WOLFVILLE, N.S. —
Cristiano Digiacinto singlehandedly made sure the Acadia Axemen will see another day in the Atlantic university hockey playoffs.
With his team less than two minutes from elimination, the sophomore forward notched the tying goal and then scored the overtime winner to lift Acadia to a 3-2 victory over the St. Francis Xavier X-Men in Game 2 of the best-of-three quarter-final Friday evening in Wolfville.
The series is knotted at 1-1 and switches to the third and deciding game Sunday night in Antigonish.
With his team down 2-1 late in the third but on a power play, Digiacinto corralled a rebound off the end boards from a Acadia point shot and deposited the puck past St. F.X. goalie Chase Marchand with 1:50 remaining.
Then in the extra frame, Digiacinto picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and from inside the X-Men blue-line, fired a wrist shot that beat Marchand high above his glove hand for the game winner at the 3:06 mark.
It was Acadia’s 57th shot on Marchand, who was sensational in the St. F.X. goal.
Acadia veteran forward Kyle Farrell opened the scoring on the power play 11:54 into the first period.
St. F.X. responded late in the second when defenceman Will Thompson’s shot from the blue-line was redirected off an Acadia stick and beat goalie Logan Flodell with 14.1 seconds left in the period.
The X-Men took their first lead of the game on some slick passing capped off by a streaking Daniel Robertson who fired his third goal of the series 5:25 into the third period.
For much of the third, it looked as if the 2-1 lead would remain thanks to Marchand, the reigning AUS most valuable player. He stopped 20 shots in the final frame alone.
But the X-Men’s Lane Cormier was called for delay of game after firing the puck over the glass giving Acadia the late man advantage.
St. F.X. was 0-for-7 on the power play.
Flodell finished with 24 saves.
In AUS women’s hockey playoffs:
Huskies 2, Aigles Bleues 0: At Halifax, Sydney England and Caleigh Meraw each scored and Rebecca Clark turned aside 10 shots for the easy shutout as Saint Mary’s blanked Moncton in Game 1 of a best-of-a-three quarter-final.
Game 2 is Sunday afternoon in Moncton.