Antigonish, NS – The U Sports ranked No. 4 StFX X-Men defeated the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus Saturday evening at the Charles. V. Keating Centre. Six different X-Men found the back of the net as the home team improved to 11-6-0 on the season.
X-Men forward Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) opened the scoring in the game at the 3:52 mark of the first period as he took a pass in the slot area and wired a quick shot past Aigles Bleus netminder Alexi Thibaudeau (Gatineau, QC). Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) and Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON) had the assists.
Tremaine almost connected for another goal with linemate Michael Clarke (London, ON) after Clarke stole the puck inside the Moncton zone after a clearing attempt but Thibaudeau was there for the save.
The X-Men came out firing in the first period and peppered Thibaudeau with shots. Captain Eric Locke (Toronto, ON) missed high over the net on a breakway attempt but then regrouped to score at 9:21 on a quick, high shot just under the cross bar off a Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC) pass.
Just over two minutes later Pancel increased the StFX lead to 3-0 as Marcus Cuomo (Richmond, ON) dug the pick out from the corner and sent it into the slot to an open Pancel who made no mistake in finding the back of the net. Spears also had a helper on the play.
The Aigles Bleus best chance came with under three minutes to play as Pierre Durepos (Shediac, NB) hit the cross bar.
Moncton only managed four shots in the first period to the X-Men's 17. StFX goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) made a good save off a Steve Lebel (Dieppe, NB) late in the period to maintain the 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The second period saw only one goal, coming off the stick of X-Men forward Kristof Kontos (Penetanguishene, ON) at 1:53. Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) passed it out to the slot to Kontos whose wrister beat Thibaudeau.
The teams exchanged power play opportunities but could not find the mesh. Moncton had an additional man-advantage where they generated a couple good shots on goal but couldn't solve Marchand.
Shots again favored the X-Men in the middle period, 12-7.
The Aigles Bleus finally got on the board 2:30 into the third period as a puck from Mathieu Martin (Saint-Basile, NB) found its way through traffic in front of the StFX net and past Marchand. Lebel assisted on the goal.
Moncton then pulled the game to 4-2 as Mitchell Robillard (Laval-Ouest, QC) scored just over two minutes later on the power play. Marchand made the original save in close but couldn't smother the rebound and Robillard banged it in. Marc-Anthony Therrien (Nicolet, QC) and Victor Beaulac (Saint-Hyacinthe, QC) had the helpers.
The two goals was as close as the Aigles Bleus would get to the X-Men however, as Max Iafrate (Livonia, MI) padded the X-Men lead with a power play goal of the their own at 6:01. His blast from inside the blue line through a screened Thibaudeau came unassisted.
Samuel LeBlanc (Moncton, NB) had the best chance for the Aigles Bleus in the period with a shot off the crossbar midway through the frame.
Clarke rounded out the X-Men scoring at 14:06 as he re-directed an Iafrate shot from the point that handcuffed Thibaudeau. Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) also assisted on the play.
Shots were even at eight apiece in the third period as the X-Men outshot the Aigles Bleus by an overall 37-19 margin.
Marchand improved to 7-2 on the season with 17 saves while Thibaudeau (1-3) with 31 saves was tagged with the loss.
Moncton forward Jean-François Plante (Sherbrooke, QC) received third star honors in the game, while StFX's Pancel was the second star and Iafrate earned first star and Subway Player of the Game recognition.
Next on the AUS schedule for the Aigles Bleus (5-10-1) is a home game Wednesday night against the Dalhousie Tigers (6-8-3). They will then play a re-match with the X-Men (11-6-0) on Friday night, December 2nd, also in Moncton. Puck drop is 2:00 pm.