Saturday, January 13, 2018

V-Reds Come Through With Shootout Victory

The #3 U Sports ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds exacted a measure of revenge and moved back into sole possession of first place in the AUS after picking up a huge 2-1 shootout victory over the #1 U Sports ranked St. FX X-Men in an entertaining contest tonight in Antigonish. UNB is now 18-1-3 on the season, one point up on the 17-1-4 X-Men.

- The Varsity Reds broke the ice 12:56 into the 1st period when Stephen Anderson (Cooper, Goulet) found a loose puck in front of the net on a delayed penalty and slid it under goaltender Chase Marchand.

- That lone goal would hold up until half way through the 3rd period when St. FX was able to tie it. The X-Men gained possession of the puck off of a neutral zone turnover and broke in on a 3-on-2 rush with Michael Clarke driving the net and making a patient move to get the puck around Alex Dubeau.

- The two teams would remain deadlocked through the rest of regulation and a back and forth five minute 3-on-3 overtime period, despite each team having glorious chances to win it, and the game went to a shootout.
- In the shootout, after Marchand stopped Tyler Boland, defenceman Cole MacDonald put the X-Men on the board with a backhand through Dubeau's legs only to have Dylan Willick answer right back to tie it up. Holden Cook and Cameron Brace then exchanged missed chances, giving Clarke an opportunity to win the game. Dubeau stood tall to deny Clarke and then Alexandre Goulet gave the visitors the lead after out-waiting Machand to get him down and firing the puck into the top of the net. Needing a goal to continue, X-Men forward Bryson Cianfrone shot high and wide to give the V-Reds the thrilling victory.

- Shots in the game were 43-29 for UNB with period totals of 14-7, 8-14, 17-5, and 4-3.

- Mark Simpson and Colin Suellentrop were both out of the line-up.

- UNB was 0 for 3 on the power play. They also killed off all 6 shorthanded situations, including a key penalty kill late in the 3rd period.

- Marchand, Dubeau, and Clarke were the game's three stars.

- Attendance was near sell-out of 1219.

- The X-Men dominated the face-offs, winning 41 out of 64 in the game.

- The season series between these two teams couldn't be closer. Each team has a regulation victory at the AUC as well as an extra time win at the Keating Millennium Centre. They will play once more - in Fredericton - in the season's penultimate game on Friday, February 9th.

- In other games in the AUS tonight, Dalhousie jumped into a playoff spot with a 4-1 win over UPEI in Halifax and Acadia kept rolling after a 4-2 road win in Moncton.

- UNB is back on home ice next weekend when they host Saint Mary's on Friday night for Northside Elementary School Night as well as Home Depot Night and Acadia on Saturday night. Game times are 7PM.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Balanced Attack Guides Varsity Reds

The visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds received goals from six different players on their way to a 6-3 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers tonight in Halifax. UNB improves to 17-1-3 on the season and remain tied for first place with St. FX.

The V-Reds got on the board with a shorthanded goal early in this one as Dylan Willick got his stick in the way of a D-to-D pass and raced down the right side on a partial break before beating Tigers goalie Corbin Boes short side with a wrist shot at 1:37. They would extend their lead with a pair of quick goals later in the period with Tristan Pomerleau's (Boland, Thomas) deflected, fluttering point shot somehow finding its way in at 13:52 and Mike Thomas (Trainor, Willick) converting a nice feed from behind the net at 14:31 to make it 3-0. That's how things stood after the opening period with UNB holding a 12-6 edge in shots.

The 2nd period was perhaps one of the V-Reds best of the season. They out-shot the Tigers a whopping 27-2 and built their lead to 6-1. After Reid Murphy got the home team on the board with a power play goal at 1:46, the Varsity Reds struck for another trio of goals to pull away. At 5:09 Alexandre Goulet (Gazzola, Boudens) was credited with the last touch on a mad scramble around the Tigers crease. Just over 7 minutes later Kris Bennett (Boland) forced a turnover in front of the Dalhousie net and made no mistake with a deke to slide the puck around Boes to make it 5-1. Finally, Stephen Anderson (Gazzola, Clapperton) sniped a power play marker at 16:33.

The Tigers made a goaltending change to begin the 3rd period, replacing Boes with back-up Jacob Fancy and it seemed to have helped as they played their best period of the night. Much like their meeting last Sunday when they took six straight penalties to begin the 3rd period, the V-Reds once again got into penalty trouble and ended up taking the final six penalties of this game over the final 13:36, allowing the Tigers to narrow the deficit and make the score look a bit more respectable. Reid Murphy made it 6-2 with his second power play goal of the game at 12:07, just seconds after UNB had killed off the first half of a 5-on-3 disadvantage. Dalhousie then took the ensuing face-off, split the defence, and went right down the ice and scored again - just 5 seconds later, at 12:12 - to cut the lead to 6-3. The rest of the game was played without much fanfare as the Tigers out-shot the V-Reds 8-5 in the period.

- Mark Simpson and Trey Lewis were scratched.

- Shots in the game were 44-15 for UNB.

- Rylan Parenteau remained perfect on the season, improving to 7-0-0 in net.

- UNB went 1 for 4 on the power play. Dalhousie was 2 for 10.

- Willick, Bennett, and Reid Murphy were the game's three stars.

- The V-Reds held a slight 40-38 advantage in the face-off circle. Dylan Willick had the best night with 13 wins in 22 chances.

- Randy Gazzola had a game-high 6 shots on goal.

- Elsewhere around the conference, St. FX took care of UPEI 5-2 in Antigonish and Acadia used five power play goals to top Saint Mary's 6-2 on home ice.

- UNB is back at it Saturday night when they travel to St. FX to face the X-Men in what is the most important game of the season thus far. Game time is 7PM.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

UNB Rebounds With Win

In a game that was originally supposed to be played Friday night but was postponed due to weather, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds recovered from their first regulation loss of the season with a tidy 3-0 victory this afternoon over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers. UNB improves to 16-1-3 on the season, tied with St. FX for top spot in the conference.

- Randy Gazzola opened the scoring 6:53 into the game while on the power play when he went coast to coast, going forehand to backhand to beat Tigers goalie Corbin Boes with a goal that was similar to his tally last night.

- Alexandre Goulet (Cooper, LeBlanc) scored his first career AUS goal at 9:01 of the 2nd period to make it 2-0. After picking up a loose puck behind the Tigers net, Goulet "dipsy-doodled" around a couple of Tigers defenders on his way to the net and beat Boes with a backhanded shot.

- The V-Reds added to their lead at 12:41 of the 2nd period when Olivier LeBlanc found Cameron Brace with a cross-ice pass on a short 2-on-1 that Brace banged into a wide open net.

- Shots in the game were 47-12 for UNB. The period totals were 18-5, 17-5, 12-2.

- Rylan Parenteau continued his recent strong play with his first career AUS shutout. He is now 6-0-0 with a 1.67 goals against average and 0.907 save percentage on the season.

- The Tigers certainly had their opportunities in the 3rd period as UNB was shorthanded for 12 out of the first 16 minutes of the period, including a pair of four minute power plays. However, as was the case all afternoon, the V-Reds penalty kill generated better scoring chances than the Dalhousie man advantage.

- While UNB's power play once again struggled (1 for 8), their penalty kill was exceptional and a far cry from the night before when they surrendered three power play goals. They killed off all 8 of the Tigers opportunities today.

- Gazzola, Boes, and LeBlanc were the game's three stars.

- UNB won 41 out of 66 face-offs. Dylan Willick (11 out of 15) and Alexandre Goulet (10 out of 16) were both strong in the dot.

- Attendance was 1865.

- Although UNB and St. FX have the same record, the X-Men currently hold the tie-breaker based on their 2-1-0 head to head record.

- These same two teams will meet up again next Friday in Halifax. Game time is 7PM and it can be viewed at www.AUStv.ca.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

V-Reds Begin 2nd Half With Thud

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds opened the 2nd half of their schedule tonight with the 26th annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game and it was not the start they had hoped, as the visiting St. FX X-Men scored a crucial 5-2 victory in an intense and chippy affair at the AUC. The loss is UNB’s first in regulation this season.

- The visitors scored the only goal in the opening period with Adam Stevens connecting on the power play at 15:18.

- Almost exactly a period later - at 15:10 of the 2nd period - the Varsity Reds tied the game with a power play goal of their own with Kris Bennett (LeBlanc, Boland) tipping in a point shot to make it 1-1.

- The X-Men re-took the lead before the end of the frame however, with Michael Clarke banging in a loose puck at the side of the net after a wild scramble in front of Alex Dubeau at 19:31.

- If that last minute goal wasn't the turning point, the X-Men's next goal certainly was. With the V-Reds applying all kinds of pressure in the early going of the 3rd period, Nathan Pancel jumped on a bad turnover right in front of Dubeau and tucked it in at 5:21.

- St. FX added a pair of power play goals three minutes apart midway through the period to push the advantage to 5-1 before Randy Gazzola (Lewis) capped the scoring with a nice individual rush through the offensive zone.

- Shots in the game were 36-28 for UNB with period totals of 11-5, 13-17, and 12-6.

- Mark Simpson and Peter Trainor were both scratched.

- The X-Men's power play continues to operate at a ridiculous rate. They went 3 for 6 with the man advantage and are currently at 29% on the season. UNB went 1 for 4 on their chances.

- Attendance was 2586.

- Chase Marchand (34 saves), Santino Centorame (1 goal, 1 assist), and Bennett (1 goal) were named the game's three stars.

- Marchand continues his stellar play against UNB. He is now 5-2-1 with a 0.916 save percentage in his career against the V-Reds, including 4-0-0 with a 0.947 save percentage dating back to last year's AUS Final.

- St. FX won 34 out of 65 face-offs.

- Before the game 3rd year forward Chris Clapperton was presented with the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship.

- The V-Reds had won the previous 15 Mark Jeffrey Memorial Games. This was the first time St. FX provided the opposition.

- With the win St. FX (16-1-3) moves into 1st place in the AUS, two points up on UNB (15-1-3). The V-Reds have a game in hand.

- Entering the game UNB was 44-0-2 in their last 46 regular season games at the AUC. Their last loss in regulation time on home ice came on November 14th, 2014 when they fell 4-3 to Saint Mary's.

- UNB hadn't lost a home game by at least three goals since a 5-2 setback to Moncton on October 13th, 2012. Their previous 8 home losses had all been by a single goal.

- The Varsity Reds are back at it tomorrow afternoon when they host the Dalhousie Tigers at 2PM.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Tonight's Game Postponed Until Sunday

Due to the inclement weather that has hit the region, tonight's game at the AUC between the Varsity Reds and Dalhousie Tigers has been postponed. It has been rescheduled for this Sunday, January 7th at 2PM.

Tomorrow night's game versus the St. FX X-Men is expected to proceed as planned. Game time is 7PM.