(Halifax, NS) – In the opening matchup of the 2018-19 AUS hockey season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Halifax Forum.
The action started quickly in this one, as just over two minutes in the Tigers found themselves on a two-man advantage. The Tigers opened up the scoring after a shot from Colton Heffley (Swift Current, SK) caused a scramble in front that Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) was able to knock home as the first goal of the season.
The goal took care of the first penalty, but the Tigers were still up a man for another minute. After gaining the zone, Aiden Jamieson (Lindsay, ON) made a nice play to hold the zone against two defenders. The puck made its way out to Cyr in the slot, who found spotted Heffley backdoor with a pass right on the tape to deflect home the second goal of the game and give the Tigers a commanding advantage early.
After two quick goals, the rest of the period was quiet, going into the first break with the Tigers leading 2-0.
It was another quick start to the period in the second, with the Tigers getting on the board once again. After a scramble down low, Reid Murphy (Stittsville, ON) made a beautiful pass to Jake Barter (Hammonds Plains, NS) moving in from the point. Barter's initial shot was stopped by Logan Flodell, (Regina, SK) but Dillon Boucher (Head Chezzetcook, NS) provided the screen in front, and was there to hammer home the rebound to make it 3-0 for the Tigers.
Special teams were not helping the Axemen so far in this game. Midway through the period while killing off a penalty Andrew Shewfelt (Dartmouth, NS) broke out of the zone and sent a perfect saucer pass overt the stick of the defender to Kelly Bent (Halifax, NS) who's shot snuck just under the crossbar for the Tigers fourth goal.
The Axemen pressured late in the period however, while on a two-man advantage of their own. The puck moved around the zone well, with the majority of their 10 shots in the period coming during those three minutes.
Two of those dangerous shots came from the stick of Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON), who's first shot was stopped by the outstretched glove of Reilly Picard (Halifax, NS). The second shot from Harper was able to beat Picard, but rang off the far side post, keeping the Axemen scoreless still.
The teams went into the dressing rooms with the Tigers leading 4-0 after two.
The Axemen came out with a new energy in the third period, being the aggressor and forcing penalties in the attacking end. While on the power play, Ross MacDougall (St Stephen, NB) made a great play to glove down a clearing attempt at the line. MacDougall fired a shot from the point that was deflected off of a Tigers defender in front and in as the Axemen were finally able to solve Picard midway through the third.
The Tigers were able score a fifth and final goal, when Flodell mishandled a clearing attempt after a dump-in and Mike Evelyn (Ottawa, ON) was able to jump on the loose puck and increase the lead to 5-1.
Tiger Andrew Shewfelt was named the Subway First Star of the Game.
The Tigers are back on the ice on Friday when they take on Saint Mary's. Acadia will be at home on Friday as well when they take on StFX.
Submitted by Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Communications