X-Women spoil host Hawks’ party
In front of a hostile and intimidating crowd on Thursday evening, the St. Francis Xavier (St. F.X.) X-Women played a physical game against the WLU Golden Hawks, battling through adversity on route to a victory.
While the Hawks came out motivated by a home fan base and brought early pressure, the X-Women were able to score first as fourth-year captain Suzanne Fenerty fired a point shot past WLU goalie Liz Knox on the power play.
However, only four minutes later, freshman Golden Hawk Laura Booker beat X- Women ‘keeper Kristy Garrow on an incredible individual effort that concluded with a wrist shot landing just under the crossbar, tying the game up through the first period.
Despite their early success, the X-Women did fall behind during the second as Brittany Crago was able to burry a rebound off of a big rebound, all generated by a strong Laurier fore-check that clearly altered the play of the St. F.X. defence.
“They are a team that forechecks hard and works extremely hard, almost forcing the pace of the game, so we wanted to settle it all down and avoid turnovers” said head coach David Synishin.
Garrow was pelted with shots throughout the first two periods, and enabled the X-Women to hang around with the Golden Hawks, who outshot St. F.X. 22-18.
Following a successful penalty kill late in the second period, the re-energized X-Women got a goal from Molly McDonald after a chaotic scramble in front of the Laurier net, tying the game up with only 30.7 seconds left in the second period.
After a slow start to the third from both teams, the X-Women were able to draw several calls and managed to manufacture a five-on-three powerplay with approximately 12 minutes remaining.
Player of the game Catie Gavin was able to capitalize on the two-woman advantage, putting St. F.X. in the lead.
“The five-on-three powerplay gave us the opportunity to stick it to them and we took advantage” said fourth year Gavin.
The star was not finished yet though, as Gavin would put the game out of reach with only 8:36 remaining.
Laurier did score once more to provide an exciting finish, but the X-Women proved to be too much, even killing off one more Golden Hawks powerplay for good measure, their fifth successful kill of the night.
Up next for the St. FX women are the Manitoba Bisons out of the competitive Canada West association. That game will take place Saturday evening, providing the X-Women a much-needed day off.
Coach Synishin is looking forward to the challenge.
“We are familiar with Manitoba, playing them a couple times over the last several years. They are a hard working team, so tomorrow’s day off is very important to recover and come back refocused and ready to play a very good hockey team coming off of back to back games.”
For Gavin, the formula to success is a fairly easy one.
“We have to outwork every team we play, keep battling, and play more disciplined hockey”.