Saturday, January 28, 2017

V-Reds Keep Rolling

It wasn't always pretty, but the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds played well enough to come away with a 6-3 win in Moncton over the Aigles Bleus. UNB improves to 21-2-3 on the year, which includes a 7-0-1 mark since the Christmas break.

The V-Reds took it to the Aigles Bleus in the opening period as they held a 14-5 shot advantage and took a 1-0 lead at 6:58 on a Cam Braes goal that looked very similar to the two he scored on Friday night. Christopher Clapperton worked the puck down the left wing boards to Philippe Maillet, who was stationed behind the net. Maillet then made a deft backhanded touch pass between his legs out front to Braes and the 5th year senior fired a quick one-timer past goaltender Alexi Thibaudeau. Although UNB would have numerous high quality chances in the period, they would only strike the one time.

Thanks to a fortunate bounce Moncton was able to even the score just 50 seconds into the 2nd period while on the power play. Defenceman Pierre Durepos dumped the puck in around the end boards and goalie Alex Dubeau went behind the net with the intention of knocking it down and playing it. However, it took a strange hop off the glass and popped out in front of the net where Steve Lebel had a wide open net to shoot at. Although the goal seemed to give Moncton some momentum as they had a much period in terms of possession and chances, the V-Reds would strike three times in the latter half of the frame to take a 4-1 lead. At 12:30 Maillet outraced a defender for a bouncing, loose puck in the offensive zone and fed Rob Mignardi in the slot for a power play goal to regain the lead. Jordan Murray was credited with the secondary assist on the goal. UNB cushioned their lead with a pair of goals only 51 seconds apart late in the period. At 17:06 Dylan Willick (Cricthlow, Boudens) located a bouncing puck in front of the net during a rush and shoveled it in and then at 17:57 Matt Murphy (Gazzola, Halley) carried the puck into the Moncton zone and took a shot from the face-off circle that deflected off of Thibaudeau's glove and barely trickled across the goal line and into the corner of the net. Shots in the period were 15-9 for Moncton.

The opening minutes of the 3rd period saw a flurry of action as Moncton attempted to get back into the game. At 1:08 Carl Marois made it 4-2 after he got in behind the defence and beat Dubeau with a nice deke and backhander. This was quickly answered when Clapperton (Braes, Maillet) pounced on a loose puck that had got through Thibaudeau's legs and helped it across the line at 1:59 to push the lead to 5-2. The Aigles Bleus struck again just 81 seconds after that on an Alex Saulnier goal off of a rebound to get Moncton back within two goals. They would get a couple more good chances the rest of the way - including a power play - before Jordan Murray (Maillet, Clapperton) ended any hopes of a comeback with an empty net goal with 17 seconds remaining. Shots favoured UNB 9-3 in the period.

- Oliver Cooper drew back into the line-up to replace Mike Thomas, who is still recovering from being on the receiving end of an ugly hit the night before against UPEI. Cam Brace, Francis Beauvillier, and Peter Trainor were also out.

- Alex Dubeau saw his first action since January 13th against Saint Mary's and improved to 8-1-2 on the season.

- Final shots were 32-23 for UNB.

- Moncton held the edge in the face-off circle, winning 36 out of 70 draws,

- Both teams went 1 for 5 on the power play. Moncton's goal marked the first power play goal UNB has given up in 6 games (since January 7th against Dalhousie).

- Philippe Maillet (4 assists) was named the player of the game. He continues to lead the country in scoring and now has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 26 games this season.

- Maillet is up to 6th in school history in overall scoring (Conference + Playoffs + Nationals) with 179 career points, behind only Hunter Tremblay, Chris Culligan, Rob Hennigar, Kyle Bailey, and Dax MacLean. His 160 career regular season points put him behind only Tremblay, Hennigar, and Culligan.

- Attendance was 660.

- In the only other AUS game Acadia rallied from a 2-0 2nd period deficit to defeat Saint Mary's 4-3 in Halifax,

- UNB is on the road for a pair of games next weekend. They are at St. FX on Friday night before facing Dalhousie on Saturday evening.