Kyte nets game winner in OT as X-Men beat Huskies

Photo credit SMU Huskies Athletics
Photo credit SMU Huskies Athletics

X-Men edge Huskies 6-5 in OT thriller

HALIFAX, NS - STFX defenseman Patrick Kyte scored twice – including the game winner - and added an assist, as the X-Men defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 6-5 in an overtime thriller on Friday night at the Dauphinee Centre.

The Huskies looked to start the game strong with an early power play however, it quickly turned when X-Men forward Matthew Philip (Ilderton, ON), took a breakaway pass from Mark Woolley (St. Thomas, ON) as he exited the box and was able to slip it under the pad of Huskies goaltender Jeremy Helvig (Kingston, ON), to give the X-Men a 1-0 lead.

At 7:01 in the first, the Huskies tied it up as forward Cedric Ralph (Peterborough, ON) fed a pass into the slot for waiting teammate Andrew Coxhead (Bedford, NS).

As the first period wound down, X-Men forward Sam Allison (Cole Harbour, NS) put a hard shot on the Huskies goal, where Huskies goaltender Helvig made the initial save, but X-Men forward Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) was there to score on the rebound, giving the X-Men a 2-1 advantage.

In the last minute of play, the Huskies went on their first penalty kill. As the seconds ticked down, X-Men forward Jacob Hudson (Antigonish, NS) scored a powerplay marker, increasing the X-Men's lead to 3-1. 

As the teams headed into the first intermission, the X-Men outshot the Huskies 16-14.

Saint Mary's started the second period with a goaltender change, with Matt Welsh (Halifax, NS) replacing Helvig in nets.

With the Huskies looking to start the second period strong, forward Ben Higgins (Truro, NS) redirected a shot from Charlie Dafonseca (Thornhill, ON) that found its way into the back of the net, putting the Huskies within one. 

At the 9:17 mark, Walter Flower III (Lunenburg, NS) made no mistake in netting a pass from Coxhead for the Huskies third goal, tying the game at 3-3.

As the teams headed into the second intermission, the Huskies were leading the X-Men in shots, 30-17 as the score remained tied 3-3.

Five and a half minutes into the third period, Huskies forward Liam Van Loon (London, ON) was awarded a penalty shot, and X-Men goaltender Joseph Raaymakers  (Chatham, ON) stood firm and kept the game tied.

The X-Men offense was strong again on the power play, as Patrick Kyte (Pembroke, ON) scored his first goal of the game at the eight minute mark, putting the X-Men back in front 4-3.

A couple of minutes later, the Huskies offence answered, with forward Bradey Johnson (Lindsay, ON) putting the puck up high on a pass from teammate Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, ON) to again tie the game up at 4-4.

As the five-minute mark approached in the third, the X-Men pulled ahead once again on a goal from forward Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL), who buried the puck into the net.

The Huskies went on the power play with three minutes left in the third, and once again, in an effort to keep the game tied, Huskies defense Jaxon Bellamy (Hampton, NB) sent the puck to the back of the net from a slapshot from the point.

As the game remained tied 5-5 at the end of the third period, the teams needed overtime to decide a winner. The Huskies took a late penalty in the third period and started overtime on the penalty kill.

Early in the overtime period, X-Men defenceman Brendon Clavelle (Kapuskasing, ON) had an excellent scoring opportunity, but Welsh made a great glove save to keep the Huskies alive.

But moments later the X-Men would find the winner, as forward Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON) shot on goal, and Kyte was there to poke the puck over the line as it trickled through Welsh's pads.

Kyte was named Subway Player of the Game with his three-point night. Jacob Hudson (one goal, two assists), Josh Nelson (one goal, one assist) and Zack Trott (two assists) also recorded multi-point nights for the X-Men.

Joseph Raaymakers made 39 saves for the win, while Welsh turned away 21 shots on the night.

The X-Men's fourth straight win improves their record to 15-13-1 on the season. They'll be back on home ice on Saturday, welcoming the Acadia Axemen (11-15-2-1) to the Charles V. Keating Centre, with puck-drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Huskies loss drops their record to 19-9-1 on the season. Despite the loss, the Huskies clinched the #2 seed and a first-round bye with the UPEI Panthers losing to the UNB REDS. The Huskies will conclude their regular season on Saturday, as they visit the Dalhousie Tigers (6-21-1-1) with puck-drop scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Halifax Forum.


Recap by Alyson Duffy / Saint Mary's Huskies Athletics