Friday, November 21, 2014

V-Reds End Skid

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and cruised to a convincing 5-2 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies tonight in Halifax. The V-Reds ended their 4 game losing streak to SMU in improving to 9-2-2 on the season, 1 point behind the 10-2-1 Huskies.

- Dylan Willick (Critchlow) just 1:10 into the game, Philippe Maillet (Carroll, Murray) at 10:30, and Philippe Halley (Gazzola, Robertson) at 12:06, were able to beat usual nemesis Anthony Peters to stake the V-Reds to a 3-0 lead. A Huskies timeout following Halley's goal paid immediate dividends as Mitchell Maynard cut the lead back to 2 goals just 12 seconds later, but Cam Braes (Mignardi, Trainor) was able to push the lead to 4-1 at 13:44 after some nifty moves in front of the net. Although Saint Mary's out-shot UNB in the period 9-8 it was a dominant period for the V-Reds, who controlled the puck and the play for long stretches at a time.

- The only goal of the 2nd period belonged to Tyler Carroll (Maillet), who made it 5-1 at 9:02. Shots in the period were 12-5 for UNB.

- The Huskies closed out the scoring 1:41 into the 3rd period when Jamie Doornbosch made it 5-2 just as their 5-on-3 power play was ending. This was part of 4 straight penalties UNB took within a 7:11 span, which resulted in a pair of two man advantages for Saint Mary's. Shots favoured the Huskies 15-8 in the period and 29-28 in the game.

- Despite playing well and picking up a big two points, it was not all good news for the V-Reds. They played two men short as Alex Wall (undisclosed), Chris Caissy (concussion), Francis Beauvillier (lower body), and R.D. Chisholm (hand) are all out injured. Already playing with only 5 defencemen things were made even worse when Jordan Murray left the game in the 3rd period with an apparent injury and fellow d-man Adrian Robertson received a 10-minute misconduct with 7:01 remaining, leaving the V-Red with only 3 defencemen. Of course, Matt Petgrave took a penalty with 1:26 remaining which meant UNB was down to 2 defencemen (Randy Gazzola and Colin Suellentrop) to end the game. It will be interesting to see what the line-up will look like tomorrow.

- David Shantz was solid in net, making 27 saves for his 9th win of the season.

- UNB went 0 for 4 on the power play while SMU was 1 for 4.

- The V-Reds had a rough night in the dot as the won only 38 out of 81 face-offs.

- Attendance was a better than usual 975.

- In other AUS action tonight the St. Thomas Tommies finally picked up their first win of the year with a 4-0 shutout of the visiting Dalhousie Tigers, St. FX used a late goal to edge Moncton 3-2 on home ice, and Acadia erased 3rd period deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to top UPEI 4-3 in Charlottetown.

- After putting a stop to Saint Mary's 7 game winning streak the Varsity Reds will now travel to Antigonish to face the St. FX X-Men - who have now won 6 straight - tomorrow night at 7PM.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

OT Loss Ends Disappointing Weekend

Just as they did earlier this season, the Acadia Axemen scored an overtime victory over the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, this time by a 4-3 score in front of 2122 in attendance at the AUC. The V-Reds are now 8-2-2 on the season and tied with Acadia for 2nd place, 3 points behind the 10-1-1 Saint Mary's Huskies.

Philippe Halley and Philippe Maillet, with a pair, scored for UNB, who were playing a man short as Alex Wall, Chris Caissy, and Francis Beauvillier all missed the game. To make matters worse defenceman R.D. Chisholm left the game in the early going and never returned after taking a shot off his hand.

The score was 1-1 after the 1st period and 2-2 after the 2nd. The V-Reds took their first, and only, lead of the weekend just 15 seconds into the 3rd before Acadia tied it up on a power play goal just over 6 minutes later. Shots in the game were 29 apiece.

The Varsity Reds are back in the action next Friday night when they travel to Halifax to face the Saint Mary's Huskies in what is shaping up to be a must-win game.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Huskies Hold Off V-Reds

The visiting Saint Mary's Huskies scored on their first 3 shots of the game and held on for a 4-3 win over the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds tonight at the AUC. The Huskies 4th straight win over the V-Reds moves them into first place with a 9-1-1 record. UNB falls to 2nd place with a 8-2-1 on the year.

The Varsity Reds, who out-shot the visitors 31-13 in the game, received goals from Peter Trainor, Philippe Halley, and Matt Boudens. As usual, Huskies goalie Anthony Peters was the player of the game.

UNB trailed 3-0 after the 1st period and 4-2 after the 2nd period. Bouden's goal got them within a goal with just over 4 minutes remaining but the Huskies clamped down defensively for the rest of the game, not allowing the V-Reds to generate any good scoring chances in the dying minutes.

UNB will look to get back into the win column tomorrow night when the 8-3-0 Acadia Axemen visit the AUC.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CIS Top Ten (#7): UNB Moves Up To 2nd

A pair of wins over the weekend by the V-Reds, coupled with two losses by the #2 ranked Acadia Axemen, allowed UNB to jump from #3 to #2 in the latest CIS men's hockey rankings released yesterday.

In fact, every team in last week's the top ten, with the exception of #1 Alberta and #10 Moncton, found themselves with a different ranking this week.

This upcoming weekend should prove to be a pivotal one in the AUS as #2 UNB faces #4 Saint Mary's on Friday night and #7 Acadia on Saturday night, both at the AUC. Meanwhile, #10 Moncton will host Acadia on Friday before welcoming Saint Mary's the following night.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#7)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous ranking)
1. Alberta (11-1-0) / 149 points (14) / (1)
2. UNB (8-1-1) / 132 / (3)
3. Windsor (11-0-0) / 112 (1) / (4)
4. Saint Mary’s (8-1-1) / 94 / (7)
5. UQTR (9-1-0) / 84 / (6)
6. Calgary (9-3-0) / 80 / (5)
7. Acadia (7-3-0) / 79 / (2)
8. Carleton (8-2-0) / 22 / (9)
9. Mount Royal (7-5-0) / 22 / (8)
10. Moncton (6-3-1) / 11 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Western (8), McGill (8), UBC (2), Saskatchewan (1).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Varsity Reds Edge Panthers

It wasn't their prettiest game but the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used a pair of 3rd period goals by Philippe Halley to get past the visiting UPEI Panthers 4-2 tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds are now 8-1-1 on the season and tied for the top spot in the conference with the Saint Mary's Huskies.

- The game got off to a slow, uneventful start with neither team mustering much in the way of quality scoring chances. The game picked up in the latter half of the period, but there were no goals scored despite UNB holding a 14-8 advantage in shots.

- A four minute double minor by the Panthers late in the 1st period gave UNB a power play with fresh ice to begin the 2nd frame. It only took 1:35 for the V-Reds to make UPEI pay when Matt Petgrave dished the puck off to Randy Gazzola at the blue line. Gazzola skated down the half boards and threw a pass into the slot for Cameron Critchlow to redirect into the net. The suddenly-potent UNB power play struck again just over 3 1/2 minutes later after some nice cycle work in the corner by Cam Braes and Tyler Carroll. Carroll was able to sneak out in front of the net and one-time a Braes pass from behind the goal line that got by stick-less UPEI goaltender Matt Mahalak. Cameron Brace picked up the 2nd assist on the goal. Much like last the night the Varsity Reds were in control as they were leading 2-0 and out-shooting UPEI 18-9 at one point. However, in similar fashion as last night against Moncton, UNB took two quick penalties and UPEI used the opportunity to cut the lead in half, with Reginaldo Traccitto blasting a shot off the post and in just 16 seconds into the two man advantage. The V-Reds killed off the 5-on-4 to preserve the lead going into the 3rd period, but the momentum had shifted with UPEI out-shooting UNB 11-10 in the frame. There was a scary moment with 4.1 seconds remaining in the period when Panthers forward Tyler Brown went down hard behind the UNB net after checking defenceman Randy Gazzola. He had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher with what appeared to be an injury to right leg. The refs decided to have both teams leave the ice and proceed with the intermission.

- The two teams came back out after the break and played the final 4.1 seconds of the 2nd period before changing sides and beginning the 3rd. The Panthers were able to tie the game 4:18 into the 3rd period with the 4th power play goal of the night. Matthew Brenton fired a shot from the neutral zone that hit off the end boards and bounced right out in front of the net. Panthers captain Mason Wilgosh won the race to the puck and went far-side on V-Reds goalie David Shantz to make it 2-2. UNB was able to regain the lead just over two minutes later thanks to some nice tic-tac-toe passing by their top line. Philippe Maillet got the puck to Tyler Carroll in the slot, who wasted no time in finding a wide open Philippe Halley just below the opposite face-off circle for a one-timer that Mahalak couldn't react to in time. The Panthers pressed hard for the equalizer in the final minutes, but after some tense moments in front of the Varsity Reds goal Halley was able to chip the puck past a Panthers defenceman at the blue-line and go in all alone for the empty net goal that sealed the victory. Jordan Murray and Carroll got the assists on the insurance marker. Shots in the period were 11 apiece in the period. They favoured UNB 35-30 in the game.

- Alex Wall and Chris Caissy remained out of the line-up for UNB with undisclosed injuries.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play while UPEI was 2 for 6.

- The V-Reds hit three posts in the game, including two by Cam Brace.

- UNB won 47 out of 84 face-offs with Cam Braes (16 out of 28) and Dylan Willick (13 out of 21) led the way.

- Braes, Carroll, and Petgrave were named the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 2007.

- According to the RedSea database, UNB is now 17-1-0 in their last 18 games against UPEI. This includes 8 straight victories overall (6 regular season games and 2 playoff games) as well as 11 consecutive regular season wins.

- Since UNB amassed a weekend-high 38 shots last night against Moncton, the Papa John's Shots and Saves online discount on Tuesday morning will be 38%.

- Elsewhere around the conference tonight Moncton snapped their 4 game losing streak with a 5-3 win at home over St. Thomas and St. FX handed the CIS #2 ranked Acadia Axemen their 2nd home loss of the weekend with a 2-0 victory in Wolfville. Saint Mary's and Dalhousie both had the night off.

- UNB is back at home next weekend for a pair of huge games. On Friday night they welcome the Saint Mary's Huskies (8-1-1) to the AUC with first place on the line. The next night the 3rd place Acadia Axemen (7-3-0) come to town. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.