Antigonish, NS - The U SPORTS No, 4 ranked StFX X-Men topped the No. 7 ranked visiting Acadia Axemen 2-1 in their last home game of the fall term. The victory marked the fifth consecutive win for the X-Men in a rough-and-tumble game Friday evening at the Charles V. Keating Centre in front of a crowd of 900.
Matt Needham (Pentincton, BC) potted the game winner in the third period for X while Subway player of the game Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) posted 27 saves in goal as he earned his league-leading 10th win of the season between the pipes.
The first goal of the game came 5:32 seconds into the opening period. Axemen forward Boston Leier (Saskatoon, SK) took possession of the puck from X-Men defenseman Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) while on the penalty kill. He then found Chance Braid (Wainwright, BC) who fired a snapshot as the Axemen's first shot on goal beat Marchand for the short-handed marker.
The X-Men responded with a tally of their own midway through the period and 17 seconds into a power play opportunity. Following several quality scoring opportunities in the Axemen zone, the X-Men solved goaltender Robert Steeves (St. Joseph-de-Kent, NB) as forward Michael Clarke (London, ON) scored his 10th goal of the season. From the blue line Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) passed off to Kristoff Kontos (Penetanguishene, ON) who found Clarke in the slot. Clarke snapped the puck over the glove of Steeves to tie the game at one.
Shots in the first period favoured StFX at 16-9.
The second period saw several penalties handed out. Several scoring opportunities were exchanged between the teams during the middle frame, which included an extended two-man advantage for Acadia, but both came up empty. Acadia held a 12-10 shot advantage in the scoreless period.
Needham's game-winning goal came at the 12:51 mark of the third frame. While in the Axemen zone, Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) dished the puck to Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON) who out-manoeuvred sprawling Acadia defender Matthew Pufahl (Saskatoon, SK) to find Needham in front of the net. The second year forward went top shelf on Steeves for the winner.
Shots in the game favoured StFX at 36-28. Acadia was 0 for 2 on the power play, while StFX went 1 for 4.
Subway Player of the Game and first star was awarded to X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand, while X-Men defender Cole MacDonald was named second star, and third star went to Acadia's Boston Leier.
StFX next sees action when they travel to Halifax on Wednesday, November 29th to visit the Dalhousie Tigers. Acadia will face the same Tigers tomorrow night in Halifax at 7:00 pm.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Athletics Sports Information