Thursday, February 22, 2018

Offense From Unlikely Sources Leads V-Reds

Trailing 2-0 halfway through the opener of their best 3-of-5 semi-final, the #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds turned to their unsung heroes to rally for a dramatic 3-2 overtime victory over the #4 Saint Mary's Huskies tonight at the AUC.

- The visitors scored the lone goal in an entertaining and back and forth opening twenty minutes when Anthony Repaci finished off a perfect 3-on-2 rush into the offensive zone, slapping a one-timer past Alex Dubeau.

- The Huskies doubled their lead 5:46 into the 2nd period. With the two teams skating 4-on-4 Bradley Latour got sprung for a short break and slid the puck between Dubeau's legs just as the UNB penalty expired for a shorthanded goal.

- The V-Reds comeback began at 11:21 when defenceman Marcus McIvor (Bennett, Dubeau) led a rush up the ice and curled towards the corner before throwing an innocent looking shot from a sharp angle towards the goal that somehow squeezed between Eric Brassard's arm and the post.

- It only took 12 seconds for UNB to tie the game. A hard shot off the end boards bounced out into the face-off circle to Brassard's right and Matt Boudens, chugging down the wing, stepped into the loose puck and hammered it into the net.

- After both teams skated through a scoreless 3rd period the game headed to overtime. The Varsity Reds controlled play in the extra session, taking all five shots on goal and coming close to ending the game on a handful of occasions. They finally broke through at the 7:30 mark on a somewhat similar play as their first goal, another one that Brassard would undoubtedly want back. Mark Simpson got around a defender at the blue line and broke down the right side. He put the puck on the net short side and, after appearing that Brassard it covered, it snuck just over the goal line to give UNB a 3-2 decision.

- Peter Trainor and Tristan Pomerleau were both out for the V-Reds.

- Shots in the game were 30-27 for UNB with period totals of 10-9, 10-11, 5-7, and 5-0.

- Both teams went 0 for 5 with the man advantage.

- Alex Dubeau picked up his first career playoff win. Among his 25 saves were a couple of ridiculous glove stops that prevented the game from getting out of reach.

- UNB dominated at the face-off dot, winning 44 out of 69 draws.

- Simpson, Dubeau, and Brassard were the game's three stars.

- This was UNB's first overtime playoff game since losing 2-1 to Saint Mary's in 2014. Their last overtime playoff win came a year earlier when they defeated the Huskies 1-0 in game 1 of the AUS Final on the strength of a Dion Campbell goal.

- Prior to tonight UNB had only played one overtime game at home all season - a 6-5 exhibition win over Ryerson on December 29th.

- This is Mark Simpson's 2nd career OT winner. He notched one shorthanded against St. FX last season.

- McIvor and Boudens only had one goal each during the regular season in a combined 53 games. Simpson had 7 in 26 games.

- In the other semi-final series, Acadia rallied from a pair of one goal deficits to get past St. FX 4-2 in Antigonish. Their series resumes tomorrow night.

- These two teams are back at it at the AUC tomorrow night for game 2. Game time is 7PM.