Friday, January 31, 2014

Halley Lifts V-Reds Into First Place

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were pushed to overtime for the 2nd consecutive game tonight, but once again found a way to come out on the winning end. Philippe Halley played the role of hero as his highlight-reel goal gave the V-Reds a 3-2 win over St. FX  this evening at the AUC. With the victory - UNB's 8th in a row - they move to 19-3-1 on the season and into sole possession of 1st place, two points ahead of the Acadia Axemen.

- St. FX got on the board first when Jason Bast continued his strong play against UNB since being controversially left off of the Canadian Universiade team with a shot from the high-slot that Joel Vienneau didn't see at 15:24 of the first period. The X-Men would take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, out-shooting UNB 10-9.

- After grabbing the lead the X-Men played a game very reminiscent of  2010, clogging up the neutral zone and not allowing UNB easy access into their zone. The Varsity Reds were finally able to break through when Matt Petgrave (MacNeil, Braes) finished off an odd-man rush with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that beat X-Men goalie Drew Owsley at 10:22 of the 2nd period. That would be the only goal of the period as UNB held an 11-7 advantage in shots.

- The V-Reds took their first lead of the night only 2:20 into the 3rd period when Chris Culligan somehow got the puck to a well-covered Philippe Maillet in front of the net. Despite having a defender draped all over him Maillet then somehow gained control of the puck long enough to slide a backhander into the net. UNB would find themselves in trouble just over six minutes later when they took a pair of penalties less than a minute apart. It only took Rob Slaney 21 seconds to convert on the 5-on-3 to tie the game at 2. The game would remain tied at the end of regulation with UNB out-shooting St. FX 8-7 in the period.

- Overtime would only last 49 seconds as Philippe Halley took the puck near the blue-line and stick-handled his way through the X-Men defence before beating Owley with a backhanded shot short-side, sending the 2200 in attendance home happy. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers and Cam Braes picked up the assists on the goal, which was the only shot in the extra frame. Shots in the game were 29-24 for the V-Reds.

- Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out of the line-up for UNB. Tim Priamo was moved up to forward for the game.

- UNB's power play continues to struggle, going 0 for 5 in the game. St. FX was 1 for 6.

- Halley was named the player of the game. Maillet and Culligan were the 2nd and 3rd stars.

- UNB only won 29 out of 63 face-offs. Braes (6 for 18) and Willick (2 for 9) were off their game while MacDougall (9 for 13) and Culligan (9 for 16) had solid outings.

- This was the first time this season that Vienneau has started back to back games.

- For the 3rd straight game UNB surrendered the first goal.

- In other games around the AUS tonight the UPEI Panthers went on the road and upset Acadia 5-2, Moncton defeated Saint Mary's 6-4 at home, and St. Thomas snapped their skid with a wild 8-6 win over Dalhousie in Halifax.

- The Varsity Reds will look to continue their winning streak tomorrow night when they host the Saint Mary's Huskies at 7PM at the AUC.