Saturday, November 18, 2017

UNB Escapes With Win

In a game that featured just about everything, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds blew a two goal 3rd period lead only to recover with a late goal of their own to scrape by the Dalhousie Tigers 4-3 tonight in Halifax. The V-Reds, now 12-0-2 on the season, maintain their two point lead atop the AUS standings.

- The two teams skated through a scoreless opening period, although it had appeared Kris Bennett opened the scoring with a shot that went in but through the net and out the back. However, after the next stoppage in play the referees had a lengthy conversation with the goal judge and amongst themselves, finally deciding there was not sufficient enough evidence to call it a good goal.

- Peter Trainor (Gazzola, Brace) got the visitors on the board first with a power play goal at 9:03 of the 2nd period with a wrist shot from the blue line that evaded everything and went straight past a screened Corbin Boes. This would be the only goal through the first forty minutes of the game.

- After Colton Heffley tied the game 22 seconds into the 3rd period, UNB quickly responded when Trey Lewis (Thomas, Gazzola) tucked the puck in from the crease at 1:55 to restore the lead. It was Lewis' first goal as a V-Red. A Cameron Brace (Simpson, Suellentrop) goal off the rush, in which he executed a nice toe-drag to get the puck around a defender before snapping a wrist shot far side on Boes, at 8:01 had the Varsity Reds seemingly well in control. Things looked even more dire for the Tigers when they took five minor penalties in a 4:11 span at the mid-point of the period, but not only did the V-Reds fail to capitalize on the golden opportunities to put the game away, Alex Pawelczyk scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 12:40 to pull Dalhousie within a goal. They carried that momentum forward and, after killing off the rash of penalties, were able to tie the game at 17:56 when Aiden Jamieson just threw a shot onto net that found its way past Rylan Parenteau. With the game looking like it may improbably be headed for overtime Matt Boudens bailed out his team when he beat Boes with an unassisted wraparound goal with just 61 seconds remaining. To make the night even more interesting, Parenteau had to leave the game with 50 seconds remaining due to an equipment issue that couldn't be quickly fixed, so Alex Dubeau was forced to come on and make a couple of saves to help secure the victory.

- Shots in the game were 42-23 for UNB. The period totals were 18-6, 9-5, and 15-12.

- Christopher Clapperton remained out of the line-up. Dylan Willick left the game for a stretch after being on the receiving end of a penalized hit along the boards. He eventually returned.

- UNB's power play continues to struggle mightily, going a woeful 1 for 12 with the man advantage, including a pair of long 5-on-3 opportunities. They also surrendered their first shorthanded goal of the season. The Tigers were 0 for 3 on the night.

- The V-Reds won 46 out of 83 face-offs in the game. Mark Simpson was a workhouse, taking 34 draws and winning 21 of them.

- UNB has blown three different two goal leads to the Tigers in their last two games in Halifax. In their final meeting last season, Dalhousie rallied from 2-0 and 4-2 deficits before eventually falling 6-4.

- With Alberta’s 4-0 loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies tonight, UNB becomes the lone team in the country without a regulation loss.

- St. FX kept the pressure on the V-Reds with a 6-1 home win over UPEI and Saint Mary's won their 6th in a row with a 7-2 victory in Moncton.

- The Varsity Reds are back on home ice on Friday night when they host the UPEI Panthers in a game that will also be the 2nd Annual Teddy Bear Toss. If there is one regular season game to attend, this is certainly the one as it is for a great cause with all stuffed toys collected going to children in need. As an added incentive, if 1000+ stuffed animals are collected ticket holders will receive 40% off their entire bill that night at the Snooty Fox. Game time is 7PM.