X-Men lose close game to league-leading Reds

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

ANTIGONISH, NS - It was UNB defeating STFX 5-3 in a matchup of the top two teams in AUS men's hockey on Saturday night at the Charles V Keating Centre. The UNB win snapped a six-game win streak for the X-Men, while extending the Red's winning streak to 12.

In the first period, UNB held the advantage in shots, 12-7, and offensive zone time, but it was STFX who went into intermission with the lead.

The X-Men opened the scoring five minutes into the game, with Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) hitting a streaking Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON) with a breakaway pass, and Trott buried it five-hole. UNB tied it up about six minutes later though, with Brady Gilmour (Grafton) firing a low shot home through a screen off passes from Adam McCormick (Waterville, NB) and Jason Willms (Kitchner, ON). 

A dynamite save by STFX goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) in the final four minutes kept the score even until Logan Chisholm (Antigonish, NS) put STFX back in the lead. Charlie Callaghan (Toronto, ON) made a cross ice pass inside the UNB zone to Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL), who found Chisholm open in front of the net for the powerplay goal. 

UNB continued to bring the heat in the second period, and were rewarded about seven minutes in. Michael Petizian (Mississauga, ON) came in on a two-on-one before passing off to Willms, who passed it back to Petizian for the score. The potent UNB powerplay broke the deadlock with seven minutes left in the period, with Willms going top corner off a one-timer from Gilmour and McCormick.

Raaymakers continued his strong play, stopping a breakaway late in the period, but UNB was able to double their lead, with Benjamin Corbeil (Granby, QC) tipping home a point shot from Justin Nolet (Mississauga, ON) with under two minutes to go in the period. Shots at the end of 40 minutes were 28-16 in favour of the Reds.

Things got a bit chippy in the third and a STFX powerplay got the home crowd back into the game with about five minutes left to play. Reagan Wiles (Calgary AB) got the puck to Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) on the point, who fired a shot through traffic for the goal.

STFX fought hard to even the score, but UNB's Isaac Nurse (Hamilton, ON) wrapped things up with an empty net goal in the last minute. Griffen Outhouse (Williams Lake, BC) picked up the win with 19 saves, while Raaymakers made 32 saves while being tagged with the loss.

UNB's Petizian was named the first star and player of the game. STFX's Chisholm was second star and Reds defense McCormick was third star.

The X-Men are on the road Wednesday, November 15, to take on the Dalhousie Tigers. UNB is home next Friday, November 17, when they will take on the Acadia Axemen.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics