(Halifax, NS) In their first game played at the new Dauphinee Centre, the Saint Mary's Huskies kicked off their 2019-2020 AUS men's hockey regular season against the University of New Brunswick Reds. Though the game was close through two periods, five unanswered goals in the third period saw the Reds, defending AUS champions and defending USPORTS champions, come away with a 9-3 win.
UNB opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game. On the power play, Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) got a pass from Olivier Leblanc (Quebec City, QC) and with a burst of speed past the Huskies' defense, tucked the puck low glove side past Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC).
The Reds doubled their lead a couple minutes later. With four Huskies players battling for a puck along the boards below their blue line, a turnover in the slot saw Alexandre Goulet (Disraeli, QC) snap a wrist shot high blocker side.
Struggling to maintain control in their defensive end, the Huskies gave up another goal in the first half of the period. This time it was Mark Simpson (Rothesay, NB) getting on the board as he snuck behind the defense and got a wide-open look at the net.
The Huskies got their first goal of the 2019-2020 season with four minutes left in the period. Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) wrapped around the net and fed the puck to Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) on the back door for a tap in. Logan DeNoble (Peterborough, ON) also got an assist on the play.
The Reds led 3-1 at the end of the first period.
The visiting team got another early goal two minutes into the second period. Matthew Boucher (Quebec, QC) scored on a two on one off of a pass from Noah Carroll (Strathroy, ON)
The Huskies power play looked strong this game. First year Mitchell Balmas (Sydney, NS) hit the crossbar on a one timer from the point and forced Rylan Parenteau (Saskatoon, SK) to make a sprawling save on another one timer moments later.
The Huskies' captain, Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON), scored halfway through the period to narrow the lead to two. Driving to the net against two Reds defenders, he slid the puck on his backhand beneath Parenteau.
The home team seemed to gain a new energy after that, and with 18 seconds left in the period they scored again. On the power play, Theede, after a great chance on a one on one, was left unguarded on the far side of the net and put home a cross-crease pass from Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS).
The score was 4-3 in the Reds' favor heading into the third period, but they put the game away in the final frame.
Goulet scored his second goal of the game on a textbook two on one just 26 seconds into the period. After that, the Huskies got in penalty trouble. The Reds get a goal on a five on three play as Leblanc scored from the point, and again on the man advantage, Leblanc's shot from the point was tipped by Bennett and went five hole. Goulet secured a hat trick with a with a nice deke and goal going blocker side late in the game. Finally, Mark Rasssell's (Calgary, AB) pass across the crease went off the skate of Austyn Hardie (Halifax, NS) and into the net to cap off the Reds' scoring.
Goulet, with his three goals, was the Subway Player of the Game.
Although the scoreboard read 9-3, shots were in the Reds' favor only 31-29.
The Huskies look to rebound from the loss when they play next at home tomorrow against the Université de Moncton Aigles-Bleus. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. The Reds travel to Wolfville, to take on the Axemen.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Mona Ghiz