(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)
By: Henry Whitfield
On what was essentially Semi-Final Saturday at the Dalhousie Memorial Arena, the UPEI Panthers upset nationally ranked and AUS Defending champion St. FX X-Women 2-1, while Mount Allison came back from a 4-2 deficit late, to beat Moncton 5-4.
In stunning fashion, the Panthers upset the X-Women after a sensational outing by goaltender Kristy Dobson, who made 33 saves and booked her team a place in the finals.
Both Marie-Michelle Poirier and Katelyn Morton had hat-tricks for their team in the late game, but after taking a 4-2 lead the Aigles-Bleus were unable to hang on and the Mounties powered past them with three unanswered goals, right into the finals on Sunday.
UPEI 2 – 1 St. FX
Stunning the large St.FX Crowd in attendance, the Panthers knocked off the X-Women to put themselves in the AUS finals, the first time in their history reaching the finals.
Outstanding net-minding by Dobson shutdown Janelle Parent and Alex Noremore, ranked 1st and 2nd nationally in scoring, and allowed her team a chance at the win.
Missed opportunities were the downfall for the X-Women, while the Panthers were in lethal form converting on two of their three powerplay opportunities.
It was too little too late for the X-Women, who finally beat Dobson in the final moments and then threw everything they had at the Panthers goalie, but Dobson was equal to the task.
Players of the Game
St. FX – Molly MacDonald
UPEI – Kristy Dobson
Moncton 4 – 5 Mount Allison
Katelyn Morton rallied the Mounties and a late powerplay goal by Ashlyn Somers gave them a huge comeback win, giving them a place in the finals on Sunday.
Moncton roared to an early 2-0 lead on back-to-back goals by Marie-Michelle Poirer, despite being outplayed for much of the period by the Mounties.
In splendid fashion, Katelyn Morton scored a high-light reel goal, going end to end and dancing around Desjardins to cut the lead to one.
Morton tied the game midway through the second at 2-2, before Poirier finished her hat-trick seconds later to take back the lead.
Then with less than a minute left in the game, Amelie Dion scored to give the Aigles-Bleus a dominant 4-2 lead going into the final frame.
Queens of the comeback all season, the Mounties started with a furious assault in the third period on Kathy Desjardins, with Morton completing her hat-trick minutes into the period.
Megan Davies tied the game at 4-4 two minutes later, a floating shot that bounced and trickled through Desjardin’s pads and ignited the Mount Allison faithful in attendance.
To add the finishing touches, Ashlyn Somers scored on a play created by Katelyn Morton, who spent the night crashing the crease and causing havoc in the Moncton crease.
Players of the Game:
Moncton – Marie-Michelle Poirier
Mount Allison – Katelyn Morton
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The tournament will come to a close on Sunday, when the UPEI Panthers play the the Mount Allison Mounties in the finals at 3pm. The winning team will represent the AUS at the upcoming CIS Championship.
Sunday, March 4th
Championship Game: UPEI Panthers vs. Mount Allison Mounties, 2:00pm
*Dalhousie and St. Thomas were eliminated on Friday, while St. FX and Moncton were eliminated on Saturday.
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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.