Friday, January 3, 2020

Reds Survive Scare

The University of New Brunswick Reds found themselves trailing 2-0 late in the 2nd period, but exploded for five unanswered goals over the final 21:17 to defeat the Dalhousie Tigers 5-2 tonight in Halifax. UNB improves to 14-4-0 on the season while the last place Tigers fall to 4-13-2.

- Dalhousie opened the scoring early in this one after blown defensive coverage in the UNB zone left Brett Crosley all alone in the slot for a one timer that Rylan Parenteau didn't have much of a chance on. The goal came at 2:58 and would be the only marker of the period as UNB out-shot the Tigers 18-8.

- It was a similar story in the 2nd period as shots were 18-5 for the Reds, but a lucky bounce gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. A potential clearing attempt hit an official along the boards and the puck bounced behind and out of the reach of a Reds player who was skating out of the zone. The Tigers quickly took advantage, pouncing on the loose puck. After a scramble in front of Parenteau, Colton Heffley was able to get to a rebound and knife the puck past Parenteau at 13:32.

- Things looked dire for UNB as Tigers goalie Connor Hicks, who has had a number of sensational efforts versus the Reds, was once again on top of his game and stopping everything thrown his way.

- The 2-0 lead held up until late in the period when UNB was finally able to get on the board on their 36th shot of the night. Some strong work in the offensive zone led to the puck popping out to Tristan Pomerleau (Hawerchuk, Simpson), who beat a screened Hicks with a wrist shot at 18:43 to cut the lead to 2-1 and give the Reds some momentum heading into the final twenty minutes.

- The two teams traded power play opportunities in the opening half of the 3rd period to no avail. UNB was finally able to tie it up at the 12:10 mark. Olivier LeBlanc rushed the puck up the right side, cut towards the net, and threw the puck into the crease. Matthew Boucher was able to get a stick on it to redirect it in for the tying goal.

- It only took 27 seconds for the Reds to take their first lead of the night. A harmless looking shot from a sharp angle from Pomerleau was tipped in front by Oliver Cooper for the eventual game winning goal.

- The Tigers had their chances to tie the game as they were awarded back to back power plays at 15:25 and 17:17. However, not only did UNB kill both penalties off, they struck for a pair of empty net goals. At 18:36 Connor Hall (McIvor) hit the open cage from his own end for his first career AUS goal. The Tigers pulled Hicks again after the ensuing face-off and Kris Bennett (Gatenby, Dove-McFalls) capped the scoring 14 seconds later. Shots in the period were 16-3 for UNB.

- Matt Murphy, Noah Carroll, and James McEwan were the scratches tonight.

- UNB out-shot the Tigers 52-16.

- Both sides went 0 for 4 on the power play.

- This game was a perfect example why UNB's goaltending stats can sometimes be deceiving. Although he only stopped 14 out of 16 shots, Rylan Parenteau made no less than a handful of five star stops, all with the Reds trailing, to keep them within striking distance. This was highlighted by a huge glove save early in the 3rd period, diving across the net to rob a Tigers player of a sure goal that would have made it 3-1.

- UNB won 44 out of 78 face-offs. Mark Simpson (14 out of 20) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (12 out of 18) led the way.

- Pomerleau and Crossley were named the player of the game for their respective teams.

- Attendance was 200.

- The Reds have won 37 straight games against Dalhousie, including all four this season by a combined score of 25-5.

- By comparison, UNB's lengthy winning streak over St. Thomas ended at 36 games.

- The second half of the AUS schedule began last night with UPEI's 7-5 road victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies.

- It was a full slate of games across the conference tonight. In Wolfville, the Acadia Axemen maintained their two point advantage over UNB with a tidy 5-2 win over the Huskies. Meanwhile, in Antigonish, Moncton scored two late goals to force overtime against St. FX before emerging victorious in a shootout by a 4-3 score.

- The Reds remain on the road to face the St. FX X-Men tomorrow evening. Game time is 7PM.