Monday, February 26, 2018

V-Reds Sweep Huskies

The #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have advanced to their 4th consecutive AUS Final thanks to a 6-2 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies tonight in Halifax. After a pair of tense one goal games in Fredericton, UNB completes a sweep of the best 3-of-5 semi-final series with a convincing win and now await the winner of the St. FX/Acadia series.

- Matt Murphy (Boland, Anderson) scored the lone goal of the 1st period at 11:26 after stepping up in the neutral zone to intercept the puck, executing a give-and-go in the offensive zone, and driving down the left side before sliding the puck past Eric Brassard.

- The V-Reds busted the game wide open in the 2nd period, scoring four straight goals to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Finding the back of the net were Christopher Clapperton (Anderson) at 1:16, Kris Bennett (Willick) at 4:00, Dylan Willick (Bennett, Gazzola) at 8:02, and Clapperton (Gazzola, Murphy) again at 14:28. The Huskies finally stopped the onslaught with an Aaron Berisha power play goal at 16:19 to make it 5-1 after 40 minutes.

- The two teams traded power play goals late in the 3rd period with Tyler Boland (Anderson, Gazzola) restoring UNB's five goal cushion at 14:01 before Stephen Johnson rounded out the scoring at 18:10.

- Shots in the game were 25-23 for Saint Mary's. This marked a season-low in shots on goal for the V-Reds and they only managed 80 in the entire series, well below their regular season average of 39 per game. Furthermore, they have been held below 31 shots in 6 out of their last 7 games dating back to the regular season.

- Peter Trainor and Oliver Cooper were both out of the line-up.

- Alex Dubeau was once again solid in goal for UNB. Berisha's 2nd period goal snapped a 148:03 scoreless streak for Dubeau, dating back to Bradley Latour's shorthanded goal early in the 2nd period of game 1. It also ended a string of nine consecutive V-Reds goals in the series.

- The V-Reds went 1 for 6 on the power play. SMU was 1 for 8.

- Trey Lewis received a 5 minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head only 45 seconds after Murphy opened the scoring. Once again, the V-Reds penalty kill stepped up with a Kris Bennett shorthanded breakaway being the best chance by either team during the man advantage.

- As a result of the misconduct, we can expect to see Lewis suspended for at least the first game of the AUS Final.

- Face-offs were heavily in favour of UNB at 40-28. Dylan Willick led the way with 13 wins in 20 chances.

- This is the first time UNB have swept Saint Mary's in a best-of-5 series. They have swept them in a best-of-3 series in both 2003 and 2008.

- Attendance was 1080.

- After losing 1-0 last night, St. FX got a late go-ahead power play goal to defeat Acadia 4-3 and knot their series at two game apiece. Game 5 will go Thursday night in Antigonish.

- While the V-Reds will await the winner of that game to see who they play in the best 2-of-3 AUS Final (schedule TBD), the Huskies will face the loser in a consolation series to determine the conference's third and final berth and the University Cup.