SMU Huskies

Varsity Reds rally in third to top Huskies 4-2

Varsity Reds rally in third to top Huskies 4-2

(Halifax, NS) The UNB Varsity Reds scored three times in the third in a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Saint Mar's Huskies at the Halifax Forum.


The win gives the Varsity Reds a 5-0-1 record and they sit one-point back of the undefeated StFX X-Men for the top spot in the AUS. The Huskies fell to 3-2-1, good for seven-points and the fourth spot in the early season standings.


"When it mattered, they were sharper than us, they were better prepared," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. "That's gotta come from practice habits and that's on the coach, mainly the coach, and the players."


Stephen Anderson (Morell, P.E.I.), Oliver Cooper (Fredericton, N.B.), Olivier Leblanc (Quebec City, Que.) and Kris Bennett (Brampton, Ont.), with a late empty-netter, tallied goals for the Varsity Reds.


Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, Que.) made 18 saves in the win. He improved his record to 4-0-1.


Mark Trickett (Baddeck, N.S.) and Hunter Garlent (Thorold, Ont.) scored for the Huskies.


Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, Que.) made 28 saves and saw his record fall to 3-1-1.


Trickett opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:34 into the second. With the Huskies in possession in the offensive-zone, Garlent got the puck down low and fed it back to Dylan DiPerna (Nobleton, Ont.) on the point in the middle of the ice. Diperna stepped in from the line and fired a slap-shot on goal. Dubeau made a pad save and the rebound went to Trickett, who wristed it home from just below the right-dot.


Anderson tied it up just 25-seconds later. Tyler Boland (St John's, Nfld.) won an O-zone faceoff back to Randy Gazzola (Thorold, Ont.) on the right-point. Gazzola sent it down low to Christopher Clapperton (Cap d'Espoir, Que.), who picked it up behind the net and tried a wraparound. The puck ricocheted of a stick and a skate and landed on Anderson's stick in the high-slot and he fired it high-blocker side through traffic.


Garlent put the Huskies out in front 2-1 at the 14:30 mark of the second. DiPerna dug the puck out in the right corner of the Huskies zone and passed it to Anthony Repaci (Toronto, Ont.) with some space just inside his own blue-line. Repaci feathered a pass that split the Varsity Reds D and sent Garlent in on a Blue-line break. Garlent worked in and showed off some slick-mitts going backhand-forehand and tucking it just inside the right-post.


The Huskies took a 2-1 lead into the third.


Cooper knotted it up at 2-2 on the power-play 7:54 into the third. Gazzola kept the puck in on the right point and ripped a shot on goal that Cooper tipped home in front.


Leblanc gave the Varsity Reds the lead with another power-play marker 13:01 into the third. Bennett got the puck back to Boland on the right point. Boland quickly sent it across to Leblanc, who walked into the left-circle and snapped it in low blocker.


The Huskies got some chances on a late power-play and pressured with the goalie pulled in the last two-minutes but couldn't find a way past Dubeau.


Bennett popped his empty netter with 9-seconds left in the game.


It was the dangerous Varsity Reds power-play that made the difference in the game. They scored the tying and game-winning goals with the man-advantage in the third. Overall they were two-for-seven.


The Huskies went one-for-four in their power-play opportunities.


"They got the job done," said Stienburg. "You can break it down as much as you want, the bottom line is they forced us to take the penalties and they converted on them. At the end of the day we had chances to score goals and we didn't.


Shots were 31-20 in favour of the Varsity Reds.


Up next, both teams are back in action on Friday, October 27. The Varsity Reds will host the Acadia Axemen in Fredericton N.B. The Huskies go on the road to play the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown P.E.I.


Cam Honey-Webb

Photo Nick Pearce