Saturday, January 7, 2017

Maillet Sparks V-Reds

Philippe Maillet scored a power play goal in each period and goaltender Alex Dubeau and the defense did the rest as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds shut down the visiting Dalhousie Tigers 5-1 tonight at the AUC. UNB moves to 16-2-2 on the season and remain 7 points clear of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen.

- The V-Reds scored a pair of power play goals in the opening period to grab a 2-0 lead. At 11:28 Philippe Halley (Gazzola, Brace) got the puck all alone in front of the net and made a quick backhand to forehand move to beat goaltender Jacob Fancy. The goal came moments after he had missed a glorious opportunity when his shot dribbled just wide of the post. Maillet (Braes, Mignardi) scored his first goal of the night at 18:54 when he fired a quick wrist shot along the ice from his usual power play spot near the left face-off dot. The shots on goal in the period were 14-3 for UNB.

- The Varsity Reds scored twice more in the 2nd period to double their lead. Chris Caissy (Maillet, Suellentrop) brought the puck out from behind the net and threw it towards the goal where it deflected off of a stick or body in the crease to make it 3-0 at 3:43 before Maillet (Murray, Beauvillier) got his second power play goal of the game at 9:23 when he skated into the slot off the half-boards and beat Fancy between the legs. UNB would take a 4-0 lead to the dressing room after a period in which they out-shot the Tigers 15-3.

- Maillet (Murray, Clapperton) completed his hat-trick - his second this season at the AUC against the Tigers - at 12:37 of the 3rd period with yet another goal from the left face-off circle. This time it was courtesy of a one-timer after a cross-ice feed. With a 5-0 lead the only remaining suspense was whether the V-Reds would finish off the shut-out. Unfortunately, the Tigers spoiled the bid with a power play goal of their own after a deflected puck beat Dubeau at 14:11. That would be prove to be the final goal of the evening as UNB out-shot Dalhousie 15-13 in the period.

- Chris Caissy was back in the line-up, replacing Cameron Critchlow. Mike Thomas, Oliver Cooper, and Peter Trainor all remained out.

- Matt Petgrave left the game at some point and never did return as he was absent for the 3rd period.

- Shots ended up 44-19 in UNB's favour.

- The Tigers have lost all-star goaltender Corbin Boes for the remainder of the season due to a broken ankle he suffered on New Year's Eve. Despite having the unenviable task of starting his first career game at the AUC against the defending national champions, Jacob Fancy more than held his own, turning aside 39 shots and only surrendering one even strength goal.

- UNB won 37 out of  70 face-offs.

- Dalhousie had a goal waved off at the end of the first period when Jesse Lussier's shot beat Dubeau, but not the buzzer.

- After last night's playoff-like intensity, tonight's game was noticeably missing the same type of atmosphere.

- UNB was 4 for 9 on the power play. Dalhousie was 1 for 5 with the man advantage.

- Attendance was 2550.

- The game's three stars were Maillet, Randy Gazzola, and Halley.

- Before the game Etienne Marcoux and Philippe Halley were presented with this year's 'Punch' Walker Memorial Merit Awards.

- The Tigers are probably just about sick of seeing Philippe Maillet by now. He has 7 goals and 3 assists in four games against them this season. He has also added a pair of shoot-out goals.

 - Maillet has now opened up a four point cushion over Moncton's Allain Saulnier in the league's scoring race. He has an impressive 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) in 20 games thus far.

- With a pair of assists tonight, defenceman Jordan Murray has reached the 30 point plateau for the first time in his career.

- UNB has won 20 straight home games and 21 in a row overall against Dalhousie. Their last home loss against the Tigers came almost a decade ago - a 4-3 decision on February 3rd, 2007.

- Elsewhere around the league tonight, Acadia kept pace with a 4-1 home win over Moncton and UPEI rallied for a big 4-2 home victory against St. FX.

- The Varsity Reds hit the road next weekend looking to avenge their only two regulation losses of the season. On Friday night they are in Halifax to battle Saint Mary's and then on Saturday they travel to Wolfville for a date against the Acadia Axemen. Game time for both contests is set for 7PM and they can be seen live on www.AUStv.ca.