Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men overcame a two-goal third period deficit to defeat the Aigles Bleus de Moncton 5-4 in a shootout in an intense, prolonged game evening at the Charles V Keating Centre. A crowd of over 400 spectators were treated to a rousing 60 minutes of lightning fast regulation play, five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, and the eventual shootout.
The only successful shootout participant Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) was awarded first star of the evening and Subway player of the game for his game-winning goal performance. Moncton forward Maxime St-Cyr (St-Didace, QC) earned second star honours for a one goal, one assist effort, and Adam Holwell (St. John's, NL) was awarded third star, adding one tally in the game.
The first frame opened with a wild intensity which would carry throughout the game, with play going from end to end consistently. The Aigles Bleus opened the scoring early on when Alexis Roy's shot from the slot beat X-Men netminder Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS).
Both teams fought hard throughout the remainder of the period, with StFX answering Moncton's goal at the 17-minute mark while on the powerplay. After a battle behind the Aigles Bleus net, the puck came loose right to the stick of Matt Needham (Penticton, BC) who backhanded the shot past UdeM goaltender Etienne Montpetit (Valleyfield, QC).
The teams did not remain tied for long with St-Cyr taking the lead back for Moncton with just 50 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Shots in the period favoured StFX at 21-9.
Moncton expanded their lead to 4-2 in the second frame.
At the 7:52 mark into the second, UdeM defenceman Justin Vanier-Guenette (Ste-Agath-Des-Monts, QC) made quick work by driving home a rebound off a Marc-Anthony Therriens' (Nicolet, QC) shot from the point.
Just under a minute later, StFX capitalized on a powerplay opportunity as Holwell fired a slap shot from the top of the circle off a pass from Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) that beat Montpetit 19 seconds into the man advantage.
Moncton quickly regained their two-goal advantage 32 seconds later as Danick Crete (Rigaud, QC) fired a slap shot that Marchand was unable to save.
Shots in the second period favoured Moncton 12-9 as they held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.
StFX picked up the pace even more in the final regulation frame, with X-Men freshman forward Matthew Graham (Bedford, NS) scoring two goals to tie the game.
StFX again capitalized on a powerplay opportunity as the offensive unit of Sam Studnicka (Windsor, ON), Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS), and Graham rushed the Aigles Bleus zone and Tremaine dished off to Graham who unloaded a wrist shot on net.
Graham scored the game equalizer with just over two minutes to go in regulation, besting Montpetit from his spot in front of the net off his own rebound after Studnicka won a face-off.
With the score locked at 4-4 after regulation, neither team was able to score during the five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period, with StFX managing five shots on net and Moncton two. Total shots in the game favoured StFX at 49–29.
The game winning goal came from StFX's first shootout participant. Following Marchand's save on Edouard Michaud (Sherbrooke, QC), Stevens out-manoeuvred Montpetit- scoring glove-side as the X-Men (5-2-2) picked up their fifth win of the season.
Moncton (3-3-2) picked up a single point in the standings with the shootout loss. They move on to host Dalhousie Saturday evening, while StFX return to the ice Tuesday night when they host Saint Mary's for their Halloween themed game. Puck drop for both games is at 7:00 pm.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Sports Information