Saturday, October 23, 2021

Winning Streak Hits Five

For the second time on the young season the University of New Brunswick Reds failed to hold a late one goal lead, but once again they were able to escape with an overtime victory as Austen Keating's goal was the difference in a 2-1 win over the St. FX X-Men tonight in Antigonish. UNB remains perfect with a 5-0-0 record while the X-Men sit alone in second place at 4-1-1 on the season.

- The first meeting between these two rivals since January of 2020 produced a blistering 1st period that took less than half an hour to complete and featured a level of intensity and pace that we haven't experienced thus far this season. There were no goals in the period as UNB held a slight 8-7 shots on goal advantage. 

- The Reds were awarded a five minute power play early in the 2nd period after William Bower was assessed a major penalty for boarding Noah Carroll, but despite all kinds of zone time they were unable to generate any real dangerous scoring chances and the X-Men killed it off without too much issue. 

- A second, abbreviated, power play late in the period yielded different results, however. Just five seconds after Connor Hall exited the penalty box to turn a four-on-four into a Reds man advantage. Brady Gilmour carried the puck over the X-Men blue-line and dished the puck off to Austen Keating. Keating then dropped the puck back to a charging Samuel Dove-McFalls, who threaded a pass to Gilmour at the side of the net that the second year forward redirected past Joseph Raaymakers. This was the only goal in the period as UNB out-shot St. FX 9-4.

- The Reds largely controlled possession in the 3rd period despite being out-shot 7-4. They did a great job of limiting the X-Men's league-leading offense by clearing the puck out of their zone in a timely matter. The strategy worked flawlessly until the 18:36 mark when Matthew Philipps took a pass just inside the Reds blue-line, eluded a defender, and ripped a hard, low shot from the high slot that beat Rylan Parenteau to tie the game at one, which is how it would remain after 60 minutes. 

- UNB had both shots in the 3-on-3 overtime period with the winner coming at 3:36. Keating (Boland, Carroll) got the puck behind the net and shook off a defender as he circled out front before putting a backhander on net that somehow squirted through Raaymakers' legs, giving the Reds a huge road win over the conference's second place team. 

- UNB went with their usual line-up with Mark Rassell remaining the lone scratch due to an injury.

- Shots were 23-18 for the Reds.

- UNB went 1 for 3 on the power play. Their penalty kill remains perfect on the season, killing off all five of St. FX's opportunities with the man advantage. 

- The Reds narrowly won the face-off battle, taking 27 out of 51 draws. Jason Willms (7 out of  9) had the best night at the dot.

- Attendance was 812. 

- Parenteau was named the player of the game with X-Men William Thompson and Raaymakers the other two stars.

- League leading scorer Liam Hawel, who entered the game with 11 points through St. FX's first five  games, was held to two shots on goal and a -1 rating on the night. 

- No player had more than three shots on goal.

- UNB had scored 5+ goals in eight of their last nine meetings with St. FX.

- They've won nine out of their last 10 games against the X-Men.

- 23 shots on goal is the fewest in a game by UNB since also having 23 in a 6-2 playoff win over SMU in February 2018.

- The 41 combined shots is the fewest in a UNB game since Alberta out-shot the Reds 24-9 in the 2015 University Cup final. 

- In other AUS action tonight, the Saint Mary's Huskies won their third in a row with a 5-3 win in Wolfville over Acadia and Dalhousie improved to 3-2-0 with a 6-1 rout of the winless Moncton Aigles Bleus in Halifax.

- The Reds travel to Halifax for a game against the surprising Tigers tomorrow night. Game time is 7PM.