ANTIGONISH, N.S. - The StFX X-Men outplayed the Acadia Axemen Wednesday evening at the Charles V. Keating Centre, besting the visitors 5-2 after an intense, physical game that saw a combined 74 minutes of penalties incurred.
Freshman goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon, a native of local Antigonish, N.S. guided the X-Men to their first win of the season and the first of his AUS career, posting 25 saves and earning the game's second star honour.
StFX opened the scoring early, just 1:33 into play, when Subway player of the game and first star Bryson Cianfrone (Stoney Creek, ON) found the back of the net after taking advantage of his position in the slot. StFX managed to hold the line and keep play in the Axemen zone, despite several failed clearing attempts. Assisting on Cianfrone's snapshot goal was Matt Needham (Penticton, BC).
The X-Men kept the momentum going, scoring six and a half minutes later. William Bower (Saint John, NB) passed the puck behind the net to Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) who took the initial shot on goal. Lane Cormier (Hopewell, NS) capitalized on the rebound bringing the score to 2-0.
Acadia answered StFX's goal at 11:52 with a shot that rang off the post behind Mann-Dixon. Michael Zipp (Edmonton, AB) took a shot from the slot that bounced off the post, Jackson Houck (Delta, BC) captured the rebound and scored off a backhanded shot. Third star of the evening Maurizio Colella (Tottenham, ON) was also credited with an assist on the goal.
The hometown crowd were roused into a fervour 14:38 into the first period when Needham broke out of his own end while the Axemen were on a power-play. He raced into the opposing zone and managed a backhanded shot that beat Axemen goaltender Dawson Carty (Burlington, ON).
Needham's shorthanded goal gave the X-Men a 3-1 lead heading into the second period. Shots on goal for the opening 20 minutes slightly favoured Acadia at 10-9 and the teams racked up 22 penalty minutes on 11 infractions.
Period number two continued the physicality that was exhibited in the first period as 24 penalty minutes were incurred in the scoreless period. Shots on goal were even at 11-11.
The final frame echoed the first, with the X-Men scoring early on and maintaining the lead throughout. Daniel Robertson (Windsor, ON) took a wrist shot from the point which rebounded to Laishram who was able to drive the X-Men's fourth goal home two and a half minutes in.
Acadia's Colella answered Laishram's goal 59 seconds later. Owen MacDonald (Elora, ON) wrapped the puck around the boards from the blue line to Garrett McFadden (Kincardine, ON) who then passed to Colella in front of the net, and he eased the puck past Mann-Dixon.
StFX forward Cianfrone opened and closed the scoring for the evening- with his second goal of the night with just over five minutes left in play. Cianfrone blocked a shot from Acadia captain Liam Maaskant (Clinton, ON) and then carried the puck down the ice, sliding the puck past Carty for an unassisted goal.
Shots in the game narrowly favoured StFX at 29-27.
Both teams will be in action again on Friday, October 12th at 7pm. StFX will visit the Saint Mary's Huskies and Acadia will host the Dalhousie Tigers.
Courtesy Kiana Pace, StFX Sports Information