WOLFVILLE, N.S. – With 1:44 remaining in the game and a 4-2 lead, the hockey Axemen almost threw away a win.
In less than two minutes remaining in regulation time, the StFX X-Men tied the game at four to force the game into overtime.
At 4:42 of the extra period, Stephen Harper was hauled down on a breakaway and the story was written. Last season's top goal scorer for the Axemen made no mistake in ending the game on a penalty shot as he beat Blade Mann-Dixon low on the blocker side.
"I have seen him in practice and he has that scoring touch, so I had all my money in him," commented Rodney Southam following the game when asked what his thoughts were when Harper capitalized on the penalty shot to win.
While the score told one story, the shots on goal told another. The Axemen outshot the U SPORTS No. 3 ranked X-men 39-29 and it wasn't until the third period that StFX held that advantage based on several powerplay opportunities.
The opening period saw both teams exchange goals only seconds after the other scored.
At the 16:46 mark, StFX took their first lead of the game that lasted 42 seconds. Cole MacDonald scored his first of two goals, beating Flodell from the same spot on the ice as the previous goal, but the blocker hand side on the powerplay.
Mason McCarty responded at 17:28 on the man-advantage to tie the game at 2-2 after one period.
A tight second frame with the Axemen outshooting StFX 11-8 resulted in a scoreless period.
With the Axemen holding on to a 4-2 advantage with just under ten minutes remaining in regulation time, Acadia began to lose sight of the lead.
Following a skirmish at the 15:24 mark of the third period that resulted in five 10-minute misconducts being assessed, the X-Men changed the game's momentum.
StFX's Cole MacDonald scored at the 18-minute mark and Matt Needham tied the game at four with eight seconds remaining in the final period.
Forced into overtime, Harper delivered the penalty shot goal to give the Axemen their fourth win in a row. The X-Men drop to 3-0-1 and sit second in the AUS standings behind Acadia who improve to 4-1.
Acadia will head to Halifax this Wednesday to take on the 3-1 Saint Mary's Huskies.