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Three-goal second period propels Dal over Moncton

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

(Halifax, N.S.) – A three-goal second period by the Dalhousie Tigers helped the hosts top the visiting Moncton Aigles Bleus 5-1 on Wednesday night at the Halifax Forum.

Forward Alex Pawelczyk (Sterling Heights, MI) scored the eventual game-winner just under five minutes into the middle frame.

The teams traded chances in the opening 12 minutes of play, however neither side was able to hit the net with much accuracy.

Dalhousie's best chance came from forward Fabian Walsh (Gloucester, ON) whose wraparound went just wide, while Moncton's strongest opportunity came on a shot from forward Joel Blanchard (Caraquet, NB) that went off the side of the net.

The action picked up in the final five minutes of the opening period, with both teams finding the back of the net once.

Dalhousie got the scoring started with 4:26 left off an odd-man rush. Defenceman Myles McGurty (Haboken, NJ) fed Walsh a tic-tac-toe pass and he made no mistake.

The Aigles Blues responded with a frenzy of shots at Dalhousie goalie Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK), the last of which found the back of the net as forward Robbie Graham (Richibuctou, NB) blasted a wrister over Boe's left blocker.

Dalhousie took control of the contest in the second period, jumping out to a 4-1 lead.  

Pawelczyk made the score 2-1 at 4:04, tapping in a loose puck in front of the Moncton net.

Aigles Bleus goalie Brandon Thibeau (Riverview, NB) did an excellent job stopping forward Alex Cote on the initial attempt from in close, however the visitors were unable to clear the puck and Pawelczyk took advantage.

Any momentum Moncton may have had during the middle frame was halted by penalties. They took four in the period and were frequently forced to stay on the defensive.

The Tigers capitalized with an aggressive forecheck, scoring two goals in the final four minutes of play.

Forward Andrew Rieder (Regina, SK) increased the Tigers lead to two with at 15:21 on a wrist shot from the right slot, and Cote made it a three goal lead shortly after, netting a snap shot top shelf on the powerplay.

Dalhousie kept the pressure up in the final period, scoring a shorthanded marker in the opening minute.

Forward Andrew Wigginton (Sackville, NS) rushed in on a two-on-one with Reider, who made no mistake on the saucer pass from his teammate to increase the Tigers lead to 5-1.

Moncton kept the fight up however, putting a number of quality chances on net in the final 13 minutes of regulation. Boes stayed on his toes though, to ensure the four-goal lead stood for his squad.

Forward Steve Lebel (Lemayne, QC) had two excellent opportunities, but was stymied on both occasions by Boes, as was his teammate Jean-Francois Plante (Sherbrooke, QC), whose one-timer from the point was also stopped.

With the win, the Tigers advanced to 4-2-3 while Moncton fell to 3-6-0. Both team's next action is against StFX. Dalhousie will battle the X-Men on the road this Friday, while the Aigles Bleus will welcome them to town the following night.

By: Mike Still, Dalhousie Athletics