(ANTIGONISH, NS) The battle of top ranked U SPORTS men's hockey teams did not disappoint as the No. 3 UNB Varsity Reds defeated the No. 1 St FX X-Men 2-1, in a shootout, Saturday night in Antigonish.
The near-capacity crowd at St. FX's Keating Centre was treated to a very physical 60 minutes of regulation play, five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, and the shootout that featured Varsity Reds newcomer Alexandre Goulet(Disraeli, QC) scoring the game winner.
UNB scored in the first period to take a 1-0 lead, and the teams played a scoreless second before the X-Men tied it in the third.
Varsity Reds forward Stephen Anderson(Morell, PE) beat X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand(Halifax, NS) while UNB had an extra attacker on the ice with seven minutes left in the opening period. While on a delayed penalty call, Anderson found the loose puck in front of the net. Through traffic, he got the rebound past a downed Marchand.
The X-Men had several scoring chances in the second period as they outshot the visitors 14-8, but Varsity Reds goaltender Alex Dubeau(Mascouche, QC) was up for the task.
Marchand meanwhile, continued to stymy the Varsity Reds, turning aside 17 shots in the third period. He would finish with 41 saves on the night and earn Subway Player of the Game honours.
Halfway through the third, X answered UNB's first period goal. At 10:21 Michael Clarke(London, ON) capitalized on a good zone-to-zone play, besting Dubeau up high.
The score remained tied through overtime, despite some great chances for both sides.
In the shootout, Cook was the only X shooter to beat Dubeau, while both Dylan Willick(Prince George, BC) and Goulet out manoeuvred Marchand, sealing the win for the Varsity Reds.
Shots on goal favoured UNB, 43-29.
With the win, the Varsity Reds take a one-point lead over the X-Men atop the Atlantic University Sport standings. UNB is 18-1-3 after 22 games, while St FX is 17-1-4.
Next on the schedule for St FX, a home date with Dalhousie, on Wednesday, at 7:00pm.
UNB hosts Saint Mary's, Friday at 7:00pm. It will be Northside School Night at the Aitken Centre, as well as Home Depot Night.
RECAP BY: Kiana Pace, St FX Sports Information
PHOTOS BY: Bryan Kennedy, St FX Sports Information