(HALIFAX, NS) Saint Mary's goaltender Matt Welsh turned away 37 shots as the Huskies improved to 2-and-0 on the season, defeating the U SPORTS #3 ranked UNB REDS 3-0, on Saturday night.
Just over four minutes into the first period, the Huskies offence delivered some excitement for the fans, as on a three-on-two break forward Andrew Coxhead's (Bedford, NS) shot was saved by REDS goaltender Tanner Somers (Miramichi, NB), but Huskies forward Bradey Johnson (Lindsay, ON) put the rebound into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first period, the Huskies offence struck again. Defenceman Jaxon Bellamy (Hampton, NB) had his initial shot stopped, but Jonathan Hampton (Richmond Hill, ON) shoveled the rebound back to a wide-open Cedric Ralph (Peterborough, ON), who beat Sommers, giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead.
Late in the first the REDS got their first powerplay opportunity of the game, but Welsh made a great save on REDS forward Simon Pinard (Drummondville, QC) to keep the score 2-0.
In the opening minute of the second, Huskies forward Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, ON) had a breakaway opportunity, but Somers shut the door.
Just over seven minutes into the period, the Huskies had a second breakaway attempt with the REDS on the powerplay, as first year forward Charlie Dafonseca (Thornhill, ON) broke in on goal and beat Somers for the shorthanded goal.
In the third period the REDS turned up the pressure, but the Huskies defence held strong led by the steady play of Welsh in goal and some heroic shotblocking by defenceman Caelan McPhee (Ancaster, ON), who sacrificed his body several times to block REDS shot attempts.
Welsh was named Subway Player of the Game with 37 saves.
"It feels good. We were excited for this game, UNB brings a great team every year, but we came together collectively and did everything we needed to get the win tonight," said Welsh. "They were throwing a lot at the net for sure, I was kicking out a few rebounds, but my D-Men did a great job clearing them out and the shot-blocking was amazing. A ton of help on the penalty kill, five on five, everything, the guys really made it easy for me tonight."
The Huskies win improved their record to 2-0 on the season. They'll be back in action Sunday, as they host Moncton at 7:00pm.
The REDS loss dropped their record to 1-and-2. They'll return home for a showdown against the STFX X-Men next Friday, at the Aitken Centre. Game time is 7:00pm.
RECAP BY: Allan April/SMU Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Mona Ghiz/for SMU Athletics