(Halifax, NS) The Saint Mary's Huskies hosted their cross-town rivals, the Dalhousie Tigers, at the Dauphinee Centre, in a close game which opened up in the third period, giving the Huskies a 5-2 win.
The opening minutes of the game were played mostly along on the perimeter as both teams worked cycling the puck and battling along the boards.
The Huskies' defense was playing aggressively, stepping up in the neutral zone to poke check any Dalhousie rushes and limiting their chances.
Two penalties taken by the Tigers gave the Huskies an edge. Just as one expired, with eight and a half minutes to go, Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON) walked in and put a low shot through traffic past goalie Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) from the face off dot. Mark Trickett (Baddeck, NS) assisted as the Huskies went up 1-0.
In the closing minutes of the period, DAL had a couple chances on the rush. The Tigers best scoring opportunity was a two on one where Andrew Shewfelt (Dartmouth, NS) passed to Ashton Anderson (Rivers, NB). The rookie beat goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) blocker side but the puck hit the post, keeping the Tigers scoreless.
The Huskies were up 2-0 on the scoreboard after 20 minutes of play, leading in shots 18-6.
With less than a minute into the second period, the Tigers got on the board. Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) walked behind the net and threw the puck out front to captain Colton Heffley (Swift Current, SK) for a quick one timer into the back of the net.
The Tigers tightened up their play in the second frame. One noticeable difference was in the offensive zone, where they got more support from a high forward, allowing their defense to pinch along the boards and hem the Huskies in their zone. Dalhousie took the edge in shots in 13-9.
Saint Mary's were quiet for most of the period, but that shifted in the last couple minutes as they threw lots of pucks on net and with three minutes to go, they got on the board again. Conor McGlynn (Oakville, ON) got his second goal of the season, assisted by Austyn Hardie (Halifax, NS) and Mitchell Balmas (Sydney, NS).
The teams headed into the second frame with the Huskies up 3-1.
Early in the third period, on a power play, Dalhousie got another early goal to narrow the lead to one. A bouncing shot from Jack Hanley (Whitby, ON) at the point popped up and over the shoulder of Brassard. Shewfelt and Cyr assisted on the goal.
The Huskies regained control of the game halfway through the period. On the power play, a shot from the point from Welsh was saved, but Johnson was there to put in the rebound. Balmas also earned an assist on the goal.
Less than a minute later, they went up 5-2 as Balmas came down the right wing and put on the brakes in the high slot to cut to the middle for an open look. His low wrist shot slipped over the pad of Pickard. Welsh and Repaci got the helpers on the goal.
That would the end of scoring in the game, though the Huskies later hit the post on one chance and the Tigers had a breakaway opportunity that Shewfelt narrowly missed.
The Subway Player of the Game was Mitchell Balmas, with one goal and two assists in the Huskies' 5-2 win.
It's a short turnaround for the Tigers, who host Acadia tomorrow night at the Halifax Forum, while the Huskies will travel to Wolfville on Wednesday to face the Axemen.
Sarah Moore, SMU
Photo Mona Ghiz