Fredericton: In the ever emotional Annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial game the UNB Varsity Reds defeated cross campus rivals St Thomas Tommies 6-4 in a come from behind win.
In the opening ceremony of the 23rd edition of the Memorial game UNB's Nick MacNeil was awarded the prestigious Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship. MacNeil, a two-time CIS Champion and CIS Tournament all-star was also a member of the AUS/CIS gold medal winning team at the World University Games.
The Varsity Reds fired twelve shots at the Tommies goaltender Jonathan Groenhyde in the first period but were unable to convert. It was the visiting Tommies who managed to get on the scoreboard first with a pair of quick goals in the first four minutes from Matt Bissonnette.
The second period got under way with UNB switching goaltenders and Joel Vienneau taking his place between the pipes.
Just 59 seconds into the second the Tommies made it 3-0 with their first shot on Vienneau from Stephen Sanza.
A minute later UNB finally scored a goal of their own as they intercepted a pass on the blue-line and Philippe Maillet, UNB's second highest point getter, put the puck past Jonathan Groenheyde to make it 3-1. (Chris Culligan and Cam Chritchlow with the assists)
With less than five minutes to play in the second UNB closed the gap to 3-2 on a short-handed goal as Philippe Halley scored on a drop pass from Maillet (game MVP).
The one goal differential didn't last long as just 21 seconds later it's a 4-2 game as Stephen Sanza scored for the Tommies on the power-play.
The Varsity Reds answered back to make it 4-3 as UNB captain Chris Culligan scored a power-play goal on a pass from Maillet and MacNeil.
The third period saw the V-Reds with some great scoring chances when on a power-play Jordan Murray, on a pass from Maillet, took a blast from the point to tie up the game with just over seven minutes left on the clock.
With just 1:20 left in the game Dylan Willick sealed the deal for UNB to make it 6-4 with an empty netter.
UNB outshot STU 38-13 on the night.
The Mark Jeffrey game is an important tilt on the V-Reds schedule, one they prefer to win.
"Its pure pride," said UNB bench boss Gardiner MacDougall.
"You're down three to nothing in our biggest regular season game; its pure pride and it's such a special legacy. We didn't have a great ten minutes but the rest of the fifty was pretty solid. We got better, and that's the key to our hockey club - we've got to find ways to get better…. And we did tonight."
UNB now with a 17-3-1 record will travel to UPEI as they take on the 10-7-2 Panthers at 7:00 pm tomorrow in Charlottetown – live action on www.AUStv.ca
Maureen Sparks, UNB Sports Information
Photo Credit: Rob Blanchard