Dominant first period leads X-Men to victory over Axemen

Photo courtesy Acadia sports information
Photo courtesy Acadia sports information

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The StFX X-Men (14-9-2) pulled within two points of the U SPORTS No. 4 ranked Acadia Axemen (15-8-2), after winning 5-2 on Wednesday night.

After scoring three goals in the first period, the X-Men held onto their lead for the rest of the game, although the Axemen did come close to tying the game early in the third period.

Despite staying scoreless for the first 10 minutes, StFX dominated the first period, scoring three unanswered goals within a 2:20 time span to put the X-Men up with a big 3-0 lead.

Second star of the game, Remy Giftopoulos (Ancaster, ON), pointed out that the opening period was a tough way to start the game. "That first period was a back breaker for us and we know we have to come up stronger if you want to compete against a solid team like StFX."

The first goal came from X-Men forward Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS), with a wrist shot at the left side of the Acadia net, which momentarily fooled the players and the crowd.

For their second marker of the period, third year forward Eric Locke (Toronto, ON), one-timed a beautiful, cross-ice pass from Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON).

Just over one minute later, the X-Men struck again with a wrist shot from the blue line by Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON), which fooled Acadia goalie Robert Steeves (Moncton, NB).

Trailing the X-Men 14-5 in shots and down by three goals heading into the second period, Acadia fell into penalty trouble when forward Tyler Makin (Lethbridge, AB), was ejected from the game for a hit to the head and given a five-minute major. Boston Leier (Saskatoon, SK) was handed a two-minute minor and 10-minute misconduct for a hit from behind.

After killing off both penalties, Acadia came into their own 5-on-3 following a timeout. Axemen defenseman Matthew Pufahl (Saskatoon, SK) scored on a wrist shot from the point, to cut the lead to two in favor of StFX.

Acadia came out strong in the third period and just 1:14 in, Leier fired a wrist shot that beat X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) high, glove side to put the Axemen within one.

StFX responded at around the half way point of the third, with a goal from defenseman Max Iafrate (Livonia, MI), who tipped one past Acadia's Devin Williams (Detroit, MI), who replaced Steeves after allowing three goals on eight shots in the first period.

Williams turned aside 11 of 12 on the night. StFX's Chase Marchand turned aside 29 of 31 shots.

Despite pulling their goalie with two minutes left to play, the Axemen were unable to capitalize, accidentally scoring on their own empty net to give StFX a 5-2 lead.

Subway player of the game and first star of the evening went to StFX defenseman Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC), while second and third stars went to Axemen forward Giftopoulos and X-Men goalie Marchand, respectively.

The win marked the fourth time the X-Men have defeated the Axemen this season in as many meetings.

The Axemen and X-Men next hit the ice on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. with home games against the Dalhousie Tigers and Saint Mary's Huskies, respectively. 

The X-Men and Axemen pose for a photo prior to the game for #BellLetsTalk Day