Friday, November 30, 2018

Reds Strengthen Hold On First

A week after being dealt a 4-3 overtime loss on home ice, the #1 nationally ranked University of New Brunswick Reds exacted a measure of revenge on their rivals from Saint Mary's, posting an emphatic 7-4 win in Halifax tonight. UNB moves to 14-0-3 on the season and now lead the 11-5-1 Huskies by eight points for top spot in the conference.

Although it was a high scoring game, the opening twenty minutes was an evenly played, scoreless period with UNB holding a slight 12-9 advantage in shots on goal.

The offense finally broke through early in the 2nd period on an abbreviated power play with Tyler Boland (LeBlanc, Gazzola) getting in behind the defence and picking up a rebound before flipping the puck over Eric Brassard's out-stretched right leg at 3:05. Just under two minutes later Cameron Brace (Boland, Clapperton) doubled the lead with a sharp angled shot from the corner that found the top shelf. The Huskies got on the board and cut into the lead at 12:06 when Calder Brooks got his own rebound and found Bradley Latour for a shot into a wide open net, past goaltender Alex Dubeau. It only took 2:04 for the Reds to respond and restore their two goal lead. While on the power play Cameron Brace worked the puck down to Mark Rassell near the goal and he quickly found Matthew Boucher at the far face-off circle for a one timer into the top of the net. UNB would take the 3-1 lead into the 3rd period after a period in which each team had eight shots apiece.

Last week UNB came out flat in the 3rd period and allowed the Huskies to tie the game before eventually falling on overtime. This was not the case in this one as the Reds out-shot SMU 18-6 and found the back of the net four more times to close it out. At 2:20 Stephen Anderson (LeBlanc, Dubeau) gathered a bouncing puck and went in on a partial breakaway, beating Brassard blocker side to make it 4-1. Moments later UNB thought they had another goal, but it was waved off due to a high stick. However, they were able to extend their lead at 4:28 with another power play marker with Mark Rassell (Boucher, Gatenby) getting the tip-in at the side of the net. The Huskies got that one back 37 seconds later with Nick Welsh sifting a shot from the point that found the back of the net for a power play goal. At 8:31 Boland (LeBlanc, Bennett) added his second of the night - and the team's 4th power play goal - when he worked a nice give and go, getting in behind a defender and flipping a backhander over Brassard's shoulder, ending the night of the Huskies goaltender. After some scrambled play in the Huskies zone that resulted in goaltender Marc Terriault losing his stick, Joe Gatenby (Goulet, Boudens) made it a 7-2 game at 13:39 with a wrist shot from the point. Saint Mary's added a pair of goals in the final 103 seconds to round out the scoring.

- Patrick Watling, James McEwan, and Noah Carroll were all out of the line-up.

- Shots were 38-23 for UNB.

- The Reds had another big night on the power play, connecting 4 times on 10 opportunities. Saint Mary's was 1 for 4.

- UNB is 8 for 16 with the man advantage in their last two games and are operating at a 28.6% clip for the season.

- The two teams split the 86 face-offs in the game, each winning 43. Tyler Boland (13 out of 20) had the best night for the Reds.

- Alex Dubeau improved to 7-0-2 on the season with the win.

- Attendance was 950.

- UNB has scored 5+ goals in 7 of their last 8 games. They outscored opponents 48-13 in 8 November games.

- In other action around the conference, Acadia picked up a much-needed win with a 5-2 decision over UPEI on home ice and Moncton defeated Dalhousie 4-1 in Moncton in a game that featured 96 shots on goal.

- The Reds wrap up the first portion of their schedule tomorrow night with a game against the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville. Game time is 7PM.