HALIFAX, NS - In their first meeting of the season, the Saint Mary's Huskies stopped a two game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Acadia Axemen in AUS men's hockey action at the Halifax Forum.
The game started off at a good pace, and it was the Axemen who struck first at 7:56 into the first period. Defense, Marc McNulty had some room and made his way slowly through the neutral zone before crossing with Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON) at the top of the slot. Harper's one-timer beat SMU goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) for Harper's fifth goal of the season.
After taking a couple of penalties, the Huskies went on the power play late in the period and found the equalizing goal. With traffic in front of the net, a shot from Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS) was deflected by an Acadia defence. Goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) made a pad save but Logan Denoble (Peterborough, ON) was there to tap home the rebound for the Huskies. Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) also picked up an assist on the play.
The teams headed into the break tied 1-1, with the Axemen having better scoring chances. Saint Mary's struggled to control the play in the first period, with passes hitting skates and shots getting deflected away from the net.
The second period looked very different, with SMU coming out much sharper. They dominated, leading Acadia 21-7 in shots during the second frame.
Four minutes into the period, Bronson Beaton (Springhill, NS) was nearly at the Acadia goal line and buried a sharp angle wrist shot upstairs to take a 2-1 lead for the Huskies.
The Axemen had some good chances on their third power play of the night after Welsh was sent to the box for a high stick. The closest they came was a nice shot from Jackson Houck (Delta, BC) and Brassard had to stretch to make the save with his toe.
The Huskies nearly scored several minutes later, sending a puck across the crease. Flodell couldn't get across in time, leaving the net wide open, and Axemen defense TJ Fergus (Oakville, ON) was forced to take a hooking penalty to save a sure goal.
SMU couldn't convert on the power play and the period ended with the Huskies ahead 2-1. They added two more goals in quick succession in the opening minutes of the third period.
Dylan Di Perna (Nobleton, ON) put home a rebound after a shot from Garlent, and a few minutes later the Huskies scored their second power play goal of the night. Aaron Berisha (Mississauga, ON) tipped in a shot from Jake Coughler (St. Catherines, ON).
With five minutes left in the game, Acadia scored to pull within two goals. A shot from Ross MacDougall (St Stephen, NB) was saved by Brassard but Johnny Corneil (Lindsay, ON) found the rebound for the Axemen.
Acadia pulled their goalie but couldn't find the back of the net in the remaining time.
The final score was 4-2 for the Huskies.
The Subway Player of the Game, opening the scoring for the Saint Mary's, was Logan Denoble.
The two teams play again at the Forum on Nov. 14 and before that, the Axemen host Moncton on Nov 11.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications