By Thomas Becker
A pair of streaks continued Wednesday night as the St. Thomas Tommies won their fourth straight with a 3-1 win over the skidding UPEI Panthers – who lost their sixth consecutive.
Goaltender and Subway Player of the Game, Abby Clarke was pivotal in keeping the Tommies (7-3-1) alive, until they found the back of the net early in the second period.
"It's always tough to play here," Clarke said. "They go hard for the full 60 and we know that, so we have to bring our A-game whenever we come down here. And I think we did that today."
The Panthers (2-5-4) almost found the break they were looking for early in the first, when Kristen MacIntyre's shot from the blue line trickled just wide left of the goal line.
UPEI found success getting pucks in front of the net, including two great looks at the end of the period, but couldn't get anything past Clarke, who made 23 saves on the night.
Clarke continued to turn away great Panther opportunities in the second period to keep her team afloat. And they rewarded her at 6:24, as Stephanie Ford opened the scoring with her second of the season.
"It's easy to play for them when I know they're going to pick it up," Clarke said. "If I can do my job, I know they'll do theirs."
At 14:17, rookie forward Olivia Reid doubled their lead 2-0 on a power play marker for her fourth of the campaign.
Determined to get back into it, the Panthers fired back early in the third period when Faith Steeves, from behind the net, centered a pass to Rachel Colle for the easy chip shot, trimming the deficit 2-1.
But in the end, the Tommies were too strong and sealed the game 3-1 late in the period with a Lauren Henman goal just seconds into a power play.
St. Thomas looks to continue their streak when they return home to face the Mount Allison Mounties on Nov. 18. While the Panthers hit the road to take on the league-leading Saint Mary's Huskies on Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.
"We've been doing the little things right – showing up at practice ready to go, eating well, being in the gym," Clarke said. "We've just been very consistent in every area and our positivity is on a high right now."