X-Men take over top spot in AUS with win over UNB

Photo courtesy Kyle Lamkin, UNB Sports Information
Photo courtesy Kyle Lamkin, UNB Sports Information

(FREDERICTON, NB) - The StFX X-Men handed the UNB Varsity Reds their first regulation loss of the season, beating the host V-Reds 5-2 on Saturday evening. With the win, the X-Men take over top spot in the Atlantic University Sport standings.

Saturday's game was the 26th Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game, recognizing the legacy of Jeffrey, a former UNB Red Devils player and coach.

The Varsity Reds and the X-Men exchanged power-play goals in the first and second periods.

StFX's Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) opened the scoring in the first, and UNB's Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) tied it 1-1 in the second.

With less than 30 seconds to play on the second frame, Michael Clarke (London, ON) gave StFX a 2-1 lead with a goal that ultimately swayed the momentum in their favour.

Three consecutive X-Men goals in the third period put the game away.

Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON), Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON), and Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) sealed the X victory.

Randy Gazzola (Thorold, ON) scored for UNB late in the third.

Specialty teams were the difference in the game, with StFX scoring three times on the power-play.

"Their power-play was pretty good, ours was pretty bad," said Varsity Reds forward Chris Clapperton (Cap d'Espoir, QC). "Our penalty kill was bad, theirs was good."

"We played a solid game all the way through," said Clarke, who had an assist to go with his goal. "We had good momentum. Ultimately we stuck to our game plan and played really well for the whole 60 minutes."

Clarke feels X's three goal third period was the turning point.

"We wanted to keep playing our game and not go into a shell. We wanted to go at them and try to push them. I think we did that well," he said.

Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, QC) took the loss in the UNB net, turning aside 23 of 28 shots, while Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) turned away 34 of 36 shots for the X-Men, earning Subway Player of the Game honours.

StFX is now 16-1-3. The Varsity Reds fall to 15-1-3.

There's a quick turnaround for UNB, as the Varsity Reds welcome the Dalhousie Tigers on Sunday afternoon. This game was originally scheduled for Friday, but postponed due to weather. Game time is 2:00pm.

The X-Men are scheduled to host UPEI on Friday, before a hosting UNB in a re-match, next Saturday.

Courtesy Kristian D'Amore, UNB Athletics