Alberta at the 2012 CIS Women’s Hockey Championship, battling it out for a place in the finals on Sunday and the AUS crown.

St. Francis Xavier X-Women (20-4-0)

Lead by the offensive tandem of Alex Normore and Janelle Parent, St. FX is poised for yet another run at the AUS crown. Despite a challenge all season by second place Aigles Bleues, the X-Women held off the charge and secured first in the league through explosive offence and solid defence.

Leading Scorers: Alex Normore (24-31-55), Janelle Parent (26-33-49)

Head Coach: David Synishin (10th Season)

UdeM Aigles Bleues (16-5-3)

After a highflying start to the season,  Moncton cooled off down the stretch slumping to just four wins in their last ten games. Kathy Desjardins has been outstanding in net all season and lead all goaltenders with 13 wins. The offence has clipped along at a steady rate, scoring almost four goals a game.

Leading Scorers: Marie-M Poirier (24-12-36), Johannie Thibeault (8-23-31)

Head Coach: Dennis Ross

Mount Allison Mounties (14-6-3)

After a number of years at the bottom of the AUS, the Mounties made a surprise charge up the rankings and won their  last seven games, outscoring their opponents 35 to 14, with wins over both StFX and Moncton and a final season 9-1 win over Saint Mary’s.

Leading Scorers: Katelyn Morton (17-7-24), Ashlyn Somers (7-17-24)

Head Coach: Zach Ball (3rd Season)

UPEI Panthers (13-10-1)

Scoring by committee helped the Panthers all season, with Kelsey O’Donnell, Ferran Brown, Janelle McKenzie, Amber Gaudette, Keirstin Visser and Jessie Anne Howard all coming up when scoring was needed. Splitting time in net, Kristy Dobson and Bailey Toupin both played well, but Dobson carried the majority of play down the stretch and will need to step up and be counted in the playoffs.

Leading Scorers: Kelsey O’Donnell (8-12-20), Ferran Brown (9-9-18

Head Coach: Bruce Donaldson (3rd Season)

St. Thomas Tommies (11-12-1)

The Tommies rode consistency all season, their longest losing streak at three games early in the season, beating the top two teams 3-1 in their final four bouts.  To press on in the tournament, the Tommies will need Julia Sharun to continue her strong season between the pipes.

Leading Scorers: Kayla Blackmore (16-14-30), Danielle Miller (8-13-21)

Head Coach: Peter Murphy (10th Season)

Dalhousie Tigers (9-12-3) 

A change behind the bench for the Tigers resulted in a different style of play down the stretch, with All-time scorer Jocelyn Leblanc once again leading the charge. Finishing the season with three straight wins, the Tigers will be hoping to use the energy of a home-crowd to push into the finals on Sunday. The biggest bright spot will be the play of Robin Nicholson, who missed much of the season due to injury, but managed to score score 12 goals and end with 17 points in just 13 games.

Leading Scorers: Jocelyn Leblanc (23-12-35), Jenna Currie (5-20-25)

Head Coach: Sean Fraser (1st Season)

The tournament will kick off on Thursday, with host’s Dalhousie Tigers hosting league leading and defending champion St. Francis Xavier X-Women at 3pm. Check out all the games on SSN Canada, where Steve Betts and Henry Whitfield from the Sportstream team will have the call.

– – – –

Thursday, March 1st
Game #1: StFX (1st) vs. Dalhousie (6th), 3:00pm
Game #2: Moncton (2nd) vs. St. Thomas (5th), 7:00pm

Friday, March 2nd
Game #3: UPEI (4th) vs. Loser Game #1, 3:00pm
Game #4: Mount Allison (3rd) vs. Loser Game #2, 7:00pm

Saturday, March 3rd
Game #5: UPEI (4th) vs. Winner Game #1, 3:00pm
Game #6: Mount Allison (3rd) vs. Winner Game #2, 7:00pm

Sunday, March 4th
Championship Game: Pool “A” winner vs. Pool “B” winner, 2:00pm

– – –

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

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New Year, New Attitude: Tigers Win

 (Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

By: Henry Whitfield

Many were wondering what it would take for the Tigers to win another hockey game.

Apparently all they needed was a new Head Coach, a New Year and a new attitude.

Breaking a woeful 0-11 losing streak the Tigers rewarded new Head Coach Chris Donnelly with a hard-fought win over the St Thomas Tommies Friday night.

In just their third win over the season, they rode strong defensive play and better goaltending from Bobby Nadeau, skating to a 1-0 win.

Earlier in the week, Donnelly set a target of 10 wins to make the playoffs, however, after last nights win over the Tommies it only gets harder.

The Tigers would have to win 9 of their last 13 games, where they face the likes of Saint Mary’s, Acadia, Moncton, UPEI and St FX twice.

The road starts tonight, with the Moncton Aigle Bleus coming to town. Moncton sits fourth in the conference with a 10-5 record, but have cooled off from their hot start just going 3-4 in their last seven games.

Puck drop is 7pm at the Dalhousie Memorial Arena.

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

X-Men Knock Tigers out of Playoffs

By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

With playoff hockey returning to the Dalhousie Memorial Arena this weekend, the Dalhousie Tigers faithful packed the house Saturday afternoon and watched their Tigers lose on a St. FX goal with just ten seconds left in the game.

It was a cruel way to end the series and knock the Tigers out of their first playoff appearance since 2004.

Goaltender Josh Disher stood on his head for much of the game and did his best to keep the home side in the game, playing shutout hockey for forty minutes.

The Tigers gave their fans plenty to cheer about early on, with Benjamin Brealt and Daniel Bartek both coming close in early moments but denied by solid goaltending from Joseph Perricone.

Brealt came closest to breaking the deadlock with a hard wrist shot that beat Perricone but denied by the post.

In the closing moments of the period Sean Donovan hit Brett Thebrege from behind and was sent to the box for hitting from behind and given an additional 10-minute misconduct.

The X-Men managed to kill off the penalty, but as their penalty expired the visitors were caught with too many men on the ice and ended up back on the penalty kill.

While Bartek and Brealt continued to create chances in the second period, it was Benoit Gervais that gave the Tigers the lead. The defensemen playing on the top forward line picked up a rebound in front and put it over a helpless Perricone.

The Tigers held a one goal lead going into the third period but found themselves on the penalty kill just a few minutes in.

Taking their chance, St. FX tied up the game after a pass by Kevin Undershute was deflected off of Brett Plouffe’s skate and past Disher.

The visiting side took the lead soon after when Undershute found a wide open Chris Hulit alone in front and he buried his goal into the open net.

However, the scrappy Tigers found a way back into the game with Bryce Swan in the box for tripping, Jacob Johnston crept in from the blue line and squeezed a second chance effort past Perricone and tied the game.

The fairy tale ending was not to be, with the X-Men calling a time out on an offensive zone face-off with just a few seconds left in the game.

Executing a perfect play, Jason Bast scored off the face-off win with just ten seconds left in the game. It was a crushing end to a spirited game and the Tigers can leave proud that they played one of their strongest games of the season.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games