Saturday, January 17, 2015

V-Reds Push Streak 9

For the 2nd straight night it was the top line of Dana Fraser, Philippe Halley, and Philippe Maillet doing much of the heavy lifting as the trio accounted for all of the goals in a 3-1 victory for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds 9th consecutive win pushes their season record to 17-2-2. They maintain their 3 point lead over 2nd place Acadia, but perhaps more importantly they are now 7 points clear of Saint Mary's in the race for a 1st round playoff bye.

- After an exciting 1st period in which UNB carried an edge in play Philippe Maillet (Willick, Robertson) finally got the V-Reds on the board at 19:32 when he picked up a rebound in front of the goal, pulled the puck back and around Huskies goalie Anthony Peters, and slid it into the net. UNB out-shot SMU 14-5 in the period.

- In the 2nd period the script was flipped as it was Saint Mary's who was the better team. They held a 15-9 advantage in shots and tied the game at 8:31 while on the power play when Matt Tipoff's shot from in close squeezed through the legs of V-Reds goaltender David Shantz's. The teams would head to the 3rd tied at 1.

- The 3rd period was once again time for UNB to reassert themselves in this back and forth game, and it ultimately proved to be the difference. Just 1:25 into the period it was Philippe Halley who was the benefactor of a beautiful no-look behind the back pass from Dana Fraser at the side of the net. Fraser took the puck from Maillet at the side of the net and found Halley all alone on the opposite side for the easy tap-in. Shantz made sure the lead stood up as he made a couple big saves in a period in which the V-Reds out-shot Saint Mary's 14-8. Fraser (Maillet, Gazzola) salted the game away with a shot from centre ice that found the empty net with just 1.1 seconds left.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 37-28.

- Colin Suellentrop replaced Tyler Carroll in the line-up with R.D. Chisholm moving up to play forward. Taylor MacDougall and Matt Boudens both remained out. Francis Beauvillier also played, despite being assessed a game misconduct on Friday night that usually results in a suspension.

- SMU was 1 for 4 on the power play. UNB's recent struggles with the man advantage continued as they were scoreless on 3 opportunities. They are now 0 for 15 over their last 4 games and just 1 for 20 in 5 games since the Christmas break.

- Shantz made 27 saves in his 4th straight strong performance. UNB has only allowed 3 goals in their last 5 games.

- Maillet, Halley, and Shantz were named the game's three stars.

- Maillet had a hand in all 6 goals UNB scored this weekend with 1 goal and 5 assists. He now leads the AUS in scoring with 29 points, 1 point ahead of Acadia forward Brett Thompson.

- Fraser now has 5 goals in his first 5 games as a V-Red.

- UNB won 41 out of 71 face-offs in the game with Cam Braes (14 out of 20) and Dylan Willick (13 out of 20) leading the way.

- Attendance was 3028 on Military Appreciation Night. The V-Reds wore specially designed red and black camouflage jerseys for the occasion.

- UNB and SMU split their season series. The Huskies won 2-0 on October 25th and 4-3 at the AUC on November 14th before the V-Reds walked away with a 5-2 road win on November 21st.

- Elsewhere tonight: Acadia defeated UPEI 4-2 in Wolfville to keep pace with UNB, St. FX bounced back with a 3-2 win in Moncton, and St. Thomas dealt Dalhousie's playoff hopes a huge blow with a 6-2 win in Halifax.

- The V-Reds are on the road next weekend when they travel to Nova Scotia for the final time this regular season. On Friday night they visit Dalhousie and then on Saturday night they face Acadia in a game that could go a long way in determining 1st place. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop.