Swan is the hero in 4-3 win over UPEI

Swan is the hero in 4-3 win over UPEI
With 54.8 seconds left in regulation time, University of New Brunswick forward Bryce Swan took a Tyler Carroll cross-ice pass in the face-off circle, and buried his second goal of the game, lifting UNB to a 4-3 win over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, Friday night at the Aitken Centre.

"I was just the beneficiary of some great passing," said Swan on his two goals. "I play with some great players and I just try to get into the open areas."

Swan opened the scoring in the first period, capitalizing on a Mason Wilgosh hooking penalty. Just moments before he scored, he was sprung on a breakaway after a streaking two-line pass up the middle of the ice from Ben Shutron. Swan couldn't get a clean shot off and UPEI cleared the zone.

On the next rush, Shutron went back to that same play, this time Swan made no mistake on his breakaway beating goalie Mavric Parks with a waist-high snap shot from the slot, as UNB led 1-0 after the first.

Two minutes into the second period UNB opened a two-goal lead with Colby Pridham burying his fifth of the season. Thomas Nesbitt started the play bringing the puck behind UPEI's net. He fed a back-door Pridham who beat Parks top shelf. Shutron also earned his second assist of the game on the play.

However UNB's ongoing penalty trouble got the better of them later in the period, as after a Ben Wright hooking penalty and a Chris Culligan slash, UPEI had a 5-on-3 for over a minute.

The Panthers quickly capitalized as Jordan Mayer and Reggie Traccitto played hot potato at the blue line with the puck, drawing UNB net minder Dan LaCosta into a screen. Mayer quickly fired a one-timer beating a screened LaCosta glove-side top corner for this third of the year.

Twenty-three seconds later, still on the power play, Jordan Knox buried a Dana Fraser rebound, tying the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.

UNB quickly regained the lead two minutes into the third period as after Pridham forced a turnover at the Panthers' blue line he crashed the net with line mates Nesbitt and Cam Critchlow. After Parks stopped the initial Nesbitt shot, Critchlow was on the doorstep to bury his second of the year.

However less than two minutes later UPEI responded. After a mad scramble in front of the UNB net, the puck bounced off the end boards, and then ricocheted off Marc-Antoine Desnoyers' skate right to Wilgosh who whacked it in, tying the game once again.

With Swan's late game heroics, UNB are now on a five-game winning streak, while LaCosta stopped 23 Panthers' shots for his seventh win of the year, remaining unbeaten thus far.

Head coach Gardiner MacDougall said though after a shaky second period, UNB adjusted well after UPEI found life following the 5-on-3.

"We want to get some consistency in our special teams," he said. "The positive is we found a way to get two points, and that's important through the run of a year to find ways to get those  two points."

UNB's second goaltender, Travis Fullerton, was out due to the flu, forcing MacDougall to call on former St. Thomas Tommies goalie Charles Lavigne to dress as backup.

Lavigne, enrolled in UNB's masters in business administration program, was a clean transfer from up the hill after graduating with a bachelor degree last year. Having dressed Friday night, Lavigne burnt one of his two remaining years of eligibility.

With the win UNB remains tied atop the Atlantic University Sport standings with Acadia, both teams are 10-3-0.

Paid attendance at the Aitken Centre was 2,453.