Thursday, March 7, 2013

2012 - 2013 AUS Champions!

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds captured their 3rd consecutive AUS banner with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies before a capacity crowd of 3450 tonight at the AUC. With the win the V-Reds will go into the University Cup as the AUS Champion and will be seeded no lower than third.

UNB came out and dominated the first period of play, out-shooting the Huskies 15-3. However, it took until the 20 seconds of the frame before they finally solved SMU goaltender Anthony Peters. Cam Braes had the puck on the side boards and found Dion Campbell streaking all alone through the slot. Campbell's backhand somehow got through Peters, giving the V-Reds a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

After a scoreless second period in which the Varsity Reds held a 12-9 advantage in shots the Huskies threw everything they had at UNB goaltender Dan LaCosta in the 3rd period. LaCosta was up to the challenge though, stopping all 13 shots directed his way, including a number of quality chances. The V-Reds got some insurance at the 14:55 mark when Colby Pridham and a SMU defender were tied up with one another in the corner allowing Antoine Houde-Caron to retrieve the loose puck at their feet, cut across the crease, and beat Peters with an innocent looking backhanded shot. The Huskies pulled their goalie in the final minute to no avail as the V-Reds celebrated their 2nd AUS Championship in 3 years on home ice. The shots in the period favoured SMU 13-10 while UNB held a 37-25 advantage in the game.

- Tim Priamo replaced Chad Denny in the lineup. Adrian Robertson and Cameron Critchlow were also out.

- UNB was 0 for 3 on the power play. SMU was 0 for 5.

- Dion Campbell was named the player of the game. Dan LaCosta was named the series MVP after recording two shutouts and a 0.941 in the three games.

- The last team to win 3 AUS titles in a row was the Acadia Axemen, who accomplished the feat between 1991-1994.

- UNB now has 13 AUS titles, tied with Saint Mary's for 2nd most all-time. St. FX leads the way with 24.

- This was the 4th time UNB has played an AUS Championship-deciding game at home. They are now 3-1 in such games, beating St. FX 5-4 in OT in 2010/11 and Acadia 3-2 in 1997/98. They lost 5-1 to Saint Mary's in 2008/09.

- Although the pools and schedule for the University Cup won't be known until the OUA Championship is decided on Saturday it is likely that UNB will enter the tournament as the #2 seed (behind Alberta) and be in the same group as the host Saskatchewan Huskies and the OUA Champion (either Waterloo or UQTR).

With special thanks to Eric Drummie and the RedSea Database