Wednesday, November 26, 2014

UNB Prevails In Battle Of The Hill

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used a 5 goal 2nd period to top the St. Thomas Tommies 6-4 tonight at the Grant*Harvey Centre. The V-Reds are now 11-2-2 on the season and tied for 1st place in the AUS with the 12-3-0 Acadia Axemen.

- The Varsity Reds struck early in the 1st period thanks to some nice passing between the line of Cameron Critchlow, Peter Trainor, and Dylan Willick. Critchlow fed the puck to Trainor behind the net who quickly found Willick all alone in the slot for a quick one-timer past Tommies goalie Tyson Teichmann just 2:35 in to the game. UNB had the first 6 shots of the contest and were well in control until the Tommies received a power play just past the mid-point of the period. St. Thomas didn't score but used the man advantage to take back some momentum. The score would remain 1-0 after 20 minutes with UNB holding a slight 10-9 advantage in shots.

- The 2nd period proved to be the difference maker on this night as UNB scored 5 goals to the Tommies 2 goals. The V-Reds extended the lead to 2-0 at 6:31 after Matt Petgrave took a pass from Jordan Murray and fired an off-balance wrist shot from the blue-line that Philippe Maillet, who was skating through the slot, was somehow able to get his stick on for a redirection into the top corner. After St. Tomas got back within a goal thanks to a power play marker at 9:56, the V-Reds scored twice in a 17 second span. First, Francis Beavillier (Willick, Critchlow) took a pass in the neutral zone, streaked down the right side, beat a defender, and cut in front of the net to jam the puck in at 12:26. Then, at 12:43, Beauvillier took a hard hit into the half boards, but was able to find Rob Mignardi all alone in front of the net. Mignardi made a couple nice dekes to slide the puck in. Matt Petgrave picked up the secondary assist on the goal. The Tommies made it 4-2 at 16:04, but once again UNB struck for two goals in quick succession. Taylor MacDougall (Gazzola, Mignardi) used Dylan Willick as a decoy on a 2-on-1 break before firing the puck off the post and in just 25 seconds after the Tommies tally. The Varsity Reds made it 6-2 only 53 seconds later when Maillet undressed a Tommies defenceman with some nifty stickhandling before finding Philippe Halley for the easy tap-in. Petgrave was credited with his 3rd assist of the period on the goal. Shots in the period were 15-7 for the V-Reds.

- St. Thomas, to their credit, wouldn't go down without a fight. They scored two goals and hit a post within the first 3:07 of the 3rd period. Unfortunately for them, that was as close as they would get. They did out-shoot UNB 9-6 in the game, although the V-Reds held 31-25 advantage in the game.

- The Varsity Reds got two of their injured players back tonight as Jordan Murray and Francis Beauvillier both played. The good times didn't last too long though as Peter Trainor took a puck to the side of his face in the 1st period. He missed the rest of the period but came back to the bench after the first stoppage of play in the 2nd period. Right on cue though, Randy Gazzola took a puck to the mouth less than a minute later and was forced to exit. This caused a bit of a delay as the referees had to clean up a fair amount of blood off the ice. He was also able to return later in the game.

- Defencemen R.D. Chisholm and Alex Wall and forward Chris Caissy all remained out.

- David Shantz picked up his 10th win in net.

- UNB was 0 for 2 on the power play. St. Thomas was 1 for 4.

- Mignardi, Petgrave, and Tommie Colin Martin were named the game's three stars.

- UNB won 38 out of 63 face-offs in the game. Willick was an exceptional 14 and 3 in the dot.

- The attendance was 766, pretty decent considering Fredericton is currently being hammered with its first major snowstorm of the year.

- In other action around the AUS tonight St. FX defeated Saint Mary's 5-4 in Halifax, UPEI picked up a big 3-2 home victory over Moncton, and Acadia rolled to a 5-1 decision at home over Dalhousie.

- The V-Reds wrap up the 1st half of the season on Friday night when they welcome the Moncton Aigles Bleus to the AUC. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM.