Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lavigne Slams Door Again, V-Reds Clinch 1st

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds are definitely heading into the AUS playoffs on the right foot as they closed out the regular season with a 2-0 win over the Acadia Axemen tonight in Wolfville. With the victory - their 13th consecutive - the Varsity Reds finish atop the standings for the 7th straight year with a 24-3-1 record and will enjoy home-ice advantage throughout the AUS playoffs..

UNB received 2nd period goals from Adrian Robertson (from MacNeil and MacDougall at 8:29) and Chris Culligan (Murray, Maillet) while on a 5-on-3 power play at 14:48. Charles Lavigne did the rest, turning aside all 32 shots he faced for his 3rd straight shutout.

- The Varsity Reds iced their usual line-up with Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin both remaining out due to injuries.

- Shot in the game were 32-25 for Acadia, with period totals of 9-5, 7-14, and 16-6.

- UNB went 1 for 5 on the power play, converting on a two-man advantage. Their penalty killing was excellent, holding the Axemen scoreless on 5 attempts, including a 64 second 5-on-3. 

- The V-Reds had their worst game of the season in the face-off circle, only winning 27 out of 70 draws.

- Lavigne, Philippe Halley, and the Axemen's Geoff Schemitsch were the game's three stars.

- This was Lavigne's 4th shutout of the year.

- Lavigne's shutout streak now sits at 196:11, dating back to a 1st period goal he allowed against St. Thomas on January 24th. It is the longest stretch by a V-Reds goaltender since Travis Fullerton went 292:39 between goals allowed from January 10th-31st, 2009.

- The win snaps a 3 game losing streak for the Varsity Reds in Wolfville.

- The V-Reds 24-3-1 record this season is tied with the 1997-1998 team for the 3rd best in school history. Only the 2009-2010 (27-1-0) and 2007-2008 (26-1-1) squads were better.

- In other games around the AUS tonight Saint Mary's defeated St. Thomas 6-1 in Fredericton, Moncton easily handled Dalhousie 7-3 on the road, and UPEI got by St. FX 4-1 at home.

- The final AUS standings look like this:
1) UNB: 24-3-1
2) Acadia: 21-4-3
3) Moncton: 17-11-0
4) UPEI: 15-10-3
5) Saint Mary's: 14-14-0
6) St. FX: 12-13-3
7) St. Thomas: 6-20-2
8) Dalhousie: 3-24-1

- The AUS playoffs will get underway later this week with Moncton facing St. FX and UPEI taking on Saint Mary's in the best-of-3 quarter-finals.

- Both UNB and Acadia will enjoy a 1st round bye, with the V-Reds facing the lowest remaining seed in the best-of-5 semi-finals. The first two games are scheduled for February 26th and 27th at the AUC.