Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In their first game of a back-to-back, the Tigers hosted the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus on Friday night. The Tigers found late goals in hopes of a comeback, but Moncton was able to hold on for a 5-4 win.
The Tigers were able to strike early in the game on a turnover by l'Aigles Bleus from their own corner into the faceoff dot where Brett Crossley (Dartmouth, NS) was able to one-time the turnover just under the crossbar and in to quickly make it 1-0.
After continuing to fight off stints of pressure from the Tigers, l'Aigles Bleus were able to put together a great counter attack into the Tigers zone led by Maxime St-Cyr (St-Didace, QC) made a beautiful drop pass to Robbie Graham (Richibuctou, NB) and Graham made a smart play to take a step toward the boards and use a Tigers defender as a screen for his shot to go high over the shoulder of Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) at the far-side post to even it up.
Just two minutes later, Moncton was able to find another as St-Cyr picked up a steal in the offensive zone and made a nice pass to the top of the crease for Graham who was able to pick up his second of the game on a tough mid-air deflection to beat Pickard and put his team ahead 2-1.
That was the way the first period ended, with l'Aigles Bleus holding a 2-1 lead.
After plenty of chances on both ends of the ice, the Tigers were able to find the equalizing goal midway through the period after a scramble in front and Crossley was able to collect the puck and make a nifty spin-move with his back to the net to slide the puck in to make it 2-2.
Doing a great job to kill off a penalty, St-Cyr found himself in a footrace once they cleared the puck into the Tigers end. St-Cyr was able to win the battle and cut across the front of the crease over a diving Pickard and made an outstanding play to wrap the puck around him and give his team the lead again.
After a great job of winning the faceoff and tying up his counterpart, Vincent Deslauriers (Blainville, QC) sent a quick pass across the slot to Joey Richard (Dieppe, NB) for the easy tap-in goal to give Moncton a 4-2 lead.
The Tigers were able to generate a few scoring chances toward the end of the period, but heading into the final frame, l'Aigles Bleus held their 4-2 lead.
The Tigers were able to get one back early in the period off a faceoff win that Andrew Shewfelt (Dartmouth, NS) was able to pick up and send a quick wrister under the pad of Étienne Montpetit (Valleyfield, QC).
It didn't take long for Moncton to earn back the two-goal lead however, as St-Cyr picked up his second goal of the game with a well-placed wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle for a power play goal and a 5-3 lead midway through the third.
The Tigers were given a late power play opportunity, steal needing to find two goals in under four minutes. They had a great chance on a 2-on-1 with Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) and Cameron Thompson (Victoria, BC). Cyr made a great outside spin pass across the slot to Thompson, but Montpetit was able to make a great save to keep his team ahead.
Cyr was able to finally find the goal with less than a minute left and a power play chance with Pickard pulled for a 6-on-4 opportunity. A shot came from the point from Colton Heffley (Swift Current, SK) and Cyr picked up the rebound with an open cage to make it 5-4 with 45 seconds left.
The Tigers pressured hard, but l'Aigles Bleus were able to hold on for the 5-4 win over the Tigers.
Moncton's Maxime St-Cyr was named the Subway Player of the Game in the win, picking up four points on two goals and two assists to lead his team to victory.
The Tigers will be back on the ice tomorrow against the UNB Reds, while Moncton will also take on UNB in their next game at home next Wednesday.