Saturday, March 7, 2009

UNB vs. SMU - The Numbers Game

With the AUS finals set to start in less than a week, Friday, March 13th to be exact, I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at some of the key components (and meaningless facts) that defined the head-to-head match-ups during the regular season.

First of all, as UNB fans, we all know that SMU won 3 out of the 4 games in which they faced the V-Reds this season. However, did you know that:

- 3 of the 4 games in which these 2 teams played were decided by a single goal (2 of which needed overtime to determine a winner).

- Brandon Verge started all 4 head-to-head match-ups between these 2 teams and recorded a win in all but one of the games. Derek Yeomans started the first 3 games for the V-Reds and unfortunately came up on the losing end of each. It wasn’t until Travis Fullerton got the call in Game 4 that UNB recorded their first win of the season against SMU.

- UNB’s largest crowd of the season of 3,869 fans occurred on February 6, 2009 at the AUC against SMU. SMU’s third smallest crowd of the season of 291 fans was against UNB at the Halifax Forum, a game which was held on November 2, 2008.

- Of the 13 goals that UNB scored against SMU, 3 were scored in the 1st period (23.1%), 7 were scored in the 2nd period (53.8%), 2 were scored in the 3rd period (15.4%), and 1 was scored in overtime (7.7%). For SMU, of the 16 they scored against the V-Reds, 5 were scored in the 1st period (31.3%), 4 were scored in the 2nd period (25.0%), 6 were scored in the 3rd period (37.5%), and 1 was scored in overtime (6.2%).

- UNB only trailed once heading into the 3rd period. Ironically for them, that was the only game they won against the Huskies. In the other 3 games that these 2 teams played one another, the V-Reds either held a share of the lead or the outright lead heading into the final period.

- 9 different goal scorers accounted for the 13 goals that UNB scored, while SMU had 10 different goal scorers account for their 16 goals.

- Overall, UNB went 3-29 (10.3%) on the man advantage with a total of 33 shots (1.1 shots per PP attempt). SMU, on the other hand, went 7-19 (36.8%) on the Power Play with a total of 34 shots (1.8 shots per PP attempt). WOW!

- On that same note, all 3 goals that Cody Thornton scored were with the man advantage, both of the goals that Marc Rancourt scored were with the man advantage, and 2 of the 3 goals that Cam Fergus scored came on the Power Play as well.

- In terms of even strength goals, UNB scored at a higher percentage than SMU. The V-Reds scored 9 out of 13 at even strength (69.2%), while the Huskies only scored 9 out of 16 goals at even strength (56.3%).

- Of the 132 shots that UNB fired at Brandon Verge over the span of 4 games, 13 found the back of the net (save percentage of .902). Of the 77 shots that Derek Yeomans faced over the 3 games in which he played, 13, as well, found the back of the net (save percentage of .831). Of the 29 shots that Travis Fullerton faced in the UNB’s lone win against SMU, only 3 found the back of the net (save percentage of .897).

- The only short-handed goal of the 4 games played between these 2 teams came in the 1st period of Game 4 and was scored by UNB’s Jonathan Harty. The only penalty shot occurred in Game 4 as well and the attempt on Brandon Verge by Jimmy Cuddihy was missed.

- UNB’s top line of Tremblay, Cuddihy, and Henderson combined for 4 goals, 12 assists, and a +/- of +7. For SMU, Thornton, Fergus, and Rancourt combined for 8 goals, 11 assists, and a +/- of -3. For the V-Reds, Friesen and Bowman accounted for 1 goal, 2 assists, and a +/- of +2. On the other hand, the Hotham brothers, for the Huskies, accounted for 2 goals, 11 assists, and a +/- of +1.

What does it all mean?

You decide!

*Stats courtesy of the AUS Men's Hockey website.


Anonymous said...

It goes without saying that stopping SMU's power play and staying out of the box are going to be key factors determining UNB's success in this series.

I think if you look at forwards, you give perhaps the slight edge to UNB. If you look at defence, well UNB is better defensively quite a bit, but SMU's defence have more offence skill and probably put SMU's team offence just a micron higher than UNB's.

UNB's team defence is better.

Special teams - goes to SMU

Goaltending - both UNB's goalies are better than Verge so that goes to UNB.

Pretty even match. UNB probably deserved at least 1 more win in the games they outshot SMU, but kept running into penalty trouble.

If they stay disciplined they'll make it easier on themselves.

Go Reds!

Anonymous said...

I agree...special teams are going to be the difference...UNB has to do a better job on the PK to help negate SMU's PP...on the flip side it is important for UNB's PP to come up big...they have been very inconsistent almost seems like they try and get too fancy sometimes trying to make the perfect play when they should just be throwing the puck on net and looking for some rebounds/deflections/ugly goals...

Anonymous said...

They gotta stay out of box, simple. Before their last game against SMU Gardy talked about needing to do so and they took a number of weak penalties - for a talented team they can play lazy through the middle and pick up a number of obstruction penalties.