Saturday, November 6, 2021

Offense Breaks Out In Rout

The #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds haven't been as dangerous offensively thus far compared to previous seasons, but they looked like their old selves last night in a 7-1 beating against the last place Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in the hub city. The Reds improve to 8-1-0 on the season and maintain a one point lead atop the AUS standings. 

The Reds have been getting off to strong starts over their last few games and last night was no different. However, unlike last Saturday night when they out-shot St. FX 17-0 in the 1st period but were unable to score, they found the back of the net twice against Moncton. They opened the scoring at 6:26 when the top line came in on a 3-on-2. Austen Keating skated the puck down the left side, gave Tyler Boland a behind the back pass, and then Boland found a streaking Nicolas Guay, who had a wide open short side of the net to work with. He made no mistake, beating Emile Samson for the game's first goal. UNB quickly doubled their lead, needing only 69 seconds to make it 2-0 after Isaac Nurse (Gilmour, Phelan) beat Samson far side from a sharp angle. Although the shots in the period were 16-7 for UNB, the Aigles Bleus had a couple of great odd-man chances thanks to some questionable passes and decisions by the Reds at Moncton's blue line. Fortunately, Griffen Outhouse was up to the task and kept the game 2-0 after twenty minutes. 

The trio of Keating/Boland/Guay only needed 3:10 of the 2nd period to strike again. This time it was Boland getting the goal after he collected a rebound at the side of the net and shoveled it in. The Aigles Bleus responded quickly, narrowing the lead back to two at 5:55 with a power play goal off the stick of Nathael Roy, just eight seconds after the Reds were assessed a too many men on the ice penalty. It was the first power play goal UNB had given up this season after 41 consecutive successful kills. Moncton went right back to the power play after the goal, but the Reds were able to kill that one off and then restored the three goal advantage at 13:28 with James Phelan (Nurse, Gilmour) banging in the puck at the side of the net. UNB would take a 4-1 lead into the 3rd period after out-shooting the home side 14-5 in the period.

Phelan (Gagne, Gilmour) added his second of the game 2:52 into the final period with a wrist shot from 15 feet out that just got through Samson. At 5:05 Thomas Casey (Willms, Gagne) got his first career AUS goal after the puck came to him at the side of the net during a goal-mouth scramble. A big scorer in junior, Casey celebrated by pantomiming removing the "monkey off his back". Samuel Dove-McFalls (Gilmour, Nurse) concluded the scoring 1:01 later with a pretty re-direction from the slot. Shots in the period were 12-3 for UNB.

- UNB is still without Mark Rassell as the veteran sniper missed his 7th straight game. 

- Shots in the game were 42-15.

- The Reds power play continues to struggle, going 0 for 4 against the league's worst penalty killing unit. They are operating at a meager 13.6%, 6th in the league. Moncton was 1 for 3 with the man advantage.

- UNB won 39 out of 68 face-offs. Phelan (13 out of 24) and Dove-McFalls (11 out of 16) got the majority of the assignments.

- Attendance was 651.

- In other AUS action the St. FX X-Men rebounded from blowing a 3-1 lead to the Acadia Axemen to emerge with a 5-3 victory in Antigonish. In Halifax, the Dalhousie Tigers followed up a 6-3 win over Acadia on Wednesday with a 6-4 win against Saint Mary's.

- The Reds wrap up their stretch of six straight road games with a date with the UPEI Panthers Saturday night in Charlottetown. Game time is 7PM and it can be seen at AUStv.ca.