Wednesday, October 12, 2016

V-Reds Overcome Mahalak, Panthers

Although the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds dominated the final 55 minutes of play, it took a 3rd period rally to overcome a sensational performance by UPEI Panthers goaltender Matt Mahalak in a 3-1 victory tonight at the AUC. UNB avenges a shootout loss to the Panthers five days ago to improve to 2-0-1 on the young season.

The Panthers came out with lots of jump as they took the game's first six shots and jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:39 into the contest when Gabe Guertler jumped on a loose puck just outside the crease and lifted it under the crossbar. This would prove to be the only goal through the first forty minutes despite UNB holding a 13-8 advantage in shots in the 1st period and a 13-3 edge in the 2nd period.

The Varsity Reds upped the pressure even further in the final frame and were finally rewarded at 3:29. Jordan Murray received the puck from Philippe Maillet and his wrist shot from the blue line was deftly deflected out of the air by Philippe Halley, who was stationed in the high slot, with the puck fluttering up and over an unsuspecting Mahalak. Just over five minutes later, at 8:51, UNB took their first lead of the night when Maillet gained control of a Cam Braes pass through the slot, patiently out-waited Mahalak long enough to draw him out of position, and threw the puck between the netminder and the post through the crease. Stephen Anderson crashed the net and was able to get his stick on the puck first, banging it into the open cage for what turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal. The V-Reds were forced to kill off two late penalties before Chris Caissy sealed the deal with an empty net goal just milliseconds before the final horn sounded. Shots favoured UNB 21-4 in the period and 47-14 in the game.

- UNB was without some of their key forwards as Christopher Clapperton (injury), Francis Beauvillier (serving a suspension due to fighting major last game), Cameron Brace (late scratch), and Peter Trainor (scratch) were all out.

- Etienne Marcoux picked up the win in goal. Although not tested often he made a couple big saves to keep UNB within a goal.

- The V-Reds penalty kill continued their strong start to the season as they held the Panthers scoreless on 7 opportunities. UNB was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- The three stars were Anderson (GWG), Mahalak (44 saves on 46 shots), and Maillet (2 assists).

- UNB dominated on face-offs, winning 43 out of 70. Cam Braes (14 out of 20) and Chris Caissy (9 out of 14) were the standouts.

- The V-Reds have now won 9 straight home games versus UPEI.

- Attendance was 1924.

- UNB's next action will be Friday night when they travel to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus. As always, will be streaming the game live. Game time is 7PM.