Offensive firepower, solid defence and great goaltending keys to victories
On Thursday the Mounties battled the UPEI Panthers in women’s hockey action. The Mounties came away with the hard-fought victory by a score of 2-1. After failing to win their last three games, a matchup with the last-placed Panthers was much-needed. The Mounties took full advantage of the game, with quality play throughout all three periods.
The Mounties started out the game a little slowly but soon hit their stride, retaining increasingly more possession as the first period progressed. Their first quality scoring chance came from Rosie Heffernan, who showed great speed going end-to-end before being stopped by the Panthers goalie. Moments later the Mounties goalie, Keri Martin, made a great pad save, denying the UPEI forward on an odd-man rush. Martin continued her strong play throughout the period, continually frustrating UPEI shooters.
The Mounties struck first on a power play with a goal by forward Heather Richards, her third of the season. A point shot from Heffernan was tipped in front by Amanda Volcko onto the stick of Richards, who squeezed it by the UPEI goaltender. This was great reward for the Mounties after a well played period.
In the second period, both the Mounties and Panthers played well defensively and showed good discipline in their own ends. Martin was the star of the period, making many great saves to keep the Mounties out in front.
The third period saw the Mounties come out with a lot of energy, sustaining possession deep in the UPEI zone. The Mounties’ speed and pressure on the puck got the Panthers defenders out of position, leading to an early-period goal by Gabrielle Vautour, her first of the season. The goal was set up by good work behind the net by Maddy Koughan and Caitlin McCabe, who threw the puck in front of the net, allowing Vautour to get off an accurate wrist shot, beating the Panthers goalie top shelf.
Martin’s shutout was spoiled midway through the third period when the Panthers were able to score on a deflected pass in front of the Mounties net, finding a UPEI forward’s stick tapping it into the open net. Martin was unfazed by losing the shutout, bouncing back to make several timely saves with one of a spectacular variety late in the period on a Panthers power play. The Mounties showed their superiority late by playing great team defence, even while on the late penalty kill, to preserve the victory.
This marked a great team win for the Mounties after a rough stretch, which will hopefully give the team some momentum heading into their next few games. Martin was her usual spectacular and steady self, making 28 saves. Richards scored in her third straight game and now leads the team with six points in the season.
The Mounties continued their momentum into their next game on Sunday against St. FX, winning by a score of 5-3. Richards made it four straight games with a goal, scoring in the third period. Samantha Bujold and Shelby Colton also scored for the Mounties. Mackenzie Lalonde and Kara Anthony both added a goal and an assist in the victory, while Ashley Murphy and Volcko chipped in with one and two assists, respectively. This moves the Mounties record to five wins and six losses and vaults them into fourth in the AUS standings. The Mounties will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday, Nov. 28 in Halifax, N.S. against Saint Mary’s.