Saturday, October 13, 2018

UNB Blitz Panthers Early, Roll To Win

The visiting University of New Brunswick Reds scored 21 seconds into the game and then added four more goals in the opening period, cruising to a 6-3 win over the UPEI Panthers tonight at the MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown. UNB improves to 4-0-0 on the young season while the Panthers slip to 1-3-0.

Shortly after the opening face-off the Reds broke in on a 2-on-1 and executed it to perfection with Matthew Boucher feeding Mark Simpson for a one-timer that beat Matthew Mancina, who was seeing his first action of the season in the Panthers goal. Kris Bennett also factored into the goal by picking up the secondary assist. It only took 160 seconds for UNB to make it 2-0 when Patrick Watling (Boudens, Bennett) came out from behind the net and backhanded the puck in between the post and Mancina's arm. The Reds added their third of the night at 11:36 when Christopher Clapperton got the puck to Tyler Boland who then made a nice pass across the slot to a pinching Matt Murphy who had a wide open net to deposit the puck into. The onslaught continued just under five minutes later with two more strikes. At 16:25 Boland took a hit in the offensive zone to make a play on the puck and get it over to Clapperton whose weak shot along the ice beat Mancina. Stephen Anderson was also credited with an assist on the goal, which ended Mancina's night pre-maturely. Matt Murphy (Boudens, Watling) then greeted newly summoned netminder Simon Hofley with a shot off the post and in just 11 seconds later, his second of the night making it 5-0 less than 17 minutes into the contest. The Panthers were able to get one back before the end of the period when a long Doug Blaisdell shot eluded Alex Dubeau a couple of minutes later. Despite the score, shots in the period were 15-12 for UNB.

Much like the opening period, Mark Simpson (Boland, LeBlanc) found the back of the net early in the 2nd period, sweeping in a rebound for a power play goal 54 seconds into the stanza to make it 6-1. Kameron Kielly got the one back with a power play goal of his own at 17:41 and the two teams would head to the intermission with UNB holding a 6-2 lead. Shots in the period were 14-7 for the Reds.

The Panthers had their best period of the night in the 3rd, out-shooting UNB 9-8 and scoring the only goal on a Sam Aulie marker at 11:53. Unfortunately, it was much too little much too late for the Panthers as the Reds wrapped up a convincing 6-3 victory.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night with Cameron Brace, Randy Gazzola, and James McEwan all remaining out.

- Shots in the game were 37-28 for UNB.

- Both teams went 1 for 3 with the man advantage.

- Attendance was 578.

- UNB won 47 out of 90 face-offs with Patrick Watling (10 out of 17) finding the most success.

- Alex Dubeau made his first start of the season. His only other action thus far came two weeks ago when he came on in relief of Rylan Parenteau to pick up the win against Moncton.

- Olivier LeBlanc was a game-high +4.

- Mark Simpson now has an AUS-leading 5 goals on the season.

- The only other game tonight saw the Saint Mary's Huskies break open a close game with four 3rd period goals in an 8-3 victory over Dalhousie.

- Meanwhile, 1611 people witnessed history at the AUC tonight as the UNB Reds women's hockey team made their return to AUS and U Sports action. In what appeared to be a very evenly matched game against Mount Allison - shots were 34 apiece - the Mounties eked out a 2-1 overtime win.

- UNB is back on the road next weekend for their two biggest tests of the season so far. On Friday night they are in Wolfville to face the 2-2-0 Acadia Axemen and on Saturday night they travel to Halifax for a date with the 5-0-0 Saint Mary's Huskies. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start and can be seen at www.AUStv.ca.