(Halifax, NS) In AUS men's hockey action, the Saint Mary's Huskies hosted the St FX X-Men at the Dauphinee Centre in Halifax. An evenly battled game went to a shootout before the home team took the win 2-1.
The first minutes of the game were in the Huskies' favor, as they attacked with speed, often with defense jumping up on the rush. St FX made a few dangerous plays around their net, adding to the pressure.
Saint Mary's had a few power plays as well, but any shots went wide, were blocked, or went straight into goalie Blade Mann-Dixon's (Antigonish, NS) chest with little traffic in front of the net.
After getting back to even strength, the X-Men put some pressure on the home team. They had a couple odd man rushes that were only broken up by offside calls, and in the final minute of play, a shot from the point from Bailey Webster (Kensington, PEI) was tipped high over an open net for their best scoring chance of the period.
The game was scoreless at the end of a hard-hitting first period, with shots just as even at 10 apiece.
The second period started with one noticeable absence for the Huskies. Logan DeNoble (Peterborough, ON) took a hard fall into the end boards during the first period and did not return to the game.
The Huskies opened the scoring less than a minute into the second period. Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) walked to the front of the net from the corner and put a low backhand shot past Mann-Dixon. Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) assisted on the play.
The X-Men had scoring opportunities of their own, with a breakaway from Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) who created a turnover inside his own blue line and rushed down the ice only to put a shot high over the net. Then, on a five on three-man advantage with 12 minutes to go, Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) hit the post with a shot from the point as the X-Men looked threatening.
The period ended with the Huskies up 1-0. They led 11-5 on the shot clock in the second frame.
St FX didn't take long to tie it up the third period. Less than four minutes in, they had a burst of pressure starting with a two on one rush, then a shot that rang off the crossbar, followed by several rebounds peppered at goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) before Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) put the puck in. The goal was assisted by Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON).
Play went end to end for much of the period, with neither team keeping the other hemmed in their zone.
The Huskies nearly took the lead with just over two minutes to go as Keith Getson (Bridgewater, NS) came down the right wing with speed and passed to Mitchell Balmas (Sydney, NS) crashing the net at the backdoor, but the puck went just wide.
As Mark Trickett (Baddeck, NS) took a penalty with less than two minutes left in the game, the X-Men had the man advantage but couldn't find the go-ahead goal as the clock ticked down, sending the teams to overtime.
Johnson had a wraparound attempt in the extra time for the Huskies, while at the other end of the ice, William Thompson (Fredericton, NB) had a low one-timer that narrowly missed the net.
Going to a shootout, it was Connor McGlynn (Oakville, ON), the Huskies' fifth shooter, with a deke to his backhand for the game winner. He earned the Subway Player of the Game for his efforts.
Next up, the Huskies host the UPEI Panthers in a rescheduled matchup. Meanwhile, the X-Men host Dalhousie on the 6th.
Sarah Moore, SMU
Photo Nick Pearce