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Tigers start 2023 off with a win

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Written by Ryan Hyndman

The Dalhousie Tigers Men's hockey team welcomed the Acadia Axemen to the Halifax Forum on Friday night for both teams' first game of the new year.

The Tigers wasted no time bringing the offense to 2023 as Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) deposited a quick shot off a rebound, just 35 seconds in for a 1-0 lead. The Axemen would respond with several good shifts of their own, cycling the puck in the Tigers zone, which resulted in a great opportunity for Hudson Wilson (Toronto, ON).

Acadia's pressure continued, testing Dalhousie goaltender Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON), but he stood tall. With less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame, Acadia would head to the powerplay for the first time where some pretty passing saw Liam Kidney (Enfield, NS) get a great chance in front, but was denied by Hicks. Other than the physicality picking up, not much more would change through the end of the first, as Dalhousie took a 1-0 lead into the second, despite being heavily out-shot by the Axemen.

Carrying their momentum forward, Acadia came out flying for the second period as Adam McMaster (Beamsville, ON) got a clear shot on net and the Axemen would draw a penalty for their second powerplay of the game. Coming ever so close Bailey Peach (Falmouth, NS) hit the crossbar with a laser from the blue line, but it remained a one-goal game. Finding some energy on the penalty kill, the Tigers responded with several shifts of their own in the Axemen zone, resulting in a beautiful wraparound goal by Matt Green (Hammonds Plains, NS) to make it 2-0 Dalhousie.

Midway through the period, Acadia would head to the man advantage for a third time, but some big blocks by the Tigers defense kept it 2-0. Dalhousie's powerplay would get their first opportunity with seven minutes left and saw both teams ring the puck off the post, but the Tigers held the two-goal lead into the third period.

The Tigers would return to the powerplay to start the final period, but this time it was the Axemen penalty kill coming up big to hold strong. Dalhousie would go on to take two more penalties in the last frame, giving Acadia several opportunities leading down to four minutes remaining. The last powerplay would come to an abrupt end however as the Axemen took a major penalty.

With the Acadia goalie pulled, the Tigers would add an empty net goal from Pickard, for his second of the game to make it 3-0. The Axemen would spoil the shutout, however, adding a goal from Morgan Nauss (Hammonds Plains, NS) with just seconds remaining in the game, for a final score of 3-1.

Goaltender Connor Hicks took home the Subway Player of the Game award for the Dalhousie Tigers

The Dalhousie Tigers won their second straight, improving to 3-15-0-1, and will look to keep it going against Saint Mary's Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Acadia drops to 5-11-2-1 and will look to bounce back when they travel to play the X-Men in Antigonish Saturday at 7:00 pm