Reds punch ticket to championship final with 2-1 win over X-Men

Photo by Vaughan Merchant
Photo by Vaughan Merchant

(SYDNEY, N.S.) The UNB Reds have punched their ticket to Sunday's championship final with a 2-1 win over the StFX X-Men.

Although UNB controlled much of the first-half play, it was StFX who struck first with an early goal in the seventh minute. Third-year defender Josh Read (Bath, United Kingdom) headed in a pass from AUS first team all-star Dan Hayfield (Exeter, United Kingdom) to take the lead.

The X-Men took the 1-0 lead into halftime despite being outshot 5-1 in the half.

The second half was scoreless until the 87th minute, with UNB keeper Evan Barker (Winnipeg, Man.) making five saves for the Reds.

StFX keeper Seamus MacDonald would make three more saves before giving up the game-tying goal to AUS rookie of the year Tristan Nkoghe (Sherbrooke, Que.) off a free kick to force overtime.

UNB's Grant Takacs (Woodstock, Ont.) scored the go-ahead goal less than two minutes into overtime. The assists came from Matt Boem (Mississauga, Ont.) and Alex Dodghson (Liverpool, United Kingdom).

The X-Men pushed hard for an equalizer and earned a penalty in the 117th minute, but Barker stopped the Hayfield shot to preserve the victory.

Barker was named Subway Player of the Game for his seven-save performance in the win.

Read earned player of the game nods for the X-Men for his goal in the loss.

With the win, the Reds now advance to Sunday's championship final game where they will face the U SPORTS no. 1-ranked and defending conference and national champion Cape Breton Capers.

As finalists, both UNB and Cape Breton have earned a berth in the upcoming U SPORTS national championship being held next weekend in Victoria, B.C. 

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