(Halifax N.S.) The Saint Mary's Huskies took game one of the women's hockey semi-final best of three series against the Moncton Aigles Bleus 3-2 at Alumni Arena on Thursday night.
"[I'm] happy with our performance overall," said Huskies head coach Chris Larade. "Would like to see us bury a few more of our chances, but all things considered I thought we were good."
Rebecca Clark (Keswick, ON) made 22 saves for the Huskies in the win.
Cassandra Labrie (Cole Harbou,r NS) and Katryne Villeneuve (Casselman, ON) responded with goals for the Aigles Bleus.
Gabrielle Forget (Joliette, QC) made 36 saves in the loss.
Lanceleve opened the scoring 5:14 into the game. She intercepted a pass at centre ice on the right wing and split two Aigles Bleus players cutting across the blue line into the zone. She worked into the slot and shelfed a wrister high glove.
Labrie knotted it up at 1-1 just one minute 40-seconds later. Katherine Dubuc (Victoriaville, QC) won a race to the puck in the right corner and sent it back to Labrie on the point and she clapped a one-timer rocket through traffic high glove.
Manning put the Huskies in front again 4:31 into the second. Lanceleve, Manning and Nicole Blanche (Dunvill,e NF) worked a strong fore-check down low in the Aigles Bleus zone. Blanche pulled the puck free from the right corner and left it for Manning on the goal line seven-feet from the net.
Manning drove to the front of the net and buried her shot blocker side.
Villeneuve evened the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal 6:54 into the second. After a tie-up on the first faceoff of the power-play, Karine Roy (Nigadoo, NB) jumped on the puck and tapped it to Marie-Pier Corriveau (Magog, QC) who sent it to Villeneuve on the right point.
Villeneuve loaded up a wrist-shot and fired it through traffic high blocker.
Polak picked up the game winner on the power-play at the 9:14 mark of the second. Sarah Douglas (Whitby, ON) got the puck on the blue line in the centre of the ice and sent it to Lanceleve at the top of the right circle.
Lanceleve drove to the slot drawing the Aigles Bleus defenders to her before hitting Polak with a sweet feed to the right of the net. Polak one-timed it home to make it 3-2.
"[Our] power play got some good looks and some solid chances," said Larade. "We will want to play a little smarter in getting pucks out of our end and not limiting our own options by not moving our feet and not supporting the puck in transition."
The Aigles Bleus were one for two on the power-play, while the Huskies went one for eight.
Shots were 39-24 for the Huskies.
Game two of the series will be in Moncton N.B. on Saturday, February 25. If needed game three will be at Alumni Arena in Halifax N.S. on Monday, February 27.
By Cam Honey-Webb, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce