The UNB Varsity Reds’ strong showing in the final men’s hockey Battle of the Hill matchup of the season led them to a 6-1 win over the St. Thomas Tommies last night.
“The game was within our grasp where it was 2-1 after the first and shots were 11-8,” said Tommies head coach Patrick Powers. “We played well for the first period, but UNB started to separate themselves from us. We didn’t capitalize on our chances early, and frustration set in.”
Dana Fraser struck first for UNB 15 minutes into the first, but STU’s Colin Martin answered with the Tommies’ lone goal 40 seconds later.
Rob Mignardi put the Reds up 2-1 with 1:19 to go in the first.
Then, UNB’s Cam Critchlow beat rookie STU netminder Phillippe Trudeau by shooting above his blocker from the slot 16 minutes into the second period of his home debut to put the Reds up 3-1.
“We lost a lot of energy, both mentally and physically,” said Powers.
UNB’s Peter Trainor increased the Reds’ advantage to three goals almost as many minutes into the third. Fraser netted his second of the game close to 10 minutes later, shooting from the point to beat Trudeau and record a shorthanded goal.
Reds forward Cameron Brace put the final nail in the coffin with 4:13 left on the clock.
“We need to improve everywhere. We work hard to get to the battle, but we’re not winning the battle,” said Powers.
UNB backstop David Shantz made 25 saves for the win, while Trudeau blocked 35 shots in his second loss in as many games in a STU uniform.
“We’re not hanging this on our goaltender,” said Powers. “Our six goals-against average in the second half of the season won’t win us anything.”
STU faces the Acadia Axemen on the road Friday at 7 p.m.