Saturday, September 29, 2018

Last Second Goal Lifts Reds

Mark Simpson’s second goal of the game came with 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation, capping a 3rd period comeback from a 4-2 deficit and giving the University of New Brunswick Reds a thrilling 5-4 victory tonight in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus.

Once again, the Reds got on the board early in the game when Simpson (Anderson, McIvor) scored his first goal of the contest at 4:21, finding a loose puck in front of the net and flipping it over Alexi Thibaudeau's glove hand. The Aigles Bleus would recover and grab the lead before the end of the period. At 11:02 Moncton came in on a 3-on-1 rush with Rylan Parenteau making the original save, but he wasn't able to hold on to the puck as it dropped out of his glove and Carl Marois was right there to bang it into an open net. Robbie Graham then gave the home side their first lead of the night at 18:29 when he found an opening from a sharp angle at the side of the net. Moncton would take a 2-1 lead into the intermission despite getting out-shot 14-7.

The 2nd period was more of the same as UNB held a 20-7 advantage in shots, yet saw the deficit grow to 4-2. All three goals in the period came within 53 second span. At 4:10 Matt Boudens (Cooper, LeBlanc) tied the game, converting a bouncing puck at the side of the net, however it did not last long with Moncton answering right back with a pair. Just 18 seconds later Marois forced a turnover in the slot and fired a wrist shot into the top right corner for his second of the night to make it 3-2 and then, at 5:03, Vincent Deslauriers received the pass on an odd man rush and put the puck off the far post and in to give the Aigles Bleus a two goal lead. The goal prompted a goaltending change with Alex Dubeau coming in for his first action of the young season. UNB had a chance to cut into the lead minutes later when Moncton took penalties 38 seconds apart, but once again the Reds power play sputtered and the deficit remained two heading into the final period.

To make matters worse, Samuel Dove-McFalls took a roughing penalty as time expired, putting Moncton on the power play to begin the 3rd. UNB successfully killed off the penalty and just shortly afterwards Matthew Boucher's pass from behind the net found Tyler Boland cruising into the slot for a quick snap shot into the top right of the cage. Tristan Pomerleau received credit for the secondary assist on the goal. A Cameron Brace penalty mid-way through the period stalled the momentum briefly - although Dove-McFalls had a shorthanded breakaway - but UNB survived and were able to tie it with just over four minutes remaining. After barely keeping the puck in at the Moncton blue line, Simpson found Boudens all alone in the high slot for a one-timer that he pounded past Thibaudeau. Mark Rassell also picked up an assist on the tying goal. This set the stage for an exciting finish, one that was made possible by an ill-advised icing by the Aigles Bleus with 16.4 seconds remaining. A scramble off of the ensuing offensive zone face-off saw the puck find the stick of an Aigles Bleus player, however his clearing attempt was knocked down by Matt Murphy at the blue line, who then worked it down to Simpson (Boudens, Murphy) in front of the net. The 3rd year centre was able to get just enough on his shot to slide the puck just inside the far post for the game winning goal. Shots in the period were 12-8 for UNB.

- The Reds went with the same line-up as Friday night with Randy Gazzola, Patrick Watling, and James McEwan all scratched.

- Shots in the game were 46-20 for UNB.

- Both teams were 0 for 4 on the power play.

- UNB dominated the face-off circle, winning 49 out of 79 draws. Simpson (17 out of 27) and Dove-McFalls (14 out of 23) did much of the heavy lifting with Boland (9 out of 13) also having a solid night.

- Parenteau surrendered 4 goals on 11 shots in 25:03 before Dubeau came on in relief and stopped all 9 shots directed his way over the final 34:57.

- Moncton was without their starting goalie Etienne Monpetit after he left Wednesday's season-opening win over UPEI with an apparent injury.

- This is UNB's 7th straight win in Moncton and their 13th straight against the Aigles Bleus overall.

- There was only one other AUS game last night and it also featured a big road comeback. Saint Mary's spotted St. FX a 4-1 3rd period lead only to come roaring back for a 5-4 shoot-out victory.

- The Huskies and Reds are the only two teams to win both of their opening week games.

- Next weekend is a bit of an odd one in the conference. Saint Mary's/Dalhousie and St. FX/Moncton play league games on Friday night while the other three teams - UNB, UPEI, Acadia - travel to the US for exhibition games against NCAA foes. The Reds will be in Boston for a match-up versus the Boston College Eagles on Saturday night. Game time is 8PM AST.