Saturday, January 4, 2020

Reds Blast X-Men

A night after scoring the game's last five goals in a win over the Dalhousie Tigers, the University of New Brunswick Reds struck for the first six goals en route to a 6-2 victory in Antigonish over the St. FX X-Men. The Reds are now 15-4-0 on the season, keeping pace with the 1st place Acadia Axemen (16-4-0). The X-Men fall to 7-10-3 after a 3rd consecutive defeat.

The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Matthew Boucher (Goulet, Rassell) opened the scoring with a power play goal at 12:10. After X-Men goaltender Joseph Raaymakers stoned Boucher with a pair of pad saves at the side of the net, Boucher got the puck back moments later and put it in from a sharp angle near the goal line. Marcus McIvor (Simpson, Bennett) doubled the lead at 16:35 with another goal Raaymakers would undoubtedly like to have back. The Reds broke in on a 3-on-2 with McIvor the trailer. The puck came back to the Reds captain and he had his original shot stopped. However, he tracked down his own rebound near the boards and threw the puck towards the net, squeaking it between the post and Raaymakers left arm. The period would end with UNB holding a 2-0 lead and out-shooting the home team 22-9.

The 2nd period was all UNB with the Reds taking the first 17 shots of the period and scoring four times to take complete control of the game. At 4:09 Alexandre Goulet (Bennett, Gilmour) got positioning on a defender at the side of the net and took a centering pass for a tap-in to extend the lead to 3-0. Kris Bennett then struck for two goals in just over two minutes to make it 5-0. At 7:25, after the X-Men had a couple good opportunities while shorthanded, the 3rd year forward collected the puck in tight and beat Raaymakers low stick-side. Stephen Anderson and Tyler Boland collected assists on UNB's second power play goal of the evening. The same trio hooked up again at 9:51 with Anderson collecting a loose puck and backhanding it over to Bennett, who was all alone at the top of the crease where he roofed it. Things started to get chippy late in the period after Marcus Cuomo, who was reckless all period and had just came out of the box after serving a double minor, took a run at Connor Hall before landing a blatant hit to the head of Olivier LeBlanc. This should have sent Cuomo, who has a whopping 0 points in 15 games this season, to the showers for the night, except all four officials somehow missed the hit. Hall received a 10 minute misconduct for standing up for his teammate while Cuomo was not penalized. Once things settled down and the two teams got back to playing hockey it only took 39 seconds for Boland (Gatenby, Anderson) to deposit a rebound to push the lead to 6-0. The X-Men didn't get their first shot of the period until there were 18 seconds remaining, but they made it count as Jeremiah Addison took a cross-ice pass at the side of the net and one-timed it past Samuel Harvey, who had no chance on the play.

With the game well in hand for the Reds, the 3rd period was played without incident. Although UNB out-shot the X-Men 9-6, it was Matthew Graham scoring the lone goal of the frame at 14:57. This made it 6-2, which is how it would end.

- Matt Murphy was back in the line-up for UNB. Benjamin Gagne, Noah Carroll, and James McEwan were the scratches.

- The Reds out-shot St. FX 48-16 in the game.

- Bennett, Boland, and Goulet were named the game's three stars.

- Face-offs were fairly even with UNB winning 36 out of 70. 

- Attendance was 624.

- The Reds were 2 for 7 on the power play. The X-Men were scoreless on two attempts.

- Every player had at least one shot on goal with the exception of Brady Gilmour. Boland had a game-high six.

- Elsewhere around the league tonight, the Dalhousie Tigers secured an important two points with a 3-2 shootout win one home ice against Moncton. In Charlottetown, the Acadia Axemen earned their 6th straight win with a 5-3 decision over the UPEI Panthers.

- The Reds are back in action next Friday night when they host the Panthers. They travel to Moncton the following night for a date with the Aigles Bleus. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.