Saturday, November 19, 2016

UNB Continues Dominance Over Moncton

The Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus might have the most dangerous line in the AUS with the Saulnier twins and Jean Francois Plante accounting for 71 points thus far this season, but the Varsity Reds showed that their top unit is just as dangerous as Philippe Maillet, Cam Braes, and Stephen Anderson combined for 12 points in tonight's 9-1 rout in the 1st annual Teddy Bear Toss night. UNB's 8th win in a row gives them a 12-0-2 record, 6 points clear of the 2nd place St. FX X-Men with a game in hand. At the other end of the spectrum are the Aigles Bleus, now 4-9-1 and in last place.

Once again the V-Reds came out flying, and almost scored in the first minute when a shot got through goaltender Brandon Thibeau and rolled towards the open net. However, a defenceman was able to pick the puck off the goal line just in time to keep the game scoreless. After a few more close calls UNB finally got the Teddy Bear Toss goal at 10:59 when Cam Braes (Anderson, Murray) jammed in a rebound at the side of the net, triggering a shower of stuffed animals on to the ice surface. After a five minute delay to clean up a truck load of stuffed animals the game resumed and V-Reds would strike twice more before the end of the period. At 15:37 Braes connected again after some nice work by Philippe Maillet. Maillet tracked down a long Marcus McIvor pass just before it reached the goal line for an icing, fended off two defenders, and found Braes all alone in front of the net for a quick snap shot. Maillet (Murray, Brace) then scored one of his own, this time on the power play, at 19:08 when he one-timed a shot from the left face-off circle. Shots in the very one-sided period were 16-2 for UNB.

The Aigles Bleus got some momentum to begin the 2nd period when Jean-Francois Plante scored his AUS-leading 16th goal of the year on the power play 40 seconds into the period to cut the deficit to 3-1. The momentum was short-lived though as Plante took a penalty at 6:16 and Mike Thomas (Gazzola) made Moncton pay 36 seconds later when he was the last player to touch a ping-ponging puck in front of the goal. The V-Reds would, for all intents and purposes, put the game away with a pair of late goals 37 seconds apart. At 17:15 Philippe Halley took Matt Petgrave's missed shot off the end boards and banged it in. Rob Mignardi was credited with the secondary assist on the goal. Then at 17:52 Cam Braes (Maillet, Anderson) took a pass from behind the net in the slot and fired it past Thibeau. Shots in the period were 11-5 for the Varsity Reds.

The game began to deteriorate in the 3rd period as both teams took a number of penalties and were essentially playing out the string. The Aigles Bleus put in back-up goaltender Alexi Thibaudeau to begin the period but he was unable to slow down the high-flying V-Reds either, surrendering three more goals. Philippe Maillet (Braes, Mignardi) made it 7-1 with his second goal of the night from almost the exact same spot as his first while on the power play at 5:39, Jordan Murray (Braes, Beauvillier) took a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone and picked the top corner, and then, for good measure, Christopher Clapperton (Caissy, Bouden) deflected a point shot for a power play goal with just four seconds remaining. UNB out-shot Moncton 14-2 in the period.

- Cameron Critchlow drew back into the line-up, replacing Mark Simpson. Colin Suellentrop, Oliver Cooper, and Peter Trainor all remained out. UNB once again played with only five defenceman.

- Defenceman Randy Gazzola left the game late in the 2nd period and never returned.

- When Jordan Murray received a 10-minute misconduct to begin the 3rd period, the V-Reds were down to only 3 defenceman for the duration of the misconduct. This forced forward Matt Boudens to slide back and play defence for the period.

- Shots in the game were 40-9 for UNB. The V-Reds had as many goals as Moncton had shots on goal.

- Alex Dubeau was hardly challenged all night, turning aside 8 out of 9 shots directed his way to improve to 5-0-1 on the season.

- All teddy bears collected tonight will benefit the Salvation Army.

- UNB's power play continued to be red hot as they went 4 for 6. Moncton was 1 for 5. The V-Reds are now operating at 33% with the man advantage this season.

- Attendance was 2398.

- Braes (3 goals, 2 assists), Maillet (2 goals, 2 assists), and Murray (1 goal, 2 assists) were the three stars of the game.

- The V-Reds won 46 out of 85 face-offs.

- UNB has out-scored Moncton 27-3 in three game so far this year.

- Maillet (25 points), Murray (23), and Braes (22) currently rank 2nd, 3rd, and 5th respectively in AUS scoring.

- UNB has now won 10 straight home games over the Aigles Bleus.

- The V-Reds are averaging 5.71 goals per game this year. The next best team is Acadia at 3.71 goals per game.

- In their last 7 games UNB has out-scored the opposition 42-8. They have not trailed at any point during that span.

- Saint Mary's defeated Dalhousie 5-3 in the only other AUS game tonight.

- The Varsity Reds head back on the road next weekend when they face Acadia on Friday night and Saint Mary's on Saturday night. Both games are set for a 7PM puck drop and can be viewed online at