Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hunter Tremblay sets new UNB points record in 4-0 win

FREDERICTON -- The game Friday night between the UNB Varsity Reds and the UdeM Aigles Bleus went two periods without a goal, but everything came together for the large, restless, partizan crowd in the dramatic third period when Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) finally solved P.-A. Marion (Gatineau, QC) to open the scoring at 7:17 and Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) capped the offensive explosion five minutes later by setting up Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) for the final goal of the game in the 4-0 victory.

Tremblay, the CIS MVP last season, had been held pointless the last two games, and his pass that Clendenning one-timed past Marion earned him his 178th career regular season point, establishing a new UNB record. The old record was held by Tremblay's linemate his first year at UNB, Rob Hennigar, who went on to also win the CIS MVP honour, plus the BLG Award in 2008. Tremblay was much happier about the two points for his team rather than the one point for him. "I was thinking that we had a two-game slide last weekend and I didn't want to go a whole entire month on a losing streak and once the floodgates opened I thought we could get it done tonight." "It" being the UNB points record that has been perhaps weighing on him a bit.

For 47 minutes the game was deadlocked, with UdeM goalie Marion making 30 saves to that point to keep the game scoreless. Then defencemen Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) carried the puck into the Moncton zone and threaded a pass to a streaking Campbell who split the Moncton defence and deked out Marion. Just over a minute later Corcoran found himself on the other side of the ice along the goal line and "it was a delayed penalty and I saw he [Marion] was cheating over and didn't think I was going to come to the net so I just pushed it toward the net" and the puck bounced off Marion's right pad and past him. The goal was Corcoran's first as a V-Red in AUS conference play.

 The next goal came just over two minutes later on the power play when fellow defenceman Ben Wright (Foremost, AB) was all alone on the left circle, and had enough time to settle down a wobbly puck before snapping it into the top corner as Marion was still coming across his crease. With a now comfortable lead, the stage was now set for a relieved Tremblay to set his UNB record two minutes later on the Clendenning power play goal. V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall then used his timeout so that Tremblay could get a well deserved ovation from the more than 3600 fans at the Aitken University Centre, the majority of them school children, plus receive a record recognition plaque at centre ice from UNB Athletic Director Kevin Dickie.

 For MacDougall it was a special night and a great advertisement of CIS hockey. "It was a great environment, and the kids add such excitement, they were our seventh man tonight." Twice a season the V-Reds have a promotional night for schools in the Fredericton area that fill the stands. For Tremblay, "I love it, it's like being back in Junior or in a pro game." Speaking of Tremblay, coach MacDougall was happy to see him get his accolades from the crowd (and on live television). "He deserves it. He had a couple of shots earlier in the game that didn't go in and he set up his teammates several times. Like last weekend, sometimes they just don't go in." For Moncton coach Serge Bourgeois, "Hunter Tremblay is the best player in the AUS and we had played him tough two previous games this season, but couldn't stop him this time."

Almost lost in the excitement was the fine play of UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB). While not near as busy as Marion (Moncton was only credited with 11 shots on net, while UNB had 42) he did have to make several key saves, and the shutout is Fullerton's third of the season to lead the AUS.

The Varsity Reds go into the exam and Christmas break still in first place in the AUS with a record of 11-4-0 while les Aigles Bleus drop their fifth in a row and sit in seventh place with a 5-8-2 record. Next up for UNB will be the visiting McGill Redmen on December 30th, and then they host the NCAA's Providence College Friars on January 1st and 2nd for the annual Pete Kelly Cup Challenge. The V-Reds return to conference play when they host the Dalhousie Tigers on January 7th.


Anonymous said...

Congrats Hunter. You certainly are the best player I've ever seen wear a UNB jersey.

Anonymous said...

Love Hunter; but gotta say I think Darryl Boyce was pretty amazing (only played 2 years though)

longtime unb fan said...

John LeBlanc wasn't too bad, and he made it to the big leagues. Greg Holst also played for UNB and went on to a pro career. For pure talent, hard to beat Derek Cormier during his heyday.

David Kilfoil said...

Johnny had size, as did Kevin Henderson ... which is why they got contracts. The deck is stacked against Hunter making the show because of his size and the fact he is a free agent, but he certainly could play high minor pro.