Saturday, October 17, 2009

UNB 10 – UPEI 0

It was a special night for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and one to forget for the visiting University of Prince Edward Island Panthers as UNB cruised to a 10-0 win. During a 15 minute opening ceremony the team introduced all of their players to the almost two thousand fans in attendance and then the Varsity Reds raised their third CIS national championship banner at one end of the ice followed at the other end of the rink by the lowering of the University Cup from the rafters into the arms of UNB president Eddy Campbell. Dr. Campbell then passed the Cup onto new V-Reds captain Kyle Bailey.

The hockey game itself got off to a slow start as both teams played tentatively with close checking; the first shot on net by either team didn't come until the five minute mark. Finally at 12:14 fifth-year UNB forward John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) made a great play to keep the puck in at the blue line and fired the puck to Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) who was behind the UPEI defence on the edge of the crease. Tremblay, with lots of time and space, calmly deked Panther netminder Jhase Sniderman (Toronto, ON) for the goal. With the play opening up, 96 seconds later speedster Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) flew down the right side of the ice and blew by two Panther defenders before driving hard to his left across the front of the net and beating Sniderman for a highlight reel goal. UNB kept the pressure on, and less than two minutes later they took advantage of the confusion from a delayed penalty call as defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) carried the puck deep into the Panthers zone, dished off the puck, went to the net and then redirected Taylor Procyshen's (Emerald Park, SK) shot over Sniderman's shoulder. That was all the scoring as UNB outshot UPEI 19-7 over the final 15 minutes of the period.

UNB took advantage of their first power play of the game early in the second period, when forward Daine Todd (Stettler, AB) walked in off the left point with the puck, fired on net from close in, and Dickson banged in the rebound at 1:41. Todd was playing his first regular season game with the V-Reds after missing all of what should have been first season last year after getting injured in a preseason match against the Maine Black Bears. As the game wore on the depleted Panthers lineup struggled to keep up with the high-flying V-Reds. UNB rookie defenceman Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) took advantage of a bad UPEI pinch to break into the Panthers' zone and was hauled down by Thomas Stryncl (Karlovy Vary, CZ). On the resulting power play Tremblay put on a show as he carried the puck the length of the ice, went around a UPEI defender with a beautiful toe drag, and then put the puck through Sniderman's pads at 8:56. Less than a minute later Tremblay almost completed the hat-trick into the open side of the net but Sniderman got a piece of the puck. Unfortunately he couldn't corral the bouncing rubber before Dickson banged it into the net for his second goal. The latter half of the period went better for Sniderman and his teammates, but they still couldn't find a way to score on UNB goalie Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) – who while not busy was forced to make some good saves. UNB doubled UPEI 16-8 in shots in the period.

UNB scored again early in the third period, and not a pretty goal, when Luke Lynes (Richmond Hills, MI) fired a puck through traffic that Sniderman didn't see as he was being distracted by a screening Matt Fillier (Durham, NS) who was tangled up with a Panthers d-man in front of the net. Traffic was also a factor in UNB's next goal at the nine minute mark when Stammler's quick point shot found a path to the back of the net for his second goal of the night. Just under a minute later Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) did all the hard work on a great shift and Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth-Andover, NB) was able to pounce on the rebound for an easy goal. Sniderman's defence wasn't much help a few minutes later, as the V-Reds were swarming the crease and Tremblay put the puck through the five-hole to complete his hat-trick at 11:41. Mercifully, that was the last goal of the game.

UNB wins its 21st consecutive home-opener on a night when everything was clicking for the V-Reds. UNB outshot UPEI 50-20 in the 10-0 victory. UNB was 2 for 7 with the man advantage while UPEI was 0 for 2. UNB had a 50-23 margin on faceoffs. Player of the game Hunter Tremblay had 3 goals and 2 assists while linemate John Dickson had 2 goals and 2 assists. Travis Fullerton got the shut-out. Next up Saturday night UNB will be hosting the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus.


By David Kilfoil for the UNB Varsity Reds

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