Antigonish, NS – Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) scored the game winning goal with just under three minutes to play as the StFX X-Men defeated the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus 5-3 Saturday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre. The crowd was treated to an entertaining 60 minutes of play, as the teams were tied after the first and second periods.
Moncton opened the scoring just over 13 minutes into the opening frame with a powerplay goal by Edouard Michaud (Sherbrooke, QC). Assisted by Marc-Anthony Therrien (Nicolet, QC) and Danick Crete (Rigaud, QC), Michaud was able to beat veteran X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS). The goal was the start of a very physical, evenly matched contest.
StFX answered Moncton's goal at 17:16 when Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) beat Moncton netminder Alexi Thibaudeau (Gatineau, QC), netting the rebound off a shot from inside the slot. Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS), coming off a three-goal game last night, and Sam Studnicka (Windsor, ON) were credited with the assists on the goal.
Shots in the first period favoured StFX at 9-3.
The second period was a mirror image of the first, with Moncton scoring first and StFX answering minutes later with a goal of their own.
Moncton freshman forward Maxime St-Cyr (St-Didace, QC), assisted by Robbie Graham (Richibuctou, NB), got the puck past Marchand at the 11:13 mark for his first of two goals of the night.
Two and half minutes later, just two seconds after a StFX power play expired, Anthony Difruscia (Thorold, ON) evened out the score off assists from Lane Cormier (Hopewell, NS) and Aaron Hoyles (Gander, NL) as he potted a rebound in front of the net past Thibaudeau.
The game remained tied at two for the remainder of the period, with shots favouring Moncton 10-8.
The final frame briefly saw the tides turn in favour of the visiting Aigles Bleus when they were able to capitalize on a two-man advantage. While Matthew Graham (Bedford, NS) and Hoyles were serving minor penalties, St-Cyr netted his second of the evening, bringing the score to 3-2 in favour of the visitors.
The blue and white rallied together and gained serious momentum, peppering shots on the Aigles Bleus net. The pressure paid off when Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) scored the equalizing goal at 9:52, going five-hole on Thibaudeau during an X-Men power play.
MacDonald's game winning goal came at 17:11 off a backhanded shot, scored unassisted by the StFX defenseman.
Moncton was not able answer the StFX tally during the final minutes of play, leading to them pulling Thibaudeau in favour of an extra attacker. The X-Men scored an insurance marker on the empty net with just under a minute of play left in the game when Matt Needham (Penticton, BC) fired the puck down the ice and the Aigles Bleus weren't able to corral it.
Shots in the game favoured StFX at 31-19 and Marchand picked up the win with 16 saves. Laishram was named the game's first star and Subway player of the Game. Moncton's St-Cyr was the second star and StFX's MacDonald was the third star.
StFX next sees action on Wednesday November 28th when they travel to Halifax to meet Dalhousie. Dalhousie will then travel to Moncton on November 30th to face-off against the Aigles Bleus. Puck drop for both games is 7:00 pm.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Sports Information