The University Varsity Reds men’s hockey team beat the St. Thomas Tommies 8-3 at the Aitken Center on Sept. 21.

Fans cheered wildly as the Tommies entered to ice before the national anthem was played.

To start the game off, STU’s Starting Forward Jason Cameron lost the puck-drop at faceoff to UNB.

Matt Boudens of the Reds and JC Campaigne of the Tommies collided heavy early in the first, exciting the crowd.

“We played pretty good for about 30 minutes but then encountered breakdowns and penalties,” said Tommies Head Coach Kyle McAllister. “Guys were getting frustrated and not composed. Emotions were getting the best of them.”

Philippe Maillet of Reds made an easy first shot on goal and scored with 17:33 left in the first.

Reds Defencemen Alex Wall scored a second goal two minutes later. Wall’s goal was the second shot on net, and the second goal of the game.

Tommies won the following puck drop but the Reds won the next. Throughout the game the Reds dominated in face-offs.

Tommie’s goalie made two huge saves during the first period, enticing the crown to cheer.

The Tommies received a two minute penalty for interference, but took advantage of lobbing the puck back into UNB’s ice in hopes of waiting the penalty out.

The Reds scored a third goal by forward Peter Trainor with 10:23 left in the period.

Reds Goalie Etienne Marcoux held his own during the game, covering most shots on net without difficulty.

Forward Phillippe Halley of the Reds scored a fifth goal with 2:34 just before STU’s Eric Diodati almost sank the puck between Pierce’s legs.

The puck eventually went past the UNB goalie and into the net, but was one second late because the bell went off and the period was over. The goal did not count.

The second period started five on four because UNB’s Matt Boudens had 1:09 left in the penalty box.

UNB won the first puck drop of the second period by forward Taylor MacDougall.

The Reds got a clean breakaway and were looking to score but were faced with pressure by Tommie defence.

STU’s passing eventually increased with their shots on goal but never found its way in due to Marcoux who covered the net well.

McAllister watched all last year’s games and said, “This team is better than last year.”

Now 16 of last year’s rookies have, “one year under their belt, these guys should be well prepared this year,” said McAllister.

Forword Rob Migardi of UNB fell hard in the second giving STU’s Zack Hall two minutes in the penalty box for tripping.

Red’s defencemen Alex Wall was rocked hard by a Tommie behind the Red’s net bring both players to the ice.

The Tommies had trouble throughout the game clearing the puck out of their goal area and suffered from a lot of missed plays, but Jean-Christophe LaFlamme had a couple close shots on goal.

Midway through the game the coaches put backup goalie Phillippe Trudeau in play to get his time in.

Andrew Fritsch scored the first goal for the Tommies with 7:28 left in the second period.

After a few minutes of passing up and down the ice, forward Fritch placed the puck in the net for the second time.

Confidence grew in the Tommies after they became more aggressive and physical, their passing and shooting increased and Trudeau was making a lot of good saves.

“It’s up to them if they want to put the work in,” said McAllister. “We got nine practices left before the season starts, giving us time to polish up where it needs polishing and get time to understand how we can win.”

The Tommies played close to the Red’s net area until UNB’s Cameron Bruce scored the Reds goal with five minutes left in the second.

Then the Tommies buckled up when Collin Martin scored, making it 6-2.

Another big hit came when Tommies Rayken Cambell rocked Colin Suellentrop.

Matt Macleod then scored a third goal for the Tommies with less than two minutes, leaving the score at 6-3 to finish the second period.

Coming into the third period the Tommies won the puck draw. The Red’s gained control of the puck and shot on goal but Trudeau made a quick pad save. Another slap shot by the Red’s defence was saved again by Trudeau

UNB received an icing penalty making it 5-4, then Tommies defence received an arm injury after being checked into the boards. He was escorted to the bench.

STU then received a two minute penalty after a collision with the Red’s Goalie.

The Tommies had a clear breakaway but was intercepted by Matt Macleod stopping the shot on goal.

Jordan Moored was rocked hard against the boards by UNB but recovered unhurt.

The rest of the third period, the puck stayed mostly in the Tommies zone.

Although the Tommies remained aggressive in their play action, Reds Matt Boudens scored with 5:59 remaining in the final bringing the score 7-3.

Bryce Milson of the Tommies received a two minute penalty giving Philippe a chance to score for the Reds, finishing the game at 8-3. The final shots on goal were 23 for STU and 39 for UNB.

“Hockey is a game about systems,” said McAllister. “We try to implement the right systems, we let guys get creative.”