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Tigers clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win over UdeM

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – Celebrating the Bell Let's Talk initiative, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted l'Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus at the Halifax Forum. It took a late goal to put the Tigers ahead, but they were able to hold on for the 2-1 win to earn their fourth straight victory.

Tigers fans swapped out their black and gold for the one day of the year they wear blue to help break the stigma behind mental illness.

The Tigers were able to strike first in the game when given the first power play opportunity of the match. The Tigers worked the puck around the attacking zone, and Jackson Playfair (Fort St. James, BC) was able to send a pass across the slot to Colton Heffley (Swift Current, SK) who fired the one-time shot into the opposite side of the net to open the scoring.

It looked like Evan Scott (Montreal, QC) may have found a second one for the Tigers a few minutes later on a hard slap-shot from the point, but it hit iron and stayed out.

L'Aigles Bleus generated some offensive pressure at the end of the period, but the shots were generally forced to be taken from out wide which allowed Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK) to handle them for the Tigers.

At the end of the first period, the Tigers had the lone goal, up 1-0.

Neither team generated many good offensive chances in the first half of the period till Thierry Comtois (Sherbrooke, QC) and Mitchell Robillard (Laval-Ouest, QC) broke in on a short-handed two on one opportunity, but Boes was able to get a pad in front and smother the rebound.

Moncton was able to get on the board with seven minutes to go in the second when they found themselves on the man-advantage. It only took seven seconds of power play time for Vincent Deslauriers (Blainville, QC) to secure the faceoff win, drive below the goal-line and find Robbie Graham in front of the net who made no mistake in burying the equalizer.

The Tigers threatened with a fantastic short-handed chance late in the period with Chandler Yakimowicz and Duncan MacIntyre driving into the zone on a two on one. Yakimowicz sent a pass over to MacIntyre who sent a hard one back across the slot, but Yakimowicz mishandled it the slightest amount and it gave Brandon Thibeau (Riverview, NB) enough time to slide across and make the save.

Heading into the third, it was all tied up at 1-1.

The Tigers opened up the final frame in attack mode, generating offensive chances early. The best of them coming from the stick of Tanner Williams (Iroquois, ON) when a rebound bounced right to him with Thibeau down on the ice, but Thibeau was able to get his glove up in the air to rob Williams of the go-ahead goal.

UdeM came up with a great chance of their own with just under ten minutes to go on a hard shot from the faceoff dot that was gloved down by Boes, but the rebound flipped up onto his pad and landed just in front of the goal line. The chance was cleared away by the Tigers before it could result in anything more.

Special teams were the name of the game for the Tigers, getting it done on the penalty kill, as well as on the power play.

Finding themselves on a two-man advantage, the Tigers continued to fire shots at Thibeau, but l'Agles Bleus put a lot of traffic in the shooting lanes and were blocking shots well. With plenty of time still left on the first penalty a shot from Colton Heffley was stopped, but the rebound bounced out to Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) and his shot snuck under the blocker of Thibeau to put the Tigers back on top 2-1.

Down late, and on the power play, Moncton elected to pull their goaltender with under two minutes to go and they put plenty of traffic in front late with one shot ringing off the post, but they couldn't find the back of the net to tie it up.

The Tigers were able to hold on to the 2-1 victory and clinch a spot in the AUS playoffs.

Jonathan Cyr earned the Subway Player of the Game title, picking up the game winning goal for the Tigers.

The Tigers will play their final three games of the season on the road, starting Friday when they face StFX. UdeM will also take on StFX in their next game on Saturday.