The Varsity Reds men's hockey team wrapped up a four-point weekend with a 4-2 win over the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers Saturday night before 2,007 fans at the Aitken Centre.
Sophomore Phillippe Halley netted the game winner late in the third period with his first goal of the season, and later iced it with an empty-netter.
Halley said it was good to finally get the monkey off his back.
"You try not to think about it, but in the back of your mind it's always there," Halley said. "So now it's done, it's over and I think we're going to get going now. The chemistry's going well."
The V-Reds were solid on the power play, scoring each of the first two goals with the man advantage.
After a scoreless first period where UNB outshot UPEI 14-8, Cam Crichlow opened the scoring a minute and a half into the second, redirecting a slap pass in the slot from Matt Petgrave for his fourth of the season.
Then four minutes later Tyler Carroll stretched UNB's lead to 2-0, beating Panthers goalie Matt Mahalak for this third of the year.
But UPEI capitalized on its own power play opportunities, and while on a two-man advantage with six minutes to go in the period Reggie Traccitto snapped a shot through traffic and past a screened David Shantz to cut the lead to one.
Early in the third after Taylor MacDougall was called for tripping and the Panthers struck again on the power play as Mason Wilgosh scored his second goal in two games, counterattacking after UNB had a good shorthanded chance moments before.
But UPEI couldn't complete the comeback as Halley took a feed from Carroll in the slot again, and fired a quick shot past Mahalak for the game-winner.
Carroll, who's playing on a line with Halley and Maillet for the second week in a row, picked up a goal and two assists to earn first star honours, while Shantz earned his seventh win of the season in a 28-save effort.
"We knew it was going to be a battle," V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall said. "You need these tests along the way. You don't always paint a Picasso every night, but you find ways and we had some good opportunities five-on-five. Our power play had a couple big goals but we need to tighten up the penalty kill."
UPEI had a scary moment in the dying seconds of the second period as forward Tyler Brown went into the boards hard delivering a hit on V-Reds defenceman Randy Gazzolla. Brown suffered a broken fibula on the play and will undergo surgery Sunday. There's no timeline for his return.
UNB is back on home ice next weekend as the Acadia Axeman and the Saint Mary's Huskies visit the Aitken Centre. Both games are 7 p.m. starts.
Nick Murray for UNB Sports Information.
Photo courtesy of Brian Smith.