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.