Theede scores double-OT winner as Huskies defeat REDS 6-5 to force Game 3

Photo by Mona Ghiz
Photo by Mona Ghiz

(HALIFAX, N.S.) Saint Mary's forward Dawson Theede scored a pair of goals—including the game-winner just 20 seconds into double overtime—as the Huskies defeated the UNB REDS 6-5 in Game 2 of their best-of-three final series on Tuesday night in front of over 1,100 excited fans at the Dauphinee Centre. 

"It's a big win for our team," said Theede post-game. "It was a resilient game for our group, but it means nothing if we don't take care of business on Thursday." 

The Huskies came out of the gate buzzing in front of a capacity crowd at the Dauphinee Centre, as the home team recorded the first four shots on goal of the game, but REDS goaltender Samuel Richard (Ste. Catherine, Que.) was able to turn them all away. 

Just over seven minutes into the first period, the Huskies got a powerplay opportunity when REDS defenceman Ross MacDougall (St. Stephen, N.B.) was sent to the box for hooking. 

Saint Mary's was able to capitalize on the powerplay as forward Joel Bishop (St. John's, N.L.) delivered a centering pass to forward Dawson Theede (Brooklin, Ont.), who redirected it past Richard to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead at the 9:23 mark of the first period. 

The physicality between the two teams ramped up through the remainder of the period, with several big hits delivered by both teams. 

With just under four minutes remaining in the frame, the REDS got their first powerplay opportunity and were able to capitalize, as a scramble in front of the net saw forward Jason Willms (Kitchener, Ont.) eventual bang the puck into goal, despite protest from the Huskies bench. 

The Huskies outshot the REDS 13-12 through 20 minutes, with the two teams going into the first intermission tied 1-1. 

Just a minute into the second period, the REDS had a good scoring opportunity when forward Austen Keating (Guelph, Ont.) cut in front of the Huskies goal, but Jeremy Helvig (Kingston, Ont.) made a great pad save. 

Saint Mary's was able to take the lead a few minutes later, as forward Bradey Johnson (Lindsay, ON) was able to dispossess a REDS defenceman in the neutral zone. The puck then found its way to Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, Ont.), who shovelled it back to Johnson who made a beautiful toe-drag move and banked the puck off the skate of a REDS defender to put the home team up 2-1. 

The REDS pushed for an equalizer and their pressure led to a sloppy change from the Huskies, as the officials whistled a penalty for too many men on the ice. On the ensuing powerplay, Helvig made several saves, but wasn't able to deny the REDS for long, as Austen Keating banged home a rebound to tie it up at 2-2, with 11:27 remaining in the second period. 

The two teams continued to provide the packed crowd with end-to-end entertainment. Helvig made one of the best saves of the night, denying REDS forward Isaac Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) on a breakaway. The Huskies countered with several great scoring opportunities, with defenceman Sam Dunn (Hamilton Township, Ont.) ringing a shot off the post, and Joel Bishop having a good scoring opportunity in tight but being denied by the right pad of Richard. 

With just over four minutes remaining in the period, the wild action was taken to another level, as the two teams exchanged four goals in just 71 seconds of play. 

First it was the REDS, with forward Michael Petizian (Mississauga, Ont.) receiving a pass from Simon Pinard (Drummondville, Que.) and beating Helvig to give the REDS a 3-2 lead with 4:21 remaining in the second. 

The Huskies responded just 13 seconds later, as Joel Bishop dug the puck out of the corner and delivered it to defenceman Dennis Busby (Oro-Medonte, Ont.), who snapped a shot past Richard to tie it up at 3-3. 

Just 30 seconds later, the REDS took the lead back once again, as Jason Wilms scored a shorthanded goal, his second marker of the night, giving the visitors a 4-3 lead with 3:38 remaining in the frame. 

But once again it took just 30 seconds for the Huskies to respond, as forward Cedric Ralph (Peterborough, Ont.) fired a shot from the slot, that was deflected in by captain Keith Getson (Bridgewater, N.S.) to tie it at 4-4. 

When the dust settled on a second period to remember, the two teams went into the intermission tied up 4-4. The REDS outshot the Huskies 18-10 in the second period and took a 30-23 advantage into the intermission. 

With emotions running high after the scoring flurry, Huskies defenceman Dennis Busby was given a late five minute major penalty for head contact, giving the REDS an extended powerplay that would continue into the third period. 

The Huskies were able to kill off the powerplay thanks to some outstanding shotblocking and several great saves by Helvig. 

Just moments after the REDS powerplay expired, they took the lead back when Petizian stole the puck in the neutral zone and dished it over to forward Cole Mackay (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), who beat Helvig near side to put the visitors up 5-4 with 14:11 remaining in the third. 

Finding themselves trailing, the Huskies once again pushed for an equalizer, and after several minutes were able to strike, as forward David Bérubé (Price, Que.) won a faceoff in the REDS zone directly onto the stick of defenceman Jaxon Bellamy (Hampton, N.B.), who unleashed a one-timer past Richard to tie the game at 5-5 with 8:12 to play in regulation. 

Each team had a powerplay opportunity in the final five minutes of regulation, but neither team was able to capitalize as Richard and Helvig both stopped several shots, including Helvig denying Wilms as the period expired, and following 60 minutes of non-stop action, the game would head to overtime. 

After three periods, the REDS had outshot the Huskies 46-28, with Helvig turning away 41 shots heading into overtime. 

Early in the overtime period, REDS defenceman Ross MacDougall (St. Stephen, N.B.) was given a two-minute penalty, plus a 10-minute misconduct for head contact. The Huskies would get a good scoring opportunity on the ensuing powerplay, as forward Charlie Dafonseca (Thornhill, Ont.) stole the puck in the REDS zone and fired a low shot on net, but Richard shut the door.  

The REDS outshot the Huskies 7-2 in the first overtime, but neither team was able to score through five minutes, and it would head to a second overtime. 

Just 20 seconds into the second overtime, the Huskies found their OT hero, as Dawson Theede intercepted a pass in the REDS zone and fired a shot that trickled past Richard to save the Huskies championship hopes and force game three. 

"I just saw the defenceman try to make a cross-ice pass and I got a stick on it, and it took a good bounce and I got a little break and made it count," said Theede post-game. 

Dawson Theede was named Subway Player of the Game for the Huskies with a pair of goals. Huskies forwards Nathan Dunkley and Joel Bishop each provided two assists on the night. 

"He's a big brother to these guys," Huskies head coach Tyler Naugler said about Theede post-game. "For a guy that is his size, he has tremendous offensive instincts and tremendous offensive gifts. I saw complete anticipation on that play and he finished it." 

Jason Wilms was named Subway Player of the Game for the REDS with two goals and one assist. Michael Petizian (one goal, two assists) added three points for the REDS. 

The REDS outshot the Huskies 53-31 on the night, with Jeremy Helvig turning away 48 shots for the win, while Samuel Richard stopped 25 shots in defeat. 

"I think it really shows our young team growing quickly," added Naugler post-game. "We faced adversity tonight and just found ways to win. We've been a good team all year and good teams find ways to win, and our guys found a way to get that job done tonight and force game three." 

The Huskies win pushes the final to a decisive game three, which will be played Thursday night at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton, N.B., with puck-drop scheduled for 7 p.m. 

"Same thing as tonight, get pucks behind their defence and work together well, they can't handle us five-on-five, so we've got to stay out of the box and handle them at even strength," added Theede. 

Source: Allan April for Saint Mary's Huskies Athletics

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