(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds have taken a two games to none lead over the Saint Mary's Huskies in their Subway AUS hockey best of five semi-final series.
The Varsity Reds beat the Huskies 7-3 Friday night.
Newly crowned AUS MVP Philippe Maillet(Terrebonne, QC) scored twice to lead UNB.
Anthony Repaci(Toronto, ON) scored twice for the Huskies, while Francis Menard(Embrun, ON) got his second of the series.
"Any time they scored, I thought we kicked back," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "That was important to keep momentum. I think persistence paid off for us as we went."
The two teams played through a scoreless first period.
Gazzola's shot from just inside the blue line broke the stalemate just before the 4:00 mark of the second.
Less than two minutes later, Mignardi made it 2-0, easily re-directing a beautiful pass from Francis Beauvillier(St. Hyacinthe, QC).
The Huskies refused to roll over though.
Repaci's first came on a nifty Hunter Garlent(Thorold, ON) set-up.
Menard scored three minutes later to tie it 2-2.
Caissy wasted little time in restoring UNB's lead, needing only 52 seconds, and Boudens' goal was a short-handed marker that gave the VReds a 4-2 lead after two periods.
"I just got an opportunity and was able to finish on it, and we'll take short-handed goals whenever they come," said Boudens.
Maillet scored his first of the playoffs at 4:28 of the third, pushing UNB's lead to three goals, but Repaci put the Huskies right back in it at 8:03.
Maillet's second of the night was scored into an empty net, and Murphy beat SMU netminder Cole Cheveldave(Calgary, AB) with just 39 seconds to play.
The Varsity Reds outshot the Huskies 38-23.
"We gave everything we had," said Repaci. "There was a couple of bad breaks, I was a part of one of them, which was unfortunate. But if we take the way we played for most of that game and bring that Monday night, I think we have a good chance of winning."
The series now shifts to Halifax, for Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4.
"We know we can beat them," said Repaci. "We beat them twice, at home, and that's what we're going to try and do at home and hopefully come back here for Game 5, on Thursday."
The injury-riddled Huskies iced only 13 skaters.
"One of our strengths is our high energy level and we like to bring all four lines and six D. And we have to wear them down, and when you see a short bench like that, you just have to keep working," said Boudens.
"I thought we went out there and gave it everything we had. 13 guys? I thought we were right there, the whole game," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg.
Saint Mary's will host Game Three on Monday, at 7:00pm.