Saturday, February 7, 2009

StFX 3 - UNB 2

StFX 3 – UNB 2
February 7, 2009
It was a frustrating night for the home fans in Fredericton, as the visiting StFX X-Men scored three goals on their first four shots and then relied on goaltender Danny Battochio (Lively, ON) the rest of the way as they held on for the 3-2 win over the first-place University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. UNB was coming off a hard fought come-from-behind overtime win over the St. Mary's Huskies before a record crowd the night before, while StFX didn't play Friday night, although they were missing some key players in their line-up.

The X-Men scored early, on their first shot of the game, as a UNB turnover in their own zone gave veteran Chris Hulit (Sault Ste Marie, ON) a golden opportunity that he didn't miss at 1:26. UNB tied the game just over two minutes later when Kevin Henderson (Toronto, ON) threaded a pass through the slot to Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) parked at the back door, who had then had the easy redirect for the goal. However, StFX regained the lead at 7:13 on a fluke goal when a hard Hulit pass bounced off the midsection of a hard charging Jeff Caron (Moncton, NB) and past a surprised Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB). The X-Men stretched their lead at 10:22 on another unusual goal when Kurt Jerrett's (Sackville, NS) shot tumbled end over end, much like a knuckle ball, and fooled Fullerton on the short side. The X-Men had yet another opportunity two minutes later to extend their lead when a turnover in the neutral zone led to a two man X-Men breakaway, but UNB got lucky when Brett Robertson (Strathmore, AB) had the puck hop over his stick on what could have been an easy tap in. There was no more scoring in the period that saw UNB outshoot the X-Men 19-9.

UNB looked to draw within a goal at 8:39 of the second period when Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) walked out of the corner and beat Battochio with a wrist shot from the circle after some good pressure. However the referee took the goal off the scoreboard due to what was announced as an illegible player on the play, which usually refers to a player equipment violation. There was no other goals or non-goals in the period that saw each team puts seven shots on net.

The third period saw the Varsity Reds carrying the play as they tried to solve Battochio, with the X-Men constantly collapsing back in front of their goaltender, and content to ice the puck whenever they got in trouble. It wasn't until 11:34 before UNB got back on the scoresheet as they were rewarded for hard work around the net when Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth-Andover, NB) was able to outreach everyone and push the puck inside the far post. However, that was as close as UNB could come as Battochio stoned them the rest of the game. UNB pulled Fullerton in the last minute, but Battochio continued to make big saves until time expired. StFX held on for the 3-2 win, despite being outshot 17-3 in the final period and 43-19 in the game. UNB was 0 for 5 on the power play, and 0 for the weekend with the man advantage. StFX was 0 for 2 on the
power play.

Despite the loss UNB clinched a first round bye over the weekend, and need one just point out of their final two games next weekend against UPEI and UdeM to clinch first place and home ice throughout the playoffs.

By David Kilfoil for the UNB Varsity Reds.

(Reposted with permission)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, let's hope that UNB gets it done against PEI on Friday night... I don't think they'll want to go into Moncton on the last day of the regular season needing 1 point to clinch 1st place... that's providing of course that SMU wins their remaining 2 games.

Anonymous said...

SMU has definitely got the easier schedule...Acadia and Dalhousie next week who are ranked 6th and 8th respectively, while UNB will have to look for that last point vs #3 and #4.

The positive spin is it keeps them from getting complacent...which might have been the problem last night? They came out a bit flat until the hole was too deep, too early.

Was Dacosta a healthy scratch?

Anonymous said...

My guess regarding DaCosta was yes, he was a healthy scratch.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right about DaCosta, whose stock seems to have dropped a bit....I know the V-Reds have been trying to work in a couple of guys who've been out with injures, case being Alex Aldred and Josh Hepditch who's been out for a bit with assorted injuries.........thought the Fredericton line of Hepditch, Ryan Seymour and Chris Hodgson wreaked havoc out there...surprised it wasn't used more...

Ken C said...

Word at the rink last night is that Rob Pearce is close to coming back. Anyone know anything for sure?

David said...

Pearce started practicing with the team on Thursday, so he might not be far off ...

Eric said...

I did some quick number crunching (thanks to the AUS Stats Site). UNB only scored first 4 times out of 8 versus SFX+SMU. They only converted two of those into wins. they also only came back 1 time in 4. So, UNB needs to score first to have a chance to win. Also - UNB was 11-0 on the PP this past weekend and 8-56 over the 8 game series (14.3%) versus SFX+SMU at 13-39 (33.3%). UNB's average is 23% while their PK is 79%. Their PK average is 66% against SMU+SFX.

UNB Bruins Fan said...

Pearce must be some kind of quick healer because when he got injured they were talking 'out for the season'