(FREDERICTON, NB) In a scrap between Atlantic University Sport leaders, the UNB Varsity Reds scored a 7-4 victory over the Acadia Axemen.
With the win, UNB clinches first place in the AUS for the ninth consecutive season.
Jordan Murray had three assists.
Mike Cazzola, Boston Leier, Mike Fioretti and Brett Thompson scored for the Axemen.
The visitors opened the scoring, just 1:09 into the first period.
Varsity Reds netminder Etienne Marcoux couldn't corral a rebound. Cazzola pounced on the loose puck, scoring his 16th goal of the season.
Brace got his first of the night, six minutes later. On the power-play, he blasted a Jordan Murray pass underneath the crossbar to tie the game 1-1.
Acadia took the lead back a minute later, when Leier converted a Brett Thompson pass.
But Clapperton and Mignardi would score before the end of the first, to give UNB a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.
Fioretti evened the score at 1:29 of the second, before Clapperton, with his second of the night, and Carroll scored to make it 5-3.
With UNB up 6-3, late in the third, Thompson scored to pull the visitors within a pair, but MacDougall's empty-netter sealed the win for the home team.
"It wasn't the start we wanted, but sometimes you need those," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "You go through those experiences and find a way to have the results that you need."
Despite the loss, Acadia head coach Darren Burns was upbeat. "You don't want to give up 7 goals, but I liked a lot of the things we did tonight."
Burns didn't like that his team took 14 minor penalties. "We've got to play 5 on 5. That's how we're successful, playing four lines and six D(defence)."
With his pair of goals, Brace snapped an eleven AUS game scoring slump. Brace hadn't scored a regular season goal since November 27th.
Happy to have that behind him, Brace feels the Varsity Reds are right where they want to be. "I think, throughout the year, you can always get better and I think Gardiner will say the same thing. We just want to get better every day, but I definitely like the place we're in now."
In their last home game of the regular season, the Varsity Reds welcomed 3127 fans. That pushed attendance for the season to 32, 237, best in the CIS.
UNB finishes the regular season on the road.
The Varsity Reds play at St. Thomas, on Wednesday, before visiting UPEI, on Friday.