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Hockey Tigers end season with 5-4 loss to Moncton

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

By Josh Young 

The Moncton Aigles-Bleus defeated the Dalhousie Tigers 5-4 in the third and final game of the quarter-final round of the 2021-22 Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship.

Brett Crossley (Dartmouth, N.S.) opened the scoring for the Tigers half-way through the first period. Logan Johnston (Fredericton, N.B) fed a pass to Crossley who was open in the slot. Crossley faked a shot, pulled the puck further left and shot it over the blocker of Moncton's goalie Étienne Montpetit (Valleyfield, Q.C.). 

Moncton answered with under five minutes remaining in the first period. Dalhousie was breaking the puck out of their zone in front of their own net on a power play. Olivier-Luc Haché (Savoie Landing, N.B.) knocked the puck off the Dalhousie player and the puck went past Dalhousie's goalie Reilly Pickard (Halifax, N.S.) for the goal. 

Moncton grabbed the lead with 21 seconds left in the period. Nathael Roy (Levis, Q.C.) banged a rebound home off a shot by Vincent Deslauries (Blainville, Q.C).
The game kept going Moncton's way early in the second period. A shot from the point was stopped by Pickard but William Basque (Tracadie, N.B.) capitalized on the rebound giving Moncton a 3-1 lead 6:48 into the second period.  

Dalhousie didn't quit thanks in large part to Shaun Miller (Enfield, N.S.). About two minutes after Basque's goal, Connor Welsh (Halifax, N.S.) received the puck at the point. He walked the blue-line and fired a wrist-shot that was deflected by Miller for the goal. 

With seven and a half minutes left in the second period, Miller made a stretch pass to Matt Green (Hammonds Plains, N.S.) and Green burst into Moncton's zone on a two-on-one. He shot the puck past Montpetit's blocker into the low left corner of the net to tie the game. 

That would do it for scoring in the second leaving the score tied at three heading into the third period.

Edouard St. Laurent (Levis, Q.C.) was the hero of the third period. He broke the deadlock at 2:32 into the period. Shorthanded, St. Laurent burst into the offensive zone and received a pass from Olivier-Luc Haché. St. Laurent moved the puck from the centre to the left of Pickard and shot it past him for the goal. 

St. Laurent added another short-handed goal with just under seven minutes remaining in the third period. Maxime Boudreau (Cap-Pele, N.B.) and St. Laurent went in alone on Reilly Pickard. Boudreau passed it to St. Laurent on the other side of Pickard and St. Laurent shot it into the back of the net. 

Dalhousie got the game within one. With under three minutes remaining, Connor Welsh shot the puck from the point. The rebound went to Chandler Yakimowicz (Kingston, P.A.) at the side of the net and he banged in the loose puck. 

That's as close as Dalhousie would get. Moncton played wonderful defensively, limiting scoring chances and won the game 5-4. 

Dalhousie outshot Moncton 37-36. Étienne Montpetit made 33 saves and Reilly Pickard made 30. Moncton went 0/3 on the power play and Dalhousie went 1/5. 

The loss ends Dalhousie's season. The Tigers finished 11-11-1 for third in the standings in the regular season. Improving from a seventh-place finish in 2019-20. Dalhousie's head coach, Chris Donnelly, was voted by his peers as AUS coach of the Year. Dalhousie's Reilly Pickard was named an AUS first team all-star. 

Shaun Miller had a goal and an assist to be named Dalhousie's Subway Player of the Game. Edouard St. Laurent was named Subway Player of the Game for Moncton. 

With the win, Moncton moves on to face the University of New Brunswick REDS in the semifinals. The other semifinal features the St. Francis Xavier University X-Men playing the Saint Mary's Huskies.