(FREDERICTON, NB) A goal by Tyler Boland(St. John's, NL), at 2:54 of overtime, gave the UNB Varsity Reds a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the visiting Ryerson Rams in game one of the Peterbilt Atlantic Pete Kelly Cup, Friday night in Fredericton.
Boland's goal, his second of the game, came on the power-play, and capped a four-goal Varsity Reds rally.
"People might see this as an exhibition game, but we're still out there battling and we want to win," said Boland. "I want to win for sure, so it was nice to put that in."
The Rams shocked the two-time, defending U SPORTS champions by scoring three first period goals in less than two minutes.
Devon Paliani(LaSalle, ON) opened the scoring, with the Rams working on the power-play.
Matt Mistele(Whitby, ON) made it 2-0 1:08 later, and Paliani scored his second another 56 seconds after that.
Peter Trainor(Fredericton, NB) scored for UNB before the end of the first period, but the visitors took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
The teams traded goals in the second period.
Stephen Anderson(Morell, PE) scored for the Varsity Reds before Erick DeLaurentis(Markham, ON) restored Ryerson's two goal lead.
The Rams re-established a three goal advantage at 7:34 of the third period on a John Carpino(Maple, ON) goal, but UNB responded less than 40 seconds later with Anderson's second of the game.
Boland brought the Varsity Reds to within a goal at 10:31 of the third, at which point Rams' head coach Johnny Duco called a time-out.
Chris Caissy(Campbellton, NB) tied the game 5-5 at 14:38, forcing overtime.
Ryerson's Steven Harland(Toronto, ON) was called for interference at 2:25 of the extra frame and Boland capitalized 19 seconds into the man advantage.
"We're just so confident in one another, knowing that no matter what the score is, we still have a chance to win. We showed that tonight," said Boland.
Boland and Rams' netminder Taylor Dupuis(New Liskeard, ON) were named players of the game for their respective teams.
Dupuis faced 63 shots, making 57 saves.
"It was a lot of fun to be out there," said Dupuis. "It was a tough bounce after a game like that, but to bring these guys to overtime, that's an accomplishment."
"I'm proud of our group. We never quit," said Duco. "Taylor made some unbelievable saves that kept the lead for a while, but they've got so much fire power that it's only a matter of time before they start capitalizing on some of their chances and unfortunately for us, they were able to do so."
Both teams saw good efforts from special teams.
Ryerson was three for four with the man advantage while UNB was three for seven.
"They were opportunistic with their chances," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "They've got some guys that are good offensively. Even though they didn't have that many shots, they had some 'Grade A' chances."
MacDougall feels persistence paid off for his team.
Despite giving up a pair of three goal leads, he was pleased with the outcome.
"You can't plan that experience, and you can't practice that experience," said MacDougall.
Chris Clapperton(Cap d'Espoir, QC) contributed four assists in UNB's win, while Aaron Armstrong(Teeswater, ON) had a pair of assists for the Rams.
Game two of the series goes Saturday, at 4:00pm Atlantic, at UNB's Aitken Centre.
"It's a quick turnaround, not even 24 hours and we're back playing again, so it's going to be fun," said Boland.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics