FREDERICTON (U SPORTS) – The fourth-ranked Queen's Gaels had an uncomfortable trip through a snowstorm en route to their appearance at the 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup, only to face the fifth-ranked UNB Varsity Reds, who buried the Gaels in a flurry of shots and goals. UNB outshot Queen's 40–15, and came out on the winning end of a 5–1 score.
Philippe Maillet (Terrebonne, Que.) scored three times to lead the tournament host Varsity Reds, who are also the defending University Cup champions. Chris Clapperton (Cap Espoir, Que.) and Phillippe Halley (Quebec City, Que.) rounded out the scoring for the V-Reds.
UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall said the early goal by Queen's was a bit of a wake-up call for the V-Reds.
"We needed something to ground that energy, and the most important shift of the game was the next one, when Phil (Maillet) scored to get us into the game and to get the crowd into the game, said MacDougall."
The game was a sellout, with 3,374 boisterous fans in attendance.
During Wednesday night's awards ceremony, Maillet was named the U SPORTS Player of the Year, and received the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy, recognizing his league leading 55-point season. His hat-trick in Thursday's game made for another milestone, but Maillet was quick to mention the win as a team victory.
"Obviously it was a special game for me, but this was about a team win," he said. "I liked how we played overall."
Queen's goaltender Kevin Baillie said he knew what Maillet could do, and did his best against him.
"I wish I had played a little better. Tonight, it would have taken a perfect game to get the job done, and I did not get that done," said Bailie. "That shot by (Maillet) maybe had the width of two pucks that could have fit in there, and he did it. That's not a shot even many professional players can make, but he did it and hats off to him.
Many of the fans' hats were off to Maillet too, as the ice was littered with hats that delayed the game a few minutes.
"I got a big basket of them waiting for me," said Maillet, of the long-standing tradition.
Gaels coach Brett Gibson said in spite of the loss, he was very proud of his players.
"We have two choices in life," said Gibson. "You can complain about the hand you're given – the weather, the circumstances, the schedule, or you can take the high road. My players chose to take the high road. In that storm, we had to book a hotel, and when we got there, found families without rooms in the lobby. My players gave up four rooms, slept four to a room, so the other families would be accommodated. They took the high road."
The Varsity Reds will now advance to the first semifinal game, to be held at noon local time on Saturday, where they will face the Acadia Axemen, who defeated the Alberta Golden Bears earlier in the day. The all-AUS matchup guarantees that one squad from the Atlantic conference will play in the national final.
Maillet was the Adidas Player of the Game for UNB, while Spencer Abraham earned the honour for Queen's. Abraham had one goal on three shots and was -1 in the game.
Saturday will see two semifinal games, at noon and at 4:00 pm local time. The bronze medal game is set for 9:30 a.m. AT on Sunday, while the gold medal game beings at 1:00 p.m. local time
- QUE Spencer Abraham (1) (Eric Ming, Slater Doggett), 2:21
- UNB Philippe Maillet (1) (Philippe Halley), 3:08
- UNB Christopher Clapperton (1) (Philippe Maillet), 18:00
Thompson (QUE) interference, 5:36;
Boudens (UNB) boarding, 7:51;
Steele (QUE) cross-checking, 9:01;
Suellentrop (UNB) roughing, 18:22;
Petgrave (UNB) tripping, 18:22.
- UNB Philippe Maillet (2) (Randy Gazzola, Christopher Clapperton), 7:43
- UNB Philippe Halley (1) (Rob Mignardi, Matt Boudens), 11:49
- UNB Philippe Maillet (3) (Colin Suellentrop), 12:11
Caissy (UNB) tripping, 7:46;
Petgrave (UNB) tripping, 12:31;
Eric Ming (QUE) boarding, 13:23;
Genovese (QUE) cross-checking, 15:25.
Beauvilier (UNB) cross-checking, 2:35;
Suellentrop (UNB) roughing after whistle, 8:36;
Genovese (QUE) roughing after whistle, 8:36;
Beauvilier (UNB) roughing after whistle, 8:36;
Hendrix (QUE) cross-checking, 8:36;
Maillet (UNB) tripping, 8:47;
Eric Ming (QUE) high sticking, 14:30
GOALS (by period)
UNB 2-3-0: 5
QUE 1-0-0: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
UNB 15-18-7: 40
QUE 6-4-5: 15
UNB – Etienne Marcoux (W, 5-1, 15 shots, 14 saves, 1 GA, 60:00)
QUE – Kevin Bailie (L, 5-1, 36 shots, 31 saves, 5 GA, 50:50), Jacob Brennan ( - , 4 shots, 4 saves, 0 GA, 9:10)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
UNB: Philippe Maillet
QUE: Spencer Abraham
REFEREES: Mario Maillet, Colin Watt
LINESMEN: Mike MacDonnell, Jesse Marquis
SCHEDULE & RESULTS (All times AT)
Thursday, March 16
1:00 p.m. Quarter-final 1: No: 1 Alberta 1, No. 8 Acadia 4
8:00 p.m. Quarter-final 2: No. 4 Queen's 1, No. 5 UNB 5
Friday, March 17
1:00 p.m. Quarter-final 3: No. 3 York vs. No. 6 Saskatchewan
7:00 p.m. Quarter-final 4: No. 2 StFX vs. No. 7 McGill
Saturday, March 18
12:00 p.m. Semi-final 1: Acadia vs. UNB
4:00 p.m. Semi-final 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4
Sunday, March 19
9:30 a.m. Bronze: Loser SF 1 vs. Loser SF 2
1:00 p.m. Gold: Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF 2