March 15, 2013, Saskatoon, SK (CIS) – Tyler Carroll’s power play marker late in the second period stood as the game-winner as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated the tournament host Saskatchewan Huskies 3-1 in the second contest of the CIS men’s hockey championship at Credit Union Centre, Thursday night.
With the win, the second-seeded V-Reds (1-0) take the early lead in pool B and get to rest until Saturday at 8 p.m. Saskatchewan Time (live on Sportsnet), when they’ll face No. 3 UQTR in their second and last duel of the preliminary round.
Fifth-ranked Saskatchewan (0-1) takes on UQTR Friday at 7 p.m.
Carroll, a native of Strathroy, Ont., who led the Atlantic conference in the regular season with six game-winning goals, broke a 1-1 deadlock with 57 seconds left in the second. UNB worked the puck from high to low before Nick MacNeil centered a pass for Carroll, who one-timed the puck over Ryan Holfeld’s glove to complete a perfect three-way passing play.
“In this format, winning game one is crucial. This tournament is a best-of-one, really,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall, who hopes to lead his program to a fourth University Cup title in seven years. “We showed a lot of character tonight in a challenging environment. I thought we played a tentative first period but when they scored, it kind of woke us up.”
Following a scoreless first period, Jimmy Bubnick, a rookie forward from Saskatoon, gave Saskatchewan the lead during a man advantage 5:26 into the middle stanza when he took a nice feed from Kyle Bortis and beat Daniel LaCosta high stick side.
Daine Todd of Stettler, Alta., who would end the night with a goal and two assists, took only five minutes to tie things up, at 10:47, also on the power play.
With Garrett Thiessen in the box for cross checking, the Varsity Reds were able to find Todd on a back door passing play. Holfeld nearly stopped the one-timer but the puck squeezed under his arm and trickled over the goal line.
Outshot 28-14 in the first 40 minutes of play, Saskatchewan pushed hard for the equalizer in the second half of the third period.
After Matt Delahey drew a tripping penalty with 5:44 left, the Huskies fired a number of shots towards the UNB net but could not beat LaCosta, a native of Labrador City, Nfld., who was not tested early on but made a number of key saves down the stretch.
“We got big saves when we needed them, LaCosta provided that for us,” said MacDougall.
The V-Reds’ penalty killers helped out their netminder by blocking numerous shots and clearing loose pucks to the corners, frustrating the 5,865 fans in attendance.
University Cup website: www.universitycup.ca
“That was the most shot blocks we’ve had against us, they did a great job getting bodies in the lane,” said Huskies head coach Dave Adolph.
Overall, Adolph was happy with his team’s performance.
“I think if we play that well tomorrow we’ll be ok.”
The PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, resumes Friday at 1 p.m. with pool A action between the Alberta Golden Bears (0-1) and Saint Mary’s Huskies (0-0), live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
Boxscore: Stats UNB SSK
UNB 3, Saskatchewan 1
Dion Campbell (UNB) interference, 4:49;
Brennan Bosch (SSK) hooking, 11:24;
Cody Hobbs (SSK) holding, 17:01.
1. SSK Jimmy Bubnick (1) (Kyle Bortis, Derek Hulak), 5:26 PP
2. UNB Daine Todd (1) (Nick MacNeil, Marc-Antoine Desnoyers), 10:47 PP
3. UNB Tyler Carroll (1) (Cam Braes, Daine Todd), 19:03) PP
Cody Hobbs (SSK) interference, 1:44;
Nick MacNeil (UNB) interference, 4:05;
Garrett Thiessen (SSK) cross checking, 10:35;
Brett Ward (SSK) cross checking, 17:54.
4. UNB Antoine Houde-Caron (1) (Daine Todd), 17:17
Taylor MacDougall (UNB) tripping, 14:16;
Ben Wright (UNB) holding, 18:29.
GOALS (by period)
UNB: 0-2-1: 3
SSK: 0-1-0: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
UNB: 16-12-14: 42
SSK: 7-7-10: 24
UNB – Dan LaCosta (W, 1-0, 24 shots, 23 saves, 1 GA, 60:00)
SSK – Ryan Holfeld (L, 0-1, 42 shots, 39 saves, 3 GA, 60:00)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
UNB: Dan LaCosta
SSK: Jimmy Bubnick
REFEREES: T.J. Foster, Dan Raphael
LINESMEN: Jason Roy, Scott Sharun