The UNB Varsity Reds men's hockey team lost their second game of the weekend, falling 4-3 to the Acadia Axemen in overtime.
It was yet another great match-up for hockey fans in Atlantic Canada, with both teams being within the top three in the highly competitive AUS.
Acadia came onto the ice off a big win the day before, besting Moncton 4-2. UNB was looking to make good on some missteps in yesterday's 4-3 loss to SMU, where they left the ice down three goals after the first period.
The Varsity Reds gave up the first goal. Alex Beaton got his legs under him and after a couple of quick passes close to the net, Liam Heelis snapped it in. It's Heelis' sixth goal of the season. Assists went to Beaton and Matthew Pufahl.
UNB got their chance to get back into the game when a two-minute penalty for tripping put them on the power play with just over two minutes to go. Philippe Halley had the goal for the V-Reds with an assist from Peter Trainor and Matt Petgrave.
The second period got under way with both teams coming hard and neither willing to let the other dictate play. At seven minutes in, a long scramble in front of the UNB net put goalie David Shantz in a nearly impossible scenario, diving several directions at once. Zachary Franko finally popped it in the net for the Axemen, and Acadia was up 2-1. Assists went to Mike Cazzola and Brett Thompson.
As the period drew to a close, UNB looked determined to tie it up, and the pace increased noticeably. The V-Reds would find their way to a goal with just 26 seconds left in play. Philippe Maillet got one past Axemen goalie Brandon Glover with an assist from Tyler Carroll.
The V-Reds kept the momentum on their side with a quick goal just 15 seconds into the third. Maillet took the puck from the red line for a clean beat of Glover, starting that period off much like how he'd ended the second one, and UNB took the lead for the first time in the game.
The Axemen battled back and just over six minutes later tied it up again. Shantz got tied up in play on the side of the net, and Brett Thompson managed to come around from behind and hook it in over the diving UNB defencemen.
The third period ended in very dramatic style with Acadia pressing hard, a big save from Shantz and an even bigger save from Halley when he batted the puck out of midair with his hand with two seconds to go to send the game into overtime.
It didn't take long for the deciding goal to arrive. Acadia scored just two minutes into overtime. Franko had the goal again with the assist from Beaton, and Acadia would take the game 4-3.
The Varsity Reds play next at 7pm on Friday, November 21, when they travel to Saint Mary's.
The Axemen travel to play UPEI at the same time.
Photo courtesy of Brian Smith.