Friday, September 30, 2011

V-Reds Make It Four In A Row

WOODSTOCK – Thursday night the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds moved to 4-0 in preseason hockey play with a 3-2 victory over les Patriotes from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in a game played at the Carleton Civic Centre in Woodstock.

UNB's Jordan Clendenning, who grew up in Woodstock before moving downriver to Fredericton as a youngster to pursue his hockey dream, took both the ceremonial faceoff and the real faceoff in front of an appreciative crowd. The V-Reds' two Quebec-born players, Marc-Antoine Desnoyer (St. Hippolyte, QC) and Antoine Houde-Caron (Trois-Rivières, QC), were both part of the opening line-up against a UQTR squad that was once accustomed to recruiting the best Francophone players from the QMJHL.

The first period did not have any goals for the fans. Neither team looked especially fluid in the first period, other than Tommy Tremblay (La Tuque, QC) with an early chance on the power play against UNB's starting netminder Dan LaCosta (Labrador City, NF). UNB had three power plays of their own in the period and peppered rookie UQTR goalie Guillaume Nadeau (St-Jean-Chrysostome, QC) with shots when they had the man advantage. Shots were 16-6 for UNB in the first 20 minutes.

The second period continued along with no score and not a lot of great scoring chances for either team. UNB's Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) spelled off LaCosta in nets midway through the period. Rookie Thomas Nesbitt (Ottawa, ON) was playing his first game with the V-Reds since rejoining the team this week after spending time at the New Jersey Devils' camp, and as the match went on you could see him getting more comfortable with his new linemates Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) and Chris Culligan (Howie Centre, NS). At 12:42 Nesbitt won the battle for the puck in the UQTR corner, and fired the puck from below the goal line to MacNeil at the net for the redirect goal. UQTR's best scoring chance of the period was about three-quarters through when Olivier Ouellet (Drummondville, QC) had a partial break but couldn't beat Fullerton's glove.. Shots were ten apiece in the middle period.

The third period started off great for les Patriotes. Right off the opening faceoff UQTR swarmed the ice in front of Fullerton, and after several players had a whack at the puck it was Maxime Gravel (Château-Richer, QC) who was credited with the last touch before it went in at the 40 second mark. With the game now tied the tempo picked up measurably. At 7:30 it was the V-Reds flooding the offensive zone, and Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) wristed the puck through a screen of players into the top corner. UNB increased their lead to two goals at 9:55 when Nesbitt scored a pretty one from MacNeil and Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). However less than a minute later, UQTR was handed a golden opportunity to get back in the game when V-Reds d-man Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for head contact when he nailed a UQTR player in the slot. Harty had been a physical force all night, and as unhappy as he was to leave the ice and the game it was probably the right call by the referee.

UQTR only managed one goal on the five-minute power play, when Toimmy Tremblay finished a tic-tac-toe passing play at 12:22. However Tremblay wore the goat horns in the last minute of the game, when he was called for charging on Nesbitt -- putting UQTR a man down for their last chance to tie the game late. Fittingly it was Nesbitt who had UNB's best scoring chance on the power play in the dying seconds of the period.

Final shots were 36-25 for UNB in the 3-1 victory. The three game stars were: #1 Thomas Nesbitt, #2 Guillaume Nadeau, #3 Jordan Clendenning. The V-Reds head across the border to play the NCAA's New Hampshire on Saturday and Maine on Sunday (both games at 4:00 pm EDT) while UQTR is in Truro Friday night for a game against Saint Mary's, before retracing their steps back to Fredericton on Saturday to play St. Thomas.


Anonymous said...

Nesbitt's a keeper, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering...what kind of turn out was there in Woodstock?

Anonymous said...

Not a great turnout, but in their defence they were sandwiched between 2 Slammers games. I'm thinking 300 tops in the stands.
Nesbitt is definately going to be a great pickup.