Sunday, November 11, 2018

Tigers Mauled By Reds

The torrid offensive pace the #1 nationally ranked University of New Brunswick Reds have been on recently continued this afternoon as they picked apart the visiting Dalhousie Tigers to the tune of 7-0 at the AUC in the 4th annual Rod Pike Memorial Game. It is the 3rd straight game - and 4th time in six game - the Reds have lit the lamp at least seven times. UNB improves to 10-0-2 on the season while the Tigers fall to 2-10-0.

The first five minutes of the game actually favoured the Tigers as they out-shot the Reds 3-0 in the early going. However, that did not last. UNB finally got their first shot on goal at 8:09 and it ended up in the back of the net and they never looked back. Kris Bennett opened the scoring with an unassisted marker after he picked a pass basically off of a Tigers defenceman's stick right in front of the net, made a move to his right to get goaltender Connor Hicks down, and then brought the puck back to his left and slid it between Hicks' out-stretched leg and the post. The Reds took advantage of another defensive zone turnover to extend the lead at 11:57. An attempted pass out of the zone landed on the stick of Christopher Clapperton just inside the blue line and he one-timed the puck past an unsuspecting Hicks and into the right corner of the net. Just 38 seconds later Samuel Dove-McFalls (Anderson, McIvor) roofed the puck just under the cross-bar from in tight to make it 3-0. UNB then capped a successful opening twenty minutes while on the power play at 17:19 when Stephen Anderson spotted Cameron Brace pinching in from the blue line. Brace out-waited Hicks to get him down and then circled behind the net before finding Mark Rassell camped out in the crease for a tap-in into an empty net. Shots in the period were 17-3.

The Reds would eventually make it 23 straight shots on goal in the early going of the 2nd period and also added another goal in the process at 1:06. Tyler Boland (Anderson, Pomerleau) grabbed a loose puck behind the net and wrapped it in on his backhand to push the advantage to 6-0. That proved to be the only goal of the period as Hicks held the fort the rest of the way despite seeing his team out-shot 22-7 in the stanza.

UNB put a bow on this one with a pair of goals 46 seconds apart in the 3rd period. At 6:37 James McEwan (Murphy) knocked down the puck at the centre line and skated down the left side, beating Hicks with a hard wrist shot on the far side for his first goal in a Reds uniform. Clapperton (Simpson, Brace) picked up his second of the night at 7:23 with a one-timer from the hash marks that just grazed the post on its way in. Considering the score the game was not overly chippy, but there was an odd moment after the final whistle when Alex Dubeau - serving as the back-up for this one - came off the bench and confronted Tigers forward/agitator Kelly Bent at centre ice. The two were quickly separated and the two teams shook hands like usual without any further incident. Shots in the period were 20-3 for UNB.

- Alexandre Goulet was out of the line-up in favour of James McEwan, who got into his second game of the regular season. Noah Carroll and Patrick Watling remained out.

- Shots in the game ended up 59-13 for UNB. They have out-shot their last three opponents 59-13, 55-19, and 46-8 (in 51 minutes) for an insane total of 160-40. They have out-scored those opponents 22-2.

- The Reds also hit the post at least three times during the game.

- After being held to 11 shots on goal in the 1st period against St. FX on Friday night, UNB registered 20+ shots on goal in four of the next five periods this weekend. They have also accomplished that feat five times in their last four games.

- UNB received the first two power plays of the game, scoring on one. Dalhousie then had the next six opportunities. The Reds improved their league-leading penalty kill to 92.1%.

- Rylan Parenteau wasn't tested much this afternoon but did what he had to do to pick up his second shutout of the season. After surrendering seven goals in his first two starts of the season, Parentau has only allowed three goals in his last five games. He is now 6-0-0 with a 1.59 GAA and 0.916 save percentage on the year.

- Stephen Anderson (3 assists), Christopher Clapperton (2 goals), and Tristan Pomerleau (assist, +4) were named the game's three stars.

- The Reds won 44 out of 69 face-offs despite Mark Simpson only winning 11 out of 24. Samuel Dove-McFalls (13 out of 19) and Tyler Boland (10 out of 13) picked up the slack to make up for Simpson's off-night.

- Joe Gatenby was +5 on the afternoon.

- Matt Boudens was the only UNB player not to record a shot on goal.

- Prior to the game Boudens - an alternate captain - was awarded the 2018 Rod Pike Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a UNB player "who has special leadership abilities, a high compete level, and goes the extra mile for the team and his teammates."

- Attendance was 1726.

- The last time UNB scored 7+ goals in three straight games? 1997, when they did it four straight times between November 9th and 16th. This is the first time they have done it under Gardiner MacDougall.

- UNB has now beaten Dalhousie 25 consecutive times at the AUC and 29 consecutive times overall.

- There was one other game in the AUS today and it saw the Acadia Axemen righting their ship a bit with a 5-1 home victory over Moncton.

- The Reds are on the road next weekend for rematches against this weekends opponents. On Friday night they are in Antigonish to face the St. FX X-Men and then on Saturday they travelt o Halifax to face the Dalhousie Tigers. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start time.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Tonight's Game Rescheduled

Tonight's game at the AUC between the UNB Reds and Dalhousie Tigers has been postponed due to the Tigers being unable to make it across the Confederation Bridge because of high winds. It will now be played tomorrow afternoon at 3PM.

The St. FX/UPEI game has also been postponed with a make-up date planned for the second half of the season.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Reds Blast X-Men

While nothing will ever wipe away the bitter taste from their 5-4 overtime loss to the rival St. FX X-Men in last season's University Cup semi-final, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds made a big statement in the first chapter of the 2018-2019 rivalry, eviscerating the X-Men 8-1 tonight at the AUC. UNB remain unbeaten in regulation on the year, improving to 9-0-2 while St. FX (7-3-2) has their six game winning streak come to an end with a thud.

After a choppy opening few minutes that featured a number of icings and face-offs, the game settled into a fast-paced, back and forth affair which, at one point, saw the two teams play over seven minutes of uninterrupted hockey. The Reds got the only goal in what was a pretty evenly played period when Tyler Boland, who rang one squarely off the post earlier in the frame, finished a nice tic-tac-toe passing play with Christopher Clapperton and Stephen Anderson. Boland received a pass from the bottom of the face-off circle across the slot and easily deposited the puck into a wide open net at 17:22. Shots in the period narrowly favoured UNB 11-9.

Much like last Saturday night, the Reds came out for the 2nd period and blew the doors off the rink, playing one of the best periods of hockey you will ever see. They out-shot the X-Men 24-5 and pumped four goals past reigning U Sports goaltender of the year and AUS MVP Chase Marchand - and could have had more as their offensive pressure was relentless. At 6:08 Clapperton (LeBlanc, Brace) corralled a bouncing puck while also getting around a defender at the hash marks before beating Marchand on the backhand to make it 2-0. UNB took complete control of the game in the latter half of the period with three goals in 83 seconds. Matthew Boucher (Bennett, Murphy) pushed the lead to 3-0 at 13:50 when he took a pass across the neutral zone and went in for a breakaway goal. They then struck for two goals in 11 seconds with Mark Simpson (Bennett, Gazzola), after taking a nifty spin-o-rama pass from Kris Bennett at 15:02, and Boland (Anderson, Clapperton), with his second of the night on a rebound at 15:13, finding the back of the net. The latter goal ended the evening for Marchand as he was replaced in the X-Men goal by Blade Mann-Dixon.

The Reds let up a bit in the 3rd period with the game under control - they only out-shot the X-Men 20-5 and out-scored them 3-1. Kris Bennett (Goulet, Brace) joined the scoring party at 4:35 when he cut through the slot and slid a backhanded shot just inside the post to make it a 6-0 game. Almost exactly seven minutes later Boucher (Clapperton, Brace) one-timed the puck past Mann-Dixon just 15 seconds into a 5-on-3 man advantage. In what has become a common occurrence in recent seasons, once St. FX starts to have a game get away from them they tend to start gooning things up and try to goad the opposition into doing something unwise and tonight was certainly no exception. At 13:53 defenceman Aaron Hoyles (league-leading 120 PIM last season) went at it with Matt Boudens, handing the Reds a power play that turned into a two man advantage one second after the ensuing face-off when Sam Studnicka took a slashing penalty. While UNB didn't convert on the power play - and Matt Needham broke Alex Dubeau's shut-out bid shortly afterwards at 16:18 - the Reds did make the X-Men pay after the next scuffle they started at 18:00. With Regan Spears taking an undisciplined double-minor for continually harassing Alexandre Goulet and Anthony Difruscia mugging Mark Rassell, UNB went back on the power play and Oliver Cooper (LeBlanc, Gazzola) put the finishing touches on the laugher by tipping in a point shot at 18:16. That would make it 8-1 and that is how the game would end.

- UNB went with the same line-up as the last few games as Noah Carroll, Patrick Watling, and James McEwan all sat out.

- The final shots were 55-19. They were 9-9 at one point late in the 1st period.

- The Reds went 2 for 7 on the power play with the X-Men being held scoreless on five opportunities.

- St. FX was assessed 40 out of the 56 penalty minutes in the contest. UNB has been by-far the least penalized team in the conference thus far, accumulating 156 penalty minutes compared to 194 for the next lowest team. This is in stark contrast to recent history as they have ranked in the upper half of the league in penalty minutes in each of the last six seasons.

- Face-offs were 41-27 for UNB with Samuel Dove-McFalls leading the way with 14 wins in 18 attempts.

- Alex Dubeau was steady all night in goal in improving to 4-0-2 on the season with a 1.92 GAA and 0.919 save percentage.

- Clapperton (1 goal, 3 assists) was named the player of the game. Boland and Boucher (2 goals apiece) were the other two stars.

- Attendance was 2830.

- The X-Men were clearly missing top defenceman Cole MacDonald as the Reds carved up the X-Men defence all night, generating a pile of odd-man chances.

- This is UNB's biggest win over St. FX since a 9-2 victory in Antigonish on November 27th, 1994. They have not defeated the X-Men by more than six goals on home ice since before the 1968-69 season (as far back as the records go).

- In other AUS action tonight the Saint Mary's Huskies kept pace with a 4-2 home win over the Acadia Axemen and the Dalhousie Tigers snapped their nine game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win against the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown.

- The Reds are back on home ice tomorrow night when they welcome the Dalhousie Tigers to the AUC for the annual Rod Pike Memorial Game. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Reds Lights Out Versus Panthers

The number one ranked University of New Brunswick Reds, mired in a rare two game losing streak, took out their frustration on the visiting UPEI Panthers with a lopsided 7–1 victory last night at the AUC. The game was delayed due to a power outage caused by high winds in the Fredericton area with 8:30 left in the 3rd period and then eventually called off as both coaches agreed to make it official. The win puts UNB at 8-0-2 on the season and all alone in 1st place, two points clear of St. FX with a game in hand.

Much like their previous game against Moncton, UNB had an impressive opening twenty minutes as they out-shot the Panthers 18-4 and jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The opening goal came at 4:42 when Matt Boudens got the puck to Alexandre Goulet for an uncontested wrist shot that was stopped by Panthers netminder Simon Hofley. The hard shot generated a rebound that came out to Oliver Cooper, who was all alone in front of the net, and the big forward made a quick move to his right before backhanding the puck past the goaltender. The Reds doubled their lead at 10:48 with a goal that showed just how funny hockey can be. After just missing a tap-in after a beautiful three way passing play, Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Anderson) found himself with the puck on the side wall. With no other option available, Clapperton decided to throw what appeared to be an innocent-looking shot towards. The puck bounced off of Hofley and into the net for a goal that the Panthers goalie would no doubt like to have back.

If the 1st period was impressive, the 2nd period was total domination. UNB held an 18-1 shot advantage and struck for four unanswered goals to effectively put the game away. At 2:54, while on the power play, freshman Mark Rassell (Boucher, Gatenby) notched his 5th of the season when he batted a juggling puck past Hofley before he could re-secure it in his glove. Oliver Cooper (Goulet, McIvor) scored his second of the game at 7:55 with the prettiest goal of the night. After stepping out of the penalty box, Cooper took a long stretch pass and went in all alone, turning Hofley inside out with a deke before sliding the puck into the left side of the cage. With the score now 4-0 the Panthers changed goalies, bringing in Matthew Mancina to try and stop the onslaught. However, it wouldn't make a difference on this night. Less than a minute later Clapperton took a centring pass from behind the night from Tyler Boland and quickly deposited it past Mancina. Mark Simpson (Brace, Rassell) capped the 2nd period outburst at 14:12 when he poked in a loose puck in the crease before it could be covered. For those scoring at home, after 40 minutes of play UNB had more goals (6) than UPEI had shots (5).

The Panthers got on the board 45 seconds into the 3rd period with Filip Rydstrom connecting on a 5-on-3 power play. This came as a result of the Reds bench being assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty after Matthew Boucher was given a cross-checking penalty. It didn't take long for UNB to respond with Tyler Boland (Anderson, Clapperton) finishing off a 2-on-1 rush with a one timer into an empty net.This would ultimately be the last goal of the night as the lights went out during play with 8:30 left in the game. Fortunately no one was injured during the few moments of darkness before the emergency lights came on. With their being no timetable for full power restoration - plus the fact that the result was not in doubt - both coaches decided to call the game and make it official.

- Shots in the game ended up being 46-8 for UNB.

- Noah Carroll, Patrick Watling, and James McEwan were all out of the line-up.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play while the Panthers were 1 for 6.

- The two teams split the 76 face-offs in the game. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the best night for UNB with 11 wins on 16 draws.

- 12 different players had points for UNB.

- Rylan Parenteau got the start in goal and obviously was not tested very often, finishing with 7 saves on 8 shots.

- Attendance was 2028 on a nasty night in the capital region.

- The Reds have beaten the Panthers 16 straight times at the AUC.

- This was the lone game in the conference on Saturday night.

- Up next for UNB (8-0-2) is a 1st place showdown with the suddenly hot St. FX X-Men (7-2-2) - winners of 6 in a row - on Friday night at the AUC. They then host the Dalhousie Tigers the next night. Both contests are scheduled for 7PM.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Aigles Bleus End Lengthy Streak

The Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus entered tonight's game against the #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds having lost their previous 14 meetings between the two teams - and 26 out of 27 - but they were able to exercise some demons in a back and forth 4-3 shootout victory this evening in Moncton.

- Cameron Brace (Boucher, Gatenby) had the lone goal of the opening period when he pounced on a rebound at the lip of the crease and slid it in for a power play goal at 9:53.

- Moncton knotted the game at 2:42 of the 2nd period on a Robbie Graham marker that UNB unsuccessfully argued should have been goaltender interference as Alex Dubeau was bumped and lost his helmet on the play. They took the lead at 9:16 with Marc-Anthony Therrien finishing off an odd-man rush.

- Shortly after the Therrien goal UNB went back to the power play and appeared to tie the game when Tyler Boland's slap shot cleanly beat Aigles Bleus goaltender Etienne Montpetit, but Kris Bennett was called for interference in front of the net mere moments before the puck went it, negating the goal. At 18:34 they got a power play goal that counted though, with Mark Rassell (Boucher, Brace) re-directing a hard pass at the side of the net into the top corner to tie the game at 2 after two periods of play.

- Moncton gained the lead back 4:33 into the 3rd period after Edouard Michaud undressed a defender on a one-on-one play before finding sniper Maxime St. Cyr in the slot for the go-ahead tally. The lead was short-lived however, as Matt Murphy (Boucher, McIvor) found the top right corner off of a rush 30 seconds later to quiet the home crowd.

- After a scoreless final 15 minutes of regulation and 5 minute 3-on-3 overtime session - in which UNB held a slight edge in play - the game headed to a shootout where the first 9 shooters failed to convert before Carl Marois finally netted the game winning goal. 

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 47-27 with period totals of 20-4, 17-14, 7-7, and 3-2.

- Marcus McIvor was back in the line-up after serving a two game suspension for a hit on Saint Mary's forward Anthony Repaci two weekends ago. He replaced Noah Carroll on the blue line. Forwards Patrick Watling and James McEwan remained out.

- UNB went 2 for 5 on the power play. Moncton was 0 for 8, which included a four minute advantage late in the game.

- The Reds won 47 out of 76 face-offs.

- This was UNB's first look at Aigles Bleus standout rookie netminder Etienne Monpetit and he did not disappoint. After missing the first two meetings of the season due to injury Montpetit certainly lived up to the billing as a potential game changer by stopping 44 out of 47 shots plus all five shoot-out attempts. 

- At the other end of the rink Alex Dubeau had a solid night in his own right, turning aside 24 out of 27 shots directed his way.

- Attendance was 484.

- While UNB drops to 7-0-2 on the season the Aigles Bleus improve to 5-3-2, giving them more wins and points than they had all of last season.

- It was another night of closely contested games around the AUS tonight. St. FX won their 5th in a row with a 2-1 home victory over Saint Mary's and Acadis snapped their recent slide with a 2-1 win in Wolfville against Dalhousie. 

- UNB will look to break a very rare two game losing streak on Saturday night when they host the visiting UPEI Panthers to the AUC. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.