St. FX., Alberta both advance to national hockey championship with overtime wins

The St. Francis Xavier X-Men entered Saturday’s semifinal game with a chip on their shoulder, and they left victorious. Meanwhile the Alberta Golden Bears had to make a comeback to win in overtime.

The UNB Varsity Reds and Saskatchewan Huskies will play for the bronze medal

The Golden Bears were able to claw back to win their semifinal game. (Philip Drost/CBC)

The Alberta Golden bears will face the St. Francis Xavier X-men in the University Cup men's hockey championship on Sunday.

The Golden Bears played their conference rivals, the Saskatchewan Huskies, in the semifinals on Saturday. It took a late game comeback, and an overtime goal to insure the victory for the Golden Bears.

The Huskies were able to take a two goal lead in the second period.

The Huskies  scored the first goal of the game, and then scored another in the second period to take the two goal lead going into the final period.

But the Golden Bears scored two goals off power plays to tie the game up before the period ended.

"I think in the second and third, the guys really showed that they wanted it badly, for themselves, and for their teammates," said Alberta coach Serge Lajoie.

Alberta was able to score two goals in the third period to force overtime. (Philip Drost/CBC)

In overtime, Trevor Cox was able to score to send his team to the finals.

"It's probably one of the most special moments in my hockey career," said Cox.

St. FX takes down Varsity Reds

The X-Men were out for revenge Saturday after losing to the Varsity Reds in the Atlantic University Sport conference championship a week earlier. (Philip Drost/CBC)
The St. Francis Xavier X-Men entered Saturday's national semifinal hockey game with a chip on their shoulder, and they left victorious.

The X-Men beat their Atlantic Conference rivals, the UNB Varsity Reds, 5-4 in overtime to advance to Sunday's  University Cup championship game.

"I couldn't be more prouder of this group right now," said X-Men coach Brad Peddle.

Adam Stevens scored with less than a minute left in overtime to give St. FX the win. He called it the biggest goal of his career.

"It was pretty well wide open, so I just tried to bear down and put it in," Stevens said.

St. FX fans cheer for their team during Saturday's national semifinal. (Philip Drost/CBC)

The X-Men had a chance to win it in regulation, with a penalty shot with two minutes left in the third period, but UNB goalie Alex Dubeau came up with the save.

Earlier in the period, the X-Men tied it up on a 5-on-3 power play. A few minutes later, the X-Men took the lead.

But UNB kept pushing, and with just over five minutes left in the third, the Varsity Reds evened the score and sent the game to overtime.

The Varsity Reds tied it up late in the third period, sending the game to overtime. (Philip Drost/CBC)

The X-Men's loss to UNB in the Atlantic University Sport conference championship a week earlier lit a fire under his team, Peddle said.

"We weren't happy with our AUS finals," said coach Peddle.

"We were really angry about it and the guys had a chip on their shoulder."

Varsity Reds fans have had plenty to cheer about this year, despite Saturday's "heartbreaking" loss. (Philip Drost/CBC)

UNB will play the Saskatchewan Huskies for the bronze medal on Sunday morning.

"This is a heartbreaker for our group," said UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall.

"The toughest day as far as a hockey career goes for our team will be tomorrow … that's the way it's going to go sometimes."

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.