Source: Jonathan James, UNB Athletics
(FREDERICTON, NB) A late powerplay goal from first-year forward Payton Hargreaves (Whitby, ON) gave the UNB REDS a 2-1 victory over the Dalhousie Tiger on Saturday night.
Hargreaves was named Subway Player of the Game for her game-winner.
"I thought our powerplay was due for one," said Hargreaves describing the goal. "It was a mad scramble in front, I saw someone take a shot and then the puck just popped out to the right spot and I was able to put it in."
Fellow first-year forward Ava Benedict (Falmouth, NS) also found the scoresheet for UNB to help support a solid 22-save outing from REDS netminder Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, BC).
The game was played before 191 fully-vaccinated and masked fans at UNB's Aitken Centre.
Both teams opened with clean, defensive-minded hockey, with the REDS holding a 7-6 edge in shots in a scoreless first period.
"I have a lot of trust in the team in front of me," said Woodland.
The game's first high danger chance came just over five minutes into the second when Tamina Kehler (Chilliwack, BC) broke up the right wing and placed a low shot on net. Reagan Minor (Dunnville, ON) just missed the rebound.
Two minutes later, Sage McElroy-Scott (Morden, MB) split two Dalhousie defenders and just had her stick lifted before she could put a shot on goal and would follow that with a similar chance a short time later, after an expiring REDS powerplay.
The game would finally get its icebreaker just past the halfway mark as Benedict cruised into the slot off the rush and fired a shot past the glove of Baxter to give the REDS the 1-0 lead.
The Tigers would come close to an equalizer with under five minutes left in the second when Mackenzie Drake (Dartmouth, NS) slipped past the REDS defence for a breakaway, only to put a shot just over the top of the UNB goal. The REDS would take their slim lead into the third.
"We wanted to find more points in transition to move the puck up a little bit quicker," said REDS head coach Sarah Hilworth, about some of the mid-game adjustments her team made. "I thought we got caught a couple times being too aggressive in the neutral zone, but we definitely had that focus going into the second to put more pucks and bodies on net."
With 10 minutes left in the game Joyce would chip the puck just past the outstretched pad of Woodland to tie the game for Dalhousie.
"I think, in our third periods we are coming back hard every time and it's just a matter of time before [the results] start evening out," said Joyce on the Tigers' game.
UNB would respond just a minute and a half later, with the Tigers on the penalty kill, as Hargreaves found the puck to put UNB up 2-1. The REDS would hang on through a late Tigers powerplay to seal the win.
Shots were 28-23 for UNB, and the REDS remain unbeaten in regulation at 5-0-0-1. Dalhousie drops to 1-4-1 on the season.
UNB will visit their inner-city rivals, the St. Thomas Tommies, next Friday. Game time is at 7:00pm. The Tigers will travel to PEI on Friday for a matchup with the UPEI Panthers.