The University of the New Brunswick Varsity Reds were forced to mount a furious third period charge in order to engineer a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the visiting Windsor Lancers. The visiting OUA team led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after the second, but just could not hold off the pressing V-Reds in the final period.
It was Windsor's Evan Stubbard scoring at 1:11 of the first period on the Lancers' third shot of the game. UNB's Thomas Nesbitt managed to tie the game late in the second period, but Windsor's Derek Lanoue replied roughly 30 seconds later to restore their lead.
UNB appeared to have good pressure to start the second period, but just over a minute in Lanoue raced down the left side of the ice and snapped a puck past rookie V-Reds net minder Joel Vienneau for his second goal of the game. At this point the Lancers had three goals on nine shots and had a two goal lead over the defending national champions. Charles Lavigne later subbed Vienneau in nets at 8:22 of the middle period.
As was the case in the first period, the V-Reds managed a goal late in the period. Captain Chris Culligan was in tight to the net and able to convert a passing play from Tyler Carroll and Nesbitt.
Windsor's Paul Bezzo restored their two-goal lead at 4:31 of the third period. However UNB was on the power play a few minutes later, and after some nice puck movement by the defencemen on the points the puck came to Cam Braes who made no mistake with a quick release. A minute later defenceman Ben Shutron laid the puck back to his partner Keevin Cutting and the rookie blasted a one-timer for his first UNB goal and the game was tied once again.
Five minutes later UNB's top line roared into the Lancers zone and after several passes among line-mates Culligan, Carroll and Nesbitt it was Carroll finally putting the puck past the Windsor keeper to give the home side their first lead of the game.
The lead held as UNB won the game 5-4, outshooting Windsor 47-18 in the process.
After the game UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall focused on the positives in the somewhat disjointed game. "We had to respond to some adversity. This time of year you want to experience different parts of the game that you're gonna experience in the AUS. Being down at home it's an unusual situation but the guys responded in the third so you take the positive from it. On the other part we need to be more focused and ready to go in the first period."
Already looking ahead to next week MacDougall said, "This is a huge week for us – we have a great opportunity to play the American Hockey League's Portland Pirates (on Wednesday); that's going to be an exciting opportunity for the hockey club. And then we play another OUA team, Carleton, on Friday night. They are going to be two key games for our hockey club."