Saturday, January 2, 2016

UNB In Form Against Stingers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds raced out to a 4-0 lead after the first period and never looked back, cruising to a 7-3 victory over the Concordia Stingers in the first game of the Pete Kelly Cup tonight at the AUC.

- The V-Reds struck early and often in the opening frame, taking advantage of a Stingers team who were undoubtedly feeling the effects of the long bus ride from Montreal. Cameron Brace (Murray, Clapperton) streaked down the right side before cutting in front of the net and rooking the puck at 1:46, Francis Beauvillier (Caissy) on a breakaway at 3:55, Peter Trainor (Halley, Petgrave) with a one-timer from the slot at 6:25, and Jordan Murray (Braes, Boudens) pushing in a loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble at 15:48 had the first period goals for UNB, who out-shot Concordia 20-7 in a dominant first 20 minutes.

- Brace (Petgrave) knocked in a rebound for his second goal of the night 6:10 into the 2nd period to extend the lead to 5-0. However, from that point on the Stingers played pretty well. Matt Boudreau got Concordia on the board with a power play marker at 13:35 before Cam Braes (Murray, Beauvillier), with a wrist shot from the slot after some nice passing in the offensive zone, restored the five goal lead with just 26 seconds remaining in the frame. Shots in the period favoured UNB 13-4.

- Concordia cut the lead to 6-3 early in the 3rd period with a pair of goals. First, Phillipe Charbonneau potted the Stingers second power play goal of the night with a point shot at 2:19, and then Alexandros Soumakis shoved the puck in after a drive to net at 6:09. Cameron Brace completed the scoring, and his hat-trick, after Clapperton made a beautiful pass from his knees from the corner that found Brace in the high slot for the one timer slap shot. Shots were 10 apiece in the period and 43-21 for the V-Reds in the game.

- UNB welcomed back veteran forwards Cam Braes and Mike Thomas to the line-up. They also received a boost from new recruit Chris Clapperton as well as the returns of Philippe Maillet and Peter Trainor from injury.

- Defenceman Marcus McIvor was the only member of the team not to play tonight as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

- Speaking of McIvor, Ranjan Rupul of has a fantastic article on the freshman rearguard. It's definitely worth a read.

- Braes wore his old #10 as Anderson switched to #27. Thomas got #71 back and Clapperton wore #57 that was last worn by former captain Chris Culligan.

- Given the number of players who were dressed tonight (21, compared to 18 for a regular season game) there was plenty of line-up shuffling. Stephen Anderson did not play in the 1st period or 3rd period, Peter Trainor and Mike Thomas didn't play the 2nd period, and Philippe Maillet and Colin Suellentrop didn't play in the 3rd.

- Unfortunately, Philippe Halley left the game in the 2nd period with what appeared to be an arm injury and didn't return. Hopefully it is nothing serious as the team is just now starting to get healthy after a tough 1st half on the injury front.

- As a result of this the lines were a bit jumbled, but Trainor was back playing with Maillet and Trainor to begin the game while Braes/Brace/Clapperton seen a lot of time together. The line of Caissy/Beauvillier/Mignardi also remained together to begin the game and, given their 1st half success, it would be shocking to see them broken up.

- Since UNB only has 5 healthy defenceman at the moment forward Matt Boudens slid back and played defense tonight, and looked pretty solid back there in the process.

- Etienne Marcoux played the entire game in goal.

- Concordia was 2 for 5 on the power play. UNB was 0 for 2.

- Cameron Brace, Stephen Anderson, and Stingers forward Philippe Hudon were named the game's three stars.

- UNB won 38 out of the 60 face-offs in the game. Taylor MacDougall (10 out of 12), Cam Braes (8-10), and Dylan Willick (9-13) all had strong night in the dot.

- Braes was a game-high +4 and was tied with Beauvillier with a game-high 6 shots. Safe to say he hasn't missed a beat.

- Attendance was 2084, which is pretty decent for an exhibition game.

- The rematch goes tomorrow afternoon at 1PM.