Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cook's Big Night Gives X OT Win

Holden Cook scored four goals, including the overtime winner, as the St. FX X-Men defeated the visiting Varsity Reds tonight in Antigonish. UNB falls to 4-0-2 on the season while St. FX improves to 4-2-0.

It was a tightly contested game throughout, with neither team enjoying more than a one goal lead. Scoring for the V-Reds were Rob Mignardi and Philippe Halley in the 1st period and Marcus McIvor and Philippe Maillet in the 3rd period.

- Shots in the game favorited UNB 32-18.

- Etienne Marcoux suffered his first loss of the season in goal.

- Matt Petgrave was back in the line-up, replacing Mike Thomas. Christopher Clapperton, Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper all remained out.

- The Varsity Reds are back home next weekend when they battle the same two teams they did this weekend. The Dalhousie Tigers are in town on Friday night with the X-Men coming in the following night. Game time for both contests is 7PM.

V-Reds Put Away Pesky Tigers In Shootout

For the second time in three road games the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were pushed to a shootout, but this time they emerged victorious, eking past the Dalhousie Tigers 5-4 in Halifax in a game they led on three separate occasions. UNB remains undefeated in regulation time at 4-0-1 while the surprising Tigers fall to 2-1-2.

After a scoreless opening period in which UNB out-shot the Tigers 17-7 things really opened up in the middle frame with both teams finding the back of the net three times each. The Varsity Reds got on the board first just 2:55 into the period after some nice puck movement. Mark Simpson took a pass from the blue line in the slot with his back to the net and fed Randy Gazzola, who skated in from his defense position and snapped the puck past goaltender Corbin Boes. A Tigers penalty just after the goal sent UNB to the power play and they were able to convert at 4:09 when a Stephen Anderson shot created a big rebound to the opposite side of the ice that Philippe Maillet jumped all over, doubling the V-Reds lead. However, as they did all night, Dalhousie fought back to tie the game. At 6:51 Colton Parsons one-timed a shot from the slot to bring the Tigers within a goal and then Tanner Williams redirected a point shot from the high-slot while on the power play to knot the game at 15:41. UNB didn't waste too much time to regain the lead though, as Francis Beauvillier (Gazzola, Braes) snapped home a power play goal from the right face-off circle at 17:53. The lead was short-lived as last season's top goal scorer Phil Gadoury responded with a power play goal of his own when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from from just below the left face-off circle that went through the legs of Alex Dubeau with only 18 seconds remaining in the period. The two teams would head to the locker room tied 3-3 after a period in which the Tigers held a 10-9 shot advantage.

The Varsity Reds took their third lead of the game at 7:46 of the final period with another power play goal - their third of the game. This time it was Rob Mignardi, who was stationed just outside the crease, deflecting a Jordan Murray point shot past Boes. Matt Murphy was awarded the secondary assist on the go-ahead goal. The Tigers tied the game for a third time at 12:09 when Andrew Wiggington made a nice toe-drag to get past a defender before snapping the puck in from the hash marks, Despite constant pressure from UNB the rest of the period the game would head to overtime tied 4-4. Shots were 15-4 for the V-Reds in the period.

UNB took 5 out of the 7 shots in the 3-on-3 overtime, but it was fairly uneventful overall and the teams went to a shootout.

The V-Reds went first in the shootout and Jordan Murray was stopped by Boes. Gadoury was first up for the Tigers and found the back of the net before Francis Beauvillier came up empty for UNB. At this point the next three shooters all had to go UNB's way and that is exactly what happened. Dubeau stopped Felix Page to give Cam Braes a chance. Braes, needing to score to extend it, came through with some nifty stickwork to tie it at 1-1. The Tigers had another chance to win it but Dubeau once again came up big, stopping Fabian Walsh. Phillip Maillet put the V-Reds on the cusp of victory with a goal but that was quickly answered by Andrew Wigginton. Finally, Cameron Brace snapped a shot in and Dubeau secured the win by stopping Alex Pawelczyk, giving UNB a 5-4 victory.

- UNB was without Christopher Clapperton, Matt Petgrave, Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper.

- Shots in the game ended up 46-23 in the V-Reds favour.

- Alex Dubeau made 19 saves to improve to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

- UNB was 3 for 5 on the power play while the Tigers converted on 2 out of their 5 opportunities.

- The Tigers won 44 of of the 82 face-offs in the game.

- The three stars were Migardi, Wiggington, and Boes.

 - UNB has now won 18 consecutive games against the Tigers.

- This is the most goals Dalhousie has scored in 25 games against the V-Reds, going back to a 6-3 win on November 27th, 2010. UNB has registered 8 shutouts in that span.

- UNB had lost 7 of their last 8 games that had gone to a shootout since 2009.

- It was a night of surprises around the league as Moncton scored 3 unanswered goals in the 3rd period to stun Saint Mary's 5-4 at home and UPEI went into Antigonish and broke open a 3-3 3rd period deadlock with 4 straight goals to pull away from St. FX 7-3. Acadia was idle.

- UNB faces their toughest test of the young season tonight when they face the X-Men in an AUS and CIS Final rematch. Game time is 7PM.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

News And Notes: Top 10, Anderson, Tuesday Morning Skate

Some mid-week news to pass along:

- After a 2-0-0 week the Varsity Reds earned 14 out of a possible 15 first place votes in the latest CIS men's hockey top 10 rankings to move into the top spot for the first time this season. This is the 93rd time in school history UNB has held the #1 ranking, second all-time to Alberta's 207.

The St. FX X-Men, who will host UNB on Saturday night in a University Cup final rematch, received the other first place vote and fell to 2nd while Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UOIT round out the top five. Ryerson, UQTR, Mount Royal, UPEI, and Guelph hold down the 6th-10th spots.

- Stephen Anderson has been named both the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week as well as the Subway Atlantic University Sport male Athlete of the Week.

Anderson scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in UNB's 3-1 victory over UPEI on Wednesday night before adding two goals and an assist in Friday's 9-2 win over Moncton. The 2nd year forward is off to a strong start his season, ranking 3rd in the conference with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his first four games.

- Victor Findlay has posted his latest Tuesday Morning Skate in which he recaps the week that was in CIS men's hockey across the country. His thoughts and observations include naming Stephen Anderson one of his AUS stars of the week and calling the upcoming UNB/St. FX clash a "can't miss game", among other things.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

UNB Dominates Moncton...Again

Hockey can be a funny game. The visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds held a 17-6 shot advantage after the 1st period of play last night against the University de Moncton Aigles Bleus, yet trailed 1-0. They then scored five unanswered goals in the 2nd period, despite being out-shot 12-9, to take control of the game on their way to a convincing 9-2 road victory. UNB is now 3-0-1 on the season while Moncton drops to 0-3-0.

The game got off to an inauspicious start for the V-Reds as Samuel Leblanc scored his first career AUS goal off of a rebound just 34 seconds into the game. UNB had constant pressure and numerous quality scoring chances - including a 37 second 5-on-3 - but were denied time and time again by Brandon Thibeau in the Aigles Bleus net.

Unfortunately for Moncton, the opening twenty minutes was as good as it would get on this night. The V-Reds exploded for five goals in the middle stanza to basically put the game away. Scoring were Cam Braes on the power play at 0:29, Francis Beauvillier less than a minute later at 1:21, Chris Caissy on the power play at 12:37, Philippe Maillet at 13:09, and Stephen Anderson at 14:29.

Moncton would pull within three goals with a power play goal 4:21 into the 3rd period, but UNB quickly regained the momentum with goals shortly after from Caissy at 5:43 and Jordan Murray, on the power play, at 6:44. The scoring was rounded out with Beauvillier and Anderson each getting their second goals of the night, at 11:43 and 15:53 respectively. Shots in the period were 21-6 for UNB.

- Shots in the game were 47-24.

- Francis Beauvillier replaced Oliver Cooper in the line-up, but otherwise UNB went with the same line-up as Wednesday with Christopher Clapperton, Cameron Brace, and Peter Trainor all remaining sidelined.

- Alex Dubeau picked up his first win of the season in goal.

- UNB went 3 for 8 on the power play while Moncton was 1 for 4. It was the first power play goal UNB has surrendered this season in 21 opportunities, becoming the last team in the AUS to be scored upon while shorthanded.

- Chris Caissy (2 goals, 1 assist) was the player of the game.

- UNB held a slight 42-40 advantage on face-offs.

- Attendance was 679.

- The 24 goals UNB has scored through their first four games are the most since 2009-2010 when they tallied 29.

- This is the 4th time in as many seasons UNB has scored 9 goals in a game against Moncton.

- Other games around the league last night saw Dalhousie score a last minute goal to force overtime only to fall to Acadia 3-2 in Wolfville and Saint Mary's handing St. FX their first loss of the season 4-1 in Halifax.

- The V-Reds are off tonight. They are back in action next weekend when they travel to Nova Scotia for games against Dalhousie on Friday night and St. FX on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

V-Reds Overcome Mahalak, Panthers

Although the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds dominated the final 55 minutes of play, it took a 3rd period rally to overcome a sensational performance by UPEI Panthers goaltender Matt Mahalak in a 3-1 victory tonight at the AUC. UNB avenges a shootout loss to the Panthers five days ago to improve to 2-0-1 on the young season.

The Panthers came out with lots of jump as they took the game's first six shots and jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:39 into the contest when Gabe Guertler jumped on a loose puck just outside the crease and lifted it under the crossbar. This would prove to be the only goal through the first forty minutes despite UNB holding a 13-8 advantage in shots in the 1st period and a 13-3 edge in the 2nd period.

The Varsity Reds upped the pressure even further in the final frame and were finally rewarded at 3:29. Jordan Murray received the puck from Philippe Maillet and his wrist shot from the blue line was deftly deflected out of the air by Philippe Halley, who was stationed in the high slot, with the puck fluttering up and over an unsuspecting Mahalak. Just over five minutes later, at 8:51, UNB took their first lead of the night when Maillet gained control of a Cam Braes pass through the slot, patiently out-waited Mahalak long enough to draw him out of position, and threw the puck between the netminder and the post through the crease. Stephen Anderson crashed the net and was able to get his stick on the puck first, banging it into the open cage for what turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal. The V-Reds were forced to kill off two late penalties before Chris Caissy sealed the deal with an empty net goal just milliseconds before the final horn sounded. Shots favoured UNB 21-4 in the period and 47-14 in the game.

- UNB was without some of their key forwards as Christopher Clapperton (injury), Francis Beauvillier (serving a suspension due to fighting major last game), Cameron Brace (late scratch), and Peter Trainor (scratch) were all out.

- Etienne Marcoux picked up the win in goal. Although not tested often he made a couple big saves to keep UNB within a goal.

- The V-Reds penalty kill continued their strong start to the season as they held the Panthers scoreless on 7 opportunities. UNB was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- The three stars were Anderson (GWG), Mahalak (44 saves on 46 shots), and Maillet (2 assists).

- UNB dominated on face-offs, winning 43 out of 70. Cam Braes (14 out of 20) and Chris Caissy (9 out of 14) were the standouts.

- The V-Reds have now won 9 straight home games versus UPEI.

- Attendance was 1924.

- UNB's next action will be Friday night when they travel to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus. As always, will be streaming the game live. Game time is 7PM.