Men's hockey: Is it playoffs already?

Friday's Moncton Times-Transcript noted that "everybody knows the playoffs is the short 28-game regular season" in AUS men's hockey.

No kidding. All four season openers tonight were four one-goal games. Dalhousie and UPEI were 4-3 winners in overtime over St. Francis Xavier and UNB, respectively. Acadia won by the same score over Saint Mary's in regulation — Scott Tregunna, who helped the Kitchener Rangers get to the Memorial Cup last season, got the game-winner for the Axemen. Moncton beat St. Thomas 3-2, with Mathieu Labrie scoring the deciding goal with 89 seconds left — Matt Davis, the Tommies goalie, made 45 saves. 

(Finally, a mention of Saint Thomas University — it's only taken us 13 months to bust out the Tommies label.)

All told, only one of 11 games so far this week has had more than a two-goal spread. That involved Carleton, which is in its second season, smacking a traditional power, Trois-Rivières, 5-2. The Patriotes' trademark has been getting teams into penalty trouble and then going on a power-play scoring spree, but the tables got turned: Carleton scored four while a man up, two each from Ryan Berard and Francis Walker.

It bears repeating. Perhaps more so than any other team sport in the CIS, you have a good chance of seeing a good close game if you head out to a hockey contest. (Of course, I would say that just to jinx my chances of seeing a good one when I take in McGill-Carleton tomorrow here in Ottawa. That game is a 3 p.m. start on Streaming Sports Network Canada, by the way.)
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