ANTIGONISH, N.S. – The StFX X-Men took a 1-0 series lead in the Subway AUS quarter-final series with a 5-0 victory over the Acadia Axemen Wednesday evening at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) earned the shutout victory with 34 saves and Daniel Robertson (Windsor, ON) scored a pair of goals for the X-Men.
Both teams were without the services of their respective head coaches behind the benches as both Coach Peddle and Coach Burns were serving suspensions resulting from supplemental discipline handed down by the AUS office.
The X-Men opened up a 2-0 first period lead off goals from Holden Cook (Whitby, ON) and Robertson. Cook tallied on the power play at 5:42, finding room from behind the Axemen net to circle into the slot area and wrist a shot past Logan Flodell (Regina, SK).
Robertson's goal came just over two minutes later as he took a pass from Cook at the point and directed what appeared to be a harmless shot towards the Acadia net, but it fooled Flodell and the home team had a 2-0 lead.
Shots favoured the X-Men 16-10 after 20 minutes of play.
Robertson notched his second goal of the night 13:13 into the second period while the X-Men were shorthanded. He brought the puck from his own blue line through the neutral zone ripped a shot from the point that beat Flodell.
The Axemen had their best chance to score shortly after when they went on a 5-on-3 man-advantage but were unable to solve Marchand in the X net.
It was then the X-Men's turn for a 5-on-3 for just under a minute and they were unable to convert a scoring play.
The 3-0 StFX lead held up after two periods despite the X-Men being outshot 11-6 in the middle frame.
Tempers ignited 12 minutes into the third period when StFX's Marcus Cuomo (St. John's, NL) and Acadia's Jack McClelland (St. John's, NL) were sent off with fighting majors.
The tussle may have ignited the X-Men as they tallied two more goals, scored just 23 seconds apart. Adam Laishram (Ashburn, ON) banged in a rebound in front of the Axemen net at 15:43, then Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, AB) unleashed a shot that beat Flodell as he was wide open in the slot and converted a Regan Spears (Port Hood, NS) pass.
The X-Men held on for the 5-0 win as Marchand had 34 saves for the shutout victory between the pipes for X.
Game 2 is scheduled for Friday night in Wolfville, N.S.
Game 3, if necessary, will be back in Antigonish on Sunday night.