Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In midweek hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the StFX X-Women at the Halifax Forum on Wednesday. It took till the third period to find the opening goal, but in the end, the X-Women were able to come away with a 3-0 win.
The Tigers opened the game with strong pressure in the attacking end, putting plenty of shots towards Jamie Johnson (Victoria, BC) and forcing her to make tough saves early, including one directly off her mask.
The X-Women were able to get some great chances on breakouts from their own zone, by the Tigers defenders were doing a good job of holding the X-Women to shots from the outside that Fabiana Petricca (Woodbridge, ON) was able to easily handle.
After a quiet offensive period, the teams went into the first intermission scoreless.
The Tigers were once again able to generate extended pressure in the opening minutes of the period, as Kennedy Whelan (Alliston, ON) had the best chance in the opening minutes when her shot rang off the post but deflected away from harm.
Being given back to back power play chances, the X-Women were able to hold nearly four-straight minutes of time in the Tigers end, but Petricca stood strong, reaching 25 saves just midway through the second period.
With lots of time spent on the power play in the period, the X-Women had the majority of the chances in the period, but none of them were able to find the opening goal as the teams remained scoreless heading into the third.
Controlling the zone as if they were back on the power play, StFX was able to cycle the puck through the Tigers end to start the period. As Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, AB) worked behind the Tigers net, she sent a pass from the corner up to the high-slot where Jayden Thompson (Aurora, ON) was waiting to one-time the pass toward goal to finally open the scoring.
As the Tigers were pressuring for the equalizer, their defense-women got caught pinching at the blue-line while Meropoulis snuck behind them for a breakaway on a long pass from Emerson Elliott (Aurora, ON). Meropoulis broke into the zone, made a move from forehand to backhand, back to the forehand and made a great decision to slide her shot through the five-hole of Petricca to make it 2-0 midway through third.
Needing to find a goal with five minutes to go, the Tigers elected to pull Petricca on an offensive zone faceoff. The X-Women were able to secure the faceoff win and made quick work of the empty-net goal from Lindsey Donovan (Miramichi, NB).
Jamie Johnson was outstanding in goal for the X-Women, collecting 30 saves for the shutout victory. Tyra Meropoulis picked up two points in the win, including assisting on the game winner and earned herself the Subway Player of the Game.
The Tigers have a quick turnaround as they are back on the ice on Friday when they host St. Thomas. The X-Women will also take on St. Thomas in their next game on Saturday.