Sunday, January 19, 2020

Reds Extend Winning Streak

The University of New Brunswick Reds wrapped up a highly successful week with a solid 4-1 victory over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies in an afternoon matinee today at the AUC. UNB's 3rd win in five days - and 8th straight overall - gives them a 20-4-0 record on the season. They are now five points up on the second place Acadia Axemen with six games remaining in the regular season.

Much like Friday night, the Reds came out strong in this one as they out-shot the Huskies 13-2 in the first twelve minutes and 18-7 in the period. They were rewarded only 1:26 in to the game when Stephen Anderson (Watling, Boland) converted a one-timer in the slot, putting it past Huskies goaltender Erik Brassard's glove and into the top right corner. That would be the only goal of the period as Brassard made a number of key saves to keep the Huskies in the game.

The Reds once again struck early in the 2nd period, and once again it was the top line connecting. Anderson got the puck to Tyler Boland deep in the offensive zone and Boland made a quick curl at the bottom of the left face-off circle before feeding a pass to a wide-open Patrick Watling, who was rushing into the zone and was able to skate into a slap shot and hammer the puck past Brassard. The goal came at 1:03 and made it 2-0. The rest of the period was fairly even as the Huskies started to push back. They out-shot UNB 10-9 in the frame thanks to a couple of late power plays, but Samuel Harvey was up to the task to keep Saint Mary's scoreless through 40 minutes.

The Huskies received their third straight man advantage early in the 3rd period and this time they made it count. Connor McGlynn was able to get around Connor Hall to jump on a loose puck for a short break and he slid a backhanded shot just inside the far post to make it a one goal game at 3:10. A bad giveaway by the Reds in the ensuing minutes led to two point-blank chances for the Huskies, but Harvey was there to snuff them out to maintain the lead. At 6:56 UNB got that goal back as Alexandre Goulet (Watling, Gilmour) finished off a 3-on-1 rush with a shot that appeared to deflect off Huskies defenceman Nick Welsh, who trying to block the shot, and into the net. The Reds would add an insurance goal at 17:10 when Samuel Dove-McFalls (Pomerleau, Cooper) skated down the left wing and sniped a wrist shot into the top corner on the short side, popping the water bottle in the process. That would be the final goal of the game as Reds out-shot the Huskies 16-7 in the period.

- Benjamin Gagne was in the line-up, replacing Marcus McIvor. Olivier LeBlanc, Mark Simpson, and Dylan Seitz were also scratched.

- Shots ended up 43-24 for UNB.

- Saint Mary's went 1 for 7 on the power play. UNB went scoreless on three opportunities and went 0 for the weekend. It is only the second time this season the Reds failed to score a power play goal in back to back games. Coincidentally, the other time was when they hosted Acadia and Saint Mary's on November 8th and 9th.

- UNB won 46 out of 75 face-offs with Dove-McFalls (18 out of 25) shouldering the majority of the load.

- Watling was named player of the game. Harvey and McGlynn were the other two stars.

- Attendance was 2327.

- Prior to the game Oliver Cooper and Rylan Parenteau were named as this year's recipients of the "Punchy" Walker Award while Matt Murphy was awarded the Don MacAdam Scholarship.

- Stephen Anderson's goal was his 50th career regular season marker.

- UNB has reached the 20 win plateau for a 13th consecutive season. The Carleton Ravens (20-3-1) are the only other team in the country to hit that mark thus far, although both Toronto and Alberta have 19 wins in only 22 games.

- With the win, the Reds have clinched a 1st round playoff bye for the 14th straight year.

- UNB is now 3-1-0 against Saint Mary's this season, the 5th straight year they have taken the season series.

- Elsewhere around the league Saturday night, St. FX went on the road and doubled up the UPEI Panthers 4-2 and Moncton scored goals 27 seconds apart in the 1st period and held on for a 2-1 home win over the Acadia Axemen.

- The Reds are back at home for another doubleheader next weekend. They host the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday night and the St. FX X-Men the next evening. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.