(FREDERICTON, NB) 'The Battle of the Hill' is back on.
For the first time in more than a decade, women's hockey teams from UNB and St. Thomas met Sunday in the renewal of the cross-campus rivalry… and that rivalry did not disappoint.
Lauren Legault (Winnipeg, MB) scored at 4:21 of double overtime to give the Tommies a 2-1 win.
Legault stole the puck from a Reds defender just outside UNB's blue line and moved in all alone, beating Reds netminder Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, BC) with a shot from the slot.
"I knew, as soon as I beat her that I couldn't miss the net," said Legault. "We're the top of the hill. We needed to get the win."
The Tommies opened the scoring when Leah Galati (Mississauga, ON) tipped Alisha Gilbert's (Chipman, NB) point-shot past Woodland at 8:11 of the first period.
While St. Thomas appeared to dominate play in the second, the Reds kept them from the scoresheet.
UNB's best scoring chances didn't surface until the third period.
Just past the six-minute mark of the third, Tamina Kehler (Chilliwack, BC) put a shot on net that Tommies' goalie Abby Clarke (Springdale, NL) juggled. Three Reds crashed the net, but St. Thomas was able to clear the puck.
Moments later, Hayley Hallihan (Miramichi, NB) and Lily George (Garden Village, ON) worked a great give-and-go, with George finishing the play by putting the puck up and over Clarke to tie the game 1-1.
Late in the third, Hallihan took a penalty for body checking.
That gave St. Thomas a power-play as 4-on-4 overtime began.
The Tommies failed to take advantage of the extra attacker, setting the stage for 3-on-3 overtime.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Legault. "We knew it was going to be a hard, hard battle, and it was. They gave us everything. The series is going to be an exciting one, for sure."
"It's not the result we wanted, it's not a terrible result either," said Reds captain Sydney DesRochers (Woodstock, NB). "We just have to build off of it. We know we can play at this level."
Disappointed with a second double-overtime loss in as many days, Reds head coach Sarah Hilworth was pleased her team was able to earn two points on opening weekend.
"We got two points out of four, against two very good teams," said Hilworth. "We're just showing that we can compete in this league, regardless of our opponent."
"At the end of the day, a loss is a loss and the girls take it hard," she said. "We have to rebound and be better for X, next week."
UNB heads to St FX on Friday.
The Tommies next action is Saturday, when they host Dalhousie.
RECAP: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS: James West/for UNB Athletics