Saturday, October 23, 2021

Reds Win Another Tight One

After defeating the Dalhousie Tigers by a 7-0 score in the pre-season, the University of New Brunswick Reds probably didn't expect tonight's game in Halifax to come down to the wire. Yet that was exactly the case as the Reds needed to survive a late flurry to pull out a 2-1 victory over the pesky Tigers. UNB runs their record to 6-0-0 while the Tigers fall to 3-3-0. 

- The way the opening twenty minutes played out it appeared UNB was going to be well on their way to a comfortable win. Just 46 seconds into the contest Tyler Boland (Gilmour, Guay) got the last whack at a loose puck at the side of the net, slamming it past Tigers netminder Connor Hicks. They doubled the lead at 17:57 while on a 5-on-3 power play. Kade Landry attempted to make a cross-seam pass, but Samuel Dove-McFalls, who was camped out in the slot, fooled Hicks by intercepting the puck. Hicks, who moved aggressively from his left to the right post anticipating the pass going the width of the ice, found himself out of position and Dove-McFalls put the puck into the wide open net. James McEwan picked up the secondary assist on the goal. 

- The game was marred by a number of penalties - 80 minutes on 28 infractions between the two teams - and post-whistle scrums. It wasn't until the 11:47 mark of the 3rd period that the game saw its next goal. The Tigers won an offensive zone face-off and moments later Logan Johnston backhanded a loose puck past Rylan Parenteau and into the top right corner. 

- The Tigers pulled Hicks with 80 seconds remaining in the game and were able to generate lots of zone time, but the Reds got some big shot blocks in the dying seconds to secure the victory.

- Shots in the game were 43-20 for UNB with period totals of 17-7, 14-5, 12-8.

- The Reds were without the services of Mark Rassell (lower body injury) and Noah Carroll, who was on the receiving end of a boarding penalty the night before against St. FX.

- There were plenty of power plays in the game. UNB was 1 for 7 while the Tigers were 0 for 9.

- UNB won 42 out of 78 face-offs. Dove-McFalls was 17 for 26 to lead the Reds.

- Hicks and Dove-McFalls were the players of the game. 

- Attendance was 246.

- The Reds have won 40 straight games against the Tigers dating back to 3-2 shootout loss on February 4th, 2012. UNB had scored at least three goals in each of the previous 22 meetings.

- Through the first six games of the season it is apparent that this isn't the same explosive offense we have become accustomed to. The Reds have only scored 19 goals thus far, the fewest they have ever scored through six games in any season under Gardiner MacDougall. By comparison, they scored 30, 25, 25, 33, and 27 goals through their first six games over the previous five seasons. 

- On the flip side, the seven goals they have surrendered so far is the fewest through six games since MacDougall became head coach in 2000.

- All told, we are seeing way fewer total goals per UNB game than we are used to. 

- So far this season it is looking like the conference is tight as ever with teams 2 through 7 separated by six points. In addition to this game the previously winless Moncton Aigles Bleus stormed back from a 2-0 3rd period deficit to stun the 2nd place St. FX X-Men 4-2 in Antigonish. The other game saw the UPEI Panthers shut-out the Acadia Axemen 3-0 on home ice. 

- In a rarity, the Reds are back in Halifax for another game against the Tigers Friday night. Game time is 7PM.