Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maine 4 - UNB 1

ORONO, Maine – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men’s hockey team finally had their winning streak against university teams ended when the Maine Black Bears beat them 4-1 in a closely played game Tuesday night before 3601 fans at Alfond Arena. Special teams were a big factor in the game, as Maine went 2-for-5 with the man advantage while UNB was 0-for-5 on the power play. Going into the game UNB was 19-0 in AUS conference play and 10-0 in exhibition games, including three wins against NCAA opponents. UNB’s only loss this season had been a 4-2 game against the AHL’s Portland Pirates on September 30.

The poor driving conditions probably affected the normally higher attendance in Orono, and this game was making up a game postponed from January 2 due to a big snowstorm in the region.

After some early back and forth play Maine’s top line got the first goal when captain Tanner House (Cochrane, AB) carried the puck into the UNB zone and took a hit from Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) to make a pass to Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden), who in turn relayed the puck to Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, MA) who beat V-Reds starting goaltender Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB) at 3:41. The rest of the period saw the UNB test their more physical play against Maine’s swifter skating. Shots in the first period favoured UNB 9-7.

UNB tied it up just 39 seconds in the second period when captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) took advantage of a Maine turnover to streak into the Black Bears zone with Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) on a two-on-one. Bailey used Campbell as a decoy and beat Maine goalie Dave Wilson (Caledon East, ON) with a quick shot. Just over three minutes later UNB had a chance to take the lead on the power play, but pinching defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) had his shot bounce off the wrong side of the goal post. The momentum shifted away from UNB when Maine had back-to-back power plays and scored both times. At 7:00 Yeomans made an initial save, but the rebound went to one of three Black Bears in front of the net, David deKastrozza (Toms River, NJ), who turned and put the puck inside the open corner. Then at 10:23 Maine defenceman Will O’Neill (Salem, MA) fired a point shot through a crowd that Yeomans probably never saw until it was in the back of the net. Maine outshot UNB 8-6 in the period, with half their shots coming on the power play.

To start the third period Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) took over in the UNB nets. The V-Reds pushed hard to try to create scoring chances, but the hardworking and speedy Black Bears minimized opportunities for odd man rushes or second shots on nets. Maine ended UNB's comeback hopes at 15:44 when Spencer Abbot (Hamilton, ON) made a great play to strip the puck from a UNB d-man and get the puck into traffic in the slot. The puck eventually deflected to deKastrozza at the left circle who one-timed the puck past Fullerton for an easy goal. After the goal, UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall elected to put Yeomans back in the UNB net.

The final shots were 21-19 for UNB in the 4-1 loss. Hunter Tremblay, the Varsity Reds and AUS’s top point man, did not dress for the game. Next up for UNB are road games against provincial rivals Moncton on Friday and St. Thomas on Saturday.

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