STU women's hockey team wins 1st AUS championship
The team from Fredericton university has gone to nationals three times, hosting once
The St. Thomas University women's hockey team has won its first-ever Atlantic University Sport championship.
In a 2-1 win over St. Francis Xavier, the Tommies secured their first AUS title since the program started more than 17 years ago.
Peter Murphy, the full-time coach, said the victory Thursday night was a culmination of hard work.
"We've had a very good year," he said. "Lots of historic items, lots of records being broken."
Murphy said the historic win was watched by more than 1,000 people to the Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton. This speaks volumes about the value of women's hockey, not just to the university but to the community here as well, he said.
"That's a big deal for women's hockey. There was a lot of alumni in the audience with tears in their eyes.
"This isn't just good for St. Thomas, it's good for women's hockey in general."
The team faced some challenges, though, including some players coming down with the flu.
Murphy said the Grant-Harvey Centre also lost power Wednesday, so the team wasn't able to practise.
"It was out to 11:30 that night and we had no ice time that we could use," he said.
He said that didn't stop the women from giving their all against their tough competitors from Nova Scotia.
"It's a tremendous accomplishment for the team this year," said Mike Eagles, the athletic director for St. Thomas.
The women's hockey team has made it to the national championships three times overall and has hosted them once.
Murphy and the roaster of 22 women will head to the nationals in Charlottetown next weekend.