Friday, January 19, 2018

UNB Hold Off Huskies

The U Sports #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used a dominant first period to defeat the #7 ranked Saint Mary's Huskies 3-2 at the AUC this evening on North Side Elementary School Night and Home Depot Night. UNB moves to 19-1-3 on the season to jump back in front of St. FX by a point for first place while the 4th place Huskies fall to 15-7-1.

After a bit of a disjointed start that featured a number of whistles and a lack of shots on goal, the Varsity Reds began to take control of the play and out-shot Saint Mary's 10-1 over the first half of the period and 19-4 overall. Trey Lewis (Willick, Thomas) opened the scoring with his second goal of the season at 6:49 when took a pass from down low as he skated into the slot and quickly snapped it between Cole Cheveldave's legs. Kris Bennett (Simpson, Murphy) doubled the lead at 15:19 after he was finally able to bang home a loose puck in front of the net after the V-Reds were turned away on two similar attempts moments before. UNB would take the 2-0 lead into the intermission.

The final forty minutes of the game were a different story altogether as the Huskies were the better team and had the majority of the quality scoring chances. A Steven Shipley power play goal 1:51 into the 2nd period got Saint Mary's back within a goal and that is how the game would stay until 8:27 into the 3rd when Tyler Boland (Clapperton, Gazzola) picked up a short pass just inside the offensive zone and burst in alone on Cheveldave, beating the goaltender with a snap shot shot five-hole for a power play marker. The Huskies once again got within a goal with 2:19 remaining on a Dylan DiPerna marker just as they were pulling their goalie. However, this was as close as they would get as UNB held on, despite missing a couple of chances with the empty net that would have made the final minutes a little less tense.

- Mark Simpson made his return to the line-up, playing for the first time since December 2nd. Peter Trainor and Colin Suellentrop were both out.

- Shots in the game were 31-22 for UNB with period totals of 19-4, 7-9, and 5-9.

- Alex Dubeau had his second straight strong game in net, making a number of big saves. This included a potential save of the year candidate when a cross-ice pass forced him to go post to post to rob a Huskies player of a sure goal with a glove save.

- Dubeau, Boland, and Cheveldave were the game's three stars.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play. SMU was 1 for 6.

- The Huskies won 35 out of the 67 face-offs in the game despite Dylan Willick winning 12 out of 18.

- Attendance was 3374.

- With an assist on Steven Shipley's goal, Huskies forward Hunter Garlent has registered at least a point in 11 out of his last 12 games against UNB.

- After scoring 14 goals in a pair of exhibition wins over Ryerson, the V-Reds have only scored 15 goals in 5 conference games since the Christmas break.

- In other AUS action tonight, UPEI exploded for five 2nd period goals to beat Acadia 5-1 in Charlottetown and Dalhousie got a big 4-0 home win over Moncton to extend their lead over the Aigles Bleus to 3 points in the race for the final playoff spot.

- The Varsity Reds are back at the AUC tomorrow night to face another ranked team as the #6 Acadia Axemen are in town. Game time is 7PM.