Tommies, Aigles Bleues kick off AUS Women's Hockey playoffs

Tommies, Aigles Bleues kick off AUS Women's Hockey playoffs

Quarterfinal winners to move on and play UNB/STFX

QUARTERFINAL SERIES #1 - St. Thomas (4) vs Moncton (5)

(Feb. 13, 2024) - The AUS women's hockey playoffs kick off tonight with Game 1 of a best-of-three quarterfinal matchup between the fifth-ranked Moncton Aigles Bleues (15-11-0-2) and fourth-ranked St. Thomas Tommies (14-9-2-3). Puck drop is set for 7pm.

Based on the numbers, this series is very evenly matched. St. Thomas finished the regular season with 33 points (14-9-2-3), while Moncton was just one point behind at 32 (15-11-0-2). St. Thomas scored 69 goals during the season and the Aigles Bleues netted 76. Defensively, the Tommies allowed just 62 goals while Moncton gave up 69.

If any team is feeling more confident going into the series, it may be Moncton, as they took the season series 3-1. The good news for the Tommies is they finished the regular season on a high note, shutting out the first place UNB Reds 1-0 on Feb. 10.

Moncton is led by forward Erica Plourde, who tied for the lead in goals this season (18). Ironically, it was St. Thomas forward Ekaterina Pelowich who also fired home 18 goals, so the head-to-head matchup of these two sharpshooters should be fun to watch.

In net, St. Thomas has the advantage as goalie Katie Sweeney has been outstanding between the pipes. The third-year netminder started 20 games for the Tommies, recording an impressive .941 save percentage and 1.84 goals against average.

Moncton splits the netminding duties between Audrey Berthiaume and Annick Boudreau, who finished the regular season with a .912 and .911 save percentage, respectively.

St. Thomas' last AUS title came in 2019. Moncton's last came in 2014.

Game 2 is set for Friday night in Moncton at 7pm. If a Game 3 is needed, it will be played Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3pm in Fredericton.

QUARTERFINAL SERIES #2 - Saint Mary's (3) vs Dalhousie (6)

The other quarterfinal matchup set to begin this week sees No. 6 Dalhousie Tigers take on the third-ranked Saint Mary's Huskies. Game 1 of this series will be played Wednesday, Feb. 14 at the Dauphinee Centre. Puck drop is set for 7pm.

Saint Mary's capped the regular season with a 17-7-1-3 mark – good enough for 38 points. Dalhousie finished 13-14-0-1 and with 27 points.

SMU took the season series 5-0, so are the favourites in best-of-three matchup.

The Huskies were the league's second-highest scoring team, netting 84 goals, while the Tigers finished sixth with 67. Defensively, SMU allowed 61 goals with the Tigers giving up 78.

Leading the way for the Huskies is Miranda Hatt. The fifth-year forward from Saskatchewan scored 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 28 games. Pacing the Tigers is Olivia Eustace, whose 15 goals was good enough for third in league scoring.

Ridleigh Hansen looks after the crease for the Huskies and put together a strong season, leading the league in games started (21) while recording a 2.12 goals against average and .926 save percentage.

On the other end of the ice, Grace Beer will be tasked with stopping pucks for the Tigers. Her 634 saves and .941 save percentage were good enough for second among all AUS goalies this season.

Saint Mary's is looking for their first AUS title since 2018, while Dalhousie is still looking for the program's first ever banner.

Game 2 of the series is set for Friday, Feb. 16 at the Halifax Forum with a 7pm puck drop. Game 3, if needed, will be hosted by Saint Mary's Sunday night at 7pm.

Awaiting the winners of those series are the UNB Reds and the STFX X-Women.

These two teams will finish up their regular season tonight against each other with the X-Women sitting just one point back of the Reds. The winner of that game will earn the No. 1 seed and will meet the highest seed coming out of the quarterfinals.

The Reds are an explosively offensive machine with four of their players finishing within the top 10 of league scoring, led by Lillian George's league best 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 27 games. STFX is led by veteran Maggy Burbidge (27 points) and rookie Ireland McCloskey (24 points).

UNB has won the past two AUS titles, while STFX's last trophy hoist came in 2020.

All games can be watched by going to