Monday, March 6, 2017

Deja Vu All Over Again

It is a movie we have saw before. For the second straight season the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds entered game 1 of the AUS Final against St. FX X-Men without having suffered a regulation loss on home-ice (or any loss for that matter this season) and for the second consecutive season find themselves down 1-0 in the best 2-of-3 series after the visiting X-Men rode a 49 save performance from goaltender Chase Marchand to claim a 2-1 victory tonight at the AUC.

- The X-Men struck first with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Michael Clarke 6:34 into the game. Clarke ripped a long shot through traffic off the post and in to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

- UNB answered back just under 6 minutes later with a power play goal of their own. Cameron Brace (Caissy, Gazzola) skated around a couple of defenders to collect a soft area pass, streaked down the right side, cut in and roofed a backhander over Marchand. 

- Eric Locke restored the St. FX lead, and scored what proved to be the game winning goal, at 14:48 of the first period when he banged home the puck from just outside the crease after some sustained pressure in the offensive zone.

- Jordan Murray served the first game of a two game suspension following an incident towards the end of game 3 against Saint Mary's. Stephen Anderson, Oliver Cooper, and Peter Trainor were also out.

- Shots in the game were 50-19 for UNB with period totals of 20-10, 13-7, and 17-2. To say Chase Marchand was the difference would be a massive understatement. 

- This is the second time in three games UNB has hit the 50 shot plateau after not doing it once during the regular season. In the last three games they have out-shot their opposition 136-46, yet have been out-scored 6-5 and are 1-2 in those games. 

- UNB went 1 for 5 on the power play. The X-Men were 1 for 4.

- UNB won 47 out of 87 face-offs in the contest.

- Attendance was 3121.

- The Varsity Reds were 20-0-0 at home this season and entered the game on a 53-1-1 run at the AUC dating back to November of 2014. The only two blemishes were a 3-2 shootout loss to Acadia on October 30th, 2015 and the aforementioned loss to St. FX almost exactly one year ago - 3-2 on March 7th, 2016.

- In the AUS bronze medal series, Acadia got by Saint Mary's by a 5-1 count in Wolfville. The Axemen move within one win of qualifying for next week's University Cup.

- Over the weekend the Alberta Golden Bears defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 2 games to 1 to win the Canada West title. Both teams had already qualified for Nationals. In the OUA the York Lions eliminated the Windsor Lancers 2 games to 1 and the Queen's Gaels upset the McGill Redmen 2 games to 0. York and Queen's both punched their ticket to the University Cup and will now play on Saturday in the Queen's Cup to determine the OUA Champion. Windsor and McGill will face-off in a bronze medal game to decide the OUA's third berth at Nationals.

- The Varsity Reds will look to extend the series on Wednesday night when they travel to Antigonish for game 2. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.