Hockey: SMU sweeps StFX to repeat as AUS champs

In the Battle of the Saints, it was Saint Mary's winning 5-3 over StFX last night in Halifax before a huge crowd of 3896. SMU takes the series, and the AUS crown, three straight, after sweeping Acadia in three games in the semis. StFX of course upset UNB in three consecutive 3-2 games in the semis to advance to play SMU.

You're going to be hearing the words "redemption" and "second chance" associated often with the Huskies when they get to Thunder Bay, the scene of the crime last year where they imploded against Western in that unforgettable game (as much as I try to blank it from my memory ...).

The Huskies are a good team, and were only behind UNB in most AUS offensive teams stats this season. Acadia was slightly better defensively, statistically, but SMU swept them in three games when it mattered. SMU was involved in a lot of overtime games near the end of the first half and early in the second half, and I think this influenced many voters to rank them in the latter half of the season below where I believe they really deserved. Also, coach Trevor Stienburg kept going back to his veteran goaltender Brandon Verge (6-4-3) in the regular season out of loyalty, or to help him re-find his game, but then Stienburg went with rookie Neil Conway all through the playoffs where Conway was 8-1-0.

Former Halifax Moosehead Colby Pridham was SMU's playoff MVP (10 goals, 4 assists and 3 GWG), and former NHLer Mike Danton continues to play himself into form, scoring 6 goals and adding 3 assists in nine AUS playoff games.

As good as SMU has been over the years, and especially recently, they have never won the University Cup. Is this the year?

Huskies sweep (Willy Pavlov, The Chronicle-Herald)
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