Halifax, NS – In Friday night AUS hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers edged the StFX X-Men 1-0 at the Halifax Forum. It took 59 minutes for someone to find the back of the net as Tigers forward Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) scored the late third period goal to give them the 1-0 victory.
The goal was a rewarding one for the Tigers who were outshot 35-23 by the visiting X-Men, who were hoping to extend the game to overtime.
With just over a minute to go, the Tigers were pressing in the attacking end, putting shot after shot toward X netminder Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) who lost his stick in a scramble. The puck worked back to the point where Jesse Lussier (Ottawa, ON) hammered a slap shot on net that was redirected in front by Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) into the top corner to give the Tigers the lead with 1:13 left on the game clock.
The X-Men elected to pull Marchand as they gained the zone, but a late icing call forced him back into the net with only a few seconds left on the clock, and time ran out as the Tigers held on for the slim victory.
The game opened with Dalhousie exerting plenty of offensive pressure in the attacking end. Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) got a great look on a cross-crease pass that was one-timed toward the goal, but Marchand robbed him with an outstretched glove.
Anthony Difruscia (Thorold, ON) got the best chance in the period for the X-Men when he made a nice move to get into the slot with some space to fire a high shot that Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON) was able to just get a piece of with the glove to keep it scoreless.
Despite a few great chances in the period, the teams went into the first intermission scoreless with a 12-10 shot advantage for X.
In the second period it was the X-Men who had the early opportunities. Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON) was stopped by the pad of Hicks on a partial break, and Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) sent a hard shot toward the goal that was able to get by Hicks, but rang off the post and stayed out.
Not long after that shot from Tremaine, the Tigers countered on the other end with a pass coming across the slot to Lussier who showed tremendous patience trying to wait out Marchand, but the X-Men goalie was able to slide across to get a shoulder on it to deflect the puck out of harm's way.
The goaltenders were spectacular on both ends of the ice through two periods, with Hicks stopping 22 shots, while Marchand had 18. As a result, the teams headed into the third period still looking to open the scoring.
Much of the third period was quiet, with both teams playing conservatively as neither side was willing to risk giving up a chance at what could be the lone goal in the game. That goal came at 18:47 for the Tigers.
Connor Hicks was named the Subway Player of the Game in an outstanding performance in the Tigers net to secure the 35 save shutout victory.
The Tigers will look to make it three wins in a row as they head to Moncton Saturday for their third game in four days. The X-Men will look to bounce back on Wednesday evening as they head to PEI to take on the Panthers.
Courtesy Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Communications