(FREDERICTON, NB) The U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB REDS used a balanced attack and strong goaltending to beat the STFX X-Men 4-2 on Friday night, at UNB's Aitken Centre.
The win was the tenth straight for UNB.
Samuel Richard (Ste. Catherine, QC) stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the UNB net and was named Subway Player of the Game.
"We feel great," said Richard. "Obviously, we want to win against every team, but STFX is something else."
"I feel it," said the first-year RED, of the rivalry that exists between UNB and STFX. "Our veterans give it to us and now we understand what it is. I think they worked hard, but we worked harder and got the win."
The home team opened the scoring at the 5:20 mark of the first period when Benjamin Corbeil (Granby, QC) fired a wrist shot past X-Men goalie Lucas Pfeil (Owen Sound, ON).
That lead didn't last long.
Jacob Stewart (Antigonish, NS) drew the X-Men even with a goal at 7:45.
The REDS outshot the X-Men 22-6 in the first.
Midway through the second period, Simon Pinard (Drummondville, QC) scored a highlight reel goal to restore UNB's lead.
On the powerplay, Pinard sped down the right wing and lifted a shot over Pfeil and into the net to put the REDS up 2-1.
The REDS went up 3-1 early in the third on a goal by Camaryn Baber (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), but less than a minute later, Liam Hawel (Arnprior, ON) scored to pull the X-Men back within a goal.
Just before the midway point of the third, Richard sprawled to make a pair of acrobatic saves to hold the REDS lead.
"I saw it. I saw the puck," said Richard. "When the guy shot it, I saw it coming and was able to get my glove on it."
"He's a difference-maker," said REDS head coach Gardiner MacDougall, of Richard. "He's an engineering student, very focused on his studies and very focused on his preparation. When you have great habits and the preparation like he does, it's a recipe for success, and everything he gets he's certainly earning."
Moments after Richard's big saves, Pfeil stopped two point blank UNB scoring chances.
"It felt like the type of game that it usually is between us," said X-Men head coach Brad Peddle. "The crowd was into it, it was back and forth in the third. We just didn't find a way to win and they did."
Despite the loss, Peddle liked the push-back he saw from his team.
"It's a big part of what we've been talking about, about trying to reset quickly after the other team scores or whatever happens," said Peddle. "If there's adversity in the game, we just need to respond quickly, and I liked that part of our game tonight."
With the win, the REDS are now 11-2-0-0 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and lead the AUS standings with 22 points.
STFX is 5-8-0-0 and in fifth place.
Up next for the REDS, a Saturday matinee against the Dal Tigers, at the Aitken Centre. Game time is 4:00pm.
The X-Men travel to Moncton and will face les Aigles Bleus on Saturday evening. Game time is scheduled for 7:00pm.
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: James West/for UNB Athletics