X-Men defeat Tommies 5-3

Photo courtesy Dalton King
Photo courtesy Dalton King

ANTIGONISH - The CIS #9-ranked StFX X-Men (4-1-1) extended their winning streak to three with a 5-3 victory over the visiting St. Thomas Tommies (0-6) in AUS hockey action Friday night at the Keating Centre. 

After the X-Men garnered the bulk of the chances early in the first period - with Tommies' goaltender Tyson Teichmann (Belleville, ON) making several quality saves to keep it scoreless - the visitors opening the scoring at the 15:10 mark. Zach Hall (Belleville, ON) beat Brandon Hope (Canton, MI) five-hole from the top of the slot, on a set-up from Shane McColgan (Redondo Beach, CA).

The X-Men tied the match-up with just under 45 seconds remaining in the period, when Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON) banged in a rebound behind Teichmann from the lip of the crease. Eric Locke (Toronto, ON) took the initial shot from inside the blue-line, after putting moves on a couple Tommies' defenders. Kristoff Kontos (Penetanguishene, ON) chipped in the other assist. 

Less than 30 seconds later, the X-Men almost had their first lead, but a point-shot from sophomore defenseman Craig Duininck (St. Cloud, MN) rang off the left goal post behind Teichmann.   

StFX outshot St. Thomas 15-6 in the first period. 

In the second period, the X-Men jumped to a 3-1 advantage on two goals in a 3:33 span.

At the 2:08 mark, Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) finished off a two-on-one with Locke, while sophomore defenseman Trey Lewis (Aldouane, NB) provided the other assist.

Kontos doubled the X-Men advantage at 5:41, when he capitalized on a Teichmann turnover behind the net, putting a shot into the open cage after intercepting the goaltender's clearing attempt.

In the second 10 minutes of the middle frame, the Tommies battled back, cutting the X-Men lead to 3-2 at the 12:55 mark. St. Thomas took advantage of a X-Men turnover in the offensive zone, with McColgan roofing a shot top shelf over the shoulder of Hope to finish off the counter attack. Marc-Andre Levesque (Longueil, QC) recorded the assist to make it 3-2.

Early in the third period, the Tommies had a golden opportunity to tie the game, but Hope made a point-blank left pad save on Colin Martin (London, ON).

At 3:47, Lewis doubled the X-Men lead to 4-2, when his floating shot from the point found the top corner behind Teichmann. Cory MacIntosh (North Sydney, NS) and Brent Turnbull (Stellarton, NS) provided the assists. 

Less than five minutes later, Cook forced a turnover behind the St. Thomas net and centered to freshman Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON), who scored the fifth X-Men goal.

The Tommies wrapped up the scoring with a power play goal with 20 seconds remaining, when Hall notched his second of the game, off a goal-mouth scramble. Martin and JC Campagna (Dublin, OH) scored assists on the marker. 

Hope made 23 saves in the win, while Teichmann turned aside 29 shots in the loss.

The Subway player of the game and first star was Locke, while Kontos and McColgan earned second and third star selections, respectively. 

The Tommies return to action tomorrow night (Oct. 31), when they face the Dalhousie Tigers in Halifax.

The X-Men will wrap up a four-game home stand Halloween night, when they host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus at the Keating Centre.

Puck drop for both games is 7 p.m.