Saturday, November 4, 2017

Back In First Place

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds survived a tough game against the UPEI Panthers tonight, ultimately coming out on top with a 3-2 victory in Charlottetown. UNB moves to 9-0-1 on the season, one point ahead of the 8-0-2 St. FX X-Men heading into their first meeting of the season on Friday.

- The home side grabbed a 1-0 lead 7:47 into the opening period when Kameron Kielly snuck the puck through Alex Dubeau's pads off of a rush.

- The V-Reds answered at 13:11 with Tyler Boland (Pomerleau, Suellentrop) deftly redirecting a point shot from the side of the net over Matt Mahalak's right shoulder.

- UNB took their first lead of the night while shorthanded at 11:19 of the 2nd period. Dylan Willick broke down the right side with a teammate and opted to shoot, putting the puck into the top corner on the short side.

- The Panthers tied the game back up just over two minutes later. Chris Caissy attempted to go up the middle to clear the puck out of the UNB zone, but Riley Whittingham swooped in to intercept it and beat Dubeau clean with a wrist shot from the slot.

- The Varsity Reds got the eventual game-winner at 7:25 of the 3rd period on a bit of a fortuitous play. Mahalak went behind the net to play the puck and got tangled up with Cameron Brace. Brace was able to throw the puck towards the net, where Oliver Cooper managed to get a stick on it and put it in before the Panthers goaltender could get back in position.

- UPEI pulled Mahalak for the last 57 seconds and had a few solid scoring chances in hopes of tying the contest, but the V-Reds held the fort to pick up the big two points.

- Christopher Clapperton was once again the lone scratch.

- Shots in the game were 26-23 for UNB with period totals of 9-8, 10-5, and 7-10. It was the first time this season the V-Reds have been held below 31 shots on goal.

- It was a much better defensive performance from the Panthers given UNB had put up 48 and 49 shots in the first two regular season meetings this season. It was even more impressive considering UPEI was playing with only five defenceman as veteran Austin Levi was scratched after warm-up.

- For the first time this season the V-Reds did not score a power play goal, going 0 for 1 on the night. The Panthers were 0 for 4.

- UNB won 40 out of 78 face-offs. Mark Simpson was 16 out of 29.

- The V-Reds are 16-0-1 in their last 17 games against UPEI, including 4-0-0 (3-0-0 in regular season, 1-0-0 in exhibition) this season.

- They are also on a 22-0-2 run in regular season games dating back to last season. They went 13-0-1 to end last year and are, of course, 9-0-1 this year.

- This was the only conference game played tonight.

- As mentioned above, UNB and the 2nd place St. FX X-Men will finally meet for the first time next Friday night at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.