The Dalhousie Tigers men’s hockey team lost 5-4 to the Saint Mary’s Huskies during Bell Let’s talk night on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the Halifax Forum.
The game was played in support of mental health awareness. Admission was free and Bell had hats, prizes, and pieces of paper fans could write on and stick up around the building to show their support for mental health. The building was packed; 3000 people came out to the game. Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Mary Walsh, “This Hour has 22 Minutes” comedian and mental health advocate, dropped the ceremonial puck.
“This is about the issue and getting people to talk and engage,” said Phil Currie who is the executive director of Atlantic University Sport. “We had an opportunity to get involved with Bell Let’s Talk and we thought it would be great for our student athletes to share their stories and talk about mental health.”
Currie also mentioned they are going to have this event for at least the next five years.
“Mental health is one of those things not a lot of people are aware of and the best way to cure that stuff is awareness,” Tigers Assistant Captain Fabian Walsh said. “Events like this get people out and together, they should not only be doing this once a year but once a month maybe.”
The Huskies jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Michael D’Orazio one-timed a pass from Matt Tipoff on the powerplay to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Then Tipoff passed the puck to Ben Duffy in front of the Tigers’ net and he shot the puck past Tigers’ goaltender Corbin Boes to make the score 2-0.
The Tigers answered back 09:15 into the second period. Tigers assistant captain Andrew Wigginton stole the puck at the Huskies blue line, skated into the Huskies zone and fired the puck past Huskies’ goaltender Marc Terriault to make the score 2-1.
However Tipoff was not done created nightmares for the Tigers as 13 seconds after Wigginton’s goal Tipoff deflected Duffy’s point shot to regain the Huskies two-goal lead.
The Tigers would not go away. At the 12:36 mark of the period Tigers’ forward Alex Cote passed the puck in front to teammate Jackson Playfair. Playfair shot the puck but Terriault made the save. The rebound came out to Tiger Tanner Williams and he put the puck in the net.
Almost three minutes, later Tigers leading goal scorer Phil Gadoury fired a slap shot past Terriault to tie the game at 3. Wigginton and Steven Johnston got the assists.
Three minutes later the Huskies regained the lead on a weird goal. Huskies defenseman Alex Cord fired the puck from the point and Tigers forward Jackson Playfair lay down to block the shot. The puck hit off Playfair and went high into the air. Everyone on the ice lost track of the puck and it ended up landing behind Boes and into the net.
Seven minutes and 42 seconds into the third period, Wigginton scored again to tie the game at 4-4. On the powerplay Tigers’ leading scorer Fabian Walsh made a pass back through his legs to Colton Parsons, Parsons passed it back to Walsh who one-timed the puck but Terriault made the save. Wigginton got the rebound and shot it into the net.
A little more than a minute later the Huskies re-gained the lead. Huskies’ defenseman Jamie Doornbosch fired a slapshot from the point that got past Boes and into the net. That ended up being the game winning goal and the Huskies won the game 5-4.
The Huskies out shot the Tigers 39-15 in the game. The Huskies outshot the Tigers 16-0 in the first period. In the second and third periods they outshot them 23-15. Terriault made 11 saves for the Huskies while Boes made 34 saves for the Tigers.
“I thought we played well,” Walsh said. “We started out a little slow and shot ourselves in the foot earlier in the game but we battled back hard and we could have won that. We had a couple of bad bounces our way but they squeezed out a victory.”
The back and forth game between two cross-town rivals created a lot of excitement for the 3000 fans at the game. The building was loud and Walsh really enjoyed playing in the great atmosphere.
“It’s awesome. As players we want to play in an atmosphere like that every time so we kind of beg students to come out to our games,” Walsh said. “You could see it the crowd was helping us play better. It’s a lot easier to get excited and create energy when you got a big crowd like that behind you.”