The #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds extended their season-opening undefeated streak to 12 games with a 4-1 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers in a penalty-filled afair tonight in Halifax. The V-Reds are now 10-0-2 on the season and maintain a four point their lead over the 2nd place St. FX X-Men with a game in hand. Meanwhile, the Tigers fall to 5-5-3.
The opening period was fairly uneventful until 14:58 when Mark Simpson (Mignardi) got UNB on the board first with their first shorthanded goal of the season. Simpson blocked a shot out near the blue line and was able to retrieve the puck in the neutral zone behind the defence and go in on a breakaway, beating Corbin Boes with a quick snap shot. The Varsity Reds special teams came through again at 19:26, this time on the power play, when Boes made the original save but didn't pick up the rebound right away as it rolled off his left pad. Christopher Clapperton (Murray, Mignardi) was at the side of the net and quickly banged the puck in for the 2-0 lead. That is how the teams would head to the intermission as UNB out-shot the Tigers 10-9 in the period.
The V-Reds scored the only goal in the 2nd period to extend their lead. At 5:03 Philippe Maillet skated the puck into the offensive zone and left a perfect drop-pass for Jordan Murray, who took a few strides before blasting a slap shot that beat Boes clean between the legs to make it 3-0. Philippe Halley was credited with the secondary assist on the goal. UNB held a 7-2 shot advantage in the frame.
Despite being granted four consecutive power plays to begin the 3rd period - including a 38 second two man advantage - UNB was unable to extend their lead. Then, at 15:57, the Tigers finally broke through, ending Alex Dubeau's shutout attempt when Jackson Playfair scored from the side of the net after an offensive zone face-off win. That would be as close as the Tigers would get, however, as Randy Gazzola iced the game with a shorthanded goal from the neutral zone into an empty net at 18:28. Shots in the period were 12-7 for UNB in the game.
- Oliver Cooper drew back into the line-up, replacing Cam Critchlow. Cam Braes (injury), Colin Suellentrop (injury), and Peter Trainor all remained sidelined.
- Shots in the game were 29-17 for UNB.
- UNB was 1 for 10 on the power play while the Tigers went scoreless on nine attempts.
- The Tigers held a slight advantage in the face-off circle, winning 34 out of the 67 draws. Philippe Halley led the way for the V-Reds, winning 12 out of 16.
- Alex Dubeau wasn't forced to make many big saves, but did what he had to do in improving to 4-0-1 on the season.
- Mignardi (2 assists), Murray (1 goal, 1 assist), and Playfair (1 goal) were named the game's three stars.
- This was UNB's 20th consecutive win over Dalhousie over the last five seasons. They have also won 11 straight road games over the Tigers.
- The V-Reds have now won 5 straight regular season games by 3+ goals. This is their longest such streak since they rang off an incredible 8 straight 3+ goal victories in October and November of 2010.
- In other games around the conference tonight the St. FX X-Men rebounded from last night's loss by storming out to an 8-0 lead over the visiting UPEI Panthers in a game that ended 8-4. In Moncton, the Acadia Axemen erased a 5-1 deficit over the final 11:37 before defeating the Aigles Bleus 6-5 in overtime.
- The Varsity Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to PEI to face the Panthers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM. They return to the AUC next Saturday night when they welcome Moncton to town on Teddy Bear Toss Night.