Ottawa natives score big for UNB in 5-1 win vs STU

Ottawa natives score big for UNB in 5-1 win vs STU
Call it a capital victory, if you will, Friday night as a pair of goals each from Ottawa natives Ben Shutron and Thomas Nesbitt lifted the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds to a 5-1 win over the St. Thomas Tommies Friday night at the Grant*Harvey Centre in Fredericton.

Shutron, a native of east-end suburb Orléans, opened the scoring for UNB after a scoreless first period, and added another shorthanded goal later in the third. Meanwhile Nesbitt, originally from the west-end suburb of Stittsville, scored the eventual game-winner a minute into the third period, and added his second in the dying minutes of the game.

"I don't know [what was with that]," said Nesbitt on the goal scoring from the Ottawanians. "Shutron just got me going there. It's been a while for me to chip in offensively so it felt good."

Nick MacNeil added another for UNB, while Félix-Antoine Poulin had the lone goal for the Tommies in the loss.

Shutron opened the scoring seven minutes into the second period, after a scoreless and penalty-free first period. While a St. Thomas penalty was expiring, Cam Braes fed Shutron at the point, who blasted a one-timer through traffic, beating STU netminder Jonathan Groenheyde for his third of the year.

Nesbitt opened a two-goal lead in the third period, taking a Chris Culligan pass along the wing, cutting toward the net on his backhand with one hand on his stick, then pulling the puck over to his forehand before roofing his seventh of the season.

Midway through the third Nick MacNeil threw a soft wrist shot on net from the wing, which Groenheyde stopped. The rebound came right to MacNeil on the doorstep, who took the puck around the back of the net and tucked in his 14th goal of the year.

Five minutes later with UNB on a penalty kill, Daine Todd and Culligan began a 2-on-1 rush up the ice against Poulin after a Tommies turnover at the UNB blue line. Poulin dove to the ice to break up Culligan's cross-ice pass, but Shutron pinched from defence and one-timed a shot past Groenheyde for his first shorthanded goal of the year.

With just over a minute left in the game, Nesbitt was lined up for a faceoff to the right of Groenheyde. Cam Critchlow won the draw over to the former Ottawa 67's forward, who spun and threw a blind shot on net which squeaked in.

UNB gave Travis Fullerton the nod for his final game against St. Thomas, and he stopped nine shots to stay unbeaten against the Tommies in his career. But STU denied Fullerton his 21st career shutout, as with under a minute to go Poulin took the puck along the far wing, did a spin-o-rama around Tim Priamo, and backhanded a shot top shelf over Fullerton's shoulder for the Tommies' lone goal of the game.

V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall said while a shutout against St. Thomas in Fullerton's final game versus STU would have been fitting, he said he prefers looking at the bigger picture of a team win. While UNB came out slow to start the game, MacDougall said leadership played a key role in a second period where UNB outshot STU 15-1.

"We're a team that needs to bring energy and hunger to every game," said MacDougall. "I didn't think we had a lot in the first and sometimes that happens when you clinch first and you get ranked No. 1, but I thought the leadership did a good job between periods, and we got better into the third."
UNB will look to bring that "energy and hunger" tomorrow night as they'll take on the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers. UPEI are coming into tomorrow night's matchup deadlocked with St. FX for fourth place in the AUS standings, while UNB will host their annual Think Pink week in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.