Halifax, NS- The majority of sports in the AUS exhibition schedule were finished in Nova Scotia last week, while ACAA and a high school team got plenty of action in New Brunswick.
Saturday was the final day for basketball and hockey between teams from Dalhousie, Acadia and Saint Mary’s that took part in the three-team exhibition bubble which returned to play first in February. The Axewomen and Huskies took part in the final games in two sports: volleyball on March 25 and basketball on March 27.
In women’s hockey, Dal and SMU played for the fourth and final time on March 27. The only result of the three Nova Scotia games available was from the hockey game, a 5-4 SMU triumph.
New Brunswick enjoyed another busy week, with St. Thomas teams notably active. Also, the road trips were a bit longer for some this week, as we saw the most travel of any teams in such a period so far this year.
For instance, STU and Universite de Moncton’s women’s hockey teams held a home-and-home last weekend, with each team making their longest trips to date this season with two-hour roadies between Moncton and Fredericton. STU’s basketball teams did the same last week, travelling to play the Crandall Chargers in Moncton.
Acadia’s final games against SMU were played last week but as mentioned, no results were released. The basketball game was played with the score resetting after each quarter.
In the final hockey game of the Dal/SMU series, Dal threatened to tie the series between them and SMU with a commanding 4-2 lead in the second. As fast as the game’s action was (including three goals within a couple of minutes in the first), SMU was quick to tie it at four, before Shae Demale put home the winner with 85 seconds on the clock. The only goal of the final frame sealed a 3-1 series win for the reigning AUS runners-up, over a Dal team that has played perhaps its best hockey in years.
Three more hockey games were played in New Brunswick last week, including the women’s Moncton/STU home-and-home. The Tommies won game one at home Friday night, hanging onto a 3-1 lead created in the second period and winning 3-2. Alex Woods’s late second period goal stood as the winner.
UdeM returned the favour the next night in Moncton on the strength of a 4-1 victory. Emilie Lalancette and Elizabeth Tremblay scored in the first period, with Alexia Desforges and Isadora Quirion doubling the tally later on.
With two tight games, STU coach Peter Murphy said, after the Friday game, it’s games like these where they miss the fans the most.
“It’s a shame that our fans can’t be in the building because it’s been exciting hockey and feels like playoff hockey,” he said.
STU said after the Saturday game it “hopes to have one last weekend of play on Easter Weekend,” hinting we’ll know the details of their final games soon.
The weekend’s remaining hockey game saw the women’s UNB Reds and Rothesay Netherwood School, a high-school level prep team from the North American Prep Hockey Association, square off in Fredericton.
UNB dominated the visitors, winning 6-0 and outshooting RNS 31-6. But for RNS, who routinely travels out-of-province and into the U.S. for their regular games, the chance to face the UNB challenge meant a lot.
“I thought it was pretty cool to be able to play in my rink for next year, especially against a team I’ll be playing with next year and see how the girls work and move and how they play,” said RNS goalie Cassie McCallum after the game. She recently committed to UNB for next season and got her first on-ice look at her future teammates. “I thought that was pretty cool to be playing against them and on the ice with them.”
The weekend of STU
Overall, the Tommies were the busiest team in AUS and ACAA play last week, with at least nine games across three sports. Along with the hockey games:
-The men’s basketball team, with some “prospects” on the roster, travelled to Crandall on Friday and Saturday. While Friday was more of an informal scrimmage without a score, the Tommies won 82-81 the next day. STU said these were the team’s final games this season.
-The women’s club also concluded their season with Friday and Saturday games against Crandall, blowing them out each time with 78-38 and 82-44 finals.
-The STU men’s volleyball team played twice last week. First, the Tommies played their second game of the year against UNB. The ACAA champions dropped all four sets played, but stayed within points of the RSEQ’s Reds through much of the matchup.
-The Tommies played their other game Sunday afternoon against the UNBSJ Seawolves, UNB’s ACAA counterparts from its Saint John campus. STU won the match in straight sets, with 25-23, 27-25 and 25-17 scores.
-The women’s Tommies also played UNBSJ Sunday afternoon, but with no results or updates following this game.
Easter weekend could potentially be the final one for many teams since exams begin at a lot of schools the week after. STU and UNBSJ plan to meet again this week, with the women on Wednesday and men on Thursday. STU and UNB in women’s hockey is a possibility too Saturday afternoon, but the teams are yet to confirm if the game will for sure happen, or if it will be their last.