Thursday, March 16, 2017

Maillet Does Maillet Things, V-Reds Roll

Newly crowned U Sports player of the year Philippe Maillet scored a hat-trick and added an assist as the #5 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds began their University Cup quest with a convincing 5-1 tonight over the travel-weary #4 ranked Queen's Gaels much to the delight of a sold-out AUC crowd.

- The game couldn't have started any better for the Gaels as defenceman Spencer Abraham ripped their first shot directed at Etienne Marcoux off the far post and in to quiet the boisterous crowd just 2:21 into the contest.

- However, the V-Reds quickly responded. On their next shift Philippe Maillet picked up the rebound off of a Philippe Halley shot and backhanded the puck into an open cage. The goal tied the game at 3:08, only 47 seconds after Queen's had taken the lead.

- The Varsity Reds took the lead at 18:00 of the opening period. A clearing attempt by a Gaels defenceman hit Maillet in the slot. After locating the puck the V-Reds forward fired a shot that Kevin Bailie had to make a tough save on, however the rebound bounced out to Christopher Clapperton at the left side of the net and he slid a backhanded shot along the ice and into the net before Bailie could get reset. Mark Simpson also received an assist on the goal.

- UNB put the game away with three goals on four shots in a span 4:28 midway through the 2nd period. At 7:43 Maillet (Gazzola, Clapperton) carried the puck all the way from his own zone and into Gaels territory before sniping the top right corner coming down the left wing. Then, at 11:49 Philippe Halley (Mignardi, Boudens) gathered the puck in the slot and floated a backhander into the top of the net after a lengthy shift in the offensive zone. Finally, Maillet completed his hat-trick 22 seconds later when he found himself in the right place at the right time as Colin Suellentrop's point shot deflected off of his skate and past Bailie, prompting a wave of hats to be thrown onto the ice. After a brief conference among the four officials, the goal was confirmed to be good. Cam Braes was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.

- The two teams skated through a fairly uneventful 3rd period as both realized the game was well in hand.

- Jordan Murray returned to the line-up after serving a two game suspension. Scratches for UNB were Cameron Brace, Mike Thomas, Oliver Cooper, and Peter Trainor.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 40-15 with period totals of 15-6, 18-4, and 7-5.

- The V-Reds power play had another underwhelming night, going 0 for 5. Queen's was 0 for 6 with the man advantage.

- UNB won 41 out of 78 face-offs.

- Etienne Marcoux turned aside 14 of 15 shots in improving to 4-0 with a 0.75 GAA in his career at the University Cup.

- Gaels goaltender Kevin Bailie stopped 31 out of 36 shots before giving away to back-up Jacob Brennan. Brennan stopped all 4 shots he saw in just over 9 minutes of action. It has been reported that Bailie agreed to be pulled to allow Brennan, a Halifax native who played junior hockey for Acadie-Bathurst, to play in a game close to his home.

- Maillet (3 goals, 1 assist) and Abraham (1 goal) were named the player's of the game for their respective teams.

- One lucky fan out of the 3374 in attendance walked away with over $4600 from the 50/50.

- Philippe Halley goal was his 11th all-time at the University Cup, extending his school record. Daine Todd is 2nd with 6.

- With two points tonight, Halley now has 13 career points at the University Cup, tying Kyle Bailey for most in school history. Maillet has moved into 3rd with 11.

- Maillet's hat-trick is UNB's 5th in their last 7 University Cup games. Cam Braes (vs. Windsor) and Philippe Halley (vs. Guelph) both had four goal games in 2014 and Halley had back to back three goal efforts (vs. Western and Saint Mary's) last year.

- UNB has won their opening game at each of their last 14 University Cups.

- The V-Reds will now enjoy a day off before preparing to face a familiar foe in the Acadia Axemen, who are fresh off of a 4-1 win over Alberta earlier in the day, in the semi-finals on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 12PM AST and it will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360 if you can't make it to the rink.

- Tomorrow's action will feature #3 York vs. #6 Saskatchewan in the 1PM game and #2 St. FX and #7 McGill in the 7PM tilt.

- The parallels to last season continue. Last year the #5 ranked Varsity Reds defeated the #4 ranked OUA runner-up (Western) 5-1 to move on to face an 8th ranked AUS team (Saint Mary's), who had eliminated the #1 team in the tournament (UQTR).