Saturday, September 15, 2018

Reds Rally For Shootout Win

The University of New Brunswick Reds fell behind 2-0 but battled back for a 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting McGill Redmen this afternoon at the Aitken Centre. With their second straight one goal win UNB completes a two game sweep against the defending Queen's Cup champions in their first action of the season.

In a reversal of Friday night's contest, it was the visitors getting out to a two goal cushion in this one thanks to a pair of power play goals that were both the result of a fortunate deflection. The Redmen opened the scoring with just six seconds remaining in the opening frame after Antoine Dufour-Plante slid the puck along the ice and in from in tight. Shots in the period were 12-7 for UNB.

Aaron Armstrong doubled McGill's lead 5:39 into the 2nd period after his shot from the left wing half boards hit a skate or stick in front and went past a helpless Rylan Parenteau. However, the Reds didn't take long to respond as Tyler Boland (Pomerleau, Anderson) curled off the boards and picked the top right corner from the face-off circle at 6:21. The Redmen would hold on to the one goal lead for the rest of the period despite some good bursts of pressure from the Reds. The shots were once again 12-7 in favour of UNB.

Trailing 2-1 the Reds had a pair of power play chances in the 3rd period to try and tie the game. After failing on their first opportunity early in the period, Redmen's star defenseman Nikolas Brouillard was called for a delay of game penalty at 15:47. While they didn't convert with the man advantage, it was just three seconds after the penalty expired when Alexandre Goulet (Cooper, Watling) got possession of the puck in the slot after some nice passing and fired a shot that cleanly beat goaltender Antoine Samuel to knot the game at 2, which is how it would stay until the end of regulation. UNB out-shot McGill 12-5 in the period.

The two teams would skate through a scoreless five minute, 3-on-3 overtime period with the Redmen holding the edge in play, taking four out of the five shots on goal in the extra session. The game then went to a three round shoot-out. After each team exchanged misses, Goulet cut across the crease and out-waited Samuel before shooting the puck into a wide open top of the net. The move was very reminiscent to the one he used to give UNB a big win at St. FX late last season. Harlan Orr would respond for the Redmen to tie the shoot-out at 1 after two skaters each. Tyler Boland was next up and made a deke before snapping a shot that found an opening to give the Reds the advantage, leaving it up to Aaron Armstrong. Armstrong tried "The Forsberg", but Parenteau was able to just get his toe on the puck to give UNB the victory.

 - UNB went with the same line-up as Friday night as Mark Simpson, Mark Rassell, and Matthew Boucher remain away at NHL training camps. Alex Dubeau is nursing a minor injury so 3rd goaltender Luke-Lee Knight once again served as the back-up.

- Bruce Hallihan of the Daily Gleaner confirmed that Peter Trainor has decided not to return for his 5th season as he only has half a term of school to complete. This means UNB enters the season with only 21 skaters - one below the maximum - leaving the possibility open to potentially add another player, most likely over the Christmas break.

- Shots in the game were 37-23 for UNB.

- McGill was 2 for 5 on the power play. The Reds went 0 for 6, which included a 91 second two-man advantage in the 1st period.

- UNB controlled the face-off dot, winning 42 out of 71 draws. Samuel Dove-McFalls (16-8) and Boland (14-7) led the way.

- Cameron Brace, Kris Bennett, and Christopher Clapperton each had a game-high five shots on goal.

- Attendance was 1321.

- UNB improves to 69-3-1 against non-AUS USports teams (ie/ OUA and Canada West) since the beginning of the 2004 season. The three regulation losses have come in the University Cup against Alberta (2008 Final and 2015 Final) and Western (2012 Semi-Final).

- They are 49-0-1 in exhibition games against those two conferences in that time frame, including a current 47 game winning streak. The last time an OUA/CW team beat UNB in an exhibition game was December 29th, 2004 when Lakehead won 5-4 in a shootout.

- In other pre-season action this weekend, Moncton picked up a 3-1 road win over UPEI and Saint Mary's crushed Dalhousie 8-1.

- Although we have gotten used to watching UNB cruise to easy exhibition victories in the past, it must be kept in mind that McGill is one of the top teams in the country and it would not be a surprise to see them at the University Cup again in March.

- Overall, it was a good challenge to begin the season for UNB. While they will undoubtedly be pleased with the two wins against a very good opponent, we are sure there are plenty of things the coaching staff and players will look to improve on moving forward.

- The Reds make their first road trip of the new season next weekend when they travel to Toronto for a pair of games against the Ryerson Rams. The first game goes Friday night at 8:15 AST with the rematch taking place on Saturday at 5:15 AST. This will mark UNB's first appearance in Toronto since claiming a silver medal at the 1997 University Cup.

- It is unknown at this time if the games will be webcast, but if they are they will be found here. The Rams produce arguably the best webcast in the country so hopefully there will be coverage provided.