Friday 17 October 2008

Tough loss in Moncton.

Despite the best efforts of Tommies goaltender Matt Davis, STU couldn't pull out the win against a talented U de M squad.

The Tommies started well. Jason Cassidy, after some good work down low, fed the puck to Max Chamberland, whose weak shot trickled past Aigles Bleu keeper Kevin Lachance and bounced off the post. With nary a Moncton defender nearby, Wes Welcher scored what may be the easiest goal he'll tally as a Tommie, tapping in the loose puck to put the Tommies ahead 1-0 at 3:20 of the opening frame. Moncton outshot St. Thomas 18-11 in the first.

That's all the scoring there would be over the first 40 minutes. The Tommies ran into penalty trouble, taking the first four penalties of the hockey game, but the penalty killing unit did some fine work shutting down Les Aigles Bleu. Then the penalties started to pile up on the Moncton side, but the Tommies seemed unable to mount any kind of pressure with the man advantage. Shots on goal were 12-10 in Moncton's favour in the second, for a two period total of 30-21 for Moncton.

If you were listening to the game on 95.7 FM CKTP or online at as we were, you likely heard Randy Corey and Harold DeCourcey lauding the Tommies systems play in the first two periods, while providing the cautionary warning... this Moncton group is a talented bunch, so the Tommies needed to stay out of the penalty box and stay tight defensively. Talk about your bad omens! STU took the first three penalties of the third period, including a lengthy 5 on 3 disadvantage. Just as Erick Tremblay stepped out of the sin bin, Nicolas Laplante got Moncton on the board, evening things up at 5:29. At 12:58 with the teams at even strength, a bouncing puck found its way past Davis off the stick of Marc-Andre Cote, giving Moncton the 2-1 lead. Suddenly the Tommies needed to fight their way back after leading for most of the contest. And fight back they did, but at what cost? Wes Welcher accepted a pass at his own blueline and was promptly rocked by a check from Jules Melanson. According to the broadcast, the legality of the hit was unclear simply due to the suddenness of the collision and the angle of the viewer. However, referee Jean Hebert chose to punish Melanson with a 5-and-a-game checking to the head penalty. Jason Cassidy also got tagged with a 2 minute roughing minor in coming to the defense of his teammate. Good for you, Jason! Welcher was slow to get up, appeared woozy according to the radio relay and eventually left the ice and headed to the dressing room. Wes was taken to the hospital with a separated shoulder. It's unknown how long he'll be out of the lineup. The Tommies and Aigles Bleu played 2 minutes of 4-on-4 hockey, which developed into a 3-minute STU powerplay. It was with this man advantage that Max Chamberland found Jason Rinzler with a centering pass. Rinzler redirected the pass behind Kevin Lachance and the hockey game was tied at 14:56. As the game clock ticked down to its final minutes, a breakdown at the Tommies blueline allowed a 2-on-1 to develop for Moncton. Francis Marchand brought the puck in the right side wound up and fired a shot at Matt Davis, who made the initial save. The rebound however found the stick of Mathieu Labrie on the left wing side, who beat Davis with a wrist shot, making it 3-2. The Tommies pulled Davis for the extra attacker for the remainder of the third period, but to no avail. Final score, Moncton 3, Tommies 2. Moncton outshot STU 18-7 in the third for a game total of 48-28. Matt Davis made 45 saves in the loss.

The Tommies host UPEI in their home opener tonight at 7pm at the LBR. If you can't make it to the rink, the game will be broadcast on CKTP, with links at the top of the page to listen online.

10/18 Update - Daily Gleaner Article: UdeM strikes late to sink Tommies

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