Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Quick Look at UNB vs Acadia

With game one just around the corner, here’s a few things to consider as you place your bets on the outcome of the series.

UNB won all 4 games this season. Derek Yeomans took 3 of those wins, while Travis Fullerton recorded the lone shutout for UNB. Flip a coin to decide who's starting for UNB. Michael Chiasson started 3 of 4 games for Acadia, however Kristofer Westblom started both games in Round 1 vs. StFX, so Westblom is the safe pick for starting goalies from Acadia.

UNB averaged 36 shots per game while Acadia responded with an average of 21.25 shots per game. UNB outscored Acadia 18-6, and also outscored Acadia in 5-on-5 situations by a margin of 12-3. However, this could be a relatively low scoring playoff series, as UNB and Acadia were #1 and #2 respectively in goals allowed in the AUS.

Special teams might be the difference in this series. In the 4 games they played head-to-head, UNB went 6 for 26 on the power play (23%) and killed 19 of 22 Acadia power play opportunities (86.4%). Acadia went 3 for 22 on the power play (13.6%) and killed 20 of 26 short-handed situations (76.9%). However, for the season Acadia was ranked #1 in penalty-killing % at 83.9% while UNB was 6th at 79.4%. UNB ranked 2nd on the power play at 22.6%, Acadia was 4th at 21.8%. Also, Acadia took the lowest number of penalty minutes per game, while UNB was 2nd in that category, but UNB actually took the fewest penalties while Acadia took the 3rd fewest. Either way, these are the two most disciplined teams in the playoffs.

It’s also worth noting that while home ice didn’t help Acadia in the 2 games during the regular season, Acadia’s record at home was 9-5. Their away record was 6-8. By most accounts Acadia’s larger, Olympic ice-surface worked in favor of UNB’s aggressive, skating game more than it benefited the home team.

Top point producers to keep an eye on from Acadia are Jonathan Laberge (14-18-32), Philippe Bertrand (9-21-30), Chris Bruton (15-14-29) and Ryan Graham (10-16-26).

We’re also hearing that Rob Pearce is ready to return to the V-Reds line-up, which would mean UNB could have as healthy a roster as it's had all season.

Finally, Acadia finished behind UNB for 2nd in the AUS in home attendance, so expect good crowds and a lively playoff atmosphere at every game.



Anonymous said...

My bet is that Yeomans starts Game 1. Anyonr else care to comment? Hey - 3 and 0 is good enough for me. And I think Fullerton will start game 2 regardless of the Game 1 outcome. That's just the way it's been - unless Derek completely steals the show.
The special teams will make the difference on Sunday. I'm thinking the PP will be ready to go, but I recall Acadia being quite stingy - really clogging up the middle on the PK.
UNB in 3.

Anonymous said...

I think MacDougall might alternate goalies until one forces his hand too. UNB should win even if they are alternating. This gives him a few more games to make up his mind before the AUS finals.

UNB won 4-0 in the season, so I think the law of averages says Acadia is due to steal one. My guess is UNB in 4.

The layoff could hurt UNB, 2 weeks now isn't it since their last game? Acadia's timing might be better for the first two periods so it'll be important for UNB to find their timing and not get down 2 goals so Acadia can't go into shut-down mode.