There was only one Wednesday game this week in AUS men's hockey, and St. Thomas had their hands full hosting their cross-campus rivals UNB in the first instalment of “The Battle of the Hill”. STU's netminder Charles Lavigne nearly stole the game as the Tommies were badly outshot, 41-14, while his teammates did a pretty good job of denying the speedy Varsity Reds odd man rushes through the neutral zone. However, STU's karma ran out in overtime as V-Reds veteran John Scott Dickson's shot bounced off both a Tommies stick and skate into the far side of the net for the 3-2 win.
On Friday, CIS champion UNB was back up College Hill in their own rink. The top power play in the AUS (30%) went to work early, as the V-Reds scored on their first two extra man opportunities in the first period against Acadia. The V-Reds outshot the Axemen 40-19 in winning 7-3, and UNB went 4-for-6 on the PP, while the struggling Acadia PP went 0-4. STU was in Antigonish Friday, where they twice had the lead, but StFX scored three straight goals to seize the lead for good and won 4-3, while edging the Tommies 39-34 in shots. In Halifax, rebuilding Dalhousie got their first win of the season, as they upset Moncton 6-4. In the game, the Tigers chased UdeM goalie Pierre-Alexandre Marion by scoring two goals on two shots in the first two minutes.
There were two afternoon games on Hallowe'en Saturday. Dal scored two third-period goals to force overtime against STU, but it was the Tommies' Cory Banfield notching the shootout winner in Halifax to make it a 4-3 final. UdeM was badly outshot 35-15 in losing 4-3 to StFX. It could have been worse, as the X-Men had 16 shots on the power play, yet went 0-for-6 with the man advantage. That evening, UNB's much anticipated game against Saint Mary's was postponed after a Huskies player came down with the H1N1 virus earlier in the week, several of his teammates had flu-like symptoms and the school decided the team should avoid a road trip.
The wildest game of the week was in Charlottetown Saturday night, as the Axemen squandered a lead against the depleted UPEI Panthers, yet recovered for a overtime shootout 6-5 win. Late in the first period, rookie Panther forward Brandon Biggers picked up a double-minor for high-sticking plus a major penalty and game misconduct for slashing, handing the Axemen a nine minute power play. Acadia scored twice during the extended power play, but also gave up a shorthanded goal. UPEI was down to seven forwards within the first minute of the second period when another rookie, Michael MacIssac, got tossed from the game for checking from behind. Despite this, UPEI tied the game in the second period, saw Acadia restore their lead, and then scored two goals in the third period to take back the lead. Acadia scored a power play goal to draw within a goal at 16:04. They pulled their goalie in the last minute, and Chris Bruton scored with 21 seconds left to force OT. The ten-minute overtime didn't decide anything, but it was Bruton getting the shootout winner, his third goal of the game.
The week ends with undefeated UNB in first place, and StFX three points back in second. STU is in third place, but SMU is just a point back with three games in hand on the Tommies. The big surprise is to see Moncton tied with Dal for last place.
Looking ahead: As long as H1N1 doesn't force the postponement of any more hockey games, StFX is at SMU and Dal is at Acadia on Wednesday. On Friday UPEI is at Dal, UNB is at StFX (perhaps the game of the week), Acadia is at Moncton and SMU is at STU. On Saturday, X hosts UPEI, Dal hosts UNB, STU hosts Acadia and UdeM hosts SMU.