A three-point night by New Brunswick’s Daine Todd was too much for the Huskies to handle in game two of the University Cup.
The second-seeded University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were forced to make a comeback to defeat the fifth-seeded University of Saskatchewan Huskies 3-1 in game two of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships at Credit Union Centre Thursday in Saskatoon.
After allowing the first goal, the Reds shut the door for the rest of the match and allowed Todd and the power play unit to make amends.
Following a scoreless first period, the Dogs opened the scoring in the second frame. Rookie Jimmy Bubnick’s gritty play in front of the net put him in perfect position to scoop up a loose rebound. He shovelled the puck past Reds netminder Daniel LaCosta for the early 1-0 lead.
“Once they scored I thought we woke up,” Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall said after the game.
UNB levelled the score at one after Huskies defenceman Garrett Thiessen’s cross-checking penalty gave way to a Varsity Red’s power play marker.
Todd flicked a shot low on Saskatchewan’s goaltender Ryan Holfeld. The puck went off Holfeld’s pad, slowly trickling along the goal line. The referee signalled no goal initially but upon review the call was overturned and Todd’s goal was allowed.
UNB then took the lead, scoring another power play goal with less than one minute remaining in the second frame. Tyler Carroll notched the goal in completion of an impressive tic-tac-toe passing play from Todd and Cam Braes.
Todd notched his third point of the game for the Varsity Reds when he danced around the Huskies defence and baited Holfeld to the right. As he moved right, he slid the puck across the front of the goal to a wide open Antoine Houde-Caron who made no mistake putting the puck in the back of the Huskies net to ice the game with a 3-1 lead.
MacDougall felt his team did a good job following through with their game plan in the second and third periods.
“The key to this tournament is to try and get a lead, protect it, and if you get a chance, extend it,” MacDougall said. “That formula worked in the AUS playoff for us and it worked again tonight for us.”
“We got stronger as the game went on and stuck to the game plan,” added Varsity Reds defenceman Ben Shutron. “There was no sense of panic.”
UNB was called for holding at 1:31, giving the Dogs a power play chance and a last minute glimmer of hope. The Huskies, however, couldn’t find a way to organize their offence before time expired.
Huskies bench boss Dave Adolph was disappointed in his squad’s special teams play, which allowed two goals on the evening, but was otherwise satisfied with his players.
He feels a similar effort will warrant a better result in their next game.
“I think if we play that way tomorrow we will be alright,” Adolph said.
Adolph and the Huskies face off next against the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes Friday at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, New Brunswick will rest tomorrow, resuming action Saturday at 8 p.m. to take on the Patriotes at the Credit Union Centre.
Photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf