X-Men drop 6-3 game to Reds

Photo credit James West
Photo credit James West

FREDERICTON, NB - One of the fiercest rivalries in all of U SPORTS men's hockey was renewed Friday, in Fredericton. In a game filled with emotion, the UNB Reds beat the StFX X-Men 6-3.

Matthew Boucher (Los Angeles, CA) scored twice to lead the Reds. He was named the Subway Player of the Game.

"It's easy to get up for a game like this," said Boucher. "We were ready for it. We gave a good effort and it paid off."

Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) put the home team on the board early, scoring just 3:11 in. He moved unchecked through the slot and slid a back-hand shot past X-Men goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON).

The Reds added to their lead at 5:23 of the first. Matt Murphy (Fredericton, NB) fired the puck on net. It hit the glass behind Raaymakers, then bounced off his back and into the X net.

"I just threw it at the net and it just bobbled around for three seconds or so and went in. I'll take it," said Murphy.

At 13:45, James McEwan (Chatham, ON) poked the puck into the X net during a scramble in front of Raaymakers to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.

"We lost the game in the first period, but particularly in the first ten minutes," said X-Men head coach Brad Peddle. "They got up 2-0, and it was 3-0 maybe 12 minutes in, and that's a recipe for disaster in this rink. You can't give a good team like that three goals and expect that you put yourself in a position to win."

Still in the first period, and with the X-Men killing a 4:00 penalty, the visitors forced a turnover at their blue line. Matthew Graham (Bedford, NS) was sent in alone on Rylan Parenteau (Saskatoon, SK), and beat the Reds keeper blocker side to make the score 3-1.

Boucher's first goal restored UNB's three goal lead at 17:31 of the first period.

The Reds outshot the X-Men 22-3 in the opening period.

Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) made it 4-2 early in the second period.

"We started slow in the first period, they got off to an early lead, but I think we battled back in the second and third, played a tougher game," said the veteran forward.

At 7:02, with the Reds working a 5-on-3 advantage, Alex Goulet (Disraeli, QC) took a Tyler Boland (St. John's, NL) pass and fired a shot over Raaymakers from a sharp angle, giving UNB a 5-2 lead.

"They had a lot of pushes, they came back and responded well to our goals," said Murphy. "But give credit to us, we'd come right back too and get another. "

The third period saw more back and forth than the previous periods.

At 13:42, Boucher fired a shot low and hard, beating Raaymakers on the blocker side to make the score 6-3.

UNB outshot the X-Men 38-10.

StFX, now 3-1-1, is in Moncton on Saturday for a 7:00pm face-off against les Aigles Bleus.

The Reds, now 4-1, welcome the Dal Tigers to the Aitken Centre on Saturday. That game is scheduled for a 7:00pm start as well.

Recap courtesy Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics