UNB defeats Russian Red Stars 7-3

UNB defeats Russian Red Stars 7-3
SAINT JOHN, NB -  The UNB Varsity Reds opened their two game “Peterbilt Atlantic Kelly Cup Challenge” series against the Russian Red Stars at Harbour Station with a 7-3 win in front of more than 2,300 hockey fans who ventured yet another New Brunswick storm.

Hockey legend Phil Esposito, UNB’s special guest for the series, welcomed the fans to Harbour Station and thanked them for braving the second winter storm to hit New Brunswick in only a few days.  He also thanked UNB for honouring the Team Canada players of the iconic 1972 series by wearing their numbers and names on replica Team Canada jerseys.

UNB showed little sign of rust – their last game was on December 1st – and opened the scoring when Ben Shutron took a pass from Bryce Swan and found the top corner past goaltender Denis Peretiagin  just over a minute into the game. 

The Red Stars answered just twenty seconds later with a goal from Daniil Bogdanov on their first shot on UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton.

UNB broke the tie at eight minutes in and then kept on going, scoring  three straight goals within 90 seconds. Goal scorers were Robertson, MacDougall and MacNeil.

The frustrated Red Stars decided to change goaltenders and with a fresh Sergei Mashkovtcev in net UNB managed to make it goal number five heading into the break. The goal was scored by Cam Braes as McNeil, on a near breakaway, fed the puck to him from the corner.  McNeil would later be named player of the game for the Varsity Reds.

In the second period the teams seemed to settle and it was a much better period for the Russian team with five shots on goal.  Fullerton came up with a huge diving stack-the-pad save denying Denis Vikharev on a power-play shot six minutes into the second half.

In the third period the Red Stars came out with a much faster paced game.  Five minutes into the third period Kirill Tambiev put one past Fullerton on a shot from the right circle, followed at 16:11 by Russian player of the game Danil Faizullin. That brought the Red Stars back within two, but Dion Campbell, playing in his first game of the season, scored for the Varsity Reds just two minutes later.  Cam Critchlow closed out the scoring in the final seconds, fighting off a check and driving to the net.

UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall was pleased with the win. “I thought we had a really good start to the game, we were excited to play this Russian team.  There was lots of excitement in the first period and I thought we were pretty efficient and took advantage of the shots we had. Parts of the second and third we levelled a little bit but I thought we finished strong,”

The Red Stars picked up their game pace in the third period outshooting UNB 16 – 7. MacDougall believes it should be a good game tomorrow.

 “They [Red Stars} were fresh off a long bus ride yesterday and we wanted to capitalize in the first period today and the win sets up for a good game for tomorrow,“ continued MacDougall.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 4:00 pm to a sellout crowd at the Aitken Centre. The game will be webcast live on the internet at  http://live.streamit.ca/?player=56

The Red Stars, mostly between the ages of 19-21, are comprised of elite young players from Russia, Belarus and Latvia who were selected from different teams in the Russian Junior Hockey League, a 29-team developmental league organized in 2009 by Russian professional hockey clubs playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Game Summary
1ST Period: 5-1 UNB
1:19        UNB Shutron from Bryce Swan
1:39        Russia #13 Borodkin Artem from Faizullin Danil
8:26        UNB Robertson, Pridham, Nesbitt
9:13        UNB MacDougall, Fillier,Campbell
9:58        UNB McNeil, Nesbitt, Pridham
12.32     UNB Braes, McNeil, Nesbitt
Shots on Goal
UNB 12
Russia 3

2nd Period
Shots on Goal
Russia 5
UNB  4

3rd Period:
4:59 Kirill Tambiev, Nikolai Stoliarenko
16:11 Danil Faizullin, Daniil Bogdanov
18:15 Dion Campbell, Woodrick, Critchlow
19:20(??) Cam Critchlow, Matt Fillier
Shots on goal
Russia 16
Final score 7 UNB – 3 Russia
Paid attendance 2,307