(ANTIGONISH, NS) The St FX X-Men scored three times in a span of 2:45 of the first period on route to a 3-2 win over the UNB Reds on Saturday.
The X-Men opened the game with three quick goals before seven minutes had clicked off the clock. Will Bower (Saint John, NB) scored the first X goal 3:51 into the game. He brought the puck into the Reds zone and wristed a low shot from the top of the face-off circle, past Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, QC) in the UNB net.
45 seconds later, the X-Men tallied again, this time from veteran captain Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) on the power play.
Two minutes later, at 6:36, Holden Cook (Whitby, ON) gave the X-Men a 3-0 lead on a pretty play that saw him bring the puck into the UNB zone then beat a Reds defender before a deke and fake that had Dubeau fooled. He then deposited the puck high into the open net.
Both teams then settled in, and UNB fought back to score a goal before the first period expired.
After continued pressure in the X zone, and several shots on X netminder Blade Mann-Dixon (Antigonish, NS), Chris Clapperton (Cap d'Espoir, QC) banged in a rebound at the 11:02 mark.
The fast-paced second period brought ample scoring chances from both sides, including several power-play opportunities. With no love lost between the Atlantic University Sport rivals, the period also saw more physical play develop with increased trips to the penalty box.
The Reds were unable to convert on consecutive power-play chances late in the period, and the X-Men also had a man-advantage that carried over into the third where they were held scoreless.
Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) brought the Reds to within a goal, converting a Cam Brace (Etobicoke, ON) pass in the slot to wire a goal past Mann-Dixon, just under five minutes into the third period.
UNB continued to press, but Mann-Dixon kept the X-Men lead intact.
In an intense final two minutes of play, with Dubeau out of the Reds net with 1:29 left, the X-Men were able to hold off the Reds final attack and preserve the 3-2 victory.
The first star and Subway Player of the Game, Mann-Dixon earned his eighth win of the season with 38 saves on the night.
With the win, the X-Men improve to 14-9-3 on the season and move into second place in the AUS standings.
The first place Reds, now 21-2-3, have already secured a first round playoff bye with two weekends of play left in the regular season.
The Reds are back in action on Wednesday, when they travel to Moncton.
RECAP BY: Krista McKenna/St FX Sports Information
PHOTOS BY: Rachel Drummond/for St FX Sports Information