Saturday, November 14, 2009

UNB 9 – StFX 3

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds won their ninth straight game Friday night 9-3 over the visiting StFX X-Men before 2078 fans in Fredericton. The X-Men managed to draw within a goal in the second period, only to see UNB pull away in the final 30 minutes of the game. StFX goaltender Bryan Gillis (Lantz, NS) couldn't steal a point for his team this week, as the V-Reds outshot the second-place X-Men 46-25.

UNB got off to a great start as they swarmed the StFX net right off the opening faceoff, and after veteran forward John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) had about three whacks at the loose puck it was captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) finally putting it past Gillis just 46 seconds in. Rookie Daine Todd (Stettler, AB) made it 2-0 at 6:07 as he batted in the rebound of a Ben Shutron (Orleans, ON) point shot, all while his back was to Gillis. UNB stretched their lead to 3-0 midway through the period on their first power play when Dickson passed the puck to Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) in the slot who one-timed the puck for the goal. UNB killed off two penalties to close out the period, and they outshot StFX 11-5.

In the second period UNB had two early power plays but didn't generate a lot of scoring chances. After the penalty kills X was showing more jump, and Matthew Brag (Newmans Cove, NL) rang a shot off the top left of the UNB net at 6:55. Soon after the V-Reds got into penalty trouble of their own, and StFX cashed in. First it was rookie defenceman Nick Pageau (Stony Creek, ON) from the left circle picking the top corner over Travis Fullerton's (Riverview, NB) shoulder on the five-on-three at 8:29 and then it was veteran Chris Hulit (Sault Ste Marie, ON) at the back door who appeared to tap in the Spencer McAvoy (St. Albert, AB) shot with the man advantage at 9:12 to draw StFX within a goal. The Varsity Reds had entered the game giving up only two power play goals in eight games, only to see X score two in 43 seconds. However, UNB was back on the power play a few minutes later, and this time it was Dickson in the slot to one-time the puck for a goal at 11:55 after some nice tic-tac-toe passing.

The third period started like the first, with UNB swarming the net and Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) scoring out of the rugby scrum at 1:10. UNB got a little sloppy in their own end at 4:55 and Bragg let a shot go through a crowd that fooled Fullerton. UNB got that goal back at 7:22 on the power play when Bretton Stammler (Edmonton, AB) made a great play to recover the puck in the neutral zone, passed cross ice to a rushing Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) who then fired a writer from the circle into the top corner of the X net. Just 21 seconds later Shutron picked up his first goal as a Varsity Red as his shot went off Gillis' glove and in. Luke Gallant added another power play goal at 12:05, and then with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) put an exclamation mark on the night as he won the face-off, skated through traffic and deked Gillis. Shots in the third period favoured UNB 18-7.

The final score was 9-3 with UNB going 5-for-9 on the power play, while StFX was 2-for-9 with the man advantage. The UNB player of the game was Hunter Tremblay.

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