Women's Hockey

Tommies Edge Reds

Reds forward Hanna Matchett challenges for the puck in front of the St. Thomas net during Wednesday's 2-1 loss. (Photo: STU Athletics)
Reds forward Hanna Matchett challenges for the puck in front of the St. Thomas net during Wednesday's 2-1 loss. (Photo: STU Athletics)

(FREDERICTON, NB) The St. Thomas University Tommies defeated the UNB Reds 2-1 in the second match-up, or 'Battle of the Hill,' of the season.

The first game between the teams also had a score of 2-1 in favour of the Tommies, but that game was decided in double overtime.

This game didn't need overtime as the Tommies got goals from Emily Oleksuk (Thunder Bay, ON) and Kaylee Vader (Sherwood Park, AB), while Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL) made 24 saves for the win.

Katherine Chadwick (Kanata, ON) scored the lone goal for UNB, while Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, BC) made 27 saves.

The game started well for UNB as some fiery forechecking produced a turnover in STU's end, which resulted in Chadwick's goal 16 minutes into the game.

Early in the second period Vader jumped on an opportunity, created from STU's aggressive forecheck, to pot her first goal of the season.

"Kaylee's coming back from injury, so it was nice to see her score," said Tommies head coach Peter Murphy. "She worked on her shot extensively over the summer and we were hoping for her to get a few opportunities to use it and she did on that play."

The rest of the second period had a lot of fast paced, end to end action with both goaltenders doing whatever they could to keep their team in the game.

Four minutes into the third period Jenna MacLean (Wilcox, SK) was sent to the penalty box for holding, giving the Tommies their third powerplay of the game.

17 seconds into that powerplay Oleksuk netted her fourth goal of the season.

That's all the firepower Clarke would need as she shut down a flurry of UNB attacks resulting in seven shots in the final four minutes of the game.

"Five years playing in this league you know what it takes, and you have to learn to keep your head level in those kinds of situations," said Clarke about the UNB pressure late in the game. "We did a great job of pushing them to the outside and I was seeing the puck well and felt really good today."

"She made two or three big stops for us tonight," said Murphy about Clarke. "I'd rather we weren't asking her to do that, but sometimes it's needed."

With the win the Tommies are now 7-and-2, good for first in the Atlantic University Sport standings.

The Reds are 4-2-and-3, good for a share of third place.

The Tommies head to Sackville on Saturday to face the Mounties, while UNB will host UdeM in a game that starts at 2:00pm.

RECAP AND PHOTOS: STU Athletics