It was the lower seed striking first, much like their women’s team had earlier in the day against another 1-seed.
Providence scored early and set any expectation of an easy first-round matchup aside for St. Boniface. The Pilots were very vocal and challenged everything USB could come up with, who at times seemed to be passing too often and playing East-West rather than North-South.
The Pilots field a very tall and athletic squad who can win high 50/50 balls and hold body position.
USB would tie the game before half, but entered the second frame looking a little shocked to not have a lead.
Les Rouges were a little more persistent though in the second half, sending forwards Peter Soliman and Vinessen Vadivelu balls that would eventually get played on net or else very deep. Soliman and Vadivelu can easily be mistaken for each other on the field, as they are both lightning quick, stand just 5’7” tall and are constant scoring threats.
But it was a defenceman, Sam Dhaoui, who would score a go-ahead for USB with less than 10 minutes left in the game. The USB bench erupted, finally feeling the relief of a lead. After a valiant effort, it seemed that Providence had run out of answers.
That is until another defenceman, Braeden Owen, scored past USB keeper Samir Achour to tie it at 4.
The game went into an overtime of two 15-minute halves to be played in full, with no break in between.
Owen scored again in the first overtime, and once again USB looked shocked to be trailing. The goal was questioned by Les Rouges as a potential offside that may have been missed but the goal stood.
Aristide Ebrotie levelled the score at 3 for USB next, and the two teams found each other tied again. With all other semifinal matches finished, the last two teams were putting on a show.
Shortly after the Ebrotie goal, Raouf Samarou scored again for USB. Providence sent several more dangerous balls at USB keepr Samir Achour before time would expire, testing Achour and Les Rouges to the fullest. Achour and PUC defenceman Braeden Owen were named Players of the Game.
Universite de Saint-Boniface will play Red River College in the Final tomorrow at 3pm.