Saturday, November 6, 2021

Reds Escape Island With Two Points

Much like their first visit to Charlottetown this season, the #1 nationally ranked University of New Brunswick Reds surrendered a late game-tying goal only to ultimately emerge victoriously. Tonight they needed a shoot-out to come away with a 3-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers, running their first place record to 9-1-0 in the process.

It was a typical PEI-style game - rough-and-tumble, physical, and not pretty at times. The home side got on the board first with Jaden Peca tipping a point shot past Griffen Outhouse 3:51 into the contest. The goal held up until the final minute of the period when, while on the power play, James McEwan got the puck along the boards deep in UPEI territory before bumping it out to Samuel Dove-McFalls, who ripped a shot into the top corner. The goal was also assisted by Kade Landry and came at the 19:09 mark. 

The Reds have struggled a bit thus far getting goal scoring production from their blue-line, entering the game with only two goals in nine games from their defenders - and one of those was an empty netter. Ross MacDougall got their third at 11:05 of the 3rd period, throwing a shot on net from the side boards near the players bench that somehow eluded Jonah Capriotti to give the visitors their first lead of the night. The Reds then had a great chance to ice the game when James Phelan had his stick slashed in half while going in on a breakaway with 2:52 remaining. He was awarded a penalty shot, but Capriotti flashed the leather to deny the potential insurance goal. That save loomed even larger when Filip Rydstrom was able to tie the game with only 1:04 remaining while Capriotti was on the bench. Connor MacEachern's point shot was blocked in front by a UNB player, but the puck deflected right on to the stick of Rydstrom, who had a wide open net to shoot at. 

The game would remain tied through the end of regulation and a fairly uneventful overtime period. In the shoot-out the Panthers elected to shoot first. Kaleb Pearson was denied by Outhouse while Tyler Boland beat Capriotti with a shot just inside the right post. Matt Brassard and James McEwan both missed their opportunities and, needing a goal to extend the game, Kyle Maksimovich had the puck roll off the end of his stick before getting a shot off, giving the Reds the victory. 

- The Reds were once again without Mark Rassell. Goaltender Rylan Parenteau also missed his fourth consecutive game. 

 - Shots in the game favoured the Panthers 31-26 with period totals of 9-9, 7-10, 12-5, and 3-2 in overtime. 

- It is rare the Reds are out-shot in a game, but we almost never see them beaten on both the shot clock and in the face-off circle. UPEI won 36 out of 70 face-offs, despite James Phelan winning 13 out of his 21 attempts. 

- UNB went 1 for 5 on the power play. The Panthers were scoreless on six opportunities with the man advantage. 

- Outhouse was named the player of the game. He is now 4-1-0 on the season with a 1.98 GAA and 0.917 save percentage.

- Attendance was 711.

- By comparison, UNB had 18 goals come from their defencemen during the 2019 - 2020 season. 

- The Reds have failed to score more than three goals in any of their last four games on the island, yet have won all four - three of them by a single goal. 

- There was only one other AUS game tonight and it saw St. FX pick up their fourth win in a row with a 7-5 home victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies. 

- Every team has now played at least 1/3 of their schedule and right now it is a two horse race at the top of the standings. The Reds are 9-1-0 for 18 points, one point ahead of the 8-2-1 St. FX X-Men. Dalhousie (11 points), UPEI (10), Saint Mary's (9), and Acadia (8) are all bunched up in the middle with Moncton (5) struggling to keep pace.

- After three straight weeks on the road, the Reds are finally back on AUC ice next weekend. They host the Acadia Axemen on Friday night and Saint Mary's Huskies the following evening. Both games are set for a 7PM start.