Aigles Bleus top X-Men 5-2

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

ANTIGONISH, NS - The Moncton Aigles Bleus picked up a big two points heading into the end of the first half of the AUS season, with a convincing 5-2 win over the STFX X-Men at the Charles V Keating Centre on Wednesday night. STFX now holds a one-point lead over Moncton in the AUS standings, with only one more game to go for both teams before the holiday break.

The X-Men needed just over 90 seconds to open the scoring, with Jacob Stewart (Antigonish, NS) feeding Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) in the low slot and Smith firing one up high. Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) had the other helper.

Moncton replied under two minutes later though, with Jeremy Lapointe (Drummondville, QC) sliding one in from the front of the net after getting a pass from Jacob Dion (Sherbrooke, QC) and Denis Toner (Sainte-Andre, NB).

The teams continued to battle, but it was Moncton pulling ahead late in the period. Edouard St-Laurent (Levis, QC) picked up a pass from Olivier-Luc Hache (Shippagan, NB) at the X blueline, skated in, and knocked one in with a nice second effort. Charles Edouard Drouin (St-Georges-de-Beauce, QC) had the other assist. Shots at the end of the period were 12-10 in favour of Moncton.

The Aigles Bleus took over in the second period. It was Moncton's turn to score early, with Samuel Guilbault (Saint-Hyacinthe, QC) getting the final touch on a bouncing puck in front of the STFX net 15 seconds into the period. Assists went to William Basque (Tracadie-Sheila, NB) and Alexandre Couture (Granby, QC).

The X-Men powerplay buzzed around the Moncton net with about eight minutes left to play, but it was Moncton who capitalized, with St-Laurent passing to Hache on a 2-on-0 break, and Hache burying a high shot. Toner picked up the other assist.

With three minutes left to play in the period, Moncton made it a four-goal game, as Nathael Roy (St. Redempteur, QC) tipped home a point shot from Thomas Pelletier (Quebec, QC). Lapointe had the second assist.

Shots at the end of the period were 28-22 in favour of Moncton as they were up 5-1.

A STFX powerplay midway through the third offered some hope of a comeback, with Struthers shooting into an almost empty net after getting a pass from Liam Hawel (Arnprior, ON) and Charlie Callaghan (Toronto, ON).

Struthers got hauled down on a breakaway with about five minutes left in the game, but Olivier Adam (Drummondville, QC) shut him down on the resulting penalty shot. The home team continued to fight to get back into the game, but Adam continued his strong play, and Moncton skated away with the win. 

Shots at the end of the game were 40-36 in favour of Moncton. Adam had 34 saves in the win, while Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) made 35 stops for the X-Men.

The three stars of the game all went to the Aigles Bleus as all three had two-point games. St-Laurent was the first star and player of the game. Hache was named second star and Lapointe the third star.

The X-Men wrap up the first half of their season on December 1, when they host UNB at 7 p.m. at the Antigonish Arena. Moncton will close out the term on the road in Halifax, when they visit the Dalhousie Tigers, also on December 1.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics