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Shae Demale desires to exit on a excessive word.
The Saint Mary’s star senior ahead, in her last season of Atlantic college girls’s hockey, leads the Huskies into the AUS playoffs, which start in earnest this week. SMU – which completed the common season in third place at 18-9-1 – will face the Moncton Aigles Bleues (11-17) within the best-of-three quarter-finals, which start Tuesday in Halifax.
“It’s undoubtedly unhappy to assume that it’s my final yr,” mentioned Demale, the reigning convention MVP who completed tied for second in league scoring this season with St. Francis Xavier’s Lauren Dabrowski with 34 factors, 13 again of U Sports activities scoring chief Maggy Burbidge of the X-Ladies.
“We’ve had loads of ups and downs as a crew. Now we have a younger group arising and we’ve had rather a lot to be taught. However now we have grown in the course of the season and that has pulled us collectively as a crew.”
The Huskies head into the post-season on a roll, profitable 5 straight video games together with a 5-2 victory over Moncton on Friday evening.
“It’s thrilling going into playoffs as a result of that is the place the actual season begins,” Demale mentioned. “This could possibly be my final sequence so I’m undoubtedly going to make use of that as motivation. It’s super-exciting to have this chance forward of me and for us as a bunch. I believe that we’re going to make use of this as motivation to increase our season and go so far as we are able to.”
Recreation 2 is Thursday night in Moncton.
It’s been a season to recollect for Purple Deer’s Demale. She tallied a career-high 19 objectives in 2022-23. She additionally moved into fifth place among the many Huskies’ profession scoring leaders with 109 factors in 101 video games throughout 4 seasons, behind Lindsay Taylor, Courtney Schriver, Breanne Lanceleve and Kori Cheverie, who every performed 5 seasons at SMU.
Demale additionally gained gold final month on the FISU Winter World College Video games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
She was amongst 5 AUS girls’s hockey gamers chosen to Group Canada for the worldwide occasion. Canada earned its first girls’s hockey gold in 10 years.
“It was such an unforgettable expertise and undoubtedly as soon as in a lifetime,” Demale mentioned. “I’m tremendous grateful that I acquired the chance in my final yr. I believe that I realized heaps going there and enjoying with such a excessive calibre group of women and other people working collectively as a bunch in the direction of a standard purpose. That was a helpful factor to be taught for years to return.”
For the primary time in 4 years, SMU gained’t have a bye to the semifinals. The UNB Reds (23-2-3) and St. F.X. (20-5-3) earn a move to the semifinals by advantage of ending first and second within the convention respectively.
Whereas the remaining would have been welcomed, Demale mentioned the Huskies are OK with enjoying an additional sequence.
“Going into the season, clearly you wish to get that bye,” Demale mentioned. “However being within the place we’re in, we’re simply going to take it and run with it. We’ll use it as a possibility to get higher and be higher ready going into, hopefully, the semifinals.
“However we’re not wanting previous Moncton. They could be a robust opponent and so they’re undoubtedly a really opportunistic crew. We have to ensure that we’re able to go for each recreation and that we don’t take them calmly as a result of we all know that they will capitalize on their probabilities.”
The opposite quarter-final sequence between the fifth-ranked Dalhousie Tigers and No. 4 UPEI Panthers will even open on Tuesday in Charlottetown. Recreation 2 is Friday night on the Halifax Discussion board.
The AUS males’s hockey quarter-finals will every begin on Wednesday.
No. 4 St. F.X. hosts the fifth-seeded Acadia Axemen in Antigonish. Recreation 2 will happen Friday, 7 p.m. in Wolfville.
The opposite quarter-final options third-ranked UPEI and No. 6 Moncton. Recreation 1 is Wednesday in Charlottetown earlier than the sequence switches to Moncton on Friday evening.
UNB and Saint Mary’s personal first-round byes.