Houde-Caron scores a pair in season sweep of Panthers

Houde-Caron scores a pair in season sweep of Panthers
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds completed a weekend sweep Saturday night with a 5-2 win over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers.

UNB hosted its annual Think Pink night at the Aitken Centre before 2,385 fans. The V-Reds wore pink socks during the game, while the ice crew flooded the rink with a pink dye mixed into the water to create a pinkish hue on the ice.

Antoine Houde-Caron netted a pair for the V-Reds in the win, while Nick MacNeil and PEI natives Cam Critchlow and Colby Pridham added goals for UNB.
Jordan Meyer and Travis McIsaac added both Panthers goals in the second period in the loss.

Pridham opened the scoring with three minutes left in the first period, wristing a shot from the slot, and beating UPEI goalie Wayne Savage five-hole for his 12th of the season.

Midway through the second Daine Todd began a rush up ice and took on four Panthers defenders as he tried to cut through the slot. He crossed the puck over to Stefan Salituro who quickly snapped a one-timer on net which Savage stopped. Houde-Caron then crashed the net to bury his fourth of the year.

But the Panthers rallied scoring back-to-back goals to tie it up going into the third. After Meyer scored to make it a one-goal game, McIsaac capitalized on a Ben Wright holding penalty. McIsaac fell into an odd-man rush into UNB's zone with Cole MacMillan, who threw a cross-ice pass to McIsaac who then toe dragged goalie Dan LaCosta out of position for his seventh of the year.

Six minutes into the third Cam Critchlow added his seventh of the season, as Chris Culligan fed him a backdoor pass, and Critchlow did the rest picking the top shelf over Savage.

Thirty-seconds later UNB dumped the puck into the UPEI corner and Savage came out to play it. But Taylor MacDougall came bearing down on him, and forced a turnover. MacDougall took the puck behind the net, and fed Houde-Caron in the slot to tap in his second of the game into the open net.

"When you drive the net, good things happen," said Houde-Caron. "I was definitely proud of my effort to night, but it was really a team win. The whole team reacted well after the second period and we could have just gone down, but we took a deep breath and came back strong."

Finally UNB capped off the scoring midway through the third, as MacNeil began a shorthanded rush up the ice, took three strides across the UPEI blue line, and wristed home his fourth goal in as many games, beating Savage five-hole.

While UNB have traditionally been a strong team in the third period, head coach Gardiner MacDougall said the key to their success in the final frame is finding ways to get better.

"The longer we play in a game we seem to get better," said MacDougall. "That's the whole thing is for each guy to find different ways to get better at their performance. Tonight was a step for us because we had a worthy opponent with some adversity, which you're going to have, and we responded pretty well."

UNB will play l'Université de Moncton at the Aitken Centre next Friday night, for the final game of the regular season.