Antigonish, NS – Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) potted the game winning goal in a shootout for the Saint Mary's Huskies as they overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the StFX X-Men 5-4 Saturday night at the Antigonish Arena on StFX Homecoming weekend.
The Huskies erased a 4-1 StFX lead in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals for the come-from-behind victory.
The game started with a flurry of goals in a four-minute span as the X-Men opened up the first shift of the game with a quick goal 38 seconds in, off the stick of freshman forward Matt Graham (Bedford, NS). Bailey Webster (Kensington, PE) and Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) assisted.
The Huskies responded with a goal of their own just over two minutes later as Dawson Theede potted one past X-Men netminder Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS), connecting with Mark Trickett (Baddeck, NS) and Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) on the play.
The tie game didn't last long as Anthony Difrsucia (St. John's, NF) re-established the StFX lead a minute later, scoring off an Aaron Hoyles (Gander, NF) pass.
The two teams settled in after the opening four minutes and were held scoreless for the remainder of the period as shots favoured the Huskies at 9-6 after 20 minutes.
The lone goal of the second period came off the stick of X-Men defenseman Santino Centorame (Mississauga, ON) just over four minutes in as the X-Men held onto the 3-1 advantage for the remainder of the period. Sam Studnicka (Windsor, ON) assisted on the Centorame goal.
Shots were fairly even in the middle period with the Huskies having a slight 10-9 edge.
The X-Men went up 4-1 off a power play marker two and a half minutes into the third period. Matt Needham (Pentincton, BC) found Adam Stevens (Bedford, NS) in the slot and he re-directed the puck past Huskies netminder Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC). Adam Holwell (St. John's, NF) also had a helper on the play.
The Huskies then ratcheted it up a notch and responded with three unanswered third period goals, two of them coming on the man-advantage.
Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) scored on the power play at 8:35, off the set-up from Jake Coughler (St. Catherine's, ON) and Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS) as the visitors chipped into the StFX lead.
Calder Brooks netted the third SMU goal at 14:05 from Logan Denoble (Peterborough, ON), then Coughler scored the game-tying marker - unassisted while on the power play - with only 1:36 left in the game.
Final shots after regulation favoured the Huskies at 31-17.
Marchand was sharp in the five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period for the X-Men, coming up with consecutive toe saves to keep the puck out of the X net. Each team had their chances in the overtime frame but could not find the back of the mesh.
As the game went into the shootout, the Huskies and X-Men exchanged goals after the full three shooters aside, going into sudden-death shootout play and it was Johnson who came up with the winner. For his efforts he received Subway player of the game and first star honours.
StFX goaltender Marchand was the second star as he posted 31 saves in the losing effort for the X-Men, while and Huskies forward Calder Brooks was the third star.
The game marked the second one in consecutive nights that the X-Men (0-0-2) went into overtime as they fell 2-1 to Acadia in extra time last night in Wolfville. They will next see the ice on Friday, October 5th when they travel to Moncton for a 7pm game.
The Huskies (2-0-0) start the season with two wins, having also defeated Dalhousie last night by a 6-1 margin. They will host the same Tigers squad on Friday in a 7:00 pm puck drop.
Courtesy StFX Athletics Sports Information