Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reds Bury Bears

The University of New Brunswick Reds received goals from five different players and Samuel Harvey turned aside everything directed his way in an impressive 5-0 victory over the University of Maine Black Bears this afternoon in Orono.

- UNB got the scoring started 5:36 into the contest when Mark Rassell found Matthew Boucher with a cross-ice pass at the back door for a power play marker. Brady Gilmour received the secondary assist on the goal.

- Black Bears goaltender Stephen Mundinger stood on his head for the first half of the game. He was replaced by 2018 Vancouver draft pick and freshman Matthew Thiessen just past the midway mark of the 2nd period.

- The Reds gave Thiessen a rude welcoming. Moments after coming into the game Alexandre Goulet's attempted pass to a driving Kris Bennett hit a stick of a Maine defender and deflected in to the net. After originally waving the goal off due to the puck being kicked in, the refs went to video review and quickly corrected the call when it was clear it hit a stick instead. The goal came at 10:48 and made it 2-0.

- UNB extended the lead on the power play 36 seconds later with Olivier LeBlanc (Boland, Bennett) unleashing a blast from the point.

- Just over two minutes later the Reds got their prettiest goal of the night. Bennett got the puck to Alexandre Goulet in the slot and Goulet quickly spotted Patrick Watling to his left who had gotten in behind the defence. Goulet found the streaking Watling, who chipped the puck past Thiessen for a 4-0 advantage.

- The Reds lethal power play added another goal 48 seconds into the 3rd period. Tyler Boland (Watling, Bennett) had time and space at the left face-off circle and beat Thiessen clean with a wrist shot on the short side.

- With the outcome no longer in doubt the game featured some rough stuff in the final half of the period. Marcus McIvor and Maine's Brady Gaudette were both given five-minute majors plus a 10-minute misconduct for facemasking, a strange penalty that is enforced in NCAA that we don't see in U Sports.

- Mark Simpson was out of the line-up for UNB. Instead of going with 11 forwards and seven defenceman, Gardiner MacDougall instead chose to play defenceman Benjamin Gagne up front.

- Shots in the game were 32-14 for UNB with period totals of 12-5, 13-5, and 7-4.

- While the Reds had a number of high quality chances they didn't convert, the Black Bears offense was stymied all night as they were unable to generate much in the way of dangerous opportunities.

- Special teams play is usually a big advantage for NCAA teams during these games, however UNB had a great weekend in that regard. After going 2/4 on the power play and 3/3 on the penalty kill against Boston College yesterday afternoon, the Reds went 3/5 with the man advantage and 3/3 on the PK today.

- UNB won 39 out of 62 face-offs.

- The Reds have now won their last two meetings with Maine. They won 5-1 in the fall of 2015. They improve to 7-19-2 all-time versus the Black Bears, but are 4-5-1 in the last ten meetings.

- This is the first shutout UNB has recorded against an NCAA team since extensive game by game records have been kept (starting in 1967).

- Oddly, UNB was the only AUS team to travel to the US this weekend. Usually Acadia, St. FX, and UPEI make annual treks south of the border as well, but they all decided against it this season.

- Perhaps the biggest headline of the weekend has been the Alberta Golden Bears defeating the two-time reigning NCAA champions - and current #1 ranked - University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 5-3 last night.

- As a result, there were a pair of conference games last night. St. FX handled Moncton 6-1 in Antigonish and Saint Mary's held off Dalhousie by a 4-3 score on home ice.

- Up next for UNB is (finally) a game at the AUC. They will raise their 2019 National Championship banner prior to the home opener on Friday against Moncton. Game time in 7PM.