Friday, November 24, 2017

Offense Breaks Out

The return of star forward Christopher Clapperton helped spur the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds to their best offensive output of the season as the defending National Champions erupted for an 8-1 victory over a very short-staffed UPEI Panthers squad tonight at the AUC on the 2nd annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. UNB is now 13-0-2 as the season has reached its midpoint.

- After some early scoring chances and close calls had everyone on the edge of their seat, Peter Trainor (Willick, Murphy) triggered the showering of 1155 stuffed animals on to the ice by tipping in a point shot past Panthers goaltender Connor Wilkinson at 12:17 of the 1st period. It was the only goal in the frame as UNB held a 14-7 advantage in shots on goal.

- The V-Reds power play struggles continued early in the 2nd period as Marcus Power went in all alone on a shorthanded breakaway and beat Alex Dubeau blocker side to tie the game at 2:53. It is the second straight game UNB has surrendered a shorthanded marker.

- After the Panthers goal the Varsity Reds took complete control of the game and exploded for 5 goals over the next 6+ minutes and 6 goals total in the period. Matt Murphy (Anderson) got the onslaught started at 5:44 when he tapped in a centering pass to restore the lead and then Clapperton and Boland sprung Stephen Anderson for a breakaway goal at 7:54 to make it 3-1. UNB added three more goals in 66 seconds with Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Brace) at 10:43, Dylan Willick (Trainor, McIvor) at 11:21, and Chris Caissy (Bennett, Boudens) at 11:49 doing the honours. Finally, Cameron Brace (Caissy, Bennett) capped the V-Reds most productive period of the season with a tip in at 19:32. Shots in the period were 18-11 for UNB.

- The Panthers made a goaltending change to begin the 3rd period with Matt Mahalak replacing the beleaguered Wilkinson and, although Clapperton (Gazzola, Boland) beat him on a breakaway 1:30 into the period, he held things in check the rest of the way, making a couple of nice saves in the process. UNB out-shot the Panthers 13-9 in the period.

- With Clapperton back in the line-up, Trey Lewis was the lone scratch.

- Shots in the game were 45-27, the 11th time in 15 games UNB has fired 40+ shots on net.

- Tristan Pomerleau was the only member of the V-Reds to fail to record a shot on goal.

- UNB went 0 for 2 on the power play. UPEI was scoreless on 7 opportunities even though they had the man advantage for 11:39 out of final 13:42 of the game. This included a five minute power play after Cameron Brace was assessed a major penalty for checking to the head, which will most likely cause him to miss at least one game, and a full minute of 5-on-3 time.

- Over their last six games UNB has been outscored on their power play as they have only scored one power play goal while giving up two shorthanded goals.

- Clapperton, Murphy, and Boland were the game's three stars.

- UNB won 43 out of 80 face-offs. Dylan Willick had by far the best  night, winning 16 out of 20.

- Due to injuries and suspensions the Panthers began the game with only 13 skaters, only 2 of whom were natural defenceman. The problem was further exacerbated when they lost another player early in the game after a big hit from Mike Thomas. They also lost Riley Whittingham, who was on the receiving end of the Brace hit that earned him the major penalty, briefly but he did eventually return.

- Attendance was 3168 for the 2nd annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.

- Since there were over 1000 stuffed animals collected for children in need this holiday season, all ticket holders receive 40% off of their bill at the Snooty Fox (for tonight only).

- This is the most goals UNB has scored in a game since they also put up 8 against Saint Mary's last December 2nd.

- Elsewhere around the conference tonight, the 2nd place St. FX X-Men kept pace with a 2-1 home win over Acadia and Saint Mary's got past Dalhousie 3-1 in the battle of Halifax.

- The V-Reds are back at it tomorrow night when they travel 90 minutes down the highway to face the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM.