Thursday, February 20, 2020

Goulet Leads Reds In Series Opener

Alexandre Goulet fired a hat-trick and the top seeded University of New Brunswick Reds opened their playoffs with a convimcing 7-2 victory over the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus tonight at the AUC. UNB takes a 1-0 lead in the best 3-of-5 semi-final series.

It was a slow opening few minutes with only a couple of shots on net combined and no really good scoring chances. The Reds then broke through 5:10 into the game on their first quality opportunity. A series of short passes in the Moncton zone led to the puck finding its way to Matthew Boucher (Simpson, Bennet), who was all alone at the hash marks. Boucher buried a wrist shot short side on Aigle Bleus goaltender Etienne Montpetit to open the scoring. The 1-0 advantage would hold until the 12:53 mark when Patrick Watling (Boland, Murphy) slid a shot along the ice from the high slot that eluded traffic in front of the net and found an opening, giving UNB a 2-0. That's how the 1st period would end up as the Reds out-shot Moncton 12-5.

The Reds turned it up a notch in the 2nd period as they held an 18-56 shots advantage and scored four times to blow the game wide open. At 1:18 Matt Murphy (Dove-McFalls) joined the rush and got the puck in the left face-off circle, picking the top left corner to extend the lead to 3-0. The special teams then went to work to make it 4-0, except it was the penalty kill and not the power play getting the job done. Samuel Dove McFalls forced a turnover at the UNB blue-line and went in on a 2-on-1 rush with Goulet. Dove-McFalls lofted a soft area pass into the slot that Goulet was able to skate into and the 3rd year forward made no mistake snapping a shot past Montpetit's blocker. Marcus McIvor also picked up an assist on the shorthanded tally. Goulet (Hall, Gilmour) got his second of the night - and period - at 10:53 when he banged in a rebound at the side of the net. This would spell the end of the night for Montpetit, who surrendered five goals on 22 shots on the night. It only took 30 seconds for UNB to get their first against Alexi Thibaudeau with Dove-McFalls (Rassell, Cooper) doing the honours at 11:23 to make it a 6-0 game, which is how it would stand after 40 minutes.

The Aigles Bleus scored both early - Vincent Deslauriers finishing off a nice passing play at 0:48 to break Samuel Harvey's shut-out bid - and late - Maxime Sy-Cyr with a two man advantage at 18:41 - in the 3rd period. This was sandwiched around Goulet's third of the night, a 5-on-3 marker at 4:28. Shots in the period were 11-7 for UNB.

- Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, Jame McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- Shots on goal ended up 41-18.

- UNB went 1 for 3 on the power play. Moncton was 1 for 6.

- The Reds won 42 out of 68 face-offs on the night with Dove-McFalls (15 out of 22) doing his usual excellent work. Goulet (8 out of 11) also had a good night.

- Samuel Harvey made 16 saves in his AUS playoff debut.

- Goulet and Moncton's Joey Richard were named the player of the game for their respective teams 

- Attendance was 2297.

- This is UNB's 11th straight playoff win.

- Acadia got past Saint Mary's by a 4-1 score in the opening game of their series. Game 2 of that series goes Saturday night.

- Meanwhile, these two teams are back at it at the AUC tomorrow night for a 7PM start.