Aigles Bleus beat X-Men 5-3 in first game of semifinal series

Photo credit UdeM Athletics
Photo credit UdeM Athletics

MONCTON, NB - A three point night from player of the game and first star Olivier-Luc Hache (Savoie Landing, NB) helped les Moncton Aigles Bleus to a 5-3 win over the STFX X-Men in Game 1 of their Atlantic University Sport semi-final series.

STFX goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) was tested early, but came up with a big stop on a Michael Cyr (Sainte-Anne, NB) breakaway in the first minute. Les Aigles Bleus kept pressing though, and it was Hache who opened the scoring while shorthanded, stealing the puck in the STFX end, and firing one stick side with just over three minutes gone. Moncton doubled their lead five minutes later on the powerplay, as Jeremie Jacob (Dieppe, NB) drove home a rebound from a Remy Anglehart (Gascon, QC) point shot.  

STFX forward Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL) got the X-Men on the board in the final four minutes of the period, going top shelf with a wrister after picking up a cross-ice pass from Liam Hawel (Arnprior, ON). Shots at the end of the period were 10-8 in favour of Moncton.

Moncton reclaimed their two goal lead 30 seconds into the second period, with a pass from Nathael Roy (Levis, QC) deflecting in off a STFX stick. About 45 seconds later, Samuel Guilbault (Varrennes, QC) added another one for the home team, getting the last touch on a bouncing puck in front of the STFX net, with Hache and the game's second star Anglehart assisting.

STFX's Matthew Struthers got one back for the visitors with about seven minutes gone in the period, sliding a shot low on the short side from the faceoff circle off passes from Declan Smith (Antigonish) and third star of the game Jacob Hudson (Antigonish, NS).

AUS all-rookie team honoree Charlie Callaghan (Toronto, ON) made it a one goal game with a wrister from the high slot through a screen while on the powerplay. Second team all-star Hudson picked up his second assist of the night on the play, with just over two minutes left in the stanza. Shots at the end of the period were 21-13 in favour of Moncton as they held a 4-3 lead.

The X-Men came out flying in the third, and had a goal waved off because of goaltender interference midway though the period. On the ensuing powerplay, Hache made it 5-3 game with his second goal of the game, sliding home a rebound seconds into the player advantage. First team AUS all-star Jacob Dion (Sherbrooke, QC) and all-rookie team member Jeremy Lapointe (Drummondville, QC) assisted.

An extended scuffle between the teams with about five minutes to go led to a pair of penalties for each side. The X-Men pulled the goalie with about two minutes left but they weren't able to mount a comeback.

Olivier Adam (Drummondville, QC) made 21 saves on the night in the win for Moncton, while Raaymakers had 22 stops for the X-Men

Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Moncton. The series comes to Antigonish for game 3 on Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m.. Game 4, if necessary, is set for Antigonish at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, with game 5, if necessary, back in Moncton on March 1 at 7 p.m.


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics