Saturday, October 29, 2016

Maillet Leads V-Reds To Improbable Win

Tonight was a perfect example why you should never leave a game early. Philippe Maillet scored a natural hat-trick in the last 8:39 of regulation - including two goals in the final 76 seconds - to tie the game before clinching it with another in a shootout to give the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds an unlikely 5-4 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers at the AUC. UNB remains in 1st place with a 5-0-2 record while the Tigers move into sole possession of 3rd at 3-1-3.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period with goals only 93 seconds apart. At 12:00 Colton Parsons was stationed at the side of the net on the power play and was able to jam the puck in as goaltender Alex Dubeau wasn't able to hold his leg against the post. Then, at 13:33 Kelly Bent appeared to surprise Dubeau when he quickly snapped a loose puck through traffic and past the V-Reds goalie. That would prove to be the end of the night for Dubeau as he was replaced in the crease with Etienne Marcoux. UNB cut into the lead at 18:41 on a 5-on-3 advantage when Jordan Murray (Maillet, Brace) ripped a slap shot into the top left corner just after the first penalty expired. That is how the period would end as UNB held a 10-8 shot advantage.

Things would go from bad to worse for the V-Reds in the 2nd period as the Tigers added a pair of power play goals to extend their lead. At 12:51 Myles McGurty took a nice cross-crease pass and put it upstairs to make it 3-1. Then at 14:07 frustrations started to boil over and led to Francis Beauvillier getting ejected. Beauvillier went down in obvious pain after taking a slash to the hand away from the play, but was called for diving. As he made his way into the penalty box Beauvillier expressed his displeasure by swinging his stick at the glass, causing the pane to shatter all over the ice. This prompted the ref to hand out another minor penalty and game misconduct, as well as delaying the game while the rink staff worked to clean up and replace the broken glass. It was starting to look like it just might not be the V-Reds night a few minutes later when they were assessed a delay of game penalty, giving the Tiger an extended 5-on-3 advantage. It only took 34 seconds for defenseman Jesse Lussier to convert, giving Dalhousie a 4-1 lead that they would take into the 3rd period. Shots were 15-9 for UNB in the period.

The V-Reds were given two power plays early in the 3rd but were unable to do anything with them and things were really starting to look bleak. Then Philippe Maillet took over. UNB received another power play opportunity at 10:00 and Maillet (Murray, Braes) made them pay when he fired a shot from the slot through traffic that found the back of the net. With Lussier off for a delay of game penalty - and Marcoux on the bench for an extra attacker - the same trio hooked up again at 18:44 when Maillet's wrist shot beat Tigers goalie Corbin Boes through the legs to make it a one goal game. Once again the V-Reds pulled Marcoux and Maillet completed the frantic comeback - and natural hat-trick - 39 seconds later when he unleashed another wrist shot, this time from the left face-off circle. The teams would head to an unlikely overtime after a period in which UNB out-shot the Tigers 17-6.

UNB had a golden opportunity to win the game in the 3-on-3 extra session as they were awarded two different power plays. Despite having the man advantage for 3:47 of the five minute overtime, and taking all five shots in the period, the V-Reds could not beat Boes and the two teams went to a shootout for the second consecutive weekend.

However, on this night the shootout was a little less dramatic than the one last Friday. After Cam Braes and Fabian Walsh both came up empty, Cameron Brace put one five-hole to get UNB on the board with what would prove to be the game winner. Marcoux then stopped Andrew Wiggington before Maillet capped off his heroic night by beating Boes for the 4th time, clinching the win in the process.

- Oliver Cooper was in the line-up for UNB as Christopher Clapperton, Mike Thomas, Stephen Anderson, and Peter Trainor were all out.

- UNB was 3 for 8 on the power play. The Tigers were 3 for 6.

- Dubeau gave up 2 goals on 8 shots while Marcoux stopped 13 out of 15 shots as well as both shootout attempts he faced..

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 47-23.

- UNB won 49 out of 83 face-offs.

- Maillet (3 goals, 1 assist), Brace (1 assist), and Murray (1 goal, 3 assists) were named the game's three stars.

- Maillet had a game-high 9 shots on goal.

- Philippe Halley was wearing an 'A' for the game.

- Attendance was 2054.

- Beauvillier will most likely be out for tomorrow night's game after picking up a game misconduct.

- UNB has now won 19 straight home games, as well as 19 straight games overall, against the Tigers.

- The V-Reds are 24-0-1 in their last 25 regular season home games.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight St. FX traveled to Charlottetown and escaped with a 2-1 win over UPEI and Acadia got past Saint Mary's 8-3 at home.

- Tomorrow night UNB welcomes the X-Men to town for a big match-up between the top two ranked teams in the country. The V-Reds will be looking to avenge the 5-4 overtime setback they suffered in Antigonish last Saturday. Game time is 7PM.