(Halifax, NS) In a battle to decide the top place in Saturday night AUS men's hockey, the UNB Reds beat the Saint Mary's Huskies in overtime at the Halifax Forum.
There weren't a lot of whistles in the first period as both teams came out skating strong. Halfway through the period, Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON) drew a tripping penalty but got injured in the play. He didn't finish the game, favoring his left foot as he went off the ice.
The Reds opened the scoring with fifteen minutes in. On the power play, a shot from the point from Joe Gatenby (Kelowna, BC) was tipped in by Mark Rassell (Calgary, AB).
That would be the only goal of the period.
UNB started the second frame on the power play and despite killing off the penalty, Head Coach Trevor Stienburg called a timeout after four minutes of scrambled play but UNB continued to press, getting several odd man rushes. Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St Hubert, QC) played very well to keep it a one goal game, including a great sprawling stick save on Mark Simpson (Rothesay, NB) with 9:00 left in the period.
The Reds dominated in shots and zone time, but was the Huskies who responded on the scoreboard with a power play goal. Coming into the zone down the left wing, the puck was sent to Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) at the back door for the tip past goalie Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, QC). Jake Coughler (St Catharines, ON) and Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) had the assists.
The Reds responded quickly, however, regaining their lead with another power play goal. With just under three minutes to go, Matthew Boucher (Los Angeles, CA) jumped on a turnover at the Huskies' blue line and sent it across to Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) who put home a one-timer that beat Brassard glove side.
The second period ended with UNB leading 2-1.
In the third, the Huskies had several dangerous scoring chances, including a shot from Dylan Di Perna (Nobleton, ON) that sat on the goal line before being cleared by the Reds with four minutes to go.
On the face off immediately after, the draw was won back to Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS), who made a nice move around a UNB defender and sent a wrist shot into the net to tie the game and send it to overtime.
It took only 30 seconds of three on three to finish the game. Matt Murphy (Woodstock, NB) sent a shot that trickled five-hole on Brassard to win the game for UNB. Simpson had the assist.
With the win, UNB continues with their perfect start to the season (6-0) while SMU falls to 5-1-1.
The Subway Player of the Game was Murphy.
Next in AUS men's hockey action, the Huskies travel to UPEI next weekend and the Reds will host Acadia on October 26.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce