Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men earned a lopsided 9-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers Saturday night at the Antigonish Arena. The top line of Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON), Matt Needham (Kamloops, BC) and Jeremiah Addison (Etobicoke, ON) combined for a six goal, 13-point output, including a hat trick from Subway player of the game Cianfrone.
The X-Men began the game with a pair of first period power play goals, both off the stick of Cianfrone.
His first marker came just over six minutes into the game as he potted a rebound after a Cole MacDonald (Westaskiwin, AB) shot from the point was stopped by Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON). Addison also assisted on the goal.
Both squads continued to get into penalty trouble throughout the period as competitive tempers flared. The X-Men fought off a 5-on-3 Panthers advantage for 45 seconds.
The Panthers best chance came at the tail end of a power play when Luke Kirwan (Mount Herbert, PE) dinged one off the post.
Cianfrone notched his second goal on the man-advantage at 15:22, wristing a shot past Hofley from the inside face-off circle hash marks after he took a pass behind the net from Addison. Needham also assisted to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
Shots were fairly even in the opening period at 10-9 in favour of the Panthers.
The X-Men doubled their lead with a pair of second period goals scored within the opening five minutes. Matt Graham (Bedford, NS) and Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) connected with Lane Cormier (Hopewell, NS) who scored off a high shot on a screened Hofley.
Three minutes later Needham deposited a loose puck in the Panthers net for StFX's fourth goal of the evening. Linemates Cianfrone and Addison assisted.
The physical play continued and the X-Men pressured for another goal midway through the period while on the power play but the Panthers held their ground.
The visitors got on the board at the 17:30 mark when Darian Pilon (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) fired a shot from the point that beat X netminder Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, NS). Riley Whittingham (Calgary, AB) and Jordan Maher (Gander, NF) picked up the helpers on the goal.
The X-Men quickly regained their four-goal lead, however, when Cianfrone scored his third goal of the night with 25 seconds left in the period, banging in the puck on a goal crease scramble. Addison picked up his fourth assist of the game and Adam Holwell (St. John's, NL) was in for an assist.
Shots favoured the Panthers 14-13 in the middle period but the X-Men were up 5-1 on the scoreboard.
UPEI got one back just 13 seconds into the third period. After StFX blocked the initial shot on goal, the puck found the stick of Kyle Maksimovich (Oakville, ON) who deposited it high into the open side of the X net. Troy Lajeunesse (Stratford, PE) and Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PE) assisted.
The next four goals belonged to the X-Men as they took a commanding 9-2 lead. Holwell scored on a clean shot from the point – from Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) and Graham just over five minutes in while on the power play.
Needham made it 7-2 as he tapped in the puck short side midway through the period, then he assisted on the X-Men's eighth goal that came on the man-advantage. Addison made it a five-point night as he took a nice pass from Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) in front and beat Hofley with his shot.
Final shots in the game favoured StFX at 38-32 as they doubled the Panthers 16-8 in third period shots on goal.
Mann-Dixon earned his first win of the season between the pipes for StFX, turning aside 30 pucks and picked third star honours. Addison was the game's second star and Cianfrone the first star.
The X-Men will be back on the ice at the Antigonish Arena on Saturday, October 5th when they host Moncton at 7:00 pm during StFX Homecoming weekend. The Panthers nest see action on Wednesday, October 9th when they travel to Moncton.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information