Photo credit Josh Shaefer www.joshschaeferphotography.com / Courtesy of University of Saskatchewan sports information office
SASKATOON (CIS) – The No. 2 seed University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds shutout the No. 4 seed Saint Mary’s University Huskies 2-0 in Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre to earn their fifth CIS University Cup in school history, Sunday evening.
University Cup website: www.universitycup.ca
UNB finished the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record.
With the win the UNB Varsity Reds claimed their fourth CIS title in the last seven years. The Varsity Reds last won the University Cup in the 2010-11 season, defeating McGill 4-0 at home in Fredericton.
Saint Mary’s University made their sixth appearance in the University Cup final. They claimed their only University Cup in 2010 with a win over the University of Alberta.
The 2014 CIS University Cup will be held at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre March 20-24.
Daine Todd, a native of Stettler, Alta., opened the scoring for the Varsity Reds on the power play at 10:39 of the first period. With Saint Mary’s Gerrad Grant in the box for hooking the UNB power play worked the puck around the offensive zone before Nick MacNeil fired a shot from the point. The puck trickled through Huskies goalie Anthony Peters and Todd was able to poke it over the goal line giving the Varsity Reds a 1-0 lead.
One goal was all the Varsity Reds would need as Daniel LaCosta was perfect in net stopping all 17 shots he faced. LaCosta, a native of Labrador City, Nfld., earned his first shutout of the tournament. This was only the fifth shutout in CIS University Cup championship game history. The last championship game shutout came in 2011 when the UNB Varsity Reds shutout the McGill Redmen.
“The key to the game was to take the lead and extend it, we waited until 19:50 to extend it, we knew we had good opponents, we found ways to win (close) games, and we did that tonight,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
The Varsity Reds sealed the win on an empty net goal with 11 seconds left in the game. Saint Mary’s was carrying the puck through the neutral zone but MacNeil, with a tenacious back check, was able to cause a turnover at centre ice. Tyler Carroll picked up the loose puck and gained the red line before firing the puck into the open net.
Carroll, who hails from Strathroy, Ont., finished the competition with a tournament-best four goals and received the W.J. ‘Danny’ McLeod Award as championship MVP.
Saint Mary’s nearly tied the game in the second period on an individual play from Kyle Pereira. He circled the net before firing a shot high on the short side. The shot rang off the post and fell into the chest of LaCosta.
The best scoring chance for the Huskies came late in the second period on a two-on-one rush. Matt Tippoff entered the Varsity Reds zone and sent a cross ice pass to Bradley Green but Greene was denied on the doorstep by an outstretched LaCosta.
In the final ten minutes of the third period Saint Mary’s began throwing everything at the net but UNB helped out LaCosta blocking a number shots. The Varsity Reds shot blocking was an integral part of their success throughout the tournament.
GAME NOTES: Saint Mary’s Peters made 21 saves in the losing effort and was named player of the game for the Huskies... Dan Lacosta was named player of the game for the Varsity Reds.
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