2018 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup:
Final: Golden Bears golden again
FREDERICTON (U SPORTS) - The Alberta Golden Bears defeated the StFX X-Men 4-2 to capture the 2018 David Johnston University Cup Sunday afternoon. Wil Tomchuck scored the game-winning goal just over four minutes into the second period.
The national championship is the 16th for the University of Alberta, and first since 2015.
The Golden Bears found themselves down 2-0 in the first period but battled back to tie before the opening period was over. Tomchuk's goal held up throughout the third period and the Alberta squad added an empty netter to seal the win.
StFX opened the scoring when Daniel Robertson stripped the puck from Alberta's Tyson Baillie and broke in all alone to score the first goal, just over five minutes into the game as his snap shot beat Golde Bears netminder Zach Sawchenko
Michael Clarke followed three minutes later, on the power play, putting a point shot through traffic to make it 2-0 X-Men.
Stephane Legault responded for the Golden Bears, putting a point shot on net that trickled past Chase Marchand to cut the lead to one.
"He left everything out on the ice," said Clayton Kirichenko on Legault's performance in the tournament.
Luke Philp followed 39 seconds later, beating Marchand glove side to tie the game at two.
In the final minute of the first, Bryson Cianfrone had a chance in alone but was poke-checked by Sawchenko.
About four minutes into the second, Tomchuck banged in a loose puck in the crease to give the Golden Bears their first lead of the game.
Alberta held the lead going into the third despite facing almost six minutes on the penalty kill, which included two 5-on-3 power plays. StFX hit the cross bar a couple times, doing all they could to find the back of the mesh.
"Those kills in the second period were huge," said Alberta head coach Serge Lajoie.
Alberta continued their tight defensive game in the third period while the X-Men continued to pressure for the equalizer, but Sawchenko stopped all nine shots he faced in the period, including a pair of pads saves from in tight.
"They were pressing hard. They're a really good team and they showed why they're number two in the country," said Sawchenko.
Jamie Crooks sealed the victory for the Golden Bears with an empty net goal at 18:32 as Alberta outshot StFX by a slight 27-26 margin.
Sawchenko had 24 saves in for the Golden Bears net, while Marchand had 23 for the X-Men as both goaltenders received player of the game honours for their respective teams.
StFX takes home the silver medal, their second runner-up finish in three years, in their fourth straight appearance at the University Cup.
"It's tough to get that close to something you really believe you are going to win," said StFX head coach Brad Peddle.
Player of the Game:
StFX: Chase Marchand
Alberta: Zach Sawchenko
Championship MVP: Stephan Legault, Alberta
Championship All-Star Team:
G Zach Sawchenko, Alberta
D Kendall McFaull, Saskatchewan
D Jagger Dirk, StFX
F Mark Simpson, UNB
F Stephane Legault, Alberta
F Michael Clarke, StFX