Philippe Halley was the hero last night at the Aitken Centre, bringing the 1,927 fans to their feet with the overtime winner
The rookie from Quebec City went inside-out on the St. Francis Xavier defence through the slot, before backhanding his third goal of the year top shelf for the game winner, 49 seconds into overtime.
"It's probably once in a lifetime but I'm happy it happened tonight. It's always fun to give your team the win," Halley said. "Everybody worked hard tonight so I think we deserved the win and I'm pretty happy I scored for my team."
Halley joined the V-Reds at Christmas after a stint with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the East Coast Hockey League. He's been playing on the top line lately along Chris Culligan, and former Victoriaville Tigers teammate Philippe Maillet.
"Maillet and I played three years together and at the end of last year [we played on the same line]," Halley said. "So that's where the chemistry started to develop and when I got here, it was just a matter of time before we started playing together. I think everything's going well for now."
StFX drew first blood late in the first period, with Brandon Hynes feeding Jason Bast wide open in the high slot, who fired his seventh of the year, and his team-leading 24th point.
The V-Reds knotted it up midway through the second period as they got a three-on-two rush up ice. Nick MacNeil left the puck for Matt Petgrave who made no mistake ripping his third of the year top corner over goaltender Drew Owsley.
Two minutes into the third Maillet gave UNB its first lead of the game, fighting off an X-Men defender in the slot and backhanding his 12th goal of the year.
But UNB fell into penalty trouble midway through the period, and after Matt Petgrave got called for interference and Keevin Cutting for tripping 30 seconds later, StFX capitalized 21 seconds into the five-on-three with Rob Slaney scoring an identical goal to Bast's, as the X-Men tied it at 2-2 to force overtime.
Joel Vienneau got his second straight start in nets for UNB and was stellar stopping 22 shots to remain undefeated and pick up his third straight win.
Chris Culligan added to his team-leading totals with his 30th point of the season, while Cam Braes stretched his point streak to nine games by picking up two assists, including one on the overtime winner.
UNB are back on the ice Saturday night against the Saint Mary's Huskies. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Nick Murray for UNB Sports Information