GAME 3 POOL A CIS championship: Host V-Reds blank Western, join McGill in final
Photo credit Brian Smith Photography
FREDERICTON, N.B. (CIS) – A shorthanded goal by Chris Culligan five minutes into the second period stood as the game-winner as the top-seeded and tournament host UNB Varsity Reds booked their ticket to the University Cup final with a 4-0 defeat of the Western Ontario Mustangs in the last pool game of the CIS men’s hockey championship, Saturday night, before a packed house of 3,760 at the University of New Brunswick’s Aitken Centre.
University Cup website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mice
The V-Reds, who edged sixth-ranked Calgary 2-1 in their tourney opener on Thursday, finished atop the Pool A standings with a 2-0 record.
Fourth-seeded Western (1-1) took second place while Calgary (0-2) placed third. The OUA finalist Mustangs beat the Dinos 3-2 on Friday.
UNB will face the No. 2 McGill Redmen for CIS gold Sunday at 8 p.m. Atlantic, live on Rogers Sportsnet.
The championship match will mark the first-ever meeting at the University Cup between three-time CIS champion UNB (2009, 2007, 1998) and McGill, which is still looking for their first banner. The V-Reds and Redmen met in non-conference action earlier this season, on Dec. 30, with the Atlantic conference champions prevailing 7-1.
“There was lots of energy in the rink tonight. We got to be who we are. When we scored, the roof came off,” said 11-year UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “We had lots of jump and our persistence paid off.”
“We had a chance to watch McGill today. They are very opportunistic on offence. We will have to bear down defensively, limit shots on net, and we’ll see how it goes,” said V-Reds Game MVP Culligan, who was UNB’s second-leading scorer in the regular season with 38 points in 27 games and added nine points in nine AUS playoff contests.
Defenceman Luke Gallant of Bedford, N.S., team captain Kyle Bailey of Ponoka, Alta., and all-Canadian right-winger Hunter Tremblay of Timmins, Ont., also scored for UNB, all in the final period.
Gallant, who made it a 2-0 affair with a power-play marker only 45 seconds into the third frame, also assisted on the last two goals for a three-point night. Bailey and Culligan both finished with two points.
Travis Fullerton of Riverview, N.B., made 22 saves to earn his first shutout and second victory of the tournament.
His counterpart Anthony Grieco of Brampton, Ont., stood on his head for two periods but couldn’t resist UNB’s flurry in the third. He finished with 28 stops and was named Western’s player of the match.
Western’s inability to score with the man advantage proved costly. The Mustangs, who were 23rd out of 34 CIS teams during the regular season with a success rate of 16.9 per cent, were blanked on 11 opportunities, in addition to allowing Culligan’s shorthanded game-winner.
UNB capitalized on two of eight power-play chances.
“After yesterday’s win, we talked about how each night is a new game and that we had to be the best team on the ice. UNB was the best team tonight and they deserve to win,” said Western head coach Clarke Singer.
After a scoreless first period that featured few legitimate opportunities, the Varsity Reds turned it up a notch in the second.
Western did have the first scoring chance of the middle stanza three minutes in but Josh McQuade hit the post at the end of a two-on-one rush with Kevin Baker.
It was all UNB from there with the V-Reds outshooting Western 14-7 in the period.
During the Mustangs’ fourth 5-on-4 of the evening, Culligan intercepted a pass at his own blue-line and outraced Western rearguard Geoff Killing to beat Grieco stick side on a breakaway at 5:28.
Three minutes later, on Western’s next power play, Ryan Seymour had a great chance to double UNB’s lead but Grieco came up with a blocker save.
Grieco followed up with a number of great saves before the second intermission including a robbery of Bailey on a breakaway with two minutes remaining in the period.
Gallant finally made it 2-0 for UNB 45 seconds into the third with a blast from the point that a screened Grieco never saw.
Bailey all but sealed the victory at 15:12 when he tipped Gallant’s point shot during a man advantage.
Tremblay, who won his second straight AUS scoring crown this season with 44 points in 27 games, put the icing on the cake at 16:07 with a nice rush down the left wing.
GAME NOTES: UNB is now 3-0 all-time versus Western at the University Cup... The Varsity Reds had previously defeated Western 4-2 in the 2009 CIS final and 3-2 in overtime in pool play, in 2000... The V-Reds are 3-4 lifetime in University Cup finals...
UNB 4, Western Ontario 0
Brandon Greenside (UWO) hooking, 2:58;
Desnoyers (UNB) kneeing, 5:40;
Julian Cimadamore (UWO) hooking, 9:11;
Dion Campbell (UNB) tripping, 9:11;
Brandon Greenside (UWO) tripping, 10:08;
Chris Culligan (UNB) interference, 17:18;
Jason Furlong (UWO) interference, 19:48.
1. UNB Culligan (1) (unassisted) 5:28 SH
Josh Kidd (UNB) interference, 4:10;
Luke Gallant (UNB) hooking, 6:52;
Ben Wright (UNB) interference, 13:24;
Chris Culligan (UNB) interference, 15:54;
Julian Cimadamore (UWO) roughing, 19:47.
2. UNB Luke Gallant (1) (Kyle Bailey, Chris Culligan), 0:45
3. UNB Kyle Bailey (1) (Luke Gallant, Josh Kidd), 15:12 PP
4. UNB Hunter Tremblay (1) (Luke Gallant, Jordan Clendenning), 16:07
Josh McQuade (UWO) interference, 1:51;
Lachlan MacIntosh (UNB) tripping, 4:56;
Ben Wright (UNB) cross checking, 9:53;
Josh Kidd (UNB) kneeing, 12:47;
Scott Aarssen (UWO) kneeing, 13:10;
Brandon Greenside (UWO) interference on goaltender, 14:49;
Jason Swit (UWO) roughing, 16:37;
Jordan Clendenning (UNB) elbowing, 17:12;
Jeff Lee (UNB) tripping, 19:26.
GOALS (by period)
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
UNB: 10-14-8: 32
UWO: 7-7-8: 22
UNB – Travis Fullerton (W, 2-0, 22 shots, 22 saves, 0 GA, 60:00)
UWO – Anthony Grieco (L, 1-1, 32 shots, 28 saves, 4 GA, 60:00)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
UNB: Chris Culligan
UWO: Anthony Grieco
REFEREES: Brent Holdsworth, Jeff Hopkins
LINESMEN: Mike MacDonnell, Justin Burchell
ATTENDANCE: 3,760 (sold out)
POOL STANDINGS & RESULTS
Pool A standings (FINAL)
GP W L GF GA PTS
1. UNB 2 2 0 6 1 4
2. Western 2 1 1 3 6 2
3. Calgary 2 0 2 3 5 0
Pool B standings (FINAL)
1. McGill 2 2 0 8 4 4
2. StFX 2 1 1 4 3 2
3. Alberta 2 0 2 4 9 0
Thursday, March 24
Pool B #1: McGill 2, StFX 1
Pool A #1: UNB 2, Calgary 1
Friday, March 25
Pool B #2: StFX 3, Alberta 1
Pool A #2: Western 3, Calgary 2
Saturday, March 26
Pool B #3: McGill 6, Alberta 3
Pool A #3: UNB 4, Western 0
Sunday, March 27
20:00 University Cup Final: McGill vs. UNB (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)