Aigles Bleues ruin Tommies’ home opener in overtime

Universite de Moncton’s Pier-Antoine Dion ended St. Thomas’s men’s hockey home opener with a power play goal five-and-a-half minutes into overtime Thursday night.

“We got up and down and kept tying it up,” Tommies head coach Pat Powers said after Thursday’s back-and-forth, physical game at the Grant-Harvey Centre. “In past years, it has been a different story at the end, but I was happy with our resilience and our compete level.”

First-year Tommie forward Jean-Christophe Laflamme got the ball rolling two minutes in with the first goal, but Allain Saulnier for Moncton answered 59 seconds later. The first period ended with a 2-2 deadlock after STU’s Rankyn Campbell and Moncton’s Pierre Durepos traded goals.

Saulnier got the lone second period goal for the Moncton Aigles Bleues almost halfway through the period.

Steven Janes got STU an early start in the third period, tying the contest at three goals apiece. Laflamme gave the Tommies a one-goal cushion eight minutes later, but Peir-Antoine Dion scored his first of two power play goals at 12:58 to tie it again.

Danny Chiasson put Moncton up 5-4 almost five minutes later before Colin Martin forced extra time with 23.7 seconds to go into regulation.

Moncton was a perfect 3 for 3 on the man advantage, while STU failed to score on nine power plays.

“We got possession in the zone, got the puck around and generated some opportunities,” said Powers. “We didn’t score. Moncton’s Adrien Lemay is a good goaltender, and he made a lot of good saves.”

Lemay refused 43 shots for the win, while Tyson Teichmann made 30 saves.

STU outshot Moncton 48-36 after 65-and-a-half minutes, which Powers said he hasn’t seen from his team before. This is Power’s second season behind the Tommies’ bench.

“We outshot a team like that and didn’t get the result we wanted, so maybe next time, we’ll get outshot 40-20 and win,” he said. “What goes around comes around, and you’ve got to focus on the positives and keep working hard in practices.”

For Laflamme, who led the Tommies’ offense, it was disappointing to be resilient and still fall short.

“We played well offensively, but we need to improve defensively,” he said. “When it was 4-3, we should have won that game, but we’ll get back at it next week.”