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Hicks stops 35 in 1-0 shutout victory

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In Friday night hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers played host to the StFX X-Men at the Halifax Forum. It took 59 minutes for someone to find the back of the net in this one, but the late goal by the Tigers gave them the 1-0 victory in this one.

The Tigers opened up the period with plenty of offensive pressure in the attacking end, with Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) getting a great look on a cross-crease pass that was one-timed toward goal, but Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) robbed him with an outstretched glove.

Anthony Difruscia (Thorold, ON) was able to get the best chance in the period for the X-Men when he made a nice move to get into the slot with some space to fire a high shot that Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON) was able to just get a piece of with the glove to keep it scoreless.

Despite a few great chances in the period, the teams went into the break scoreless.

This time it was the X-Men who had the early opportunities, with Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, ON) getting stopped by the pad of Hicks on a partial break, and Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) sending a hard shot toward the goal that was able to get by Hicks, but rang off the post and stayed out.

Not long after that shot from Tremaine, the Tigers countered on the other end with a pass coming across the slot to Jesse Lussier (Ottawa, ON) who showed tremendous patience trying to wait out Marchand, but the X-Men goalie was able to slide across to get a shoulder on it to deflect the puck out of harm's way.

The goaltenders were spectacular on both ends of the ice through two periods, with Hicks stopping 22 shots, while Marchand had 18. As a result, the teams headed into the third period still looking to open the scoring.

Much of the third period was quiet, both teams playing conservatively as neither side was willing to risk giving up a chance at what could be the lone goal in the game.

With just over a minute to go, the Tigers were pressing in the attacking end, putting shot after shot toward Marchand who lost his stick in a scramble. The puck worked back to the point where Lussier hammered a slapshot on net that was redirected in front by Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) into the top corner to give the Tigers a late lead.

The X-Men elected to pull Marchand as they gained the zone, but a late icing call forced him back into the net with only a few seconds left on the clock, and time ran out on the X-Men as the late goal was enough to give the Tigers the 1-0 win.

Connor Hicks was named the Subway Player of the Game in an outstanding performance to secure the 35 save shutout victory. 

The Tigers will look to make it three in a row tomorrow as they head to Moncton for their third game in four days. The X-Men will look to bounce back on Wednesday as they continue their road trip in PEI to take on the Panthers.