Sunday, October 15, 2017

UNB Remains Perfect

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored three times in both the second and third periods as they wore down the visiting UPEI Panthers in a 6-2 victory at the AUC last night. UNB improves to 4-0-0 on the season while the Panthers fall to 2-2-0.

- Although they were out-shot 16-6 in the opening twenty minutes, the Panthers jumped ahead 1-0 at 13:48. Marcus Power made a nice pass from the corner to find Kameron Kielly in front and the rookie had a tap-in goal past Rylan Parenteau.

- The V-Reds continued to dominate the possession and shot clock in the 2nd period and struck for a pair of goals in the early minutes. At 1:38 Oliver Cooper (Gazzola, Parenteau) carried the puck down the left side and snapped a quick shot off the rush that beat Matt Mahalak in the Panthers cage, tying the game 1-1. Then, just 2:20 later, some nice puck movement on the power play resulted in Christopher Clapperton (Boland, LeBlanc) having a wide open net to shoot at from the face-off circle. He buried the opportunity and UNB had a 2-1 lead. The V-Reds added another late in the period after Cameron Brace was hit with a high-stick that led to a four minute power play. It was Clapperton (Boland, Anderson) again doing the honours, blasting a shot from almost the exact same spot as his earlier goal that slipped between Mahalak's out-stretched leg and glove. UNB would take a 3-1 lead to the dressing room after out-shooting UPEI 18-6 in the period.

- The Varsity Reds extended the lead to 5-1 in the opening half of the 3rd period. At 3:13 Stephen Anderson (Clapperton, LeBlanc) took a pass from behind the net, had his initial shot stopped, but got his own rebound and held the puck long enough to get Mahalak down before flipping it up and over the Panthers goalie. Another scramble in front of the net at 9:18 of the period resulted in Mark Simpson (Brace, Cooper) getting credit for his first of the season after some persistent work down low. After Marcus Power cut the lead to 5-2 with a power play goal at 17:34, Matt Murphy (Boland) wrapped up the scoring at 19:36 when he took a face-off win and found the empty net from his own goal line. Shots in the period were 14-5 for the V-Reds.

- Tristan Pomerleau remained out of the line-up for UNB as he is dealing from being on the receiving end of a big hit last weekend against these same Panthers.

- Shots in the game were 48-17. The V-Reds have out-shot their opposition 177-64 through four games thus far.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play while the Panthers went 1 for 5.

- The Varsity Reds won 48 out of 81 face-offs. Boland led the way with 13 wins on 20 draws.

- Clapperton (2 goals, 1 assist), LeBlanc (2 assists), and Power (1 goal, 1 assist) were the game's three stars.

- Rylan Parenteau picked up his first career victory in net.

- The game got off to an interesting start as a collision in the corner between Mike Thomas and a Panthers player just 30 seconds into the contest resulted in a pane of glass shattering, leading to a 10-15 minute delay as AUC staff worked to get it replaced.

- Attendance was 2473 on 'UNB Student Night', which helped make for a more lively atmosphere than usual. 

- UNB have won 27 consecutive regular season games at the AUC. Further, they are on a 38-0-1 run dating back to November of 2014 with the lone loss being a 3-2 shootout loss to Acadia on October 30th, 2015.

- Including exhibition/regular season/playoffs/Nationals, the V-Reds are 59-2-1 in their last 62 games played at the AUC. The only blemishes have been the aforementioned game against Acadia and playoff losses to St. FX in both 2016 (3-2) and 2017 (2-1).

- Saint Mary's doubled Dalhousie 4-2 in the only other game on the schedule last night. On  Friday night UPEI blew out Moncton 8-2 on the island, Acadia needed a shoot-out to get past Dalhousie 3-2 in Wolfville, and St. FX remained perfect with a 4-3 OT win on the road against Saint Mary's.

- UNB faces their biggest challenge of the early season next weekend as they make their first trek to Nova Scotia for a pair of games. On Friday night they are in Wolfville to face Acadia and on Saturday they head to Halifax to take on Saint Mary's. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop and can be seen on www.AUStv.ca.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

V-Reds Stymie Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got an 18 save shutout performance from Alex Dubeau as they ran their record to 3-0-0 with a 2-0 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus tonight.

- For the second consecutive game, the V-Reds were on the receiving end of a superb goaltending performance as it took them 28 minutes and 25 shots before they finally solved Brandon Thibeau. While on the power play, Cameron Brace found Chris Caissy streaking down the right side. Caissy gained a step on the defence and cut in all alone, beating Thibeau with a nice deke to give UNB the only goal they needed at 8:01 of the 2nd period.

- Randy Gazzola salted the game away with an unassisted goal from the neutral zone and into an empty net with 47 seconds remaining in the game.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 47-18 with period totals of 18-6, 12-8, and 17-4.

- The Varsity Reds were 1 for 6 on the power play. Moncton was 0 for 5.

- UNB went 50 for 79 in the face-off circle. Mark Simpson had another strong game, winning 17 out of 23 draws.

- Matt Boudens was back in the line-up, but defencemen Tristan Pomerleau and Matt Murphy were out.

- This is Alex Dubeau's 4th career shut-out and first since 2015-2016.

- Brace had a game-high 10 shots on goal.

- Thibeau was named the player of the game after a 43 save performance.

- UNB has started the season 3-0-0 for the 4th time in 5 years. They went 2-0-1 in their first three games last season.

- The Varsity Reds have won 9 straight games against the Aigles Bleus, including 5 in a row in Moncton.

- UNB is on a 12 game regular season winning streak dating back to a 4-3 OT loss to SMU on January 16th.

- After coughing up a 4-0 lead last weekend to the Acadia Axemen, the St. FX X-Men squandered a 4-1 lead tonight to the Axmen only to once again recover and pull out a 5-4 victory in Antigonish.

- The  V-Reds are back on home ice this Saturday night when they welcome the UPEI Panthers to town. Game time is 7PM.

Anderson Picks Up Trio Of Awards

After scoring five goals in the first two games of the season, Varsity Reds forward Stephen Anderson was honoured this week by sweeping the UNB, AUS, and U Sports male athlete of the week awards.

Yesterday the 3rd year forward was awarded the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week as well as the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week. He capped off the hat-trick today by being named the U Sports male Athlete of the Week.

Anderson will try to continue his hot start this week when UNB travels to Moncton tonight before hosting UPEI on Saturday night at the AUC.

U Sports Top Ten (#1): UNB Starts On Top

U Sports released their first men's hockey top ten ranking of the season yesterday, and the Varsity Reds begin the campaign how they finished the 2016-2017 season - in the number one spot.

UNB collected 11 out of 15 first place votes for a total of 142 points to outpace the Alberta Golden Bears, who picked up two first place votes and 132 points. Making up the rest of the top ten are the Saskatchewan Huskies, St. FX X-Men, McGill Redmen, Acadia Axemen, Saint Mary's Huskies, Ryerson Rams, Calgary Dinos, and York Lions.

As is usually the case with the first rankings of the season, a number of teams received votes. This includes Queen's, UQTR, UBC, Laurier, Carleton, Guelph, Western, Concordia, and Ottawa.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Special Teams Key Victory

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hit the road for the first time this season and used three power play goals and a shorthanded tally to get past the UPEI Panthers 5-3 tonight in Charlottetown.

Although UNB came out strong in the first period and out-shot the Panthers 12-5, it was the home team getting on the board first with the only goal of the period. After some sustained pressure following a power play by the Varsity Reds, UPEI was able to get the puck out of the zone and break out on a rush that ended with Sam Aulie sliding the puck past Alex Dubeau.

In the 2nd period the V-Reds played arguably their most dominant period in recent memory as they were credited with 24 shots on goal to the Panthers 2. However, Matt Mancina was up to the task, making a number of larcenous saves to keep it a 1-0 game. The game finally turned in UNB's favour when Filip Rydstrom was assessed a five minute major penalty at 14:39 for charging Colin Suellentrop, and for the second straight game the V-Reds were able to strike for a trio of late 2nd period goals to take control. At 15:22 Kris Bennett found Christopher Clapperton with a cross-ice pass. Clapperton's shot was stopped but Stephen Anderson collected the rebound in the slot and fired it into a wide open cage. Then, after a scramble in front of the net, Oliver Cooper (Gazzola, Brace) was in the right spot at the right time to clean up the garbage in the crease, tapping the puck into an open net at 18:04 to give UNB the lead. Anderson (Clapperton, McIvor) struck again for his second goal of the night - and fifth of the season - just five seconds after the major penalty expired at 19:44 when he picked the top right corner with a wrist shot off a rush, giving UNB a 3-1 lead that they would take into the intermission.

The V-Reds extended their lead just 2:08 into the 3rd period with another special teams goal, this time shorthanded. Kris Bennett stripped the puck from a Panthers player in the neutral zone and went in all alone on Mancina, beating him with a backhander between the legs to make it a 4-1 game. A goal from Kameron Kielly got UPEI back to within 4-2 at 8:01, but another five minute major penalty and subsequent power play goal from Cameron Brace (Gazzola, Dubeau), who skated through a couple of defenders before one handing the puck between Manicina's legs for an early goal of the year candidate, restored the three goal lead and pretty much sealed the game with 6:23 remaining. Panthers defenseman Ryan MacKinnon closed out the scoring at 17:16, depositing his own rebound at the side of the net. Shots in the period were 13-5 for UNB.

- Shots in the game favoured the V-Reds 49-12.

- Trey Lewis drew into the line-up, replacing Matt Boudens.

- UNB was 3 for 7 on the power play while UPEI was 0 for 4.

- Defenceman Tristan Pomerleau was visibly shaken up after being on the receiving end of Beau McCue's 5 minute charging major in the 3rd period. He needed helped off the ice and did not return.

- The V-Reds struggled all night in the face-off circle, losing 42 out of 70 face-offs in the game.

- Alex Dubeau received his second straight start in goal.

- Cooper and Bennett both scored their first career AUS goal.

- Although he was held off the score-sheet, Peter Trainor had a number of high quality chances only to be denied by Mancina each time.

- UNB improves to 9-0-1 in their last 10 games against UPEI.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight, the St. FX X-Men avoided disaster by defeating Acadia 5-4 in a shootout in Wolfville after blowing a 4-0 1st period lead and the Saint Mary's Huskies got past Dalhousie 4-1.

- UNB returns to the ice on Wednesday when they travel to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus for a 7PM puck drop.