Sunday, November 29, 2009

UNB 3 – STU 2 OT

FREDERICTON – Like their first meeting this season with cross-campus rival St. Thomas, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey team was pushed to overtime before winning, this time 3-2, and extending their winning streak to 13 games. Also, as was the case the last time the two teams met, rookie Tommies goaltender Charles Lavigne (St. Bernardin, ON) was the difference maker, as he essentially stole a point for his team.

The ceremonial puck drop before the game was conducted by Matt Stairs, who received a standing ovation from the 2620 fans at the Aitken University Centre. Stairs, who grew up in Fredericton, is one of the best-ever Canadian-born baseball players and won the World Series in 2008 with the Philadelphia Phillies. When the puck dropped for real, the V-Reds came out flying and the Tommies weathered the storm, thanks to Lavigne in nets. For their part, the Tommies' skaters played a much stronger game than their last meeting, forcing UNB to skate through traffic most of the match.

The best early scoring chance came just over six minutes into the game when Lavinge robbed UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) with a pad save. The V-Reds had three power plays in the first period, but their normally potent special teams were foiled by a strong STU penalty all game. Late in the first period, at 18:42, UNB defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) blasted a point shot through a screen that John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) tipped in for his tenth goal of the season. UNB outshot STU 10-4 in the first period.

Early in the second period St. Thomas was on the power play and they caught a bit of abreak when Kenton Dulle's (Craik, SK) shot hit UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) in the shoulder, went up in the air and landed behind the goalie, and Alex Labonte (St. Majorique, QC) was able to get to the puck first and tap it in the net at 1:37 to tie the game. A few minutes later Dulle had a chance to take the lead for STU, but after deking Fullerton on the rush he wasn't able to put the puck in the wide open far side of the net. The middle period was certainly the best for the Tommies, as UNB only outshot them 14-10 and didn't have as great a territorial edge.

That all changed in the third period, as UNB dominated the majority of play and had the Tommies penned in their own end for long stretches of time. At 4:58 the V-Red regained their lead after Lavigne made several saves in a furious sequence until Dickson passed over to Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) all alone at the back door for the easy tap in. UNB kept the pressure on all period, but at 13:04 they turned over the puck in the neutral zone and Matt Eagles (Fredericton, NB) and Labonte broke in on a two-on-one. Labonte let the puck fly from the left circle and his shot appeared to fool Fullerton for the tying goal. At the other end of the ice Lavigne continued his strong play, as UNB outshot STU 17-3 in the third period.

In the ten minute four-on-four overtime the play was more balanced than the third period. However at 3:01 Lavigne came out of his net to play the puck and he ended up mishandling the play – UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) got to the puck, skated across the crease, and beat Lavigne to the open side of the net for the game winner. The Varsity Reds outshot the Tommies 44-19 in the game, yet went 0-for-5 on the power play. STU was 1-for-2 with the man advantage. The player of the game was Kyle Bailey.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lavigne seemed to be favouring his left leg (maybe knee?) the whole 3rd period and OT. Still made some great saves, and for sure stole the extra point, but was very slow to get up at times.

It was nice to see a decent crowd in the AUC. The cross-campus rivalry seems to still keep drawing people.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments on Lavigne. He seemed to hurt himself towards the end of the 2nd period. I thought for sure that we were going to see MacFarlane for the 3rd.

Anonymous said...

Lavigne was not very professional in how he left the ice without shaking hands.

Mike Sanderson said...

Lavigne was playing his second game after coming back from a groin pull. From what I understand, he still isn't 100%.

I think he just was used to the Q where they don't shake hands after games. Disrespectful? Yea. But I don't think it was intentional.

UNB Bruins Fan said...

I believe Miszczak was the backup last night, not MacFarlane...for whatever reason.

Re Lavigne...I posted this over at stutommies.com, while I think he should have stayed for the handshake based on the circumstances I can understand why he immediately left...he is very competitive and emotional player who played a heck of a game and his one single misplay ended up costing STU the game...he probably did it without really even thinking as he was probably frustrated and upset at himself, and just got caught up in the moment and let his emotions get to him...I don't think it is anything to lose sleep over...

Anonymous said...

However he has singlehandedly won games for STU also....stay for the handshake. I would assume that UNB and STU guys have played enough hockey that they would say "you stole a point buddy, keep your head high". Leave it that he should have shaken hands and lets move on.

Anonymous said...

Give the guy a break. He's just allowed a goal in overtime, his team has lost and he feels terrible about the whole thing. If I'm Mike Eagles, I'm happy to see my goaltender care that much. As for shaking hands, it's a ridiculous rule anyway. Teams battle tooth and nail, emotions sometimes boil over, and we're expecting them to shake hands when all is said and done? Either way, it should be up to the player. Some guys just aren't of the mindset to acknowledge the opponent. Respect that. For others, shaking hands is something they don't mind doing. People shouldn't feel any less respect for Lavigne because he's an emotional guy who had just lost a game. I do feel, though, the coaches should acknowledge one another.