X-Men earn fifth straight win with victory over SMU

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS – The STFX X-Men made it five wins in a row with a 4-3 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies Saturday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

Lucas Pfeil (Owen Sound, ON) had 45 saves in the STFX net and Liam Hawel (Arnprior, ON) scored two goals to help lead the home squad to victory.

It was the Huskies who opened the scoring in the game as forward Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, ON) scored 6:40 in when he connected on the receiving end of a 3-on-2 rush up ice with Bradley Johnson (Lindsay, ON) and Andrew Coxhead (Bedford, NS).

The X-Men tied it up while on the power play as Hawel took a cross-ice pass from Raegan Wiles (Calgary, AB) and ripped a high shot past a screened Jeremy Helvig (Kingston, ON) in the SMU net.

STFX took a 2-1 lead into the locker room at first intermission after Hawel notched his second goal of the night at 16:58. Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) picked off a Huskies defensive miscue, fired a shot on goal and Hawel was there to deposit the rebound.

Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) increased the X lead to 3-1 with a second period goal on a nice individual effort as he took a feed from Connor Roberts (Owen Sound, ON) then circled through the SMU end and fired a shot through the high slot area.

Despite being outshot 33-20 through 40 minutes of play, the X-Men held onto the 3-1 lead.

The Huskies closed the gap with a goal off the stick of Ben Allison (Halifax, NS) just over four minutes into the third period as he connected on a bouncing puck to bat it out of the air and past Lucas Pfeil (Owen Sound, ON) in the X net.

STFX quickly re-established their two-goal lead however, as Connor Bruggen-Cate (Langley, BC) picked off a loose Huskies clearing attempt just 36 seconds later and tallied X's fourth goal of the night.

SMU was not going down without a fight however as Reid Valade (Caledon, ON) scored with five and a minutes to play. Dennis Busby (Oro-Medonte, ON) found him amidst traffic in the X zone and he beat a screened Pfeil to close the gap to a 4-3 STFX lead.

The Huskies pulled Helvig from the net with 1:40 left to play and had a flurry of shots on the X net but Pfeil stood his ground and made several key saves down the stretch.

He finished the night with 45 saves and earned the nod as the second star of the game. Hawel was the first star and player of the game and SMU's Allison was third star.

The Huskies will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host the UPEI Panthers. STFX's next game comes Friday night, November 10 when they host Moncton.  


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics