Friday, January 25, 2013

V-Reds Srengthen Grip On 1st Place

UPDATE: Nick Murray, via UNB Athletics, has posted his game recap.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds blew a two goal lead but rebounded with a solid third period to get by the 2nd place Saint Mary's Huskies 4-2 before a sell-out crowd of 3470 on Southside Elementary School Night tonight at the AUC. With the win the V-Reds improve to 19-5-0 on the season and are now 4 points clear of the Huskies. UNB also holds the tiebreaker over SMU with a 14-11 goals for advantage in the team's four head-to-head-meetings this season.

After an evenly played, scoreless, first period in which UNB held a slight 7-6 shots advantage the V-Reds would take a 2-0 lead just 6:59 into the middle frame. Daine Todd (Houde-Caron, MacDougall) gave UNB the lead at 2:03 after an innocent looking shot from the blue-line somehow got by a maze of players in front and past Huskie's goalie Anthony Peters. Only five minutes later, on a V-Reds power play, Nick MacNeil (Pridham, Culligan) kept the puck on a 3-on-1 break and scored his 12th of the season. However, the Huskie's power play got them back in the game as both Lucas Bloodoff, at 9:35, and Cory Tanaka, at 17:17, beat Dan LaCosta with the man advantage to send the game into the final period tied at two. Shots in the period were 13-12 in favour of UNB.

In the third period both teams had a number of high quality chances, including breakaways by each side, but both goaltenders stood their ground to keep the game deadlocked. The V-Reds would break the tie at 14:27 after some good work down low resulted in Cameron Critchlow (Culligan, Todd) banging in a loose puck. Taylor MacDougall (Culligan, Shutron) iced the game with an empty-netter with 43 seconds remaining. Shots in the period were 14-4 for UNB, who held an advantage of 34-22 for the game.

- Tim Priamo was back in the line-up for UNB, but they still played a forward short as Cam Braes, Tyler Carroll, Adrian Robertson, Josh Kidd, and Luke Lynes all remained out. Critchlow also left the game shortly after scoring his game-winning goal as he took a skate blade to the face.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play. SMU was 2 for 3.

- Culligan, Critchlow, and Todd were the game's three stars.

- In other AUS action tonight Dalhousie kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over St. Thomas in Halifax, UPEI blasted St. FX 8-2 at home, and Moncton picked up a big 3-2 road victory over Acadia.

- The AUS standings now look like this, with only 4 games remaining for each team: UNB (38 points), Saint Mary's (34), Acadia (32), St. FX (28), UPEI (28), Moncton (25), Dalhouise (17), and St. Thomas (7).

- UNB is back in action at the AUC tomorrow night when they welcome the St. FX X-Men to town. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.