Saturday, November 25, 2017

V-Reds Hold Off Pesky Aigles Bleus

Although they controlled play for the majority of the game, the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were never able to pull away from the Université de Moncton, needing an empty net goal to secure a 5-3 victory tonight. The V-Reds head into the final weekend of the first semester with a 14-0-2 record, two points clear of the St. FX X-Men.

- The two teams traded goals in the opening period. Oliver Cooper (Simpson, Boudens) got the visitors on the board just 53 seconds into the contest only to see the Aigles Bleus respond at 6:30 on an Alexis Roy marker after a scramble in front of the Rylan Parenteau's net. At 12:35 the Varsity Reds regained the lead when Kris Bennett (Suellentrop) came down the left wing and handcuffed goaltender Alexi Thibaudeau with a wrist shot. However, the home side answered once again, with Roy getting his second of the game when he redirected a hard pass in front of the net for a power play goal. Shots in the period were 12-6 for UNB.

- The Varsity Reds turned it up in the 2nd period, out-shooting Moncton 17-5, and scored the only goal of the frame at 10:52 to grab a 3-2 lead. While on the power play, Olivier LeBlanc made a break-out pass to Christopher Clapperton in the neutral zone. Clapperton drew the defense to him along the boards as he entered the Moncton zone before spotting Tyler Boland streaking towards the net with a cross-ice pass. The rookie wasted little time in firing a wrist shot past Thibaudeau to give UNB their third lead of the game.

- Clapperton (Trainor, McIvor) gave the V-Reds a two goal lead 7:32 into the final period, taking a pass from Marcus McIvor after a Moncton neutral zone turnover, skating down the left side, and putting the puck into the top right corner. The Aigles Bleus did not go down quietly though as Alex Chiasson pulled them back within a goal exactly three minutes later when he pounced on a rebound in front put it home. Moncton pushed hard for the tying goal in the final moments, coming close on a couple of goalmouth scrambles, but Clapperton (Willick, McIvor) sealed the game at 19:00 with an empty net goal from his own end of the ice after a defensive zone face-off win. Shots in the period were 11 apiece.

- Trey Lewis drew back into the line-up as Cameron Brace sat out due to suspension from his major penalty the night before.

- Shots were 40-22 for UNB.

- The V-Reds were 1 for 3 on the power play while Moncton scored once on five opportunities.

- Thibaudeau was named the player of the game after stopping 35 of 39 shots.

- UNB won 53 of 79 face-offs. Mark Simpson (17 out of 25), Tyler Boland (13 of 19), Dylan Willick (11 of 16), and Chris Caissy (9 of 14) all had strong showings.

- Attendance was 469.

- The V-Reds push their winning streak over Moncton to 11 in a row.

- UNB is 27-0-3 in their last 30 regular season games dating back to 3-2 loss to Saint Mary's on November 26th, 2016.

- In the only other game in the conference, Acadia defeated Dalhousie 3-1 in Halifax.

- The first half of the schedule comes to an end next weekend with the Varsity Reds playing a pair of tough games in Nova Scotia. On Friday night they are in Halifax to face Saint Mary's and then on Saturday they travel to Wolfville to battle Acadia. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start and can be viewed at