Reds mount late third period comeback to defeat X-Men

Photo credit Bryan Kennedy
Photo credit Bryan Kennedy

Antigonish, NS – Brady Gilmour (Grafton, ON) scored with 40 seconds left in the game to lift the UNB REDS to a 5-3 victory over the STFX X-Men Friday night in front of over 800 fans at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

The goal came after the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked REDS mounted a third period comeback, having trailed 3-2 late in the period. Captain Austen Keating (Guelph, ON) tallied two goals, including the game-tying goal and earned player of the game and first star honours. Macauley Carson added an empty netter to add to the REDS three unanswered markers to close out the game.

With the win, UNB keeps their undefeated season intact, improving to 27-0-0-0 atop the AUS conference. The X-Men drop to 13-13-1-0 and remain in fourth place, two points back of Saint Mary's.

The REDS took a 1-0 lead after the first period of play as AUS leading scorer Keating tallied the lone goal at 9:10. He took a pass inside the blue line and ripped a low shot from the face-off circle past X-Men goaltender Josephy Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) short side.

The opening period was quick one that saw the REDS outshoot the X-Men 21-5 as the home squad was unable to generate any significant opportunities at the other end.

STFX quickly got back into the game with a goal from team leading scorer Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) just 1:17 into the second period. He connected with Connor Roberts (Owen Sound, ON) on a two-on-one to beat Samuel Richard (Ste. Catherine, QC) in the REDS net.

Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) gave the X-Men a 2-1 lead with a power play marker at 5:45 as he scored just 13 seconds into the man advantage, going top shelf off a pass from Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON).

The home squad looked to be heading into the locker room second intermission with the lead but Adam McCormick (Waterville, NB) scored off a shot from the point on a screened Raaymakers with only 17 seconds left in the period to even things up for UNB.

The REDS outshot the X-Men 21-6 in the middle period as the score was locked at 2-2 after 40 minutes. 

The final period was an exciting 20 minutes of hockey entertainment. Second star of the game Raaymakers made several keys saves to keep the X-Men in it, while Richard was equally sharp in the REDS net, stopping a Struthers breakaway six minutes in.

STFX capitalized on a four-minute high sticking penalty against Keating as Matthew Philip (Ilderton, ON) scored midway through the period while on the man-advantage, converting a pass from Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL).

REDS forward Isaac Nurse (Hamilton, ON) hit a post and Raaymakers turned aside Michael Petizian (Mississauga, ON) on a shorthanded attempt to keep the 3-2 STFX lead intact.

The final half of the third period saw great end to end action with scoring chances from both squads, though it was the feisty REDS who fought back as Keating scored his second of the night with 4:09 left to play, knocking in a rebound after Raaymakers made the initial save off a Kade Landry (Gowanstown, ON) shot.

Just as it appeared the game was headed to overtime, Gilmour tipped in a McCormick floater shot from the point with only 40 seconds left on the clock to silence the STFX faithful.

Raaymakers finished with an impressive 52 saves on the night while Richard turned aside 25 in the REDS win. UNB's McCormick picked up the third star of the game with a two-point performance.

The game was a disciplined one with only eight penalty minutes handed out to both sides throughout the night.

The X-Men are back in action tomorrow night when they host the second place Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus (15-9-3-0). The REDS will travel to Halifax to take on the seventh place Dalhousie Tigers (7-18-2-0). Puck drop for both games is 7:00 pm.

Stay tuned to and STFX social media platforms for any game time changes or postponements based upon impending weather in Nova Scotia coming Saturday.


Recap courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics