Saturday, January 11, 2020

Offensive Explosion Continues

The University of New Brunswick Reds' torrid offensive pace continued tonight as they built a 6-0 lead halfway through the game and cruised to a 7-3 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. The Reds fifth straight win gives them a 17-4-0 record and pulls them into a 1st place tie with the idle Acadia Axemen with a game in hand. Moncton falls to 4th place with a 9-8-5 mark.

The Reds quick strike offense was on full display in the 1st period as they pumped in four goals in under five minutes to build a commanding lead. Rookie Brady Gilmour (Bennett, Hall) opened the scoring at 8:46 when he received a pass as he rushed down the right side and snapped the puck past Etienne Montpetit's blocker into the far corner. A turnover in Moncton's end 1:59 later resulted in Oliver Cooper (Rassell, Dove-McFalls) jumping on a big rebound in the slot and depositing it in to double the lead. The top line hooked up to make it 3-0 at 13:27 with Patrick Watling drifting a long, high wrist shot towards the net that Tyler Boland was able get a stick on and tip in. The outburst was capped off 14 seconds later by Matthew Boucher (Hawerchuk, McIvor), who fired a wrist shot over Monpetit's glove and into the top corner off the the rush for what would end up being the game-winning goal. This prompted the Aigles Bleus to take a timeout as the shots were 14-2 for the Reds. They would end up 16-8 in the period but the game would remain 4-0 after one period of play.

The rest of the game was fairly even with UNB holding a 22-19 advantage in shots and both sides connecting for three goals. Boland's (Watling, Boucher) second of the night, on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle, pushed the lead to 5-0 at 5:29. The power play then went to work with Stephen Anderson (Bennett, Boland) putting the puck between Monpetit's right arm and the post from the bottom of the left face-off circle. This spelled the end of the night for the Aigle Bleus netminder as Alexi Thibaudeau came on in relief. The move seemed to spark Moncton a bit as Maxime St-Cyr's redirection off of a nice 3-on-2 rush got the Aigles Bleus on the board at 14:23 and Vincent Deslauriers got behind the defense to cut the deficit to 6-2 1:11 later.

The two teams traded goals over the final twenty minutes of play with Justin Guenette (at 5:28) and Mark Simpson (from Bennett and Murphy) at 13:28 finding the back of the net. 

- Benjamin Gagne replaced Noah Carroll in the line-up on the back end. Olivier LeBlanc and James McEwan were also both out.

- Shots in the game were 38-27 for the Reds.

- Both sides had four power play opportunities with UNB scoring the only goal.

- Face-offs were 38-26 for the Reds. Samuel Dove-McFalls (15 for 21) had his usual strong night at the dot while Tyler Boland won 11 out of 14.

- Boland was named the player of the game for the second time on the weekend.

- Samuel Harvey picked up his 9th win of the season in net.

- It was a night of milestones for a pair of 3rd year Reds forwards. Boland's first goal of the night was his 100th career AUS point. Kris Bennett matched him with his assist on Anderson's 2nd period goal.

- The only other game in the conference saw Saint Mary's defeat St. FX by a 5-1 score in Halifax.

- The Reds are back at it on Tuesday night when they travel to Charlottetown to face the UPEI Panthers. This makes up the November 16th game that had to be postponed due to high winds restricting travel on the Confederation Bridge. Game time is 7PM.

- That is the beginning of an important week for UNB as they are back at home next weekend for two crucial games. They host the Acadia Axemen at 7PM on Friday night in a battle for first place and then welcome the Saint Mary's Huskies to the AUC on Saturday for a 4PM start.