Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Domination

Admittedly, the University of New Brunswick Reds have not been playing their best hockey so far this month. Well, they took out that frustration this evening. The Reds received goals from ten different players in a 10-0 thrashing of the the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in the 27th annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game tonight at the AUC. UNB's emphatic victory puts them at 19-1-3 on the season, ten points up on 2nd place Saint Mary's. The Aigles Bleus drop to 11-9-3 and fall into a tie for 3rd place with the 11-8-3 St. FX X-Men.

The game got off to a tentative start with only three total shots on goal through the first seven minutes. The action then began to really pick up and it was all UNB. The Reds were given their first power play of the night at the 8:00 mark and it only took 45 seconds for them to cash in with Kris Bennett (Boland, Clapperton) redirecting a pass at the side of the net past goaltender Etienne Montpetit, who was making his first career start at the Aitken Centre. Montpetit was the primary reason the Aigles Bleus upset the Reds 4-3 in Moncton back in the fall, but it was not his - or his team's - night tonight. Matthew Boucher (Clapperton, McIvor) finished off a 2-on-0 shorthanded rush at 13:47 to make it 2-0 and then a pair of goals late in the period - by Mark Rassell (Gazzola) from the high slot at 18:45 and by Joe Gatenby (Bennett, Murphy) 29 seconds later on an off-balance wrist shot from near the Moncton bench - essentially ended the game before the 1st period was over. Shots in the period were 15-6 for UNB and Montpetit was done after only twenty minutes.

The Reds didn't let up with back-up goalie Alexi Thibaudeau in net to start the 2nd period, matching their 4 goals and 15 shots from the 1st period in less than 13 minutes of action. The goals came from Marcus McIvor (Clapperton, Anderson), with his first of the season on a one-timer at 5:47, Cameron Brace (LeBlanc, Bennett) on an absolutely filthy deke on a breakaway at 9:16, a floater by Stephen Anderson (Goulet, Rassell) at 11:11, and Chris Clapperton (Boland, Gazzola) at 12:57. There was no more scoring in the period as the Reds took an 8-0 lead into intermission. Shots favoured UNB 22-7.

With the game well out of reach tempers started to rise in the 3rd. After Matt Boudens (Boucher, Dubeau) scored at 8:40 to make it 9-0 a dust-up followed behind the Moncton net that led to off-setting penalties. Two minutes later Boudens once again found himself in the middle of a scrum and he was the recipient of at least three blatant, intentional spears from Maxime St-Cyr, the nations leading goal scorer. Boudens was given a two minute roughing penalty while St-Cyr was assessed a five minute match penalty. On the ensuing three minute power play Randy Gazzola (Boudens, LeBlanc) beat Thibaudeau with a wrist shot from the hashmarks to get UNB into double digits on the night. For good measure, Boudens picked up a double minor late in the period - his 5th and 6th minor penalties of the game - to cap a productive 1 goal, 1 assist, 12 PIM game. UNB out-shot Moncton 15-4 in the period.

- Tristan Pomerleau (lower body), Samuel Dove-McFalls (upper body) and Patrick Watling were out of the line-up tonight.

- Shots in the game were 52-17 for UNB.

- While he wasn't tested much, Alex Dubeau came up with a big save on a Moncton breakaway late in the game to preserve his first shutout of the season. He has now won his last seven decisions and currently leads the league in both goals against average (1.62) and save percentage (0.934).

- UNB went 2 for 4 on the power play. Their penalty killers rebounded from a tough game against St. FX, killing off all six on Moncton's opportunities and contributing a shorthanded goal.

- Among a number of standout performances tonight, Chris Clapperton (1 goal, 3 assists, +3) was named the game's first star. Bennett (3 points, +3) and Gazzola (3 points, game high +4) were the other two stars.

- 16 different players registered points.

- UNB won 51 out of 85 face-offs. Alexandre Goulet was the stand-out with 18 wins in 23 chances. James McEwan also had a good night, winning 10 out of 16.

- Before the game 5th year defenceman Randy Gazzola was presented with the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Award, which is regarded as the most prestigious award given out each season to a UNB hockey player.

- Attendance was 2147.

- Montpetit entered the game tied for the conference lead with a 0.929 save percentage.

- This is the first time UNB has scored at least 10 goals in a game since hanging 11 on St. Thomas on November 4th, 2015.

- It is their biggest margin of victory since beating the Nipissing Lakers 11-1 in an exhibition game on September 19th, 2014.

- This also ties for the biggest margin of victory UNB has ever had under Gardiner MacDougall. This is the 4th time he has led them to a 10 goal victory.

- It is their biggest shutout win since opening the 2009 regular season with a 10-0 whitewashing of UPEI.

- The only other game in the AUS tonight saw Saint Mary's defeat St. FX  in Halifax by a 4-3 score in overtime.

- The Reds are back on the road for their next three games, including this Friday in Charlottetown against the UPEI Panthers for their only game of the weekend. Game time is 7PM and it can be viewed at www.AUStv.ca. Their next home game is not until Saturday, February 2nd against those same Panthers.