There was only three games in the last week of the first half in the AUS hockey conference, with the last game the most exciting. On Wednesday, StFX coach Brad Peddle was not happy with his team's play while in Halifax, as Saint Mary's outshot them 35-15 (13-2 in the first period) and scored three power play goals for an easy 4-1 win.
On Friday the UPEI Panthers were in Fredericton to play UNB, and they might have well stayed on their bus. UNB controlled the game from the outset, and cruised to a 7-0 win. Each of the players on UNB's top line had a goal, and second-year linemates Dion Campell and Jordan Clendenning each had a pair of goals. Derek Yeomans got the shutout, and it is the third time the V-Reds have blanked the Panthers in three meetings this season.
In a rare Sunday 5:00 pm start, SMU finally got to play their game against UNB that was rescheduled from Hallowe'en night thanks to H1N1 affecting the Huskies at the time. The Huskies scored on their first power play in the first period and held off UNB until early in the third period when the newest V-Red Jeff Lee tied the game up. 54 seconds into overtime UNB rookie Chris Culligan, the leading first year player in the AUS, one-timed a pass from Hunter Tremblay for the 2-1 winner. Perhaps not coincidentally Tremblay is the leading point man in the AUS and CIS. The 15 straight wins to start this season is a team record for UNB.
The student-athletes will now (hopefully!) focus on their exams and most of the teams will have exhibition games after Christmas. For example UNB will be hosting Toronto, Moncton and St. Thomas at the UNB Pete Kelly Cup tournament December 29-30, StFX is hosting Carleton on January 2-3 in their annual Charles V. Keating Cup tourney, and Dalhousie is at Acadia and UPEI is at STU on January 2. Also on January 2 UNB will be travelling to Orono and trying to go four-for-four against NCAA opponents this season as they meet the Maine Black Bears (which will also be the first road trip for the new UNB Varsity Reds bus). Halifax rivals Dal and SMU meet on January 4.
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