Thursday, March 22, 2012

UNB Routs UQTR

The University of New Brunswick opened their 2012 Cavendish Farms University Cup with a convincing 6-1 win over the UQTR Patriotes in front of a sold-out crowd of 3750 tonight at the AUC.

The Varsity Reds got off to a quick start with a couple of good chances in the opening minutes but Patriotes goalie Guillaume Nadeau was up to the task each time. Just over two minutes in Jonathan Harty was called for a checking from behind penalty and a 10 minute misconduct, putting the dangerous UQTR power play on the ice. UNB successfully killed off the power play and not soon after Daine Todd, playing on the top line in place of the injured Shayne Wiebe, took a cross ice pass and buried it, giving the V-Reds a 1-0 lead at 5:12. Tyler Carroll and Chris Culligan picked up helpers on the goal. Less than two minutes later UNB would double their lead when Matt Fillier (MacDougall, Houde-Caron) got a couple of cracks at a loose puck near the crease during a goal-mouth scramble and buried it. They would almost add another later in the period but the ref ruled the whistle had blown before the puck had crossed the line. The V-Reds would head into the intermission with a 2-0 lead, outshooting the Patriotes 15-4 in the period.

UQTR looked much better in the second period as they held a 12-7 shot advantage and forced Travis Fullerton to make a couple of big saves, including a larcenous stop on Pierre-Luc Lessard during a two minute 5-on-3 for the Patriotes. However, the only goal in the period came off the stick of Culligan, who broke into the offensive zone with Todd on a 2-on-1 break. Todd out-waited the sliding defender and got the puck to Culligan in front of the net who made no mistake, giving UNB a 3-0 lead. Carroll picked up the other assist on the goal.

The Patriotes would finally break through at 6:26 of the third on a 4-on-4 courtesy of leading scorer Felix Petit. The goal broke a 9 period shut-out streak for Fullerton at the University Cup. The Varsity Reds would get the goal back only 84 seconds later when Todd (Gallant, Clendenning) scored his second of the game on the power play. UNB would put the game away with a pretty goal from Nick MacNeil (Harty) at 10:17 and another from Antoine Houde-Caron (Carroll) at 16:54. Shots favoured the V-Reds 11-5 in the period and 33-21 in the game.

- Stefan Salituro was in the line-up for his first postseason action as a V-Red and Spencer Corcoran replaced the injured Ben Wright on defense. Thomas Nesbitt (suspension), Shayne Wiebe, Luke Lynes, Jeff Lee, Chad Denny, Ben Wright, and Ben Shutron were all out. Shutron did take part in the pre-game warm-up, however.

- The players of the game were Daine Todd for UNB, with 2 goals and an assist, and Felix Petit for UQTR.

- The Varsity Reds went 34-30 in the face-off circle.

- UNB has now won 7 straight games, and 9 of their last 10, at the University Cup. They went 2-1 in 2008, 3-0 in 2009, and 3-0 last year.

- With the victory UNB now moves on to face Western on Saturday at 4:30PM. The Patriotes face the Mustangs tomorrow at 7PM in a game they need to win by atleast 5 to have a chance at advancing. If UQTR wins by fewer than 5 they are eliminated but makes UNB's road to Sunday's championship game a little easier. If UQTR loses then the Western/UNB game is a true semi-final, with the winner moving on to the final.