Antigonish, NS – The battle of top ranked U SPORTS men's hockey teams did not disappoint as the No. 3 UNB Varsity Reds defeated the No. 1 StFX X-Men 2-1 in a shootout at the Charles V. Keating Centre in front of over 1200 fans Saturday night.
The near-capacity crowd was treated to a very physical 60 minutes of regulation play, five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime and the shootout that featured Varsity Reds newcomer Alexandre Goulet (Disraeli, QC) score the game winner.
UNB scored in the first period to take a 1-0 lead, the teams played a scoreless second and the X-Men tied it up in the third.
Varsity Reds forward Stephen Anderson (Morell, PE) beat X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) while UNB had an extra attacker on the ice with seven minutes left in the opening period. While on a delayed penalty call, Anderson found the loose puck in front of the net. Through traffic, and assisted by Oliver Cooper (Fredericton, NB) and Goulet, he got the rebound past a downed Marchand.
Shots in the period favoured UNB 14-7.
Second period action saw no goals but did see X-Men defenceman Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) go down with an injury after he got caught up in front of his own net and fell on an awkward play, twisting his knee. Play was halted for several minutes while he was taken off the ice.
The X-Men had several scoring chances in the second period as they outshot the visitors 14-8 as Varsity Reds goaltender Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, QC) was up for the task.
His counterpart in the StFX Chase Marchand continued to stymy the Varsity Reds, turning aside 17 shots in the third period. He would finish with 41 saves on the night and garner Subway player of the game and first star honours.
Halfway through the third period StFX answered UNB's first period goal. At 10:21 Michael Clarke (London, ON) capitalized on a good zone-to-zone play, besting Dubeau up high. In the neutral zone Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) and Holden Cooke (Oshawa, ON) advanced the puck, allowing Clarke to take the shot from in front of the net.
Play remained tied at one goal apiece through the overtime period, despite some great chances by both sides. In the ensuing shootout, Cook was the only StFX shooter to beat Dubeau, while both Dylan Willick (Prince George, BC) and Goulet out manoeuvred Marchand, sealing the win for the Varsity Reds.
Shots in the game favoured UNB 43-29. Second and third stars of the game were Dubeau and Clarke, respectively.
Next on the AUS schedule sees StFX hosting Dalhousie with a 7:00 pm puck drop on Wednesday, while UNB will host Acadia on next Saturday, January 20th, also at 7pm.
- X-Men defenceman Santino Centorame will be on the road to recovery after suffering a knee dislocation in the game.
- The X-Men were already without starters Craig Duininck, Sam Studnicka and Kristoff Kontos due to injuries
- Goulet's game-winning goal was his first one as a Varsity Red in his second AUS regular season game, having joined the team in January.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Sports Information