HALIFAX – TJ Foster and Travis Toomey each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the No.1 ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears to a 5-1 win over the No.8 seed, and host, St. Francis Xavier X-Men during the final quarterfinal match-up of the 2015 University Cup at the Scotiabank Centre on Friday night.
With the win Alberta advances to the semi-final round where they will take on the No.4 seed UQTR Patriotes, who defeated No.5 Acadia Axemen 6-5 in OT in earlier action on Friday.
Also scoring for the Golden Bears was fourth-year forward Jordan Hickmott, defenceman Brennan Yadlowski, and team captain Kruise Reddick. For Reddick, it was his 21 career playoff point in 16 post-season games, while Yadlowski, who netted the game winner, recorded his first career playoff goal for the Bears on Friday.
The defending champs, however, had to overcome a 1-0 deficit after the X-Men opened the scoring, when, in front of more than 5,500 St. FX fans, they jumped to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Blake Gal at 7:54 of the first period. The junior forward completed a two-on-one breakaway with Michael Kirkpatrick, depositing a rebound behind fifth-year Golden Bears’ goalie Kurtis Mucha.
Jordan Hickmott leveled the score at 1-1 with two minutes remaining in the opening stanza when he ripped a low wrist-shot behind Drew Owsley, while the Bears were shorthanded and while skating on a 2-on-1 with Foster.
“We knew we were going to face a team with tons of energy,” said third-year U of A head coach Ian Herbers said. “But, we weathered the storm and we played very well in the second and third periods.”
“That goal was huge,” added Foster about the equalizer. “We got off to a slow start, so that really picked our team up.”
Brennan Yadlowski picked up right where Hickmott left off; scoring on a slap-shot from the just inside the blue-line at 1:18 of the second period. The U of A then doubled its lead at 15:27 of the second period when Toomey bounced one in from the side of the net.
Reddick, who was named to the 2014 University Cup All-Star team, made it a 4-1 game early in the third period, capping off a Golden Bears cycle that spanned the initial 2:54 of the third period.
Foster, the 2015 Canada West scoring leader and nominee for the CIS Player of the Year Award, put the finishing touches on the game when he buried a shot past Owsley at 12:08.
The Golden Bears and Patriotes will meet in the CIS semi-final on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. MST and live on Sportsnet 360.
GAME NOTES: Alberta now has a 3-3 record against St. FX at the University Cup…this was the first meeting between the X-Men and Golden Bears since the 2010-11 University Cup which St. FX won 3-1…Alberta has now outscored St. FX 30-18 in six University Cup games…The Golden Bears out shot the X-Men 34-13 on Friday, including 25-6 over the final two periods.