(Halifax, N.S.) The Saint Mary's Huskies (12-3-1) clinched their spot in the 2018 AUS playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Mount Allison Mounties on Friday night at Alumni Arena.
Ashley Forler (Kitchener, Ont.) made nine-saves for the shutout and remains undefeated on the season.
Keri Martin (Brampton, Ont.) was stellar for the Mounties keeping the game close throughout. She finished with 42-saves and was the clear player of the game.
Polak opened the scoring 4:00 into the game. The Huskies top line got the cycle game going down low as Breanna Lanceleve (Middle Sackville, N.S.) and Blanche worked it back and forth in the left-corner. Blanche spotted Polak in front and she snapped it in over the pad and under the glove.
That was the only scoring in the first. The Huskies applied a lot of pressure outshooting the Mounties 14-3 and Martin made several big saves to keep it 1-0 after 20-minutes.
Blanche made it 2-0 3:48 into the second. Working off the rush Polak tried to feed a pass to Lanceleve crashing to the net, the puck hit her skate and sat to the right of the net for Blanche who followed up the play to snap it home.
The play in the period was controlled by SMU again, as they won the shot battle 21-2 in the second. Martin stepped up time and time again for Mount A – the best being when she went left to right for a blocker save on a shot off a sharp cross-crease pass.
Howarth put the win on ice with just under three-minutes left in the third. Blanche got the puck to Lanceleve on the left-wall in the Mounties zone. Lanceleve slipped a feed to Howarth who worked in on goal through the left-circle and sniped under the bar short-side.
Shots were 48-9 SMU. Subway Player of the Game went to Laura Polak.
Up next, the Mounties play the Dalhousie Tigers at the Civic Arena in Halifax, while the Huskies host the UPEI Panthers at Alumni Arena; both games are Saturday, January 13.
Cam Honey-Webb, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce