X-Men defeat UConn in exhibition tilt

Photo courtesy Michelle Campbell
Photo courtesy Michelle Campbell

STORRS, Conn. – The StFX X-Men defeated the University of Connecticut Huskies 4-3 in an exhibition game played Saturday afternoon at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.

StFX got a pair of goals from Kristoff Kontos, and Michael Clarke scored the game-winner on the power play late in the second period.  Goaltender Chase Marchand went the distance and stopped 26 shots to earn the win.

The Huskies got goals from Spencer Naas, Tage Thompson and Justin Howell in the loss.  All four of the Huskies' goaltenders saw action in the game.

StFX took a 1-0 lead into the second period after Anthony Difruscia got them on the board, but UConn's Naas knotted the game at 6:50, scoring on the power play. The X-Men then rang off three-straight goals, back-to-back Kontos scores and one from Clarke on the man-advantage, to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.

The Huskies mounted a third period comeback starting with Howell's goal at 11:51. UConn cut to within 4-3 at the 14:55 mark as Thompson blasted a puck home from between the dots off a feed from Joseph Masonius. The X-Men held on for the win, outshooting the Huskies 31-29.

1st Period:

StFX put the first goal on the board at 8:44. Matt Needham won a face-off in the Husky zone and the puck found its way in between the circles where Anthony Difruscia picked it up and whipped a wrist shot top-shelf

Goaltender Rob Nichols drew the start and played the entire first period.  Nichols departed after making eight saves.

The Huskies were 0-for-3 on the power play in the first period, generating six shots.  The X-Men led 9-8 on shots in the first.

2nd Period:

Adam Huska took over in goal in the second period.  In his first collegiate action, Huska stopped 13 shots and allowed three goals.

The Huskies were outshot 16-12 in the second period.  Both teams scored on the power play in the period with Spencer Naas and Michael Clarke finding the back of the net.

StFX's Kristoff Kontos scored back-to-back goals at 10:17 and 14:39. Needham picked up his second assist of the day on Kontos' second goal.

Clarke gave his team a 4-1 lead at 18:24, scoring on the power play. He took a feed from Jagger Dirk at the point and weaved a wrist shot through traffic. Holden Cook picked up assists on the Kontos second goal and Clarke's goal.

3rd Period:

Tanner Creel (10:29) and Steve Thulin (8:53) split time in goal in the third period. Creel finished with four saves and Thulin with a pair while neither allowed a goal.

The Huskies held a 9-6 edge on shots in the period.  Both teams went 0-1 on the power play.  UConn finished 1-for-6 while StFX went 1-for-5.

Defenseman Wyatt Newpower was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head / high sticking at 2:59.  The Huskies were able to kill off the five-minute major penalty.

UConn's goals by Howell and Thompson pulled the Huskies to within a goal and Coach Cavanaugh pulled the goaltender with 38 seconds left for an extra attacker.  UConn got three shots off but just one on net that Marchand stopped.

Courtesy UConn Sports Information