The on ice performance of the St. Thomas Tommies saw a drastic improvement Friday night, but the result was no different than any other game, a 3-2 loss to the St. FX X-Men.
“The way we lost that one was a little easier to swallow,” said head coach Troy Ryan. “We worked hard, outshot them, we had some great quality scoring chances, but we just came up short.”
The X-Men got the go ahead goal with only 2:24 left in regulation as Josh Day scored on a wrister that went blocker side on Tommies goalie Jonathan Groenheyde, deflating the 673 people in attendance.
“Man for man on paper, St.FX is a pretty good team, and for us to hang in there and get as many shots as we did, so there were a lot of positives out of tonight’s game,” Ryan said.
Jason Bast would give the X-Men the lead seven minutes into the game. The Tommies would respond positively, creating plenty of chances, the closest being a Steve Sanza shot that hit the post.
The pressure finally paid off for the Tommies as Alexandre Leduc got his first goal of the season as he tapped home from close range after X-Men goalie Drew Owsley couldn’t hold onto the Sebastian Bernier shot. Marc-Andre Levesque got the other assist on the goal.
The second period was marred with penalties, breaking the rhythm for both teams.
Chris Morehouse, who had to crawl off the ice in first period after blocking a shot, took a stick to the face in the second, busting him open. He would leave the game, but would later return to the fray.
On one of the many second period powerplay opportunities, the X-Men would regain the lead through Spencer McAvoy. He was left wide open back door as Michael Kirkpatrick fed him a nice pass through the crease.
Despite falling behind, the Tommies offense continued to spark. A Jonathan Bonneau wrister was magnificently saved by Owsley after X had turned the puck over in their own zone.
The pressure would once again pay off as Christian Morin found the back of the net with a slap shot from the blue line to tie the game at 2-2. Jordan Thomas grabbed the only helper on the play.
“For the first time this year I saw an attitude that they were actually working as a team. Anytime we can get them working as a team, good things will happen,” Ryan said.
The Tommies continued to muster offensive chances in the third period, but couldn’t break Owsley, and Day ultimately would steal the game for the X-Men towards the end.
“Tonight, they just deserved a better fate for sure.”