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Hat-trick Hero Books Tigers Into Playoff Hockey

Putting the Tigers on his back, Benjamin Breault scored a timely hat-trick and booked the Dalhousie Tigers Men’s Hockey team into the postseason for the first time since 2004.

Coming off a game that he and line-mate Shea Kewin combined for a 10-point night, the high-flying forward picked up where he left off beating the UPEI Panthers 5 – 2 in front of an excited crowd.

With a number of Panthers players out suspended, the Tigers were in position to push for the final playoff spot against Moncton and came out skating hard.

Breault set-up Daniel Bartek halfway through the first, but the skilled European alone in front couldn’t put the backhand past Panthers net-minder.

The Panthers though were the first to break the deadlock, with Jacob Johnston in the penalty box, Chad Locke scored on a puck that just dribbled through Bobby Nadeau.

With just three minutes left in the first period, Breault stepped up with a big goal and tied the game, giving the Tigers momentum back and the home side were unlucky not to take the lead on a late flurry of pressure.

Just twenty-three seconds into the second period Panthers top scorer Matt Carter broke in and snapped a shot past Nadeau, catching the Tigers defence flat-footed and out of position.

But the scrappy Tigers were not done there, Breault slapped a powerful shot through traffic to tie the game back up.

A few minutes later the home team found themselves with a two-man advantage, but doing it the hardway the Tigers found themselves scrambling around and unable to take advantage but as the powerplay expired, Pierre-Alexandre Vandall made his mark.

The Quebec native showcased his skill with an inch perfect tip in front on a Justin Javorek shot, clearly overjoyed with the goal the Tigers took a 3-2 lead.

Taking a lead into the third period, the Tigers came out fired-up in the final frame with a few big hits and clearly buoyed by the news that St. FX were beating Moncton, the other team battling for the final playoff spot.

Nadeau made a number of big saves in the final period and the Breault finished off his hat-trick, allowing Tigers Head Coach Pete Belliveau a chance to enjoy playoff success a team that is still rebuilding.

The Tigers host the UNB Varsity Reds in their final regular season game tonight at the Dalhousie Memorial Arena, puck drops at 7:30pm but for Tigers fans it is the first time in a while that they can look forward to playoff hockey.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter atHenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

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