The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got their season off to a strong start with a 6-3 victory over the OUA's McGill Redmen tonight at the AUC. UNB improves to 9-1 all-time against McGill, including a 7-0 mark under head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
The game got off to a good start for the V-Reds as they struck for a shorthanded goal just 3:13 into the contest when Dylan Willick found Rob Mignardi for a tip-in while crashing the net. Just under 10 minutes later the special teams came through again, this time on the power play, when Peter Trainor (Murray, Maillet) fired a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Redmen goaltender Karel St. Laurent. McGill would cut the deficit back to one at 15:40 with a goal just 4 seconds into a two man advantage. The period would end with UNB holding a 2-1 lead and out-shooting McGill 10-9.
The 2nd period proved to be the most eventful of the evening. Philippe Halley (Maillet, Suellentrop) restored the two goal lead at 11:37 when his shot fluttered over the glove of St. Laurent and just 78 seconds later Chris Caissy (Mignardi, Suellentrop) sniped a shot into the top corner for a 4-1 lead. The Redmen were able to gain some momentum after Jordan Murray was assessed a 5 minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head at 13:17, converting at 14:44 to make it a 4-2 game. However, the momentum was short-lived as a penalty wiped out the remaining 1:15 of the major and just 24 seconds into the 4-on-4 Alex Wall (Gazzola, MacDougall) made it 5-2 with a goal off the rush. The Varsity Reds would take a 5-2 lead into the final period after out-shooting McGill 13-8 in the frame.
The 3rd period was UNB's best of the night as they held a 14-5 advantage in shots on goal and controlled the majority of play. Despite this it was the Redmen who scored at 4:55 of the period to make it a 5-3 game. That score would hold up until there were only 12 seconds remaining in the game. While on the power play Randy Gazzola found Taylor MacDougall skating through the slot with a pass that the 5th year veteran tipped into the top corner. Rookie Stephen Anderson picked up his first career point on the play with the secondary assist. The shots in the game favoured UNB 37-22.
- Etienne Marcoux played the first half of the game and surrendered one goal. Alex Dubeau allowed two goals during his half of play.
- The jersey numbers for the rookies who player were: Marcoux (#93), Dubeau (#31), Anderson (#10), and Marcus MacIvor (#79).
- Tyler Carroll did not dress tonight as he is still recovering from shoulder surgery in May. Mike Thomas is not eligible to play until after Christmas.
- McGill dressed 21 skaters while UNB played 18. Among those 21 players that played for the Redmen were two that would be familiar to AUS fans - former Acadia Axemen Liam Heelis and former St. Thomas Tommie Jonathan Bonneau.
- Peter Trainor seemed to get the first crack at replacing Dana Fraser on the top line playing with Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley. That combination began the game and seen plenty of time together.
- Whether by coincidence or not it seemed the Redmen found themselves in a number of scrums with UNB's francophone players - most notably Maillet and Francis Beauvillier.
- This is UNB's 15th straight exhibition victory over a CIS team.
- It is their 30th consecutive exhibition win against OUA competition.
- It is also their 36th straight home exhibition win over CIS competition.
- Attendance was 1405 on what is a busy night in Fredericton with all three high school football teams playing home games, game 5 of the senior baseball finals, and Harvest Jazz and Blues all taking place this evening.
- In other AUS action tonight St. Mary's beat Dalhousie 6-1 and Moncton defeated St. FX 5-1.
- The Varsity Reds are back in action on Monday night for their 2nd, and final, home exhibition game when they host the St. Thomas Tommies. Game time is 7PM.