Saturday, January 23, 2016

V-Reds Chop Down Axemen

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored four 2nd period goals and Etienne Marcoux stopped all 30 shots directed his way as the V-Reds moved into a 1st place tie after a 4-0 blanking of Acadia tonight in Wolfville. UNB's 7th consecutive victory improves their record to 16-3-2 on the season, tied with the 16-4-2 Axemen with a game in hand.

After an evenly played and scoreless 1st period, in which both teams had 3 power play opportunities and fired 9 shots at the opposing goal, the Varsity Reds essentially won the game in the first 4:17 of the 2nd period when they connected three times. Just 1:07 into the period the V-Reds had the Axemen running around in their own zone before Chris Caissy and Francis Beauvillier worked a nice give and go that resulted in Beauvillier one-timing a low shot from the right wing face-off dot past goaltender Brandon Glover to give UNB a 1-0 lead. Jordan Murray was awarded a secondary assist on the goal. It would take only 18 seconds for the V-Reds to double their lead as Philippe Maillet (Gazzola, Clapperton) tipped in a point shot from just outside the crease. UNB kept up the pressure and scored again at 4:17 off of a 3-on-2 rush moments after the Axemen had a quality scoring chance themselves. Maillet fed Dylan Willick just inside the offensive blue line and Willick did the rest, going wide around a defenceman before cutting towards the net and backhanding the puck far side on Glover. The goal would spell the end of the night for Glover, who stopped 11 out of 14 shots. The Axemen had an opportunity to get back into the game when UNB was assessed a penalty at 14:43, but it was the V-Reds extending their lead when Taylor MacDougall picked up an Alex Wall rebound and quickly fired it into the top corner to make it a 4-0 game on UNB's 5th shorthanded goal of the season. UNB managed to kill off the rest of the penalty, and two more before the end of the period, to take a four goal lead to the locker room. Shots in the period were 17-15 for the Varsity Reds.

Despite UNB holding a 14-6 shot advantage in the 3rd period the teams skated through what was a scoreless and fairly uneventful final 20 minutes.

- Marcus McIvor (injury), Colin Suellentrop (suspension), Stephen Anderson, and Peter Trainor were all out of the line-up.

- Shots in the game were 40-30 for UNB.

- Etienne Marcoux was spectacular in earning his 1st career shut-out, making a number of big saves to keep the high scoring Axemen off the board. He now leads the conference in winning percentage (0.846), Goals Against Average (2.05), and save percentage (0.920).

- UNB was 0 for 4 on the power play while Acadia was 0 for 6.

- The V-Reds won 40 out of the 70 face-offs in the game. Taylor MacDougall (10 out of 18) and Cam Braes (7 out of 10) led the way.

- Attendance was 2012.

- Gazzola, Marcoux, and Acadia's Kyle Farrell were the game's three stars.

- In other AUS action St. FX pulled away from St. Thomas 5-1 in Fredericton, Dalhousie roughed up Moncton 6-1 in Moncton, and Saint Mary's rallied for a big 4-2 home win over UPEI.

- The AUS standings now look like this with every team having played 21 games, except Acadia and Dalhousie who have played 22: UNB (34 points), Acadia (34), St. FX (33), Saint Mary's (26), UPEI (22), Moncton (18), Dalhousie (16), and Saint Thomas (5).

- The Varsity Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the St. Thomas Tommies in the 24th annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. It is also Bell Let's Talk Day, which is aimed at raising awareness about mental health issues. Game time is 7PM. If you can't make it out to the AUC you can watch the game live at AUStv.ca.