REDS Win AUS Championship

The UNB REDS are the 2021-2022 Atlantic University Sport women's hockey champions. (PHOTO: STFX Athletics)
The UNB REDS are the 2021-2022 Atlantic University Sport women's hockey champions. (PHOTO: STFX Athletics)

(ANTIGONISH, NS) For the first time in program history, the UNB REDS are Atlantic University Sport Champions.

The REDS beat the STFX X-Women 4-0 Thursday, winning the best of three conference championship series 2-0.

Kendra Woodland (Kamloops, BC) stopped all 46 shots she faced and was named the Most Valuable Player of the AUS Playoffs.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, we didn't come here thinking it was going to be easy," said Woodland, who was also named Subway Player of the Game. "It was a massive team effort tonight, and we're very glad we came out on top."

After a scoreless first period, it looked as though the teams would skate through a second scoreless 20 minutes.

But, on a powerplay, with less than a minute to play in the second period, Talli Warren (Mundleville, NB) found a loose puck in front of the X net and hammered it past STFX goalie Jamie Johnston (Victoria, BC).

The REDS then jumped on the X-Women in the third.

At the 3:11 mark, on another powerplay, Lily George (Nipissing First Nation) scored a goal similar to Warren's to put the REDS up 2-0.

Just over a minute later, Alayna Wagstaff (Olds, AB) fired a wrist shot from the slot that beat Johnston to make it 3-0.

Melanie Drost (Nepean, ON) added UNB's fourth goal at 13:13.

"We knew we would have to give them everything we've got," said REDS head coach Sarah Hilworth. "We knew they were offensively potent and we were going to have to weather the storm. The first period wasn't the start we wanted and in the second and third period we gave it our all and we ended up where we wanted to be."

The REDS first Atlantic conference title comes in the team's first trip to the conference championship series. It earns UNB a berth at the national championship tournament.

"We've been preparing for this all year," said Hilworth. "It's our first time at the dance, so we're going in unknown but it's exciting," she said. "I'm so proud of this group and I can't wait to see what we can do."

"At the moment, we're really excited, especially knowing where we came from in the first four years, but the work starts tomorrow," Woodland added. "We're all really excited and ready to get going."

X-Women head coach Ben Berthiaume said his team gave a full effort, and pointed to Woodland's work in the UNB net and the lessons his team can take from the experience.

"Those younger players, and we had a number of them, will look at this moment and not want to (repeat it). I look at a number of years ago when we lost to St. Thomas in the final, and we came back hungrier. I think as a group we'll be more determined and motivated so we'll be ready to go next year." 

The U SPORTS women's hockey championship takes place March 23-27, in Charlottetown.


RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics and Matt Draper/STFX Athletics

PHOTOS BY: Bryan Kennedy/for STFX Athletics