Sunday, March 17, 2013

UNB Rolls Over Patriotes, Advances To Final

UPDATE: Nick Murray has his game recap posted here.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds  punched their ticket to the CIS Championship game with a convincing 8-3 victory over the UQTR Patriotes tonight at the University Cup in Saskatoon. With the win the V-Reds will meet the Saint Mary's Huskies tomorrow night in an all-AUS final.

The Varsity Reds got out to a great start as they received goals from Nick MacNeil (Wright, Robertson) only 45 seconds in and then another, from Bryce Swan (Houde-Caron), at 2:28 to grab a quick 2-0 lead. The Patriotes stormed back however, taking the lead with three quick goals against Dan LaCosta in just over 5 minutes of play. UNB would answer right back thanks to a Tyler Carroll (Nesbitt, Culligan) goal at 9:59 to tie the game at 3, which is how the first period would end. Shots in the period were 18-9 for UNB.

The Varsity Reds came out in the 2nd period and put together perhaps their best period of the season. They outshot the Patriotes 22-7 and took control of the game with two goals. First, Dion Campbell (MacNeil, Todd) jumped on a loose puck at the side of the net to beat Patriotes goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas at 5:11 and then MacNeil (Campbell, Pridham) deposited a bouncing puck in front of the crease into the net at 10:53 to give UNB a 5-3 lead heading into the final period.

The Varsity Reds salted the game away in the third period with three goals on 11 more shots. Tyler Carroll (unassisted) picked the pocket of a Patriotes defender and sniped a shot top corner at 8:36, Thomas Nesbitt converted a Chris Culligan pass from the high slot at 13:43, and then Bryce Swan (Houde-Caron, MacDougall) snapped a shot from the left face-off circle and into the net at 15:01. Shots in the period were 11-6 for UNB, who held an overall advantage of 51-22.

- Chad Denny, Tim Priamo, and Cameron Critchlow all remained out for UNB as the V-Reds went with the same line-up as the one they used against Saskatchewan.

- UNB was 0 for 6 on the power play. UQTR was 1 for 7.

- Nick MacNeil (2 goals, 1 assist) was named UNB's player of the game. Pierre-Olivier Morin (1 goal) took the honour for the Patriotes.

- Attendance was 3649.

- With 8 goals scored UNB set a school record for most goals in a University Cup game. The previous record had been 6 (done multiple times).

- There have been 3 previous all-AUS finals and UNB has been involved in all of them. In 1998 the V-Reds won their first championship in school history with a 6-3 win over Acadia in Saskatoon, in 2004 St. FX defeated UNB 3-2 in double overtime in Fredericton, and in 2007 in Moncton UNB took down the home-town Aigles Bleu 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Rob Pearce.

- This will mark UNB's 5th appearance in the Championship Game in the last 7 seasons. They won in 2007, 2009, and 2011. They lost in 2008 and did not appear in either 2010 or 2012. 

- UNB and Saint Mary's have played 7 times this season, with the Varsity Reds emerging victorious on 4 occasions. The teams split their 4 regular season games before the V-Reds beat the Huskies 2 games to 1 in the AUS Championship.

- Colby Pridham will, of course, be facing off with his former team tomorrow night. He was injured during Saint Mary's run to the 2010 University Cup.

- Game time tomorrow night is scheduled for 8:30 PM AST and will be broadcast on Sportsnet One. Of note, there will be a viewing party at the Snooty Fox for the game. Wear your red and black.