X-Men close out regular season with win over Axemen

Photo credit Britt Pigat
Photo credit Britt Pigat

Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men closed out AUS regular season play with a 5-2 victory over the Acadia Axemen Saturday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

The X-Men scored three power play goals in the game as the held leads of 3-0 after one and 4-1 after two periods.

Acadia went on the penalty kill 23 seconds into the game and the X-Men took advantage as Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON)) scored at 1:27 on the man-advantage. He beat Axemen netminder Dawson Carty (St. Stephen, NB) on a shot from the face-off circle.

Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) scored five minutes later, again on the power play, on a nice shot off a feed from Adam Holwell (St. John's, NL).

Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) rounded out the first period scoring with a goal at 16:54 as he put the puck into the open side of the Acadia net, pouncing on a Holwell rebound.

The X-Men outshot the Axemen 15-3 in the opening period.

The visitors responded in the second period as Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON) tallied just over six minutes in, putting in a rebound as the puck bounced around the X crease in front of goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, NS).

The X-Men regained their three-goal lead on a power play goal by Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) as he netted a rebound after Carty made the save on a Matt Needham (Kamloops, BC) shot.

StFX outshot Acadia 10-7 in the second period and took the 4-1 lead into the locker room after 40 minutes.

Marc McNulty (Medicine Hat, AB) closed the gap when he scored for the Axemen just 18 seconds into the third period. Harper won the face-off in the X zone, circled behind the net and got it out front to the open McNulty who beat Mann-Dixon.

StFX would hold off the Axemen for the remainder of the period, however, and Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) scored midway through the period to round out the X-Men scoring en route to the 5-2 victory.

Final shots in the game favoured the X-Men at 37-22.

Holwell earned first star and Subway player of the game honours, while Jeremiah Addison (Etibicoke, ON) was the second star. Both had a pair of assists for the X-Men. Acadia's Harper was third star.

The game did not affect any playoff positioning in the AUS standings.     

Acadia (19-9-2) had already secured a first round bye, finishing in second place. UNB (26-4-0) garnered the other bye as both squads will await their semifinal opponents from the two upcoming AUS best-of-3 quarterfinal series.

The X-Men (12-13-5) finish the season in fifth place and will play the fourth place Moncton Aigles Bleus (13-11-6) in the quarterfinals. Game 1 will be held Wednesday night in Moncton, followed by Game 2 at StFX on Friday night, February 14th. Game 3 (if necessary) will be back in Moncton on Sunday, February 16th.

Third place Saint Mary's (17-12-1) will meet sixth place UPEI (10-15-5) in the other AUS quarterfinal series.

Tonight's game marked the final one for 10 fourth year X-Men student-athletes and one fifth year athlete, captain Mark Tremaine. Tremaine also wraps up his AUS career as the all-time X-Men leader in regular season game splayed with 146.

Fourth year graduating X-Men include Mitch Wheaton, Regan Spears, Anthony Difruscia, Matt Needham, Matt Graham, Bryson Cianfrone, Cole MacDonald, Sam Studnicka, Justin Laforest and Marcus Cuomo.


Courtesy StFX Sports Information