Tuesday, February 26, 2013

V-Reds Punch Ticket To AUS Finals, University Cup

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds clinched a berth in the AUS Finals with a 5-1 victory over the UPEI Panthers tonight in Charlottetown, taking the series 3 games to 1. More importantly, the V-Reds earn a berth at next month's University Cup in Saskatoon.

The game got off to an ominous start for UNB as Jordan Mayer beat Dan LaCosta only 40 seconds into the contest, giving the Panthers their first opening goal of the series. Just after the midway point of the first period UNB's Chad Denny was assessed a 5 minute major for charging and a game misconduct after he absolutely demolished a Panthers player, but UPEI picked up a two minute penalty for retaliation on the play. On the ensuing 4-on-4 Nick MacNeil (Pridham) picked up the puck in front of Panthers goaltender Wayne Savage and beat him from in close at 12:19, evening the game. The V-Reds would kill off the 3 minute disadvantage and head to the intermission tied at 1. Shots favoured UPEI 15-8 in the frame.

Unlike previous games, when UNB waited until the 3rd period to pull away, tonight they used a big 2nd period to take control of the contest. First, Cameron Critchlow (Nesbitt, Desnoyers) deflected a point shot in front to give UNB their first lead of the night at 9:58. Then, at 14:41, Thomas Nesbitt finished off a 2-on-1 with Carroll to give the V-Reds a two goal lead. Chris Culligan also picked up an assist on the goal. Finally, after two UPEI penalties gave UNB an extended 5-on-3, Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (Shutron, Culligan) rifled a slap shot from in close to increase the lead to 4-1 at 18:25. Shots in the period were 14-5 for the Varsity Reds.

The Panthers started to lose their composure in the 3rd as they took 5 of the first 6 penalties, but UNB was content with milking the clock. Ben Wright provided the final goal at 15:15, one timing a Thomas Nesbitt pass from just inside the blue line into the top corner. Carroll also received an assist on the play. The rest of the game was filled with penalties as their were scrums at 16:18, 17:37, and 20:00. Six players received 10 minute misconducts, include 4 V-Reds (Desnoyers, Critchlow, Kidd, Wright). Shots were 10-7 in the period and 32-27 in the game for UNB.

- Cameron Critchlow was back in the line-up for UNB, replacing Stefan Salituro, while Chad Denny replaced Adrian Robertson on the back-end. Tim Priamo was also out.

- UNB was 1 for 7 on the power play. UPEI was 0 for 4.

- The teams accounted for a combined 42 infractions and 175 penalty minutes (25 for 99 for UPEI and 17 for 77 for UNB.

- Dan LaCosta was named the player of the game.

- Attendance was 1459.

- UNB outscored UPEI 21-9 in the 4 games.

- The V-Reds will now meet the Saint Mary's Huskies in the best-of-3 AUS Finals. The schedule has yet to be announced but we know UNB will be hosting game 1 and game 3 (if necessary).

- UNB will be making their 3rd straight appearance at the University Cup and their 6th in the previous 7 years.