Friday, January 27, 2012

UNB Plays Host to Acadia and Dalhousie This Weekend

This weekend the AUS#2/CIS#3 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds welcome the AUS #1/CIS#5 Acadia Axemen (15 -6-1) and AUS #7 Dalhousie Tigers (6-13-2) to the AUC on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, for two games that will go a long way in helping sort out the crowded AUS playoff picture. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7PM and Friday’s game against the Axemen is not only a battle for first place but, more importantly, will be the 2nd Annual ‘Pink In The Rink’ which helps support the fight against breast cancer. A breakdown of the head to head stats of these teams can be found below.

The V-Reds look to rebound from a tough week in which they went 1-2 and fell out of first place in both the AUS and CIS national rankings. Despite their recent struggles UNB still leads the conference in a number of categories, including goals/game (4.38), goals against/game (2.90), shots/game (35.29), shots against/game (23.7), faceoff percentage (56.1), and shorthanded goals (11). They are lead in scoring by Kyle Bailey (26 points), Chris Culligan (22), and Luke Gallant (21).

The Axemen have won their last four games to move into sole possession of first place in the AUS. In two prior meetings this season the teams have split. UNB won 3-0 at the AUC in October while Acadia returned the favour two weeks later, defeating UNB 6-5 in a shootout in Wolfville. Acadia currently leads the conference in penalty killing and sit in the upper half of most other important categories. They are lead by Andrew Clark (an AUS leading 35 points), Christopher Owens (27), and Liam Heelis (20).

The Tigers struggled to begin the season, going 2-11-1 in the first half. However, they have rebounded to win 4 of their first 7 games of the second half, thanks in large part to a coaching change and players returning from injuries. This has moved them up to 7th in the conference, only one point behind St. FX for the 6th and final playoff spot. UNB has won 18 of their last 19 against Dalhousie, including both meetings between the teams this season – 10-1 at the AUC in late October and 9-2 in Halifax two weeks later.  The Tigers are led in scoring by Benjamin Breault (23 points), former SMU defenceman David MacDonald (17), and Pier-Alexandre Vandall (15).

If you cannot make it the AUC this weekend both games will be webcast here. You can also follow UNBHockey via Twitter here.