Night full of milestones for V-Reds in 2-1 win over St.FX

Night full of milestones for V-Reds in 2-1 win over St.FX
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have clinched first place in the Atlantic University Sport Conference with a 2-1 win over the St. Francis Xavier University X-Men Saturday night at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton.

The 2,239 fans in attendance also witnessed two milestones as V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall won his 300th career CIS game, while UNB also reached the 20-win plateau for a sixth consecutive season.

"It's a result of getting good people here," said MacDougall on his 300 wins in 12 seasons with UNB. "We're fortunate to have people that believe in the program and are willing to commit the extra effort. Todd [Sparks] has been a big part of that and the other assistant coaches along the way too."

The Varsity Reds also awarded the annual Don MacAdam scholarship to fourth-year defenseman Ben Shutron.

Nick MacNeil and Dion Campbell provided the scoring for UNB, with Campbell assisting on MacNeil's goal, while Jason Bast scored the X-Men's lone goal.

MacNeil opened the scoring late in the first period after Campbell forced a shorthanded turnover in the X-Men zone. Campbell passed it to MacNeil in the slot who quickly wristed his second shorthanded goal of the season.

St. FX tied it midway through the second period as Best was on the right side of a Brennan Wray rebound to bury his team-leading ninth goal of the year.

UNB took the lead just two minutes into the third period, as Antoine Houde-Caron fed an open Campbell in the faceoff circle, who fired a one-time slap shot, beating X-Men goaltender Joseph Perricone five hole.

Campbell was named the game's first star and has tallied six points in his first nine games back from the mid-season break. While UNB has clinched first place, Campbell said the V-Reds won't let up in their final three games against St. Thomas, UPEI, and Moncton.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to clinch first," said Campbell. "I'm proud of this group and of this guys, but these next three games we have to keep working on it and what we have to do to be successful into the playoffs."

Nick MacNeil earned second star honours scoring his second goal of the weekend, while Dan LaCosta earned third star honours stopping 23 shots for his 13th win of the season.

MacDougall joins Dave Adolph (University of Saskatchewan), Graham Wise (Ryerson University), and Clarke Singer (University of Western Ontario) as the only active CIS hockey coaches with 300 career wins.