Halifax, NS – In midweek hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the StFX X-Men at the Halifax Forum. It was a high scoring affair, but the X-Men came out on top with an 8-5 win.
The Tigers got on the board quickly in the first period after a neutral-zone turnover by the X-Men allowed Cameron Thompson (Victoria, BC) to find some space and send a pass across the crease to Matt Green (Hammonds Plains, NS) who tipped in the opening goal of the game.
It took only 15 seconds for the Tigers to find themselves in a similar situation as Kelly Bent (Halifax, NS) broke in on a 2-on-1 opportunity off a faceoff win. Bent elected to take the shot himself, and sent it high into the far-side corner for a nifty bar-down goal.
With a few power play chances in a row, the X-Men were able to answer back in the period, as Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) sent a hard slapshot from the point that got through a crowd. That crowd prevented Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) from getting his eye on it, and found its way in the back of the net to make it 2-1.
Both teams collected a few more shots on the man-advantage in the period, but going into the second frame the Tigers led 2-1.
Less than a minute into the period, the X-Men evened the game when a deflection in the neutral zone left the puck for Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) to break into the zone and take a quick shot that snuck under the glove of Pickard to make it 2-2 early in the second.
The X-Men made it three unanswered goals as Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) showed great vision to pick the puck out of midair on a rebound play and connect with it to tip it over the shoulder of Pickard and in to give the X-Men their first lead.
Given a great opportunity on a 5-on-3 power play, the Tigers made quick work of it with Green hammering a one-time shot from the point into the back of the net to even it back up on Green's second goal of the game.
With that, the teams went into the final period tied at 3-3.
Once again, an early goal was found in the period, this time the X-Men got a partial break as Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) came down the right boards and faked as if he was going behind the goal and took a near-side shot instead. That shot snuck under the pad of Pickard and gave the X-Men a 4-3 lead.
Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) was given a prime opportunity to even it up when he was given a penalty shot against Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, NS). Cyr came into the zone and made back-to-back moves from forehand to backhand, back to his forehand and took a quick shot, but Mann-Dixon was able to sprawl and make a great stop.
The Tigers were given another power play chance midway through the period, where a shot on goal left a rebound laying in the crease for Cameron Thompson to collect and lift over the pad of Mann-Dixon to once again even the game.
Countering a breakaway chance from the X-Men, Thompson collected the rebound and was able to streak down the boards into the attacking zone and sent a hard wrist shot toward the corner of the goal that Mann-Dixon was able to get a piece of, but not enough, and the Tigers jumped ahead 5-4 late in the third.
With another power play, the X-Men evened the game again as Cianfrone took his time to find space with a crowd in front and his shot was never seen by Pickard as it got through his blocker-side, nothing his second goal of the night.
With just two minutes to go, a turnover in the Tigers zone left the puck for William Bower (Saint John, NB) to turn and fire a quick wrist shot over the glove of Pickard to give the X-Men a late lead and what would hold up as the game winner.
The Tigers pulled their goaltender with one minute left, in desperate need of the tying goal, but both Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) and Matthew Graham (Bedford, NS) were able to add empty net goals for the X-Men to give them the 8-5 win.
In the high scoring affair, Bryson Cianfrone led the X-Men to victory with his two goals and the Subway Player of the Game honour.
The Tigers will look to bounce back on Saturday as they take on UPEI in their final game before the holiday break. The X-Men will also play UPEI in their final game of the first half on Friday evening in Antigonish.
Recap courtesy Kirk Jessome, DAL Sports Information