(Halifax, NS) In AUS men's hockey action, fans certainly got their money's worth as the Saint Mary's Huskies men's hockey team won their home opener against the Dalhousie Tigers 6-1 at the Halifax Forum.
Saint Mary's was all over Dalhousie right from the first period, hammering goalie Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON) with 21 shots and using stretch passes to spring their forwards several times. The Huskies scored one goal when Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) split the Dalhousie defense at their blue line. His shot went behind Hicks and was tapped in by Thomas Stavert (Summerside, PEI) crashing the net.
The Huskies led 1-0 after one period of play.
The second was dominated by special teams. The Huskies killed off three penalties in quick succession before going on the man advantage. It didn't take them long to capitalize.
With just over a minute to go in the period, Saint Mary's was on the power play again. They won the draw and the puck was passed to the middle of the ice to Nick Welsh (Halifax, NS), who took a low slap shot that found its way to the back of the net.
Less than a minute later, Saint Mary's was on the man advantage again and scored. After working the puck between Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) on the left half wall and Welsh at the point, Welsh shot the puck and Jake Coughler (St. Catherines, ON) at the left side of the net tipped it in to increase their lead.
Austyn Hardie (Halifax, NS) took a crosschecking penalty at the buzzer. Dalhousie started the final frame on the power play. The Tigers were able to finally beat Saint Mary's goalie
Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) less than a minute into the third period. Jesse Lussier (Petawawa, ON) sent a low shot from the right point to Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) who was left uncovered at the far side and shot the puck into a wide-open net.
With just under 9 minutes to go, Saint Mary's increased their lead when the puck popped up to Logan Denoble (Peterborough, ON) who was just inside the dots on the left side of the ice and beat Hicks on his blocker side with a nicely placed wrist shot.
The game got intense with seven minutes to go as frustrations boiled over. A hit from behind from Repaci on Dal's Lussier caused a brawl in the Tigers' end. All 10 players were fighting and when everything was sorted out, boxes were crammed with players from both teams.
Before the ensuing power play for Dal had expired, there was another full line brawl, this time in SMU's end of the ice. Every player on the ice paired off as punches were thrown and equipment was scattered everywhere. The chaos took several minutes to sort out and seemed to take the energy out of the last five minutes of the game.
Saint Mary's was on the power play to finish off the game and scored yet again. The puck found its way from the left point to Noah Zilbert (Fredericton, NB) who slid it in with 28
seconds to go in the game to make the final score a decisive 6-1.
The Subway Player of the Game with two assists was Huskies Captain Calder Brooks
(Emerald Park, SK).
The Huskies play at the Forum again on October 5th when they are hosts of the Dalhousie Tigers.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Mona Ghiz