Saturday, November 11, 2017

Varsity Reds Survive Scare

Rookie defenceman Tristan Pomerleau’s first career goal late in the game proved to be the game winner as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds pulled out a tight 3-1 win over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the AUC in a game that was noticeably lacking the sharpness and intensity as the night before. The 11-0-1 V-Reds maintain their three point lead over second place St. FX while the 6th place Tigers drop to 2-9-1, just one point out of the basement.

- The visitors were first on the board with the only goal of the opening period. The Tigers executed a nice tic-tac-toe passing play off the rush with Alex Pawelczyk driving to the side of the net and getting the final touch, slamming the puck into a wide open cage at 17:25 to give Dalhousie a 1-0 lead. Shots in the period were 15-9 for UNB.

- It wasn't until the V-Reds 25th shot of the night at 10:58 of the 2nd period that they were able to tie the game while shorthanded. Mark Simpson stole the puck from a defender in the neutral zone and broke in on a two-on-one with Cameron Brace. Simpson found Brace with a cross-ice pass and with Tigers goalie Joseph Gladnick moving right to left to follow the pass, Brace snapped the puck back against the grain and into the vacated left side of the net. The two teams would head into the intermission tied at 1 after a period in which the V-Reds out-shot the Tigers 16-3.

- Dalhousie clamped down defensively in the early part of the 3rd period, doing a good job at limiting UNB's shots and chances. The Varsity Reds started to generate some pressure as the period went on and were rewarded with the go-ahead goal at 14:17 when Tristan Pomerleau (Boland, Bennett) picked up a loose puck at the face-off circle and fluttered over Gladnick's left shoulder and into the net. It was Pomerleau's first career AUS goal. A Cameron Brace penalty gave the Tigers a golden opportunity to tie it up, but the V-Reds killed it off and Brace (Trainor, Caissy), coincidentally, sealed the game with an empty net marker at 18:35 to make it a 3-1 final. UNB out-shot the Tigers 10-6 in the frame.

- Christopher Clapperton remained sidelined with a concussion.

- Shots in the game were 41-18.

- Brace and Stephen Anderson led the way with six shots apiece.

- UNB's power play is officially struggling. They went 0 for 6 on the night and are 0 for their last 12 over the previous three games. The Tigers were 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- Rylan Parenteau picked up his third win in as many starts in goal. He is currently sporting a 1.33 GAA and 0.925 save percentage on the season.

- Pomerleau, Tigers goalie Joseph Gladnick, and Brace were the game's three stars.

- The V-Reds dominated the face-off circle, winning 51 out of 75 draws. Tyler Boland (14 out of 21), Mark Simpson (14 out of 20), and Chris Caissy (11 out of 14) all had strong efforts.

- Attendance was 2083.

- Before the game team captain Dylan Willick was presented with the 2017 Rod Pike Memorial Scholarship.

- UNB has won 21 straight home games and 22 games in a row overall against the Tigers in regular season play.

- They have won 32 consecutive regular season home games, including all 7 so far this year. They have only given up more than 3 goals twice during the streak.

- At 11-0-1 the Varsity Reds are off to their best start since opening the 2009-2010 season 12-0-0.

- Former V-Reds defenceman Jordan Murray notched a hat-trick, including the overtime winner, in the Belleville Senators (AHL) win last night.

- It was status quo across the conference last night. St. FX scored a pair of late goals to get past UPEI 4-2 in Charlottetown and Saint Mary's thumped Moncton 7-1 in Halifax.

- UNB is on the road next week for a rematches against St. FX and Dalhousie. They are in Antigonish to face the X-Men on Friday night before visiting the Tigers the next night. Game time is 7PM for both contests and they can be viewed at www.AUStv.ca.