Friday, January 10, 2014

Special Teams Lift V-Reds

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used three power play goals, a shorthanded marker, and some exceptional penalty killing to double up the visiting UPEI Panthers 4-2 tonight at the AUC. With the win the Varsity Reds move to 13-3-1 on the season, three points off the pace being set by the 14-1-2 Acadia Axemen.

The game did not start out well for UNB's penalty killing, however, as UPEI got on the board on their first power play of the game 6:57 into the opening frame. Despite surrendering the first 7 shots of the game the Varsity Reds would answer only 71 seconds later - also on their first man-advantage of the game - when a Jordan Murray (Culligan, Maillet) shot from the blue-line ricocheted off the post and past Panthers goalie Mavric Parks. The score remained tied through one period of play with UPEI out-shooting UNB 13-9.

The V-Reds would take their first lead of the night at 9:59 of the second period when they capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play. After working the puck around the offensive zone Murray (from Culligan and Maillet again) scored his 2nd of the night with a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle to the right of Parks. UNB controlled the majority of play in the latter part of the period, holding a shot advantage of 13-9 in the stanza, but it was UPEI scoring at 18:34 to tie the game at 2 on a long shot from the side boards that eluded V-Reds goalie Charles Lavigne. The game would remain tied after 40 minutes of play.

The V-Reds got into some trouble in the 3rd period as they took a penalty near the end of the 2nd period that carried over as well as the first four of the 3rd, all within the first 10:16 of the period. This included a lengthy 5-on-3 for the UPEI. However, not only would the V-Reds they successfully kill them all off they would get the only goal in that time as Mike Thomas (MacNeil) ripped a slap shot into the top corner while shorthanded at 3:59. This proved to be the game winner as the Panthers took three penalties of their own in the last 9 minutes of the game, which not only stalled the comeback effort but led to another power play goal for UNB with Philippe Halley (Cutting, Braes) rounding out the scoring with his first career CIS goal at 18:50. UPEI out-shot UNB 11-9 in the period and 33-31 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll, Dylan Willick, and J.P. Labardo were all out the line-up for UNB.

- According to his Twitter, Antoine Houde-Caron is no longer a member of the Varsity Reds. It appears as though he graduated from UNB at Christmas and is now doing his graduate studies at Concordia University, where he will also play for the Stingers. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

- UPEI went 1 for 8 on the power play while UNB was 3 for 8 to go along with a shorthanded goal. There were a total of 22 minor penalties in the game, the majority coming in the last two periods of play.

- Philippe Maillet was assessed his first minor penalty of the season in the 3rd period.

- Murray, Culligan, and Dana Fraser (both goals for UPEI) were named the game's three stars.

- UNB went 44 and 33 in the face-off circle. Cam Braes led the way, winning 18 out of his 24 draws.

- Attendance was 2016.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight: Acadia kept rolling with a 5-1 home win over Saint Mary's, Moncton defeated St. Thomas 6-2 at home, and Dalhousie rallied from a 3-1 deficit to stun St. FX 5-3 in Halifax.

- UNB travels to Moncton tomorrow for a 7PM date with Les Aigles Bleus.