Saturday, February 5, 2011

UNB makes it 10 in a row with hard fought 2-1 win over StFX

ANTIGONISH – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds jumped out to an early lead in the hockey game on the road against the StFX X-Men, survived a penalty filled second period, and the V-Reds were in control until late, when heavy handed refereeing allowed the X-Men back into the game. UNB held on for the 2-1 win in a match that meant more to StFX, since UNB has already clinched first place in the AUS standings. With the loss the X-Men slide from a tie for the all important second place and the other first round playoff bye, to a tie for third place.

UNB scored on the second shift of the game, just 56 seconds in, when captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) carried the puck into the right corner and no X-Men picked up Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB) as he drove right down centre ice to the net and then redirected a quick Bailey pass through the feet of Joey Perricone (San Juan Capistrano, CA). StFX shortly after had back to back power plays, and in a story line to be repeated almost all night, UNB aggressively killed them off. UNB made it 2-0 at 10:12 when first year forward Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) beat Perricone on the short side with a puck that squeezed inside the post. It was the third consecutive shot that UNB attempted on that short side, and the StFX goaltender barely stopped the previous two shots. The first period ended up being far more wide open than normally occurs when these two teams meet, and was highly entertaining as a result.

The second period was more physical, with far less flow as the teams got bogged down with penalties. Midway through the period UNB defencemen Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (Hippolyte, PQ) had his stick held by Bryce Swan (Alder Point, NS) as he attempted to drive the StFX net, which then led to a scrum in the blue paint. Desnoyers took exception to something Swan said or did and could be barely contained by a linesman. On his way towards the penalty box Swan next engaged with Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) and drew him into a penalty. When it was all said and done Swan, Harty and Desnoyers all picked up minor penalties for roughing and 10-minute misconducts, with Desnoyers picking up an extra minor for slashing and StFX's Mark Louis (Ponoka, AB) also receiving a minor for roughing. Just over a minute later, with StFX on the power play, there was another after-the-whistle scrum and Bailey was assessed a double minor for high sticking and roughing and X-Men Spencer McAvoy (St. Albert, AB) and Jason Bast (Moose Jaw, SK) called for roughing. There were more penalties as the period ground along, but no scoring

 The third period was more of the same – strong physical play and lots of scrums after whistles. UNB killed off consecutive penalties to Taylor Procyshen (Emerald Park, SK) in the first half of the third period, and late in the game looked to be cruising to a win and potential shutout for netminder Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB). Then referee Steve Starzomski called three straight penalties to UNB, giving the X-Men an extended 5-on-3. At approximately 17:54 (the time isn't certain because the clock was not started for perhaps 21 seconds after the drop of the puck) Chris Hulit (Sault Ste Marie, ON) scored from the left circle on a one-timer into the open left side of the net while the X-Men had a two-man advantage. With 1:41 remaining StFX pulled Perricone to create a 6-on-4 situation, and Bailey nearly scored off the face-off seconds later. Harty also had a shot that just missed the empty net, while at the other end of the ice Yeomans stood tall to thwart the X-Men comeback.

The UNB penalty killing, and Yeomans in nets, was the difference in the game as StFX went 1-for-10 on the power play while the V-Reds were unable to score on their 4 power play opportunities. The final shot count, which appeared stingy, was 33-20 in favour of the X-Men.

For UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB), who played a strong game, the win was important even though it had no effect on their place atop the standings. “These guys kicked us out of the playoffs last year and we want to continue winning because last year we didn't play our best hockey going into the playoffs and it is important that we are playing our best hockey of the season going into the playoffs. It was a tough game and we expect the same tomorrow night.” Saturday night the V-Reds will be at the Halifax Forum to play the second place Saint Mary's Huskies.

12 comments:

David Kilfoil said...

I forget to mention, and Eric pointed it out last week, that the victory marks the 200th career win for UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. That didn't take long ...

David Kilfoil said...

The last third period shenanigans with the score clock were pretty significant, and fortunately not more costly. Gallant was called for a phantom holding call on the PK at 17:51, giving the X-Men a 5-on-3. They didn't start the clock, and didn't notice until Chris Hulit scored. They took a few seconds off the clock, and noted the goal occurring at 17:54. Except, by UNB's count after they checked the video, 21 seconds elapsed between the face-off and the goal.

I'm not suggesting a conspiracy here, but the X-Men certainly got a lot of late help from the on-ice and off-ice officials.

:-)

Ken C. said...

I could only shake my head as I watched, and at times it was hard to see for sure what happened on the webcast. There's a few of these kinds of games every year. I don't recall such a blatant abuse of the score clock combined with a 5-on-3 power play before late in a game. Wow, what a coincidence. Could have got ugly if X tied it.

Anonymous said...

"Desnoyers took exception to something Swan said or did and could be barely contained by a linesman."
Looked to me like the linesman might have been a bit aggressive on this play. Anyone else think so?

Anonymous said...

The aggressiveness of the linesman kinda fit right into the general theme of the officials.

In the 1st period there was a post whistle scrum in front of the X net and X players got in about 3 punches to UNB players with no call at all. There was a slash along the boards by an X player that was heard all over the rink with no call.

From then on in the 2nd and 3rd every scrum after a whistle no matter which team instigated it seemed to result in an X power play.

The hockey in the AUS is too good to let it be demeaned by the type of officiating fans were subjected to last night. UNB the more highly skilled team had 4 power plays and St. FX was the beneficiary of 12 power plays including a couple of 5 on 3's.

I realize that playing at home is supposed to be advantageous but the one sideness last night was pretty blatant.

David Kilfoil said...

I thought at the time as well that the linesman might be contributing to Desnoyers' dicontent, but it was hard to judge. Desnoyer was certainly not happy with how he was being treated/wrestled by the linesman and I don't know the linesman's justification to grab onto him in the first place after he got caught up with Swan.

Anonymous said...

I think you're a bit mixed up with the Swan/Desnoyers incident. Swan fought by the defensemen to get a scoring attempt on Yeomans. He drew a penalty and then the scrum started. I was at the game and you if you don't think UNB players initiated some stuff after the whistle then you are wearing blinders. The chippiness went both ways and X did not get a powerplay after every scrum. I would say that the UNB penalties were deserved and the game was fairly even.

Anonymous said...

If anyone was or is wearing blinders perhaps you should look in the mirror. On Swan's rush, Swan stuck out his right arm to impede the UNB defenceman from cutting him off. If you don't believe me try watching the SSN replay.
I will concede that X did not get a power play after every scrum as a couple ended up even but how do you account for the 12 to 4 power play imbalance.
Most knowledgeable fans would admit that UNB is the more highly skilled team.

UNB Bruins Fan said...

Whatever....St. FX had three times as many PP's (including a couple 5 on 3's) and the benefit of some extra time on the clock....and still couldn't win.

Anonymous said...

If a forward holding off a defensemen with his arm is a penalty then there would be many of these penalties in a game. Most knowledgeable hockey fans also know that the more highly skilled team does not always prevail in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between a defenceman holding a forward's stick while he goes to the net...or a forward holding a defenceman's stick? Just because the latter isn't called very often doesn't make it any less of a penalty in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Wow getting in a 2010 dig...nice chirps

Come up with that one yourself?