Powered by a hat-trick from 5th year forward Tyler Carroll the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 5-1 in an entertaining, fast-moving, tilt tonight at the AUC. UNB moves to 7-0-1 on the season and now occupy sole possession of 1st place in the AUS, with a game in hand on the 2nd-4th place teams. However, the victory may have come at a major cost as the already shorthanded V-Reds lost reigning scoring champion Philippe Maillet to an apparent lower body injury in the game's opening minutes.
For the second straight game UNB had a big 1st period as they out-shot Moncton 18-6 and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Philippe Halley (Gazzola, Carroll) got the home team on the board at 4:33 when he took a pass in the slot and rang it off the crossbar and in. It only took 51 seconds for Rob Mignardi (Caissy, Critchlow) to double the lead when he drove down the left side before cutting in front of the net and using some nifty stickhandling to slide the puck around Aigles Bleus goaltender Adrien Lemay. Tyler Carroll (Brace, Boudens) made it 3-0 at 10:26 with his first of the night on UNB's first power play of the game with a wrist shot through a screen from the right face-off circle.
Carroll struck again 8:53 into the middle period after Dylan Willick carried the puck into the Moncton zone before finding Cameron Brace for a chance. Brace's opportunity was stopped but the rebound came out to Carroll and he made no mistake in finishing off the play. The Aigles Bleus finally got one at 13:41 to pull within 4-1 after Marc-Anthony Therrien put the puck between Alex Dubeau's legs after a flurry of chances in front of the UNB goal. A big moment in the game came a couple minutes later when two out of the five healthy UNB defencemen took penalties within 28 seconds of one another. Despite being down two men, and only having 3 defencemen, for 92 seconds the V-Reds killed both penalties off thanks in large part to some outstanding work by Dubeau. Moncton out-shot UNB 15-12 in the period but each team only managed the single goal.
The V-Reds kept up the pressure in the 3rd period, out-shooting Moncton 13-7 and scoring the only goal. Carroll was able to complete his 2nd career hat-trick at 15:44 after some good work behind the Aigles Bleus net from Brace and Caissy caused a turnover. The puck made its way out front to Carroll and he was able to snap it past a sprawling Lemay to cap the scoring.
- Stephen Anderson took the pre-game skate but remained out of the line-up along with Peter Trainor and Marcus McIvor. UNB once again started the game with only 16 skaters and got even worse when Maillet left the game less than two minutes into the contest.
- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play while Moncton was 0 for 3. Overall, it was a very well played game with very little, if any, extra curricular activity from either side.
- The V-Reds won 33 out of the 62 face-offs in the game.
- The three stars of the game were Brace, Carroll, and Dubeau.
- Brace was a game-high +4 in the game.
- UNB did a great job all night neutralizing the league's top two scorers in the Saulnier twins. Entering the game they had amassed 33 points in the first 8 games of the season, but were held scoreless on 7 shots on this night.
- Attendance was a season-high 2180.
- UNB has now won 7 straight home games - and 14 straight games overall - against the Aigles Bleus.
- The new Shoot for Seven contest had its first big winner as Jean Marteau drew the seven of hearts, collecting $864 in the process.
- In other games tonight St. FX doubled up Acadia 4-2 at home and UPEI picked up a 5-3 victory over St. Thomas in Charlottetown.
- The V-Reds will leave the city for the first time this regular season tomorrow when they head to UPEI to face the Panthers in the lone game on the schedule. Game time is set for 7PM. It marks the first of six consecutive road games for UNB.