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Special teams lead SMU to 5-3 victory over Tigers

Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan
Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan

By Troy Langstaff

The Saint Mary's Huskies special teams led the way as they defeated the Dalhousie Tigers 5-3 on Friday night at the Halifax Forum. 

The first period on Friday night was eerily similar to the first period on Wednesday when the Tigers faced St.FX. Dalhousie was playing a higher ranked opponent but came out of the gates with confidence matching the speed and intensity of the visiting team.

That being said, the visiting side struck first 4:42 into the period compared to 4:36 for St.FX on Wednesday. An offensive zone faceoff win for the Huskies led to a point shot from Eve LeBlanc that deflected off a Tigers defender and snuck inside the left post. 

On Wednesday, Dalhousie responded three minutes later. On Friday it was three and a half minutes. An Isabella Weist (Torbay, NL) saucer pass from her own end found the stick of Brooklyn Paisley (Shawnigan Lake, BC) who went in on a breakaway and fired a shot low blocker side that found the back of the net to tie the game at one.

Also like Wednesday, the Tigers added another goal late in the first to head into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. It was Abby Wamboldt (Hammonds Plains, NS) this time who found herself alone in the slot and made a gorgeous forehand backhand move to score her first of the season.

The lone goal of the second period came at the 6:16 mark when a tired Dalhousie group was called for an icing. SMU's Shae Demale fired a wrist shot over Maggie Baxter's (Mahone Bay, NS) shoulder seconds after the ensuing faceoff.

The game was tied 2-2 at the second intermission with Dalhousie leading in shots 21-17.

The Huskies struck first in the final frame with a short handed goal by Ashley Penny. After a miscommunication by Tigers players at the SMU blueline, Penny pounced on the loose puck and scored on a breakaway.

Dalhousie responded quickly again with Kennedy Whelan (Alliston, ON) jumping on a rebound off of a point shot just under two minutes later to tie the game up at three.

SMU's special teams were the difference in the game with a power play marker with seven minutes left in the game. A redirected point shot by Siobhan Birch flew over the glove of Baxter.

The Huskies would add a shorthanded empty netter to take the game 5-3. SMU went 1 for 3 on the powerplay while the Tigers went 0 for 6.

The Huskies next game comes tomorrow in their home opener vs Moncton at 7pm.

Dalhousie will look to get into the win column on Wednesday versus Mount Allison. Puck drop is 7pm at the Halifax Forum.