(Halifax, N.S.) The Saint Mary's Huskies (19-3-1) defended home ice with a 5-0 victory over the StFX X-Women at Alumni Arena on Sunday afternoon.
SMU, the number four-ranked team in U Sports, moved one point back of StFX, the number three-ranked team, for first place in the AUS. Both teams have one game left to play in the regular season.
Breanna Lanceleve (Middle Sackville, N.S.), Brooke Murphy (Balla Phillip, N.B.), Nicole Blanche (Dunville, N.L.), Laura Polak (Bedford, N.S.) and Caitlin Pejkovic (Sherwood Park, Alta.) got on the scoreboard for the Huskies.
Rebecca Clark (Keswick, Ont.) made 25 saves to pickup the shutout and her 14th win.
Cassidy McEwan (Lloydminster, Alta.) finished with 22 saves as her record falls to 6-1.
Lanceleve opened the scoring 11:23 into the first. She was first up ice on the fore-check, picked off an errant pass through the slot and sniped top corner glove side.
SMU started the second with a bang.
Murphy made it 2-0 just 16-seconds in. Siobhan Birch (Mississauga, Ont.) got on the puck down low, slipped a feed to Murphy just to the right of the net and Murphy one-touched it up under the bar.
Blanche pushed it to 3-0 with a power play marker just over a minute later. Laura Horwood (Grandfalls-Windsor, N.L.) moved it to Lanceleve who took a shot from the right circle. The rebound popped out the other side for Blanche who buried.
Polak stretched the lead to 4-0 1:15 into the third. Blanche got it to Lanceleve who's shot ricocheted off Polak and in.
Pejkovic finished the scoring at 18:46 of the final frame. Taylor Keeping (Hackett's Cove, N.S.) worked the puck into the zone. Kate Barber (Aurora, Ont.) picked it up and put a cross crease feed on Pejkovic's tape. She took a couple cracks at it and knocked it home.
Shots were 27-25 for Saint Mary's.
Up next, the X-Women conclude their regular season on home ice in Antigonish, N.S. against the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday, February 9. The Huskies are back at Alumni Arena to host the U de M Aigles Bleus on Saturday, February 10.
Photo Mike Fines