Varsity Reds net-minder, Charlie Lavigne, posted a 5-0 shutout in the first of a two game series in the UNB Fall Invitational against the Windsor Lancers.
Thomas Nesbitt sparked the V-Reds offence with the game's first goal and two assists while Cam Braes added two goals in the third period. Charles Lavigne picked up his first-ever CIS shutout in nets, and was forced to make several key saves in the second period while the score was still close.
Nesbitt's goal came late in the first period when he was left all alone to the left of Windsor goalie Parker Van Buskirk and was able to calmly convert a crisp pass from Tyler Carroll. Early in the second period Nesbitt swooped in on net and forced Van Buskirk to make a big save, but the rebound stayed on the ice until rookie UNB defenceman Jordan Murray skated in for the easy tap-in.
The Lancers pushed back in the second period, especially on the power play, and at one point improved their shot deficit from 11-4 to 11-11 with Lavigne making some big saves for the V-Reds.
Just over five minutes into the third period UNB needed only eight seconds of power play time for Nesbitt to find Carroll all alone in front of the net. Minutes later Cam Braes backhanded in the rebound from rookie Dylan Willick's shot off the rush, and soon after sniped a pass from rookie d-man Matt Petrgrave.
UNB outshot Windsor 15-7 in the third period and 34-23 in the game.
Windsor head coach Kevin Hamlin recognized that conditioning might have been the difference in the third period. "To a man they are probably one of the better conditioned teams that we've played. I thought there were times in the game where we kind of carried the play, particularly in that second period, but the third period for whatever reason I don't think we played our very best and I thought perhaps that was their best period."
With respect to Lavigne's play he said, "Their goalie could have been the game changer in the second period ... he was excellent when he had to be and frankly I thought their whole team was pretty good when they had to be."
For his part Lavigne said, "It's nice to get some shots, it's been a long year and a half and it's very different from what I've been facing the last year or so [while he played Senior hockey after transferring from St. Thomas University]. It was good to get some work." When asked about his busy second period Lavigne replied, "That's what we're going to need this year. We're going to need key saves in key moments and it's good to get them going now."
Windsor and UNB will be back on the ice at 7:00 pm Saturday in the second game of the Fall Classic invitational tournament.