MacNeil and Carroll wrap up three-goal weekend in 3-0 win over Dalhousie

MacNeil and Carroll wrap up three-goal weekend in  3-0 win over Dalhousie

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team wrapped up a perfect homestand on Saturday night, shutting out the Dalhousie Tigers    3-0 before 2,353 fans at the Aitken Centre. The rink was filled with aspiring hockey players as UNB hosted their annual Fredericton Youth Hockey
Association night, where young fans earned free admission if they wore their minor hockey jersey.

Tyler Carroll, who scored the game-winner the night before against Acadia, netted the first two goals of the game, while Nick MacNeil added another, giving both players three goals on the weekend.

Tigers goalie Wendell Vye got the nod for his 11th start this season, and despite allowing all three UNB goals in the first 10 minutes, he stopped 48 shots in the loss. Meanwhile Travis Fullerton got the start for UNB, stopping 17 shots for his first shutout of the season.

Carroll opened the scoring three minutes into the game as UNB capitalized on a Brendon MacDonald hooking penalty.
With Ben Shutron playing the point alongside V-Reds forward Cam Braes, the two worked the puck along the point before Braes ripped a slap shot through traffic. Vye stopped the initial shot but  Carroll was on the doorstep to bury the loose rebound.

Four minutes later Carroll netted his second of the game on the exact same play. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers and Daine Todd were working the point, then Todd fired a one-timer on net. Once again Vye made the first save, but couldn't deny Carroll of netting his team-leading 13th goal of the season. With the goal Carroll scored an even strength goal, a power play goal, and a shorthanded goal all in the same weekend.

A minute and a half later UNB were up on another rush into the Dalhousie zone. After receiving a Cam Braes pass, Tom Nesbitt put on the brakes at the faceoff circle to the left of Vye, then threaded a pass to a backdoor MacNeil who put home his eighth goal of the year.

UNB outshot Dalhousie 51-17 in the contest, with 22 of their shots coming in the first period.

Vye stopped 38 straight shots after allowing MacNeil's goal and said while his team gave up more shots than they'd like, it was a tough game after a hard fought overtime loss the night before to UPEI.

"We'd like to have a little more offense," said Vye. "We had a tough game last night and I think the first weekend back guys are a little rusty. I thought I was playing well, but had a few bad bounces here and there and kept going the way I was, focusing on one shot at a time."

Meanwhile V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall said the challenge for his team was playing four games in seven days, after a two-game set with Team Russia to round out 2012, but sought motivation from Team USA's national junior team who played six games in eight days on route to a gold medal.

"The whole philosophy of our group is to try and get a little bit better every night," said MacDougall. "So we used the USA team analogy and said 'O.K., let's try and be the best that we can.'"

UNB is on the road next weekend in Nova Scotia, where they'll take on the St. Francis Xavier X-Men before a showdown with No. 7 ranked Saint Mary's, who after a four-point weekend sit second in AUS standings, only one point behind UNB.