Saturday, October 23, 2010

UNB 5 - Dal 1 Game Story

Fredericton (October 23, 2010)
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team came out like gang busters against the visiting Dalhousie Tigers, had a bit of lull in the second period, and then reasserted their play in the third period as they cruised to a 5-1 win, outshooting the Tigers 36-20.

The home opener at the Aitken University Centre started on a high note with the introduction of this year's team to the fans, and then became more reflective on the news that Ted Bedard had passed away. Bedard, originally from North Bay, ON, served with the Canadian Navy during World War II and was a star player with UNB from 1946-51. The Forestry graduate taught at the Maritime Forest Ranger School until his retirement in 1984 and he was a loyal and active supporter of UNB hockey right up to his death. After highlighting Bedard's successful life, then a moment's silence, followed by O Canada, the teams were ready to play hockey.

The V-Red dominated the early play and were rolling through their lines when Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) fed Jeff Lee (Calgary, AB) a nice pass and Lee deked out Dal goalie Josh Disher (Burlington, ON) for the goal at 5:36. Three minutes later UNB was on the power play and moving the puck around crisply before Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) threaded the puck across the slot to defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) for the tap in goal. Harty had rushed in from the left point to the open side of the net on the set play. UNB had two more glorious scoring chances in the period: Disher stoned Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) in close at 14:20 and late in the period Harty and rookie Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) had a two-on-one rush shorthanded where Disher stopped MacNeil's shot while Harty's swat at the reboud went off the far post and stayed just out. UNB outshot Dal 15-2 in the first period.

The start of the second period saw UNB continue their strong play. Dal had some back luck at 5:36, when UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) fired the puck from the corner on the rush and it appeared to deflect off a Tiger defencemen's skate and up and over Disher and into the net. However not long after that the Tigers strategy of keeping a forward high started paying off, as they got in behind the UNB defence and used long passes to create scoring chances. On the power play at 17:25 Benjamin Breault (St.-Jean, QC) fired a long pass to Dal rookie Patrick Daley (Whitby, ON) who went in alone against Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB) and scored on a deke move. Shots in the second period favoured Dal 13-10.

The third period saw UNB take back the momentum, and Campbell scored on the power play at 6:06 to restore the three goal margin. The Tigers had done a pretty good job keeping Tremblay in check in the game until midway through the period when he roared down the left wing, went around a Dal defenceman who tried to catch him along the boards, and rifled a pass cross-ice pass to a streaking Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) who redirected the puck past Disher. After the goal, Dal head coach Pete Belliveau opted the switch goaltenders, putting Bobby Nadeau in nets for the final 9:34. He only faced 3 shots for the remainder of the game which saw neither team generate many scoring chances, other than a goal waived off in the last 30 seconds when MacNeil's stick was ruled to be too high when he tipped in Josh Hepditch's (Fredericton, NB) high point shot. UNB outshot Dal 11-5 in the final period.

After the game UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall wasn't completely happy with his team's performance. "We had a good first 27 minutes and then got away from our game in the second period. We played outside of our game, but give credit to Dal." He added, "the third period is part of our identity and I thought we were fundamentally better in the third period."

Players of the game were: 1. Dion Campbell, 2. Jonathan Harty, 3. Jeff Lee. UNB was 2 for 5 on the power play while Dal was 1 for 6. Attendance was 1408. Next up for the V-Reds the Acadia Axemen come to town Saturday night.

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