Saturday, January 31, 2015

Undermanned V-Reds Hold Off Tigers

Despite playing much of the game with only 15 skaters - and more than 10 minutes with only 13, including 3 defencemen - the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were able to pull out a 4-2 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds are now 21-3-2 on the year and 5 points clear of the Acadia Axemen, who had their game tonight in Moncton postponed.

The Varsity Reds seemed well on their way to a comfortable win as they built a 3-0 lead late in the 2nd period. Colin Suellentrop with his 1st of the season (from Beauvillier, Robertson at 7:43 of the 1st period) just 5 seconds after UNB failed to score on a 5 minute power play (which included a two minute 5-on-3), Dana Fraser (on the power play from Maillet, Brace at 8:58 of the 1st), and Cameron Brace (Trainor, Gazzola at 13:56 of the 2nd period) all lit the lamp for the V-Reds. However, UNB ran into penalty trouble late in the 2nd period when a scrum after the whistle led to three penalties (and two 10-minute misconducts) for the V-Reds and only one penalty for Dalhousie. UNB almost killed off the two man disadvantage, but the Tigers got on the board with 5 seconds left in the power play, cutting the lead to 3-1 at 18:09. They continued pushing and stunned the crowd when they scored again with only 8 seconds left in the period. All of a sudden what looked like an easy UNB win was going to come down to the wire.

Both teams had some good chances in the final period, including a Tigers power play in the early going. It wasn't until 16:51 when UNB and their fans could breathe a little easier thanks to Philippe Halley's (Robertson), who fired a shot from the top of the face-off circle, through traffic, and into the top right corner to give the V-Reds a 4-2 lead. The Tigers pulled their goalie late to no avail.

- Tyler Carroll, Taylor MacDougall, and R.D. Chisholm all remained out of the line-up. Matt Petgrave and Jordan Murray were both out as well. Cam Braes left the game early in the 1st period after being checked from behind into the boards (which gave UNB the 5-minute power play) and never returned. To make matters even worse, Adrian Robertson and Philippe Maillet were both given 10-minute misconducts during the late 2nd period scrum. This meant that UNB started the game with 12 forwards and only 4 defencemen, played most of the game with 11 forwards and 4 defenceman due to the Braes injury, and played a 10 minute stretch between the 2nd and 3rd periods with only 10 forwards and 3 defenceman due to the misconducts.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 34-17 with period totals of 12-4, 13-9, and 9-4.

- Chris Carrozzi got the start in net for UNB and improved his record to 4-0-0.

- Suellentrop, Halley, and Tigers goalie Corbin Boes were the game's three stars.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play. Dalhousie was 1 for 5.

- The V-Reds won 32 out of the 49 face-offs in the game. Dylan Willick (10 out of 14) and Dana Fraser (13 out of 21) were the two standouts.

- The announced attendance was 3530 on Home Depot Night and North Side Elementary School Night. The actual attendance was much lower as many people no doubt stayed home due to the bad weather and road conditions.

- UNB has won 16 straight home games and 12 straight overall versus the Tigers.

- With their victory last night the V-Reds secured a 1st round playoff bye for the 9th straight year.

- UNB is 11-1-1 at home so far this year, the 8th straight year they have had at least that many wins on home ice.

- In other action around the AUS tonight Saint Mary's beat St. Thomas 7-1 in Halifax and UPEI picked up a big 4-1 road victory over St. FX. The Acadia/Moncton game was postponed until tomorrow afternoon due to the weather. A Moncton win in regulation would clinch 1st place for the V-Reds.

- The V-Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus in their final regular season home game of the year. Game time is 7PM.