Saturday, October 21, 2017

Varsity Reds Back In Win Column

Facing a deficit entering the 3rd period and staring at a second consecutive loss, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds rallied for a big 4-2 road win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies tonight in Halifax. UNB remains undefeated in regulation time this season at 5-0-1 while SMU falls to 3-2-1

In what is starting to sound like a broken record, the Varsity Reds controlled play in the early going, out-shooting the Huskies 13-3 in the first period, only to have to the game remain scoreless after twenty minutes.

Saint Mary's was first on the board with a power play goal 8:34 into the second period - the 4th time in 6 games UNB has given up the game's first goal. Goaltender Alex Dubeau made the original stop on a shot from the blue line, but the big rebound came directly to Mark Trickett, who was stationed just below the left face-off circle, and he converted past an out-of-position Dubeau. The 1-0 advantage was short-lived, however, as Stephen Anderson (Boland, Clapperton) knotted the game just 25 seconds later with his 7th of the season on a slap shot through traffic from the high slot. The Huskies grabbed the lead back at 14:30 as Hunter Garlent got in behind the defence, took a pass through the neutral zone, and went in all alone. The reigning AUS rookie of the year and current league leading scorer went backhand to forehand to slide the puck past Dubeau. Shots in the middle frame were 9-8 for UNB.

With the Varsity Reds on the verge of a winless weekend, the power play came through in a big way with a pair of goals to help secure the win. At 7:54 Oliver Cooper (Gazzola, Brace) re-directed a Gazzola wrist shot from the blue line to tie the game and then, at 13:01, Olivier LeBlanc (Boland, Bennett) scored his first career AUS goal to give UNB their first lead of the night, one they would not relinquish. LeBlanc took a pass at the left point, noticed he had time and space to skate in towards the goal, and beat goaltender Eric Brassard with a wrist shot, using the defender as a screen. Kris Bennett's unassisted goal off of a neutral zone turnover with 9 seconds left capped the scoring. Shots were 10-9 in the period in favour of the V-Reds.

- UNB went with the exact same line-up as Friday night with defenceman Marcus McIvor being the lone scratch.

- Shots in the game ended up 32-20 for the V-Reds.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play. SMU was 1 for 5.

- Attendance was 384.

- Dubeau made 18 saves on 20 shots to improve to 4-1-0 on the season.

- The Varsity Reds won 42 out of 77 face-offs with Dylan Willick going 17 out of 28 at the dot.

- For the first time since opening night, the V-Reds were held below 44 shots on goal.

- UNB has scored a power play goal in all 6 regular season games thus far.

- Elsewhere around the conference, St. FX improved to 6-0-0 with a 4-2 victory in Moncton over the Aigles Bleus and Acadia dealt the UPEI Panthers a second consecutive beating, winning 8-2 in Wolfville.

- The V-Reds are back on home ice this upcoming weekend for rematches against Acadia and Saint Mary's. They play the Axemen on Friday night and the Huskies on Saturday night with both games scheduled for a 7PM start.