Saturday, October 24, 2009

UNB 7 – SMU 4

The wild, wild second period with nine goals scored was the story at the Halifax Forum, as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Red defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies 7-4 as the CIS champions played the AUS champions.

There was no scoring in the first 20 minutes in a game with a playoff feel, no surprise as they two teams last met at the AUS championship in February with the Huskies coming out on top. Each team went 0 for 2 on the power play with shots favouring the home team 12-7. UNB finished the period shorthanded, with rookie Ben Shutron (Orleans, ON) earning two minutes for holding and another two minutes for unsportsmanlike behaviour – he must have said something referee Mark Hulshoff didn't like. 3:33 of double-minor carried over into the second period.

The scoring started at 1:51 of the second period with the teams 4-on-4 when big UNB defenceman Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) let a quick wrist shot go from the top of the circle that handcuffed Brandon Verge (Fall River, NS) in the Huskies net. SMU responded 50 seconds later when Marc Rancourt (Gloucester, ON) passed to trailing defenceman Tyler Cuthbert (Omemee, ON) who went top corner on UNB goalie Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB). Less than a minute later UNB had a 4-on-3 power play when John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) first appeared to score and Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) raised his hands to celebrate, but there was no goal light. Fortunately for UNB Dickson kept whacking away at the loose puck until it was considered in at 3:26. Around the eight minute mark that there was about 30 seconds of play before the UNB bench was able to convince the referee that someone should be still in the penalty box. Cody Thorton (Woodstock, ON) was let out early when the wrong SMU penalty was taken off the clock. After lots of discussion they got the penalties sorted out and the clock reset. Shortly after, at 8:28 SMU scored when Thorton had the puck bounce to him, and he took advantage of UNB's in-process line change to go in on a 2-on-1 break, and picked up his own rebound for the goal to tie the game again. 30 seconds later SMU's Scott Brophy (Torbay, NL) won the faceoff clean back to Brad Smith (Summerside, PE) who beat Fullerton top corner to take the lead for the first time.

The Huskies lead did last long, as at 10:51 UNB tied it up again when Bretton Stamler's (Edmonton, AB) rising point shot was deflected down through a crowd in the slot by Daine Todd (Stettler, AB) and past a surprised Verge. UNB regained the lead at 17:31 when Todd from the high slot one-timed a fluttering pass from Hunter Tremblay into the top corner. Just 31 second later Lachlan MacIntosh scored a highlight reel goal as he fought off a defenceman down the right side of the ice, and beat Verge on the short side with a backhanded shot from the goal line. Salt in the wound came 11 seconds later on a real ugly goal as defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) drove the net and had lots of whacks before pushing it under Verge. UNB scored 6 goals on 12 shots in the period. SMU had 3 goals on 9 shots.

Midway through the third period Fullerton made several big saves while UNB was shorthanded, yet at 11:30 SMU 's Thorton was at the edge of the UNB crease to deflect an Andrew Hotham (Barrie, ON) point shot. However the Huskies attempted comeback stalled at 17:07 when 6' 7" Justin Wallingford (Hamilton, ON) took a bad roughing penalty when he popped UNB's Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) on the chin, but at 18:33 V-Red John Scott Dickson took a slashing penalty to nullify the power play. SMU called a timeout, pulled their goalie and had the faceoff in the UNB zone. Hunter Tremblay got to a loose puck, chipped it to himself past a SMU defender, and then raced all the way down into the SMU zone before firing the puck for the empty net goal.

The final score was 7-4 for UNB, who were outshot for the second night in a row, this time 35-30. UNB was 2 for 7 with the man advantage while SMU was 1 for 7 on the power play. That powerp lay goal was the first that the Varsity Reds have given up in four conference games this season. UNB will finish the weekend in sole possession of first place, and their next game is Wednesday at cross-campus rival St. Thomas.

By David Kilfoil for the UNB Varsity Reds


Anonymous said...

Got to watch the entire game. After the first period I didn't expect 9 goals in the second! If not for some key saves by Fullerton UNB may have been in some trouble. Glad the offense is still on fire.

Look forward to SMU next Saturday night.


Squirell Forever said...

Agree on the key saves by fullerton, but I don't recall UNB ever having this much offensive prowess. Our defence might be a little shakier then last year, but our offence is simply amazing!

Squirell Forever

Ken C said...

I actually felt that the D looked a lot more in control this year than last year's squad against SMU, who often were chasing. They really did a good job of keeping the SMU forwards to the perimeter. One thing about not jumping into the play as much as Bowman, Dacosta, and Friesen, it leads to fewer odd-man rushes against when it backfires. Maybe that's a bit safer game to play against the SMU snipers?

Definitely the special teams at UNB have been stronger so far this year...last year against UNB, SMU would have gone 3 for 7 or better on the power-play instead of 1-7, and UNB probably wouldn't have gone 2 for 7. A strong PK is a must against a loaded team like SMU obviously. Procyshen is particularly crafty killing penalties.

I will be curious to see if any other team picks up 4 points traveling through Acadia and SMU this year.

David Kilfoil said...

Conversely, I feel not having the freewheeling Friesen, Bowman and DaCosta on the ice in Wolfville diminishes an advantage UNB used to have against Acadia on their Olympic-sized ice surface.

Ken C said...

With all the space on that big ice I could see that. I would like to think that with Stamler, Kidd, and even Harty that UNB still has a defence capable of jumping up into the play a bit more than most teams, though I agree probably not as mobile as last years with where pretty much all the D had decent foot speed (in part because 3 of them were converted forwards).

Good example of how different teams (rinks) can call for different game plans.

Did any Acadia rookies really stand out to you in that game?

David Kilfoil said...

Both Spencer Jezegou and Andrew Clark looked good for rookies, with Jezegou a keeper for sure. New d-man Graham Bona was a meh! The best Axeman was probably Chris Bruton.

Anonymous said...

Talk about 2 totally different 2nd periods... only firing 3 shots on net in Acadia but then scoring 6 goals on 12 shots against SMU. Wow.