Sunday, February 7, 2010

Varsity Reds defeat Tigers 4-1 for 26th win

HALIFAX – The University of New Brunswick men's hockey team had to once again come back from a first period deficit for the win, this time against a determined Dalhousie Tigers team, as they scored four unanswered goals for the 4-1 victory. The Varsity Reds' 26th win of the season matches their AUS record 26 wins in 2007-08, as well as extends their record start in the University Cup era for the CIS.

While the V-Reds have already locked up first place, the Tigers are fighting to maintain their tenuous hold on the final AUS playoff spot, and came out that way Saturday night at the Dal Memorial Arena. While UNB wasn't finding a lot of room to skate they were gradually taking control of the game when Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) hammered Dal rookie Jordan Gagné (Ancienne-Larette, QC) along the boards. There was a delay while Gagné was attended to, and subsequently on the next faceoff in the UNB zone the Tigers won the draw back to defenceman Devrin Stonehouse (Elkhorn, MB), who fired a heavy shot that Francois Gauthier (Rimouski, QC) deflected up and over V-Reds netminder Derek Yeomans' (St. Albert, AB) shoulder and just under the crossbar at 10:22. That was the only goal in the period that saw UNB outshoot Dal 12-5.

Early in the second period Dal was on the power play when Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) got to the puck and started a three-on-one UNB break the other way. He fed the puck over to Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) at the right circle and his quick shot beat Tigers goalie Bobby Nadeau (Lac-Etchemin, QC) to tie the game at 2:41. The goal was Tremblay's 22nd of the season, and his AUS leading fifth shorthanded marker. That was the only time the V-Reds solved Nadeau in the period, that saw them outshoot Dal 10-5 in a physical period.

The Tigers almost got a gift goal to take the lead at 1:49 when Yeomans raced out of the UNB net for the extra attacker on a delayed penalty, and Kyle Bailey put the puck back to the point only to see it carom off the boards and go the length of the ice and bounce off the left post of the empty V-Reds net, much to the dismay of the excited Dal crowd. UNB took the lead at 10:32 when Alex Aldred (St. Albert, AB) fired a point shot after a clean UNB faceoff win that Chris Culligan (Howie Centre, NS) may have tipped past Nadeau. Not long after there was a scary moment when Jeff MacGregor (Winnipeg, MB) drove Derek Yeomans into the right post of the UNB net, but Yeomans was only shook up and not injured on the play. UNB extended their lead at 15:54 when there was a scramble in front of the Dal net and Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) was the first V-Red to get to a loose puck and bang it past Nadeau.

UNB added their last goal at 17:20. Hunter Tremblay stole the puck from Kyle Raftis (Bramalea, ON), raced up the ice and patiently waited for John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) to catch up and receive the pass. Dickson beat Nadeau for his 17th goal of the season, and 50th career regular season goal at UNB. At 18:37 UNB's Josh Kidd was sent off for tripping while the V-Reds were already killing of a penalty. Dalhousie coach Pete Belliveau called a timeout, and then put Nadeau on the bench, creating a 6-on-3 man advantage for 1:08. However the V-Reds withstood the Dal attack and held on for the 4-1 win.

Shots in the game favoured UNB 35-15. Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play. Hunter Tremblay's 22 goals now put him in a tie with SMU's Cody Thorton for the AUS lead. Tremblay's 51 points to date mark the third consecutive season he has scored 50 or more points, a first at UNB. Tremblay also leads the AUS with eight game winning goals this season. Not playing for V-Reds in the game was defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS), who was kept out in what UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall described as a “precautionary move”. The Varsity Reds close out the regular season next weekend when they host StFX on Friday and Dal again on Saturday.

No comments: