Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In Saturday night AUS men's hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers were taking on the undefeated StFX X-Men at the Civic Arena in Halifax. The Tigers were able to put shots toward the net, but weren't able to find a goal until late in the third period. Special teams were the story of the game for StFX as they were able to capitalize on three power play opportunities, and came away with a 5-1 victory.
The Tigers took two early penalties in the first to put them at a 5-on-3 disadvantage. The Tigers were able to kill off the first of the penalties, but as time was winding down on the second, the X-Men were able to capitalize. The X-Men worked the puck into the zone on the right side as Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) was found with a cross-ice pass, and he had plenty of time to pick his spot and beat Tigers goalie Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK).
The Tigers had great opportunity to even it up just a few minutes later as Andrew Rieder (Regina, SK) was sent in on a partial break and took a low shot on the blocker side of Brandon Hope (Canton, MI), but Hope was able to get the body in front of it and put an end to the play.
The Tigers had a few final chances on a late power play, but weren't able to find the back of the net, and the first period ended with just the lone X-Men goal.
StFX struck again mid-way through the second as a long breakout pass was handled by Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON), who found Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON) with a fantastic pass from the faceoff dot to the opposite side of the crease and Pancel tapped it home.
The Tigers once again had late power plays, but the X-Men defence was clogging up the lane and shots were hard to come by.
Boes was keeping the Tigers in it with great saves late in the period, especially on a shot from Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) that was tipped in front and Boes was able to just get a toe on it and keep it out.
Heading into period number three, StFX led the Tigers 2-0.
The X-Men were able to capitalize on an unlucky bounce for the Tigers as a clearing attempt was deflected back into the slot to Matt Needham (Penticton, BC). Needham's point-blank shot was stopped, but Cianfrone was in the right spot to put the rebound home for his second of the game.
The Tigers looked like they might have their opening goal mid-way through the third on a long shot from Myles McGurty (Hoboken, NJ), but it was stopped by Hope and the rebound sat just behind him in the crease and was cleared before Jackson Playfair (Fort St. James, BC) could get a stick on it.
Special teams play was key again for the X-Men as they picked up another goal on the power play. A shot from the point was blocked by a Tigers defender in front, but the puck bounced back out to Cole MacDonald in the slot who wired a wrist shot over the blocker of Boes to give StFX a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers continued to take costly penalties resulting in a two-man advantage for the X-Men with just three minutes left in the game. Just as the first penalty expired, Centorame drove towards the net down the left side, and found Holden Cook open in front of the net who jammed it in to give them a 5-0 lead.
The Tigers were able to break the shut-out just seconds later as Ryan Verbeek (Kingston, Ont.) picked up the puck just outside the blue line, carried it in around a StFX defender and snuck a low backhand shot past Hope to make it 5-1.
As time wound down on the last few minutes, the X-Men were able to walk away with the 5-1 win to remain perfect in the regular season.
The Subway Player of the Game was X-Men Bryson Cianfrone for his two goals in the match.
The Tigers will play their next game on Wednesday as they travel to Acadia to take on the Axemen. StFX will play at home on Wednesday facing off against Saint Mary's.