HALIFAX, NS – In a possible AUS final preview, the UNB Reds and the StFX X-Men went the distance in their second-last game before playoffs.
However, the Reds would get the last laugh. Thanks to a James MacEwan shootout goal and a fury of late Rylan Parenteau stops, UNB held off the StFX comeback for a 3-2 win.
Early on, it looked like smooth sailing for the nation’s top team. After a period, UNB led 1-0 off an Adam McCormick goal and outshot the X-Men 16-5. Then, Ryan Roth extended the Reds lead just two minutes into the second.
Things would change soon. A Kade Landry holding call seven minutes later would result in a power play tally from Connor Roberts, chopping the lead in half.
Despite the UNB spread in shots and goals earlier, the ice was completely shifted by the final frame. Not a ton of events came out of the last 20 minutes of regulation. But all it took was a bounce. That’s what Declan Smith got following an innocent-looking battle in the corner. The puck ricocheted to him in the slot and he had all day to beat Parenteau and tie it at two.
The two clubs played lockdown hockey from thereon out, until late in the overtime period. Parenteau was tasked with a pair of X-Men breakaways but brushed off the AUS number one offence’s attempts to score and send the Reds packing in overtime.
UNB had their shots too, including a prime chance about a minute into the extra stanza when Ross MacDougall was looking at a wide-open net. But Joseph Raaymakers stood tall to force a shootout.
Raaymakers had a decent shootout as well, but MacEwan’s snipe over his glove is what would burn him. StFX’s top guns couldn’t bail him out on any of their three attempts.
Both teams are back on the ice tomorrow. The Reds stay at home to host the Dalhousie Tigers. StFX, meanwhile, will finish off their New Brunswick road trip in Moncton, before both sides gear up for the AUS semifinals.
Cover photo: UNB Reds