The 2015-2016 AUS women’s hockey season is under way with the Dalhousie Tigers just five games into a 25 game regular season. The Tigers have been slow out of the gate dropping their four of their first five games, and have been outscored 15-8-3.
The ladies were able to get their first win on Saturday, October 24 against the Mount Allison Mounties. Fifth-year senior, Sarah Robichaud showed some veteran leadership scoring a hat trick en route to the Tigers 5-3 win.
This year’s team has a nice blend of veteran AUS players and fresh faces. With 10 first and second year players on the roster, veterans like Elizabeth MacArthur, Laura Brooks and Robichaud will be relied on heavily to steer the ship in the right direction.
Last season was a big improvement for the Tigers who finished fifth in the AUS with a 9-12-2 record and 20 points compared to the season before when the Tigers finished last with 13 points.
After getting past St. Thomas 2-1 in the first round of playoffs last year, the Tigers fell 0-2 to eventual the AUS champion StFX X-Women in the second round.
With all of Dalhousie’s top 10 scorers returning from last season, the offence should only improve on the 58 goals they posted (fifth best in the AUS) last season. Marita Alferi, Jesse Rietveld and MacArthur all netted eight goals each last season and will be looked upon to carry the load offensively. Lisa MacLean was a play-making machine recording 16 assists for third best in the AUS.
The Tigers are a bit slow out of the gate in scoring and have relied heavily on Robichaud who has had a hand in just about every Tigers goal so far. Some line juggling may be in order to get MacArthur and MacLean going.
Between the pipes it looks like Mati Barrett will get the lion share of starts playing in all five games in the regular season. This is a switch as Jessica Severeyns started 15 games last season but was pulled in her only appearance of the season against Moncton.
On the defensive end, the Tigers have all their pieces returning in Andrea Lyon, Kenzie MacPhee, Rachel Carr and Kayla Ogilive who all started every game last season. Morgen Kidney, the top point-producing defenceman for the Tigers, is returning for her sophomore year and will hope to build on her three goals and three assists last season.
With all of the core players returning, expectations for the Tigers is high. They should find themselves in the playoffs this season and will be aiming to make it out of the second round.
The ladies host the UPEI Panthers on Saturday at the Civic Centre. Puck drop is at 6:30pm.
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