Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men bested the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies 3-1 in their home opener Saturday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
First period action saw the X-Men take the early lead with a goal by Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS), assisted by Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON), at 3:33 into play.
Outshooting the Huskies 14-10 in the opening period, the X-Men held onto the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The lead didn't hold long into the second period as Saint Mary's evened it up at 1:03 on a Calder Brooks marker, assisted by Austyn Hardie (Montreal, QC), it what would turn out to be Huskies only goal of the game.
The X-Men scored on the power play late in the second period when Kristoff Kontos (Penetanguishene, ON) got one past Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) off a set-up Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) and Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC).
The 2-1 lead held throughout the third period as the teams exchanged scoring chances and both goaltenders turned in strong performances for their respective teams.
Cementing the X-Men's victory was an empty net goal scored by Jagger Dirk with 54 seconds left to play.
The X-Men outshot the Huskies 34-20 in the game and were 1 for 6 on the power play. The Huskies were 0 for 4 on the man-advantage.
X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) earned Subway Player of the Game honors. StFX forward Kristoff Kontos was the second star and Huskies goaltender Eric Brassard was awarded the third star.
Prior to the game, Alice Mattie, wife of the late Wayne Mattie, the long time X-Men videographer who passed away last winter, was brought to center ice for the ceremonial puck-drop in honor and memory of her husband who contributed so much to the X-Men hockey program over the past 12 years. Mattie was presented with flowers by X-Men captain Craig Dunnick (St. Cloud, MN).
Also before the game began, the 2016-17 AUS championship banner as unveiled in the Charles V. Keating Centre. The X-Men are the defending two-time conference champions.
The Huskies will be back home on Friday, October 13th where they will again face StFX on Homecoming Weekend.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Athletics communications