Photo credit Mona Ghiz
HALIFAX (CIS) – The host Saint Mary's Huskies (#8) skated to a dramatic 3-2 win over the CIS #1 ranked UQTR Patriotes in CIS University Cup quarterfinal action Friday night at Scotiabank Centre.
"It is a nice thrill to be on the winning side," Trevor Stienburg, Saint Mary's head coach, said after the game.
"Overall, we played very well," he added.
In the opening seconds, the Huskies collected the first quality scoring opportunity, with Stephen Gillard whistling a point-shot through a screen, but freshman goaltender Sebastien Auger made the stop with his right pad.
Less than four minutes into the first period, UQTR manufactured its first chance, with Pierre-Olivier Morin breaking down his off-wing, but Saint Mary's goalie Cole Cheveldave made a sharp blocker save on the shot.
A short time later, the Huskies received the first power play of the contest, which generated some great scoring opportunities. Ben Duffy got behind the 'D' but he snapped his forehand wide to the glove side of Auger. Kyle Pereira just missed from the side of the net, while, shortly after, Auger snagged a high, hard shot from just inside the blue line, off the stick of defenseman Jamie Doornbosch.
At 12:20, AUS second-team all-star Stephen MacAulay carried the puck into the Patriotes' zone, before hitting a streaking Anthony Repaci, who was charging towards the net and reached to poke it behind Auger.
On the second power play of the period for the Patriotes, Cheveldave made his best stop against Mathieu Lemay, hugging the post on a wrist shot to the short side.
Cheveldave made a great shoulder save a little while later, besting Morin.
UQTR outshot Saint Mary's 11-10 in the first period.
Just 32 seconds into second period, on the power play, Jeremy Beaudry picked up a rebound and roofed a backhander over the right shoulder of Cheveldave, who made the initial save on CIS player of the year Guillaume Asselin. Mathieu Lemay and Asselin collected the assists.
On their first chance of the middle stanza, Mitchell Maynard took a centering pass, off a Saint Mary's rush, but Auger was able to smother the shot attempt.
After Alex Cord made a strong play to keep it inside the UQTR blue line, he sizzled a low shot on net, but Auger made another strong pad save. Calder Brooks picked up the rebound, but his spinning shot sailed wide.
Seconds later, Duffy picked up a bouncing puck just outside the UQTR blue line, before breaking in down the right wing, but he could not beat Auger on the short side.
Cheveldave then thwarted Olivier Caouette, who picked up a rebound at the side of the Saint Mary's goal.
On the power play, the Huskies could not solve Auger, who made a couple impressive stops, including on a wrist shot from Duffy in the slot.
With just more than seven minutes remaining in the second period, off a goal-mouth scramble, Charles-David Beaudoin had an open net, but he slid the puck through the crease behind Cheveldave.
A couple minutes later, the Saint Mary's goalie stymied Anthony Verret, from point-blank range, to preserve the 1-1 tie.
Verret, from the slot, got a snap shot away, with just more than one minute left in the second period, but Cheveldave corralled the attempt.
Saint Mary's had 15 shots in the second period, while UQTR collected 11.
In the first five minutes of the period, it was tight-checking, with both sides coming up empty in terms of chances to break the deadlock.
At 7:37, on the power play, Repaci - with his second of the game - gave the Huskies a 2-1 edge, when he walked out in front from the side of the net and went top shelf over Auger. MacAulay and Michael D'Orazio notched the helpers.
"For a freshman, he certainly held his own quite well. He scored big goals for us," Stienburg said of Repaci.
The marker came shortly after Auger made back-to-back saves, including a spectacular glove catch, on blasts from Doornbosch.
Midway through the third period, UQTR went to the power play, but the first scoring chance went to Saint Mary's Taylor Burke, who streaked into the zone, but could not solve Auger. The Patriotes could not get the equalizer with the man advantage.
With 6:03 left in regulation, the Huskies doubled their lead, when Duffy picked up the rebound of a Pereira shot and backhanded it into the open net. Justin Weller chipped in the other assist.
Less than one minute later, Asselin uncoiled a hard shot, but Cheveldave made the save and locked down the rebound.
With just over three minutes left in third period, UQTR went to the power play, but Cheveldave and the Huskies 'D' put up a wall and kept the CIS #1 team off the scoreboard, preserving the two-goal margin.
UQTR pulled Auger with just under two minutes remaining, moving to 6-on-5 in search of a comeback.
At 19:14, the Patriotes sliced the Huskies' lead to 3-2, on a tally by Asselin, with an assist to Beaudry.
The Huskies tightened from there, scoring the one-goal upset victory.
"We played our game. We got caught running around a bit - at times - but overall we were able to keep them to the outside," Repaci said.
Auger was the player of the game for the Patriotes, while Repaci garnered the honour for the Huskies.
"We played a solid game, especially in the first and second periods," UQTR head coach Marc-Etienne Hubert said after the game.
"For some reason, we came out a bit slow in the third period, and Saint Mary's were better than us."
He added the Huskies, with a healthy line-up, presented UQTR with the "biggest challenge of our season."
Cheveldave made 27 saves for the win, while Auger turned aside 30 shots in the loss
With the win, the Huskies advance to the CIS University Cup semi-finals versus the AUS rival UNB Varsity Reds (#5), Saturday at 4 p.m. ADT, while the Patriotes have been eliminated from further tournament competition.
The semi-final and championship match-ups will be broadcast live on Sportsnet 360 and TVA Sports (TVA Sports 2 for championship final).
1. SMU: Anthony Repaci (1) (Stephen MacAulay), 12:20
Lefebvre (UQTR), roughing, 4:40
Tipoff (SMU), elbowing, 9:12
Menard (SMU), slashing, 14:25
Grant (SMU), roughing, 20:00
2. UQTR: Jeremy Beaudry (1) (Guillaume Asselin, Mathieu Lemay), 0:32, PP
Asselin (UQTR), hooking, 9:38
3. SMU Anthony Repaci (2) (Michael D'Orazio, Stephen MacAulay), 7:37, PP
4. SMU Ben Duffy (1) (Kyle Pereira, Justin Weller), 13:57
5. UQTR Guillaume Asselin (1) (Jeremy Beaudry),19:14
Poudrier (UQTR), slashing, 7:10
Beaudry (UQTR), hooking, 8:16
Cord (SMU), interference, 10:53
Burke (SMU), tripping, 16:08
GOALS (by period)
UQTR: 0-1-1: 2
SMU: 1-0-2: 3
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
UQTR: 11-11-7: 29
SMU: 10-15-8: 33
SMU - Cole Cheveldave (W, 1-0, 29 shots, 27 saves, 2 GA, 60:00)
UQTR - Sebastien Auger (L, 0-1, 33 shots, 30 saves, 3 GA, 58:28)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
UQTR: Sebastien Auger
SMU: Anthony Repaci
REFEREES: Tom Sweeney, Jeff Hopkins
LINESMEN: Mike MacDonnell, Nolan Cornish
START: 8 p.m.
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times ATLANTIC TIME)
Thursday, March 17
Quarter-final 1: Carleton 3 vs. Saskatchewan 2 (4OT)
Quarter-final 2: Alberta 2 vs. StFX 6
Friday, March 18
Quarter-final 3: UNB 5 vs. Western 1
Quarter-final 4: Saint Mary's 3 vs. UQTR 2
Saturday, March 19
12:00 Semifinal 1: Saskatchewan Huskies (#2) vs. StFX X-Men (#3) (SN 360 & TVA Sports / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
16:00 Semifinal 2: UNB Varsity Reds (#5) vs. Saint Mary's Huskies (#8) (SN 360 & TVA Sports / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
Sunday, March 20
14:00 Bronze (Eastlink TV / www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:30 Final (Sportsnet 360 & TVA Sports 2 / www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
* Webcast of the semifinals & final are on pay-per-view basis.