Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UNB Moves Back Into 1st Place

In a game that was similar to last Friday's tilt against Dalhousie, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds gave up an early goal and then proceeded to dominate the rest of the game as they beat the visiting St. Thomas Tommies 6-1 tonight at the AUC in the 23rd Annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. The V-Reds are now 19-3-2 on the season and sit two points ahead of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen.

Despite controlling play to begin the game it was UNB falling behind just 2:34 into the contest when the Tommies converted on just their 2nd shot of the night. However, it was all UNB after that. At 6:05 Philippe Halley (Maillet, Fraser) broke free from the defense at the Tommies blue line and went in all alone for a breakaway goal and then at 14:22, while on the power play, Peter Trainor's cross-crease pass attempt hit a defender in front and deflected in. Rob Mignardi and Adrian Robertson received the helpers on the play. That was it for scoring in the 1st period as UNB out-shot the Tommies 9-5.

The 2nd period was the most lopsided of the game with UNB firing 18 out of the 21 shots in the period and scoring two more goals. Just 43 seconds into the period Dana Fraser (Beavillier, Gazzola) drove to the left post and converted a nice cross-ice pass from Randy Gazzola. The V-Reds were finally able to make it 4-1 at 18:00 after Tommies goalie Philippe Trudeau stood on his head on back-to-back UNB power plays. This time it was Maillet (Halley, Fraser) taking a pass from Halley while streaking through the neutral zone, beat a defender wide, cut in front of the net, and deposited a backhanded shot past Trudeau.

The 3rd period seen a constant parade of Tommies to the penalty box and their frustration became increasingly evident as the period moved along. The V-Reds received 5 straight power plays in the period, scoring on two of them. At 9:51 Fraser was camped out down low to the left of the Tommies goal and took a nice slap-pass from the blue line from Jordan Murray. Fraser had enough time and space to come out front and put a backhander in the top right corner, giving UNB a 5-1 advantage. Cameron Brace picked up the secondary assist on the goal. Cam Braes (Petgrave, Suellentrop) rounded out the scoring at 14:15 when he tipped a low point shot from Matt Petgrave off the post and in. Shots favoured UNB 10-7 in the period and 37-15 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll, Taylor MacDougall, and Alex Wall all remained out due to injury.

- Before the game David Shantz and Tyler Carroll were name co-winners of the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship.

- Shantz stopped 14 out 15 shots in the game as he picked up his conference-leading 16th win of the season. He has only allowed 7 goals in 6 games since the Christmas break.

- The top line of Fraser, Maillet, and Halley were named the game's three stars.

- Attendance was a rather disappointing 1818.

- Maillet extended his scoring streak to 17 conference games (19 games overall). He has amassed 10 goals and 22 assists in that time and now holds a 3 point lead in the scoring race. His 13 goals and 23 assists rank 3rd and 1st in the conference, respectively.

- Fraser has 9 goals and 3 assists in his first 8 games as a V-Red.

- UNB dominated in the face-off circle, winning 37 out of 56 draws. Dylan Willick (10 out of 14) once again led the way.

- UNB was 3 for 9 on the power play while STU was 0 for 2.

- The Tommies accumulated 82 out of the 100 penalty minutes in the game.

- The V-Reds have won 12 straight Mark Jeffrey Memorial Games.

- UNB swept the season series against St. Thomas for the 7th time in 8 years. They out-scored the Tommies 25-11 in the four match-ups this season.

- Moncton defeated UPEI 4-2 on home ice in the only other game this evening.

- Next up for the V-Reds is the biggest game of the season, and arguably one of their biggest regular season home games in quite some time. The 2nd place Acadia Axemen, who are only two points behind the V-Reds and hold the tie-breaker, come into town for a 1st place battle. Puck drop is 7PM.