The Dalhousie Tigers lost 6-1 to the St. Mary’s Huskies during pre-season men’s ice hockey action at the Halifax Forum on Friday September 17th.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us,” said Tigers head coach Chris Donnelly.
“We were facing a veteran hockey team that is hosting the nationals this year, so we have a lot of things to work on.”
The game did not start out well for the Tigers. Huskies forward Ben Duffy and defenseman Michael D’Orazio both scored to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers got back into the game late in the first period on a power play goal. Tiger’s forward Andrew Rieder passed the puck to teammate Fabian Walsh in front of the net. Walsh shot it in to make the score 2-1.
In the second period, the Huskies stretched their lead when defenseman Kyle Pereira scored a one-timer from the point to give the Huskies a two-goal lead.
That seemed to get the ball rolling for the Huskies. They scored three unanswered goals in the second period to stretch their lead to 6-1. Huskies’ forward Calder Brooks scored two of those goals while forward Stephen MacAulay scored the other.
In the third period, seven penalties were called between the two teams, but neither team was able to score.
Even though it is the pre-season, both teams played a very physical hockey game. The cross-town rivals racked up twenty-one penalties in total. Dal killed ten out of their eleven penalties, and SMU killed nine out of their ten penalties.
“Five on five, I felt it was a pretty even hockey game,” said Donnelly. “It was hard to get a flow with all those penalties in the game.”
Even with the loss, Donnelly still felt there were some positives to come out of the game.
“Speed-wise, I thought we matched up well with them. Physically, we matched up well with them. Those two issues have been issues for us against that team in the past, and I think we have closed that gap.”
Connelly also liked how the defense is shaping up for the upcoming season.
“I liked the defensemen (Jesse) Lussier and (Colton) Heffley. I think they bring a lot of composure and size to our lineup, and of course Brendan Duke, who only played four games for us last year. With having him in the line up I think our defense has more mobility and presence then they did last season.”
Not to be overlooked is Dalhousie’s goaltender Corbin Boes. He made many fantastic cross crease saves, and did a good job on stopping the first shot.
Chris Donnelly felt that improving the offense is the next step in trying to beat the Huskies.
“We need to generate a little more offense against them. That’s our challenge against St. Mary’s.”
The Tigers’ next game is on Friday, Sept. 25 against the St. Thomas Tommies in Springhill, Nova Scotia at 7 p.m.