Sunday, March 17, 2013

2012 - 2013 CIS CHAMPIONS!

Photo courtesy Nick Murray
UPDATE: Nick Murray has posted his game recap here.

Saskatoon proved to be a good luck charm for the 2nd time as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds capped off another incredible season by winning their 5th University Cup championship in school history with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over fellow AUS rival Saint Mary's Huskies tonight at Credit Union Centre.

It wasn't their prettiest or best played game of the season as the Huskies neutralized the high-powered V-Reds for most of the game, preferring to keep the game a tight-checking, defensive affair, and limiting UNB to shots mostly from the perimeter. SMU was able to take away UNB's time and space for most of the night.

The Varsity Reds got their only puck past SMU goalie Anthony Peters at 10:39 of the first period with a power play goal from Daine Todd (MacNeil, Pridham) when he banged in a puck in the crease just moments before Peters could cover it for a whistle. The shots favoured UNB 12-7 as they held the advantage in play over the first 20 minutes.

The Huskies rebounded from the first period and started to tilt the ice in their favour over the last two periods, but Dan LaCosta was up to the challenge, making a couple of huge saves to keep SMU off the board. It wouldn't be until 19:49 of the third period that V-Reds fans could finally breathe a little easier when Tyler Carroll picked up the puck at centre ice and fired it into an empty net, giving UNB a 2-0 lead and securing the team's 4th University Cup in the last 7 seasons. Shots in the 3rd period were only 5-4 for SMU, with UNB holding a 23-17 advantage in the game.

- Chad Denny, Tim Priamo, Cameron Critchlow, and Luke Lynes all remained scratched for UNB.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play while SMU was 0 for 4.

- Attendance was 3918.

- LaCosta and Peters were named their respective team's player of the game.

- Forward Tyler Carroll was named the tournament MVP after collecting 4 goals in the 3 games.

- Along with Carroll the tournament all-stars, as selected by the media, included Varsity Reds forward Nick MacNeil, defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, and goalie Dan LaCosta. Alberta defenceman Jesse Craige and Saint Mary's forward Cory Tanaka rounded out the squad.

- This was only the 4th shutout in Championship Game history. Of course, UNB shutout the McGill Redmen 4-0 two years ago in winning their 4th title.

- LaCosta picked up his 3rd shutout in the last 4 games against SMU, after notching two in the AUS Finals two weeks ago. This was especially impressive considering UNB was only able to score 7 goals in those 4 games.

- For 5th year players Colby Pridham, Bryce Swan, Dion Campbell, Travis Fullerton, Dan LaCosta, and Chad Denny, they end their university career on the highest note possible. Fullerton and Campbell win their 3rd career University Cup, Pridham his 2nd (2010 with SMU), and the others their first.

- This is the 3rd time UNB has won the National Championship along with the AUS title in the same year, having done so in 1998 and 2011 as well. They lost in the AUS Finals in 2007 and 2009 to Moncton and Saint Mary's, respectively. 

- The V-Reds continue their streak of winning in odd-numbered years. They have now won in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

- Only 6 more months until hockey season begins again...