ATLANTIC WAVES 14
David M. Kilfoil
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Well with one week left in the schedule as expected we still haven't sorted out all of the playoff berths, nor has second place and that all important first round bye in the playoffs been decided.First place Université de Moncton continues to lead the national polls and started the weekend well with a 3-0 blanking of Dalhousie. Les Aigles Bleus carried a 1-0 lead into the third period and Karl Fournier (Ile-Bizard, QC) got the insurance marker shorthanded at 3:39. Then at 15:28 things got nasty on the ice and two players from each team picked up fighting majors and ejections and another three skaters from each team finished the game in the dressing room after picking up ten minute misconducts. Moncton added another goal with 12 seconds to go to perhaps finish Dal's hopes at making the playoffs.
In Charlottetown there was a dramatic finish to a game between the other two teams battling for the last playoff spot. Down 4-3 late in the game UPEI pulled their goaltender and Craig Foster (Carp, ON) scored against Acadia's John Ceci (King City, ON) with the extra attacker on the ice and 65 seconds to go in regulation. Then in overtime newcomer Ian MacPhee got the winner at 2:29 of extra time for the Panthers.
Also on Friday UNB got back in the win column with a comeback of their own in their battle for second place with StFX, as the Varsity Reds erased a 2-1 deficit with four goals in the third period to beat the X-Men 5-3. In Fredericton STU broke open a tie in the third period with three straight goals against the battered Huskies, winning 6-4. Tommies' Miguel Delisle (Cornwall, ON) broke out of his slump with two goals and an assist.
On Saturday the Tommies continued their winning ways at they scored two five-on-three powerplay goals in the first period and never looked back, cruising to a 6-2 win over Acadia. STU goalie Aaron Molnar (Dorchester, ON) turned in another strong effort, as the Tommies were outshot 38-28 in the game and 21-7 in the third period as the Axemen attempted to storm back.
Dalhousie appeared to rebound against UNB on Saturday night, as rookie Jeff Larsh (Bowmanville, ON) scored two powerplay goals with V-Reds defenceman David Bowman (St Catharines, ON) in the box for a five minute high sticking major to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead going into the third period. The tide then turned against the Tigers as UNB scored three goals in 3:23 to tie the game. Veteran defenceman Jesse Ferguson (Langley, BC) scored on the powerplay at 17:48 to give UNB their second straight comeback win and all but eliminate the Tigers from the playoffs.
Also on Saturday, Saint Mary's scored four straight goals against UPEI and only a Craig Foster goal at 17:45 of the third period ended Cory Roberts' (Winsloe, PE) shutout bid. SMU was outshot 35-15 in the game, showing how well Roberts played in a game the Huskies shouldn't have won 4-1. In Antigonish the X-Men started their comeback when captain Stuart MacRae (Coxheath, NS) scored a powerplay marker with eight seconds to go in the second period, and then they added three goals in the third period as StFX came back and beat Moncton 4-2.
After going undefeated over the weekend one of the cross-campus rivals in Fredericton is going to see their winning streak halted as UNB hosts STU Friday in the game of the week for the last regular season installment of the “Battle of the Hill”, the 149th meeting of these two teams since the 1964-65 season when St. Thomas University moved to Fredericton to share the UNB campus. UNB then travels to PEI to play the Panthers on Saturday to close out the regular season, and only need to win one of their weekend games, or have StFX lose one game, to clinch second place and the first round bye. The Tommies will host Moncton in a game that won't mean much unless SMU loses both of their final games and STU beats UNB. The Huskies close out the season against Acadia and Dalhousie in games that factor into the sixth place