Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – Looking to get the new year off to a strong start, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UNB Reds in women's hockey action Saturday night. Special teams were the decider in the game, as the Tigers picked up the 4-3 win with the help of three power play goals.
The Reds got off to a strong start in the attacking zone, holding pressure in the Tigers end and getting a few early shots towards Fabiana Petricca (Woodbridge, ON), but Petricca was ready to go in this one.
The Tigers were able to outshoot the Reds in the period, but neither team was able to generate a threatening scoring chance in the opening frame, and as a result they went into the break scoreless.
Some early pressure again by the Reds was rewarded just 30 seconds into the second with a power play opportunity. The Reds held possession in the Tigers zone, with Hayley Hallihan (Miramichi, NB) working the puck below the goal line. Hallihan sent a pass into the slot for Ashley Stratton (Mount Pearl, NL) who sent a knuckleball of a shot over the shoulder of Petricca to open the scoring.
The Tigers were able to get the goal back midway through the period with Lillian George (Garden Village, ON) finding some space right off the faceoff in the attacking end, and fired a quick shot into the far side corner that beat the glove of Hailey Martens (Ladysmith, BC) to make it 1-1.
The Tigers added a go-ahead goal just three minutes later on the power play, when the shot from Tara Morning (Aurora, ON) was stopped in front by Martens, but the rebound dropped in the crease for Autumn Moors (Ottawa, ON) to put home the easy tap-in.
Through two periods, the Tigers held a 2-1 lead going into the third.
The Reds once again pressured early in the period, and were able to capitalize on another chance. After a shot from the slot was gloved down by Petricca, but the puck remained in the crease where a scramble ensued. Petricca made a diving play in attempt to cover it up, but the puck was cleared to the point where Emma Borbandy (Langdon, AB) had plenty of room to fire home the equalizer.
Not long after the tying goal, the Reds were on the attack again, when a high shot from Hannah Green (Richmond, BC) was tipped down in front by Alayna Wagstaff (Olds, AB) and snuck under the pad of Petricca to make it a 3-2 UNB lead.
Once again, special teams were key in the third period, with the Tigers finding a quick equalizer on a power play opportunity. On a very similar play to the goal by the Reds, the initial shot from the slot was stopped, but the rebound was left for Danika Phillips (Barrie, ON) to tap home.
In a game that looked like it was headed to overtime, another penalty taken by the Reds proved to be costly after a rebound in front missed wide and took a bounce off the boards, Autumn Moors picked the puck up in the scramble and somehow found a hole to score the game winner with just 20 seconds to go.
Two goals from Moors, including the game winner earned her the Subway Player of the Game title for the Tigers in this one.
The Tigers power play was 3-9 on the game, while the Reds were just 1-7, making the difference in an otherwise equal matchup.
The Tigers will have to wait till next Friday to keep the momentum going when they travel to Moncton, while the Reds will look to bounce back on Wednesday when they take on St. Thomas.