Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In Wednesday night hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers were taking on l'Universite de Moncton at the Halifax Forum. After taking an early lead, the Tigers allowed unanswered goals to send the game to overtime. After surviving a scare in the overtime frame, the Tigers were able to come away with a 4-3 win in a shootout.
The Tigers were able to get on the board first, nine minutes into the frame. The puck was worked deep into the corner of the attacking zone, as it came back to Jackson Playfair (Fort St. James, BC) who sent it across the blue line to Aiden Jamieson (Lindsay, ON) who waited on the defender to drop to a knee before moving around and sending his shot low into the side of the net to give the Tigers the lead.
Just a few minutes later, the power play unit was out for the Tigers. The puck was worked around the outside of the zone, once again from Playfair over to Jamieson at the point. Jamieson was able to walk in and faced the goalie one-on-one, and he faked, out-waited goalie Brandon Thibeau (Riverview, NB) who drifted out of position, and was able to calmly tuck the puck into the net. This gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead late in the first.
L'Aigles Bleu were able to bounce back before the period was over, as a hard shot from the point from Danick Emond (Terrebonne, QC) was put wide on purpose as the puck traveled directly to Samuel LeBlanc (Moncton, NB) who sent a perfect backhand tip into the top corner.
With that goal the first period ended with the Tigers leading 2-1.
The Tigers came out with plenty of intensity to start the second period, with a lot of possession held in the Moncton zone.
Half way through the period, the Tigers were able to get on the board again, this time coming off of the hard wrist shot of Ryan Verbeek (Kingston, ON) from the top of the circle, that beat the glove of Thibeau.
With that goal, the Tigers went up 3-1, and it stayed that way to end the second period.
It seemed like Tigers coach Chris Donnelly must have put a focus on checking during the intermission, as his team came out of the gate putting a body on anyone carrying the puck. However, they spent much of this time in the defensive zone.
L'Aigles Bleu were able to beat the physical aspect of the Tigers game when they sent multiple players deep to play the puck below the goal line. The puck made its way out front of the Tigers net and forced Tigers goalie Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK) to go down in the scramble, and Marc-Anthony Therrien (Nicolet, QC) was able to lift it over him to bring Moncton within one.
The pace of play had slowed in the third, till a puck that went into the Tigers zone was deflected into the air and was batted down by Jean-François Plante (Sherbrook, QC) over the shoulder of Boes to tie the game up at 3-3.
The goal seemed to light a fire under the Tigers, as the speed of the game picked up greatly, and the continued pressure in the attacking zone allowed them to draw penalties. The Tigers were able to hold possession, but were not able to generate any real scoring chances in the dying minutes, so the game headed to overtime at a 3-3 draw.
USports hockey uses a 5-minute, 3-on-3 overtime format, with a shootout to follow.
Both teams played a very defensive style in the overtime frame, not wanting to give away positioning to the other team. With just over two minutes to go in the overtime period, the Tigers took a penalty that would force them to play the rest of the sudden-death period down a man.
Goaltender Corbin Boes was huge for the team during this period making six big stops for the Tigers as they were able to hold off the attack and kill the penalty to end the overtime period and head to a shoot-out.
Two of the shots coming from l'Aigles Bleu went wide of the goal, and the Tigers also put their first two shots wide.
The Tigers third shooter was Aiden Jamieson who made a move to the right, pulled back and faked five-hole, and was able to tuck it in when he cut across to the left.
It came down to Moncton goal scorer Jean-François Plante, who came straight down the ice at Boes, took a shot at the blocker side, and it went just wide of the goal.
The Tigers were able to survive the overtime scare and come away with a 4-3 shootout victory.
The Subway Player of the Game was Tigers forward Aiden Jamieson for his two goals, plus the shootout winner
The Tigers are back in action on Friday as they travel to Antigonish to face StFX. L'Aigles Bleu will also play against StFX on Saturday evening.