Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lavigne, V-Reds Ground Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds wrapped up the home portion of their regular season schedule tonight the same way they have the previous two seasons - with an entertaining win over the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. The V-Reds scored a pair of goals in each of the final two periods in a 4-0 victory that extends their winning streak to 11 games and moves them to 22-3-1 on the season. They maintain a 2 point advantage over the Acadia Axemen heading into the final weekend of the season.

- UNB's top line of Chris Culligan, Philippe Maillet, and Philippe Halley continue to be scorching hot as they combined for the game's first three goals. Halley (Culligan, Maillet) got the scoring started 12:40 into the 2nd period and Culligan would make it 2-0 on the power play at 16:58 from Maillet and Murray. Halley (from Maillet and Culligan at 7:27 of the 3rd period) and Nick MacNeil (on a 5-on-3 power play from Petgrave and Desnoyers at 12:19) rounded out the scoring.

- Charles Lavigne made his 1st start since January 24th and turned away all 18 shots for his 2nd shutout of the season.

- Shots favoured UNB 41-18, with period totals of 15-5, 9-8, and 17-5.

- The V-Reds played one man short as Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out of the line-up due to injuries, and Mike Thomas was serving an automatic one-game suspension after picking up his 3rd misconduct of the season in last night's game against St. Thomas.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play. Moncton was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- The V-Reds won 29 out of 57 face-offs.

- Culligan, Halley, and Lavigne were the game's three stars.

- The game was delayed for a few minutes at the beginning of the 2nd period due to issues with the scoreboard.

- Attendance was 2562.

- The Varsity Reds handed out a number of awards before the game. Ben Shutron and Thomas Nesbitt were named this year's recipients of the Ross "Punch" Walker Memorial Merit Award, Adrian Robertson won the Mike Cavanagh Memorial Merit Award, and Marc-Antoine Desnoyers was presented with the Don MacAdam Award.

- Cam Braes seen his point streak end at 11 games. Maillet extended his to 8 straight (8 goals, 10 assists) and 15 out of 16 games (14 goals, 17 assists). Chris Culligan is also on an 8 game run (3 goals, 13 assists).

- Halley continues to be a beast on the penalty kill as he generated a couple more scoring chances while a man down tonight. He had a few last night as well.

- It was definitely an encouraging weekend from a defensive perspective for the V-Reds, especially considering Moncton entered the game with the 3rd most goals scored in the conference.

- Chris Culligan had the quote of the night, when asked about playing with Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley (courtesy of UNB commentator David Kilfoil): "I feel like I am cheating on Herby (Tyler Carroll, his usual line-mate)".

- The V-Reds finish the season with a home record of 12 wins, 1 loss (against St. Thomas), and 1 shootout loss (against Acadia). This is the 5th straight year they have won at least 12 regular season home games, accumulating a record of 63-6-1 during that span. 

- In other games around the league tonight: Acadia kept pace with UNB with a 6-1 win on home ice over Dalhousie, Saint Mary's picked up a crucial 7-3 home victory over St. FX, and UPEI defeated St. Thomas 3-1 in Charlottetown.

- With each team having only two games remaining in the regular season the standings look like this: UNB - 47 points, Acadia - 45, Moncton - 32, UPEI - 31, St. FX - 25, Saint Mary's - 24, St. Thomas - 14, and Dalhousie - 7.

- Although all 6 playoff teams have been decided no team is locked into a position as 1st place (UNB and Acadia), 3rd place (Moncton and UPEI), and 5th place (St. FX and Saint Mary's) are all still up for grabs.

- The Varsity Reds conclude the regular season next weekend with a pair of road games in Nova Scotia. On Friday night they travel to Halifax to face the Dalhousie Tigers and then on Saturday night visit Wolfville for a game against Acadia that will likely determine 1st place. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7PM and will be broadcast on AUStv.ca.