ANTIGONISH, NS – The STFX X-Men's penalty kill provided two goals in a 4-2 Friday night win over the Acadia Axemen at the Charles V Keating Centre. This victory marked the X-Men's third in a row.
Reigning U SPORTS men's hockey player of the week Jacob Hudson (Antigonish, NS) opened the scoring midway through the first period, while short-handed. Logan Chisholm (Antigonish, NS) picked off an errand pass at his own blue line before passing off to Hudson, who skated in and roofed one short-side.
Acadia came close to tying the game early in the middle frame, ringing one off the crossbar. Axemen goalie Zachary Paputsakis (Rockland, ON) made a big save on a Conner Bruggen-Cate (Langley, BC) breakaway in the seventh minute of the second period to keep his team in striking distance. With about four minutes left in the second, Acadia's Bailey Peach (Falmouth, NS) tied the game with a tap in after getting the puck from Liam Kidney (Enfield, NS) off a bounce behind the STFX net while on the powerplay.
Shots at the end of the second period were 23-17 in favour of the X-Men.
A four minute penalty looked to spell trouble for STFX early in the third period, but the penalty kill came up big again, with Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) burying a one-timer low off a pass from Hudson from behind the Acadia net. Bruggen-Cate made it a two-goal game about three minutes later, getting the last stick to the puck after Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) fired a shot that squeaked through the pads of Paputsakis.
The Axemen came to play though, and cut the lead in half three minutes later, with Brady Burns (Port Williams, NS) banking one in from behind the X-Men net. A few minutes later, Paputsakis made a big save to keep the lead at one but got injured on the play and was spelled by Thomas Couture (Levis, QC).
Acadia pulled their goalie with just over a minute left in the contest, but it was Struthers who sealed the game with an empty net goal for the home team. Connor Roberts (Owen Sound, ON) had the assist.
Acadia's Adam McMaster (Beamsville, ON) picked up the third star of the game, while STFX's Smith earned second star honours. Hudson was named player of the game for the second time in a row following his two-point performance.
At the final whistle, shots were 35-21 in favour of the STFX. X-Men goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) had 19 saves in the win, while Acadia's Paputsakis had 30 saves in the loss.
The Axemen are back on the ice next Friday when they will host the Saint Mary's Huskies. The X-Men return to action on Wednesday for another home game against the Moncton Aigles Bleus.
Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics