Saturday, January 8, 2011

UNB opens second half with win over Dal

FREDERICTON -- The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey team started the second half of AUS conference play the same way they finished the first half – with a shutout win. This time it was 5-0 over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers with the V-Reds defence leading the offence and netminder Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) picking up his fourth shutout of the season.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
UNB was anxious for the rematch against the Tigers to atone for their 6-3 loss on November 27, despite outshooting Dal 55-23 that night. Friday night the V-Reds came out flying and tested Bobby Nadeau (Lac-Etchemin, QC) in the Dal nets several times in the early going to no avail. Around the 12:30 mark UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) was taken down with a hard hit to the head by Dal defenceman Justin Javorek (Bratislava, Slovakia). Neither of the two referees working the game called a penalty on the play, and Bailey left the game and did not return. Thirty seconds later UNB defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) burst into the Dal zone, shrugged off a high stick (which drew a delayed Tigers penalty), split the defence, and wired the puck through Nadeau's legs for the first goal of the game, and a highlight reel play at that.

At 17:49 UNB's energy line was wreaking havoc down low when d-man Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) let a blast go from the left point through the traffic in the slot that Nadeau probably didn't see until the puck was already in the net. Twenty-two seconds later Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) carried the puck down the left side and fired the puck across the slot to a streaking Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB), who redirected the puck into the open side as he drove the net. UNB outshot Dal a decisive 14-6 in the first period.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
UNB kept the pressure on in the second period, and were rewarded again at 3:09 when big defenceman Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) found an open lane and jumped into the rush and beat Nadeau glove side with a nice wrist shot. That goal saw Nadeau replaced in the Dal net by veteran Josh Disher (Burlington, ON). Disher did well to hold the fort until late in the period, at 18:50, when first year V-Red forward Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) took the body to make a play at the blue line, springing Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) who rushed into the slot and beat the Dal goalie with a quick wrist shot. Shots were 11-9 in favour of UNB in the second period.

There was no scoring in the third period, and the Tigers lost forward Francois Gauthier (Rimouski, QC) at 2:39 when he had his face cut as a result of a heavy hit from UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). There was a fair amount of blood on the ice afterwards, but no penalty call on the play. Tempers flared at 12:26 when Ronald Kelly (Lloydminster, AB) crashed into Fullerton in the UNB net, and again about 30 seconds later when UNB's Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) was involved in an incident that saw him called for slashing, plus an extra ten minutes for disputing the call with the officials. Shots in the third period were a low 5-3 for UNB, who outshot Dal 30-18 in the 5-0 victory.

Neither team scored on the power play in the game, with Dal having four man-advantage situations and UNB two. The three stars of the game were: 1. Ryan Seymour; 2. Bretton Stamler; 3. Travis Fullerton. Paid attendance at the Aitken University Centre was 2307.

UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall was pleased with his team. “Overall it was a pretty good 60 minute effort. I thought we were efficient in the first period and took advantage of our opportunities. We had good shots on the goals we scored.” Speaking to the physical tone of the game, veteran forward Seymour stated that “Dal beat us pretty bad last time and it was a little bit of a redemption game for us and we wanted to prove a point and they were in our building tonight.”

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
From Dal coach Pete Belliveau's perspective, “we were a little short of ammo. They were sharp, we couldn't get anything through that wall.” He added ruefully that thanks to UNB's puck pressure “it was a good chance to practice our d-zone coverage.” Belliveau scratched leading scorer Ben Breault (St.Jean, QC) and new recruit Zach Harnden (Thunder Bay, ON) for breaking team rules.

Game Notes: UNB defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) played his first game since breaking his finger on November 9, while forward Taylor Procyshen (Emerald Park, SK)was playing his first conference game of the season, coming back from concussion related symptoms dating to the preseason. UNB's Josh Hepditch (Fredericton, NB) sustained a lower body injury during practice this week and will be out of the line-up for an indefinite period of time. Fullerton's fourth shutout may be a UNB record for most shutouts in one season. UNB's record in AUS conference play is now 12-4-0 and they remain first place in the standings. The V-Reds host the Acadia Axemen Saturday night at 7:00 pm.

1 comment:

Varsity Maniac said...

Good to hear. Time to get down to business!