Photo credit Brian Smith
FREDERICTON, N.B. (CIS) – The tournament host and defending national champion UNB Varsity Reds dominated from start to finish en route to a 6-1 win over the UQTR Patriotes in the second game of the 50th CIS men’s hockey championship in front of 3,750 fans at the University of New Brunswick’s Aitken Centre, Thursday night.
The top-seeded V-Reds (1-0) take the lead in Pool A at the Cavendish Farms University Cup, presented by The Home Depot. The AUS champions will now enjoy a break until Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Atlantic when they face No. 4 Western (0-0) in their second and final round-robin contest, live on Sportsnet and ssncanada.ca.
UNB triumphed on home ice a year ago for its third CIS title in five years and the fourth in program history.
The sixth-ranked Patriotes (0-1), for their part, will try to rebound Friday at 7 p.m. when they square off against Western.
The V-Reds were all over their OUA rivals in the opening period and jumped to a 2-0 lead after outshooting UQTR 15-4. Following a more evenly contested middle frame, the Pats made it a game early in the third stanza when they cut the deficit to 3-1, but UNB responded with three more goals to run away with the victory.
Daine Todd, a third-year forward from Stettler, Alta., was the hero of the night and earned UNB –player-of-the-game honours after tallying two goals and one assist. Linemate Tyler Carroll, a freshman from Strathroy, Ont., picked up three helpers for a three-point evening of his own.
The winners also received goals from Matt Fillier of Durham, N.S., Chris Culligan of Howie Center, N.S., Nick MacNeil of Creignish, N.S., as well as rookie Antoine Houde-Caron, a Trois-Rivières, Que., native who rounded out the scoring against his hometown university.
“I just had some good opportunities and happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Todd, who had five goals in 20 regular season games and added one in six playoff contests.
Assistant captain Félix Petit of Jonquière, Que., was the only Patriote to beat goalie Travis Fullerton of Riverview, N.B., who made 20 saves in the win. Guillaume Nadeau, a freshman from St-Jean-Chrysostome, Que., turned aside 27 shots in the losing cause.
Petit’s goal 6:26 into the third period ended an amazing shutout streak for Fullerton at the University Cup championship. The fourth-year senior, who was named the all-tournament team in both 2009 and 2011, had not allowed a goal in 203:23 minutes at the competition. After giving up a goal to Calgary 15:57 into UNB’s opener last year, he posted back-to-back shutouts against Western and McGill.
“We were facing one of the top two teams in the country,” said 13-year UQTR head coach Jacques Laporte, whose squad was the top-scoring team in the country this season with 4.39 goals per game. “I can’t get too negative about losing to that team... they are a big hockey machine and it was a heavy task for us. I tip my hat to UNB... We have 11 rookies and it is an unbelievable experience for them to learn about what it takes when you get to a national championship.”
Todd opened the scoring 5:12 into the contest. After taking a pass in front of the net, he beat a screened Nadeau with a quick shot that the goalie never saw.
Fillier doubled the lead less than two minutes later, at 7:05, when he pushed a rebound past Nadeau.
UQTR played much better early in the second period and Olivier Lacasse had a golden opportunity to cut the deficit in half five minutes in but he was stoned by Fullerton on a breakaway.
Instead of making it a 2-1 affair, the Patriotes found themselves down 3-0 two minutes later when Culligan scored at the end of a two-one-one rush.
The OUA bronze medallists had another great chance to get on the board with eight minutes left in the stanza but couldn’t capitalize on a two-minute 5-on-3 power play. Fullerton came up huge late into the penalty kill when he extended the left pad to rob defenceman Pierre-Luc Lessard from up close.
“People often talk about the power-play but really the penalty-kill is often more important,” said Gardiner MacDougall, in his 12th season behind the UNB bench. “It was a huge kill for our club and obviously ‘Fully’ made a big save but it was an extended 5-on-3 and an extended shift for our guys on the ice. You just have to find a way (to kill those situations) at a national championship.”
Petit made it interesting six minutes into the third when he roofed a rebound past Fullerton, but Todd crushed any chance of a comeback with his second of the night only 84 seconds later.
MacNeil and Houde-Caron added insurance markers late in the contest.
UNB 6, UQTR 1
1. UNB Daine Todd (1) (Chris Culligan, Tyler Carroll), 5:12
2. UNB Matt Fillier (1) (Taylor MacDougall, Antoine Houde-Caron), 7:05
Jonathan Harty (UNB) checking from behind, 10-minute misconduct), 2:13;
Félix Petit (UQTR) hooking, 9:30;
Olivier Hotte (UQTR) high sticking, 14:41.
3. UNB Chris Culligan (1) (Daine Todd, Tyler Carroll), 7:39
Luke Gallant (UNB) closing hand on puck, 8:45;
Taylor MacDougall (UNB) roughing after the whistle, 8:45;
Billy Lacasse (UQTR) high sticking, 16:19.
4. UQTR Félix Petit (1) (Félix Lefrancois, Pierre-Luc Lessard), 6:26
5. UNB Daine Todd (2) (Luke Gallant, Jordan Clendenning), 7:50
6. UNB Nick MacNeil (1) (Jonathan Harty), 10:17
7. UNB Antoine Houde-Caron (1) (Tyler Carroll), 16:54
Jordan Clendenning (UNB) slashing, 4:47;
Emmanuel Boudreau (UQTR) butt end hooking, 5:44;
Nick MacNeil (UNB) roughing after the whistle, 10:17;
Maxime Robichaud (UQTR) roughing after the whistle, unsportsmanlike conduct, 10:17;
Maxime Gravel (UQTR) slashing, 12:32.
GOALS (by period)
UNB: 2-1-3: 6
UQTR: 0-0-1: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
UNB: 15-7-11: 33
UQTR: 4-12-5: 21
UNB – Travis Fullerton (W, 1-0, 21 shots, 20 saves, 1 GA, 60:00)
UQTR – Guillaume Nadeau (L, 0-1, 33 shots, 27 saves, 6 GA, 60:00)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
UNB: Daine Todd
UQTR: Félix Petit
REFEREES: Nathan Wieler, Jonathan Langille
LINESMEN: Ryan Power, Mike MacDonnell
POOL STANDINGS & RESULTS (all times ATLANTIC TIME)
Pool A standings (after 1 of 3 games)
GP W L GF GA PTS
1. UNB 1 1 0 6 1 2
2. Western 0 0 0 0 0 0
3. UQTR 1 0 1 1 6 0
Pool B standings (after 1 of 3 games)
1. McGill 1 1 0 6 3 2
2. Sask 0 0 0 0 0 0
3. Moncton 1 0 1 3 6 0
Thursday, March 22
14:00 Pool B #1: McGill 6, Moncton 3
19:00 Pool A #1: UNB 6, UQTR 1
Friday, March 23
14:00 Pool B #2: Moncton vs. Saskatchewan (ssncanada.ca)
19:00 Pool A #2: UQTR vs. Western (ssncanada.ca)
Saturday, March 24
11:30 Pool B #3: McGill vs. Saskatchewan (ssncanada.ca)
16:30 Pool A #3: UNB vs. Western (Sportsnet / ssncanada.ca) *
Sunday, March 25
20:00 University Cup Final (Sportsnet / ssncanada.ca)
Note: The last game of pool play (Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ATLANTIC) will air live on all Sportsnet stations, except on Sportsnet West, which will air the game on a tape delay at 8 p.m. Mountain.