Fredericton: The UNB Varsity Reds, top ranked team in the AUS, continued with their winning ways as they beat the Saint Mary's Huskies 6-5 in tonight's AUS hockey action at the Aitken Centre.
"It was a fan's delight," said UNB bench boss Gardiner MacDougall as his team picked up their ninth straight win in the fast, back and forth game which saw 11 goals over two periods.
It was last night's overtime hero, Philippe Halley, who put the Red and Black on the scoreboard first on a pass from Dylan Willick less than four minutes into the first period. Just 45 seconds later the V-Reds scored for the second time as Matt Petgrave (Philippe Maillet and Halley) put one past Anthony Peters.
It didn't take long for the Huskies to get on the scoreboard and they answered back with four straight goals (Cory Tanaka, Lucas Bloodoff, Gerrad Grant, Michael D'Orazio) to head into the dressing room up 4-2.
All six goals were at even-strength. Shots on goal at the end of the first were UNB 12 - SMU 13.
Nick McNeil started the UNB comeback, converting from Cam Braes at 3:36 of the second, and then Maillet tied it up at 9:50.
Halley scored his second of the game to get the go ahead goal (5-4) on a controversial play when Peters knocked the net off its mooring. At 13:56 Cam Critchlow scored on a penalty shot to give the V-Reds a two goal lead at 6-4. It didn't last long as shortly thereafter Matt Tipoff for SMU made it 6-5.
"These are two teams that have really good offensive instincts. We had a great start with a 2-0 lead and then they took over. Away from the puck we weren't very good," continued MacDougall. "We had a chance to reload in the second and had a great strong second. It was our opportunity and thankfully we were one goal better."
Shots on goal at the end of the second were 27 to UNB and 24 to SMU.
The third period again saw fast back and forth action, great speed and attack, big body checks and great stickhandling. Both goalies' confidence grew and they denied every shot in the final twenty minutes.
The shots on goal at the end of the third were 40 to 29 in favour of UNB.
Subway Player of the game #23 Cam Critchlow.
Next action for the V-Reds will be on Friday night as they take on cross campus rivals the St. Thomas Tommies at the Grant-Harvey Centre and then they return to home ice on Saturday against UdeM.
Maureen Sparks, UNB Sports Information