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St.FX takes AUS season opener 5-2 over Tigers

Photo courtesy of Nick Pearce
Photo courtesy of Nick Pearce

By Troy Langstaff

The St.FX X-Women took care of business on Wednesday night defeating the Dalhousie Tigers by a score of 5-2 in the 2020/21 AUS regular season opener.

The coaches pre-season poll came out just hours before puck drop with the visiting X-Women ranked #1 in the AUS and the home side Tigers ranked #7. It certainly did not seem like that during the first 20 minutes of play. Both teams came ready to compete with each side generating early chances.

Dalhousie controlled the first five minutes of play but it was the visiting side that struck first. A two on one into the Tigers zone saw Anna MacCara slide the puck to Abby Lewis who potted her own rebound for the first goal of the AUS season. 

Olivia Eustace (Riverview, NB) responded for the Tigers just three minutes later when she forced a turnover in the St.FX zone and sniped the first goal of her AUS career into the top left corner.

Dalhousie gained momentum after their tying marker and continued to pressure the X-Women eventually extending their lead to two with five minutes left in the first period. Alix Yallowega (Winnipeg, MB) took a low shot from the blue line and Isabella Weist (Torbay, NL) stopped it short of the goal and tucked the puck inside the right post.

St.FX held the shot advantage 14-12 into the first intermission but it was Dalhousie with the 2-1 lead.

The X-Women came out of the break with energy and speed looking to tie the game quickly and that's exactly what they did. Maggy Burbidge pounced on a mishandled puck at the Tigers blue line and made no mistake on her breakaway opportunity to tie the game 1:03 into the second frame.

Dalhousie would take a penalty at the 5:32 mark and two minutes later just after the penalty expired St.FX took the lead once again with an Ellia VandeSompel shot from the top of the circle that snuck five-hole on Tigers goalie Taylor Beam (Brooklin, ON).

Both teams seemed to find their footing defensively after that. Odd player rushes were few and far between with both sides making defensive adjustments after five total goals in the first 28 minutes of the game.

St.FX lead in the shot department 22-19 and in goals 3-2 after 40 minutes of play.

The officials whistles came out in the third period with them handing out six penalties in the final frame. It was the X-Women who shined on special teams in the period with a short handed goal coming off the stick of Landyn Pitts exactly two minutes into the period. 

Both teams got more aggressive which resulted in the referees having to step in to calm things down. Dalhousie managed to kill a 5 on 3 late in the game but the momentum swing after that didn't result in a goal.

St.FX would add an empty netter as they took the game by a score of 5-2. 

Chloe Oleksiuk earned AUS SUBWAY Player of the Game honours with a goal and an assist. 

Both goalies had 28 saves in the game and neither squad had a power play goal with Dalhousie going 0 for 5 and St.FX going 0 for 3 on the man advantage.

St.FX heads to New Brunswick on Friday night to take on Mount Allison at 7pm. 

The Tigers are also right back at it on Friday night when they host Saint Mary's at 7pm.