Monday, February 23, 2015

X-Men Force Game 5

The St. FX X-Men staved off elimination for a second straight night with a 4-2 victory over the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds tonight in Antigonish. The best-of-5 semi-final series is now tied at two games apiece.

The stories of the game was the play of X-Men goaltender Drew Owsley (39 saves), the X-Men penalty killing (5 for 5 with a number of blocked shots), and the X-Men's ability to quickly counter each time UNB scored (scored two minutes after the V-Reds tied the game at 1 and then 1:31 after UNB tied it 2-2).

St. FX scored the only goal of the 1st period courtesy Steve Kuhn just 2:30 into the game. That's how the game would stand until Chris Caissy (Murray, Suellentrop) tied it 3:21 into the 2nd period with his first goal of the year. As mentioned, the X-Men responded only two minutes later to retake the lead. At 16:59 the V-Reds tied it again when Dana Fraser (Maillet, MacDougall) was all alone in the slot to snap the puck past Owsley, but the X-Men answered with what turned out to be the game winning goal at 18:30 of the period. Michael Kirkpatrick added some insurance with a beautiful shot off the cross-bar and in 7:44 into the 3rd period. 

- Shots in the game were 41-14 for UNB with period totals of 10-6, 13-5, 18-3.

- Chris Caissy replaced Rob Mignardi (suspension due to 10 minute misconduct last night) in the line-up. Peter Trainor and R.D. Chisholm remained out.

- St. FX blocked 21 shots in the game to 9 for UNB.

- This is the 2nd straight playoff series between these two teams that has gone the full 5 games. In 2011 UNB defeated St. FX 5-4 in OT in game 5 to win the AUS Championship. UNB fans will hope for a similar result Thursday night.

- That series was the only 5 game series UNB has played in under Gardiner MacDougall, and their only one since at least since 1982 when records became available.

- St. FX has won 7 out of their last 12 playoff games against UNB dating back to 2010.

- The other semi-final series resumes tomorrow night in Halifax as Saint Mary's tries to finish off the Acadia Axemen. The Huskies won 4-0 last night to go up 2 game to 1 in the series.

- Game 5 goes 7PM Thursday night at the AUC.