HALIFAX, NS – In AUS men’s hockey action, the Saint Mary’s Huskies hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Dauphinee Centre and two power play goals helped propel the Huskies to a 4-2 win.
The Axemen were looking to get in control early, using regroups in the neutral zone to great effect. The Huskies, meanwhile, had a couple sloppy defensive plays that led to scoring chances for the Axemen. First was a dangerous pass through the middle on their breakout that was picked off by an Axemen forechecker; shortly after, a giveaway in front of the net gave Ryan Foss (Oakville, ON) an opportunity to open the scoring. Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) had to be sharp early to keep the game scoreless.
Once the Huskies started getting their feet moving, the game evened out. With a couple back-to-back power plays, they generated chances with shots from the point and opened the scoring halfway through the period.
On the man advantage, Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) came into the zone down the right wing. The rebound from his sharp angle shot popped straight out in the slot to Keith Getson (Bridgewater, NS), who put home the rebound. Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON) also assisted.
The Axemen responded with just under four minutes left in the first frame. In a pretty passing play down low, the puck danced between Jordy Stallard (Brandon, MB) and Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) before getting dished to Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, ON), who had an open net for the Axemen’s first goal.
After an Acadia power play, the first period ended with the teams tied 1-1, each with 10 shots.
Saint Mary’s had two power plays early in the second period, putting Acadia on the defensive. After killing them off, however, the Axemen took the lead with a breakaway goal. Slipping behind the Huskies’ defenders in the neutral zone, Owen MacDonald (Elora, ON) received a stretch pass from Ryan Foss (Oakville, ON). After a nice deke to his backhand, MacDonald flipped the puck over a sprawled Brassard to take the lead with eight minutes to go.
Just a couple plays later, the Huskies evened the score. Gaining the zone with speed, they cycled the puck in the corner for a minute before Johnson dished it to Balmas at the back door, who tipped it into the net. Repaci got another assist with the play.
Tied 2-2, the Huskies were on the power play with less than a minute to go in the second period. At the far side of the net, Repaci got passed the puck in tight, and it looked to be a sure goal, but goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) made what was surely the save of the game.
Five minutes into the third period, the Huskies got on the power play again and capitalized. On the half wall, Logan Denoble (Peterborough, ON) sent the puck on net. Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) was on the doorstep and after a couple of attempts, put it in the net. Bronson Beaton (Springhill, NS) had the other assist on the Huskies’ third goal.
The Axemen, given two power play opportunities late in the period, were throwing pucks on net trying to find the equalizer, but some shot blocking by the Huskies helped to kill off the penalties.
Acadia pulled their goalie with about a minute left in the game. Repaci potted an empty net goal with 24 seconds to go, making it 4-2 for the Huskies. That would be the final score. With the win, the Huskies move into third place over the Moncton Aigles Bleus.
The Subway Player of the Game, with one goal and two assists, was the Huskies’ Repaci. Honourable mentions went to Johnson and Flodell, who faced 40 shots in the game.
Source, Sarah Moore for SMU
Photo Nick Pearce