Saturday, November 23, 2019

Historic Night For MacDougall

Gardiner MacDougall picked up his 400th career regular season victory - and 500th between regular season and postseason play - as the University of New Brunswick Reds thrashed the visiting Dalhousie Tigers 10-0 in the 4th annual Teddy Bear Toss game. With the win UNB (11-3-0) moves back into a 1st place tie with Acadia with a game in hand.

Simply put, this was game was a dominating performance from the defending University Cup champions as UNB struck for four goals in the 1st period to put the game out of reach early. Samuel Dove-McFalls (Rassell, Gagne) opened the scoring at 3:46 when he was the recipient of a nice pass from Mark Rassell and put a wrist shot into the top right corner, triggering a shower of stuffed animals on to the ice. It marks the second straight year Dove-McFalls has scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal. After a brief delay to pick up a record-setting 1443 stuffed animals, the game resumed and the Reds continued their onslaught. At 8:15 Alexandre Goulet (Simpson, LeBlanc) got a step on the defence, splitting two Tigers defenders and beat Reilly Pickard blocker side. It only took 25 seconds for UNB to add another with Tyler Boland (Bennett, Watling) sneaking the puck in short-side from tough angle near the goal line. The Tigers got some life mid-way through the period when Rassell and Bennett took penalties 24 seconds apart. However, not only did they fail to generate anything offensively, they surrendered a shorthanded goal when Rassell (Pomerleau, Parenteau) got the puck in the neutral zone after coming out of the penalty box and went in all alone, making a quick move before snapping the puck in to make it 4-0 at 11:21. The Reds carried the commanding lead into the intermission, out-shooting Dalhousie 22-4 in the period.

UNB increased their lead to 6-0 after two periods. Rassell (Boland, Cooper) added his second of the night at 14:41 of the 2nd period as Tyler Boland's short pass found him at the lip of the crease for a tap-in. Dove-McFalls (Bennett) would score his second of the night at 18:22, receiving a pass from Bennett in tight and jamming it past Pickard. Shots in the period favoured the home side 16-3.

The Reds added four more goals over the final twenty minutes to turn the game into a laugher. Some beautiful passing on the power play resulted in Matthew Boucher (Rassell, Gilmour) getting his 8th of the season at 2:28, some seven seconds into the man advantage. A Stephen Anderson (Goulet, Gagne) breakaway goal 41 seconds would spell the end of the night for a visibly frustrated and upset Pickard, who took out his anger by throwing his stick and mask into the bench and slamming the bench door. Backup goalie Kevin Resop was peppered with 16 shots in his 16:51 of action and gave up the final two goals of the night - a one-timer from the hash marks on the power play from Anderson (Simpson, Goulet) at 9:29 and a wrist shot from the slot by defenceman Matt Murphy (Gilmour) at 14:51. Shots in the period were 20-4 for UNB.

- Noah Carroll was out of the line-up as Benjamin Gagne was back on defence.

- Shots in the game were 58-11 for UNB.

- The Reds went 2 for 5 on the power play. The Tigers were 0 for 7.

- UNB won 54 out of 87 face-offs with Dove-McFalls (16 out of 24), Simpson (15 out of 20), and Boland (13 out of 21) all having strong nights.

- Attendance was 2861.

- Tigers starting goaltender Connor Hicks, who has had some incredible performances against UNB over the last two seasons, was not dressed.

- Only three Reds players did not register a point - Joe Gatenby, Marcus McIvor, and James McEwan.

- Rylan Parenteau was hardly tested at all as he picked up his second shut-out of the season.

- This is tied for the biggest win under Gardiner MacDougall. They also had 10-0 wins over Moncton (2019) and UPEI (2009) as well as 11-1 victories over Moncton (2003) and Nipissing (2014).

- MacDougall is now 400-134-18 in AUS regular season play. He is 500-179-18 in AUS regular season + postseason games.

- It was a good night on the out-of-town scoreboard for UNB. The UPEI Panthers doubled the 3rd place Saint Mary's Huskies 6-3 on home-ice and Moncton blanked St. FX 3-0 at home.

- UNB is back at the AUC Saturday night as they welcome the rival St. FX X-Men to town. Game time is 7PM.