Thursday, March 15, 2018

X-Men Too Much For Badgers

The #5 seeded St. FX X-Men broke open a tie game with four unanswered goals over the final 25 minutes to pull away from the #4 seeded Brock Badgers in a 6-2 victory in the opening game of the 2018 University Cup this afternoon at the AUC.

The X-Men struck for a pair of goals in the early going - one from Holden Cook at 0:44 and another from Kristoff Kontos at 7:13 - and looked to be well on their way to blowing it open early. But the underdog Badgers battled back to tie the game before the end of the period on a power play goal from Braden Pears at 14:22 and a marker by Ayden MacDonald at 19:30.

With each team generating quality chances in the second period it was the X-Men who finally broke through when Michael Clarke gained control of a bouncing puck behind a Badgers defender and skated in all alone, beating Clint Windsor with a deke. St. FX took a 3-2 lead into the dressing room.

The 3rd period was all X-Men as they began to wear down the Badgers. Craig Dunnick's added some insurance with a power play goal at 5:04 and then Cook got his second of the afternoon just over two and a half minutes later to make it 5-2. Brock pulled their goalie with over four minutes remaining in hopes of pulling off a miracle, but Kontos added his second of the game with 10 seconds left to cap the scoring.

- Shots in the game were 38-25 for the X-Men.

- Brock was 1 for 3 on the power play. St. FX was 1 for 5.

- Michael Clarke (3 points) and Ayden MacDonald (1 goal) were named the player of the game for their respective teams.

- Attendance was 3176.

- After missing game 2 of the AUS Final, forward Matt Needham remained sidelined for the X-Men. His absence is a big one as he contributed 29 points in 29 games this season. There was some good news though with Holden Cook - who also missed game 2 against UNB - and defenceman Santino Centorame - who left early in game 2 - being back in their line-up.

- The X-Men now move on to Saturday's 12PM semi-final. They will face the winner of tonight's game between the #1 UNB Varsity Reds and #8 Concordia Stingers. Game time is 7PM and a very limited number of tickets remain.