X-Men skate to 4-1 victory over Tigers

Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe
Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe

Antigonish, N.S. - The StFX X-Men (6-3) skated to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers (4-3-3) in AUS hockey action Friday night at the Keating Centre.

Less than two minutes into the first period, at 1:56, Max Iafrate (Livonia, MI) opened the scoring for the X-Men. After walking in off the blue line, he took a centering pass from captain Eric Locke (Toronto, ON) in the slot, before depositing a hard shot top-shelf over the shoulder of Tiger goaltender Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK). Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) collected the other assist.

The X-Men had a chance to double their edge a short time later, but Boes kicked out the right pad to thwart a re-directed point shot from Michael Clarke (London, ON).

A short time later, forward Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON) completed a nifty three-man rush for the X-Men, with a heavy wrist shot, but Boes was equal to the task.

After freshman Matt Needham (Penticton, BC) dashed down the left wing and ripped a shot over the right shoulder of Boes, the X-Men thought they took a 2-0 lead, when the red light came on, but play continued. It was determined the blast hit the crossbar and did not find the back of the net.

At 19:45, on the power play, StFX did get that two-goal edge, when Clarke put a shot top shelf behind Boes. Veteran defenseman Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC) and forward Kristoff Kontos (Penetanguishene, ON) garnered the assists.

Early in the second period, with the man advantage, Iafrate found Cook in behind the Tiger defense, but Boes thwarted the breakaway opportunity with a sparkling glove save.

At 3:17, X-Men freshman Anthony Difruscia (Thorold, ON) gobbled up a loose puck near the face-off circle and beat Boes with another shot under the crossbar. Brent Turnbull (Stellarton, NS), with a booming check behind the net, helped engineer the offensive opportunity. He collected a helper, along with forward Sam Studnicka (Windsor, ON).

While on a 5-on-3 power play, at 9:03, the Tigers cut into the X-Men lead on a goal from Colton Heffley (Swift Current, SK), on assists from Alex Pawelczyk (Sterling Heights, MI) and defenseman Myles McGurty (Hoboken, NJ).

At 10:43, the X-Men regained their three-goal advantage, when freshman defenseman Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) tallied from Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) and Clarke.

After 40 minutes of play, StFX led 4-1.

Despite having four power-play chances in the third period, the Tigers were unable to solve X-Men freshman goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS), who made several tough saves.

The Subway player of the game and first star was Clarke, while Marchand and McGurty collected second and third star selections, respectively.

Marchand made 34 saves for the win, while Boes steered aside 36 shots in the loss.

The X-Men will return to action Saturday, Nov. 5, when they travel to Moncton to face les Aigles Bleus, in a 7 p.m. start.

The Tigers will be back on the ice Tuesday, Nov. 8, when they head to Wolfville to face the Acadia Axemen.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.