After the Saint Mary's Huskies tied the game with 56 seconds remaining Philippe Halley scored with only 3 seconds left in regulation to give the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds a back and forth 6-5 victory tonight in Halifax. The V-Reds are now 15-3-2 on the season and remain in 2nd place in the AUS.
UNB got on the board first with Philippe Maillet - playing his first conference game since November 6th - firing a shot from the face-off circle that eluded goaltender Marc Terriault. The goal came at 8:48 and was assisted by Gazzol and Clapperton. It only took 7 seconds for the Huskies to tie it up, however, as they took the ensuing face-off down the ice and Stephen MacAulay converted on a 2-on-1. Saint Mary's then took their first lead of the game at 12:01 after some sloppy defensive zone play led to Gerrad Grant knocking the puck past Alex Dubeau from in close. Francis Beauvillier squared the game at 2 just 50 seconds later when he collected the rebound from a Matt Boudens shot and quickly deposited it into the net. The two teams headed to the locker room tied 2-2 with UNB holding a 14-7 shot advantage.
Anthony Repaci gave the Huskies their 2nd lead of the game with a one-timer from the slot while on the power play goal 4:20 into the 2nd period, but the V-Reds responded with a pair of goals before the end of the period to take a 4-3 lead. At 12:22 Jordan Murray (Caissy, Mignardi) saw that he had a clear lane to the net from the blue line and decided to pinch in. He received a pass from below the goal line and quickly snapped the puck along the ice five hole on Terriault to knot the game at 3. Later in the period the Huskies got into penalty trouble when they committed three infractions in a minute. The V-Reds capitalized on the 5-on-3 advantage with Francis Beauvillier (Caissy, Maillet) being the recipient of some nice tic-tac-toe passing and one-timing the puck in from the lip of the crease at 18:45. It was Beaivillier's 2nd goal of the night and 11th of the season. Shots in the period were 8 apiece.
It only took Saint Mary's 1:02 of the 3rd period to tie the game again when Ben Duffy scored on the power play. UNB kept up their good play and were rewarded at 5:57 on a broken play when a Maillet flip pass from just inside the SMU blue line deflected off of Chris Clapperton and right to Philippe Halley, who happened to be streaking down the right side. Halley gathered the puck and managed to score on a weak backhanded shot from the bottom of the face-off circle to give UNB a 5-4 lead. After the goal the V-Reds controlled the majority of play and looked well on their way to a victory. With over a minute remaining the Huskies pulled Terriault and it looked like it would immediately backfire as both Matt Petgrave and Philippe Maillet had good chances with the empty net, but they each hit the side of the net. After Maillet's missed opportunity the Huskies rushed the puck up the ice and MacAulay scored his 2nd of the night to tie the game 5-5 with just 56 seconds left. Not to be outdone the Varsity Reds were finally able to put this back and forth game away after the Huskies failed to get the puck deep, allowing Jordan Murray to get the puck at his own blue line and find Rob Mignardi as he was skating through centre ice. Mignardi faked a slap shot and went wide around the defenceman and behind the net for a wraparound attempt. Mignardi didn't get a great chance, but the puck slid off of his stick and through the crease where Philippe Halley was able to get just enough stick on it to get it over the goal line. The goal game at 19:57 and gave the V-Reds a huge road victory. Shots in the period favoured UNB 9-6.
- Shots in the game were 31-21 for UNB.
- Marcus McIvor (injury), Colin Suellentrop (suspension), Peter Trainor, and Cam Braes were all out of the line-up.
- UNB was 1 for 6 on the power play while SMU was 2 for 5.
- Philippe Halley was the player of the game with after scoring a pair of 3rd period goals.
- Alex Dubeau improves to 5-1-2 on the season.
- The V-Reds had another sub-par game in the face-off circle, only winning 29 out of 66 draws.
- Attendance was 945, solid by Halifax standards.
- In their last three games the V-Reds have gotten the game winning goal with 5:14 remaining (against Dalhousie), in overtime (St. FX), and with 3 seconds remaining (tonight).
- UNB got some much needed help from the UPEI Panthers tonight as they defeated Acadia 3-1 in Wolfville. In other games St. FX kept pace with a 6-3 win in Moncton and St. Thomas notched their 2nd win of the year with a 4-3 shootout victory over Dalhousie.
- The V-Reds are now only two points behind Acadia with a game in hand. They will have a chance to move into a 1st place tie tomorrow night when they face the Axemen in Wolfville. Game time is 7PM and be viewed at AUStv.ca.