Sunday, January 2, 2011

UNB takes first game of Pete Kelly Cup 3-1

The first game of the sixth annual Peterbilt Pete Kelly Cup saw the host University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds get the early lead and hold off a game Providence Friars squad in an evenly played game that UNB eventually won 3-1. The two teams will meet again Sunday night.

The Friars, who play in the NCAA's ultra-competitive Hockey East conference, are making their first ever visit to UNB's Aitken University Centre. They had a good opening shift until they turned the puck over and speedy V-Red forward Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) worked a give-and-go with Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB) and scored on Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, ON) in the Providence net just 33 seconds into the game. UNB carried the momentum after the goal and were outshooting the Friars 7-1, including several good chances on a power play, before they got into penalty trouble midway through the first period. With Matt Fillier (Durham, NS) off for hooking and Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) off for boarding, Providence had a 5-on-3 man advantage for 66 seconds and Ian O'Conner (Londonderry, NH) knocked in the rebound to tie the game at 10:18 after Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) made the original save off Eric Baier (North Kingstown, RI). That was all the scoring in the period that saw UNB outshoot the Friars 13-8 and go 0-for-3 on the power play.

The second period was pretty even, except the Friars took three minor penalties to UNB's one, and the V-Reds cashed in on the power play at 13:37 when big defencemen Josh Kidd came in off the point and snapped a shot that may have deflected past Beaudry to put UNB back in the lead. Shots were six apiece in the period and there was a good physical intensity to the play.

Providence's best opportunity to tie the game just after a power play near the five minute mark when Kevin Hart (Cumberland, ME) rang a shot off the post. At 13:08 Providence took a costly penalty for too many men on the ice. Beaudry made a great save off UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) in the slot, and then caught a break when Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) saw his stick shatter when he tried to one-time a Bailey pass into the open side of the net. However shortly afterwards defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) fed a great pass to a rushing Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) who snapped the puck past Beaudry at 14:40. UNB goalie Fullerton also picked up an assist on the power play goal. With 40 seconds to go in the period Providence pulled their goalie, and UNB's Kidd took a roughing penalty five seconds later so the Friars played 6-on-4 to close out the game. Fullerton stood up to the furious Friars push and made several saves before time expired to preserve the win.

Shots on goal favoured UNB 27-23 in their 3-1 win. The V-Reds were 2-for-8 on the power play while Providence was 1-for-6 with the man advantage. The players of the game were Eric Baier for Providence and Dion Campbell for UNB.

Despite giving up the early goal, Providence head coach Tim Army was pleased with his team's start. "It is our first game in three weeks and we're up against a very good team in UNB. They are very disciplined, well coached and have a winning culture. They know how to win, and we can learn from that." Providence senior Eric Baier thought his team came out a little slow, against "a team that plays a similar style to us." He added that the extended five-on-three in the middle period, which led to a goal, "got us back in the game"  against a UNB team which "is almost like a Hockey East rival now."

UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall noted that the Friars were a much improved team from the one the Varsity Reds defeated 6-3 on October 9, 2009. "They are a real good opponent and we had to have a solid team effort to get the win. They have a back pressure that we don't normally see from teams in the AUS. From a game management perspective we got to try out some different player combinations against a very good team."

Game Notes: Before the game there was a brief tribute and moment's silence for Tony Proudfoot, who passed away Thursday after a heroic and public three-year battle with ALS. Proudfoot was a former UNB football star before going onto a professional career in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes. UNB forward Taylor Procyshen played only the first period, as planned, as he works himself back into the lineup after missing all of the conference games in the first half with post concussion symptoms. Coach MacDougall was pleased with his play and expects him to play two periods in the second game against Providence.

1 comment:

UNB Bruins Fan said...

Anyone have an update on Lee?