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V-Reds blank Tommies in pre-season Battle of the Hill

There were plenty of new names in the UNB Varsity Reds men’s hockey lineup on Monday night but the result was all too familiar.

Phil Halley, Randy Gazzola, Jordan Murray, and Cam Braes scored in UNB’s 4-0 victory over the St. Thomas Tommies in an exhibition edition of the Battle of the Hill at Grant Harvey Centre.

28-year old goaltender David Shantz, a second-round pick of the Florida Panthers way back in 2004, made his Varsity Reds debut and stopped all 15 shots he faced. Tyson Teichmann played the first 40 minutes for STU and allowed three goals on 25 shots. Luke Lee-Knight played the third period and allowed one goal on nine shots.

The V-Reds were by far the better team early on in the game. UNB got the scoring started early as Halley scored on a shorthanded breakaway just 2:37 into the game.

The Reds doubled their lead at 6:27 as Gazzola scored his first goal as a V-Red.

Not long after on a power play, Phil Maillet nearly made it 3-0 as his shot through some traffic got past Teichmann but rung off the post.

UNB did make it 3-0 at 13:06 as Murray fired a hard shot from the top of the circle that went through some traffic and upstairs on Teichmann.

It was a fairly dominant period by the V-Reds, outshooting the Tommies 16-5.

In the second, the Reds got into some penalty trouble but managed to keep STU off the scoreboard. Despite being shorthanded several times, the Reds were still able to create quite a few quality scoring chances. Taylor MacDougall had one of the best opportunities, going in alone following a neutral zone turnover, but was denied by Teichmann. Later on, Dylan Willick went in on a break but couldn’t deposit his toe drag into the back of the net.

The Tommies started to apply some offensive pressure in the last few minutes of the period. Their best chance came in the final seconds of the period on a power play as a Jason Cameron shot grazed the post.

Shots in the second stanza were 9-4 in favour of the Reds.

The third frame featured some back-and-forth play with neither team putting much foot on the gas pedal. With 3:41 left in the contest, Braes finished off a nice passing play with Halley and Dylan Willick to make it 4-0 for the visitors.

There wasn’t a whole lot of rough stuff in the game until a small scrum ensued with 1:17 left. The minor altercation resulted in another St. Thomas power play that the Reds would kill off.

Shots in the third were 9-6 UNB for a game total of 34-15.

The Reds have four more exhibition games on their schedule before the regular season begins. Their next contest is on Friday night at the Aitken Centre against the Nipissing Lakers. Game time is 7 p.m.

NOTES: Dylan Willick, Phil Halley, and Matt Petgrave each recorded two assists… Randy Gazzola, RD Chisholm, Peter Trainor, Rob Mignardi, Cameron Brace, Matt Boudens, Alex Wall, and David Shantz all made their first appearances as a V-Red… Wall has played the past three seasons at UPEI while Chisholm has spent the past four at StFX… new goaltender Chris Carrozi backed up Shantz… UNB won an impressive 34 of 52 faceoffs… STU rookie Jason Cameron, the younger brother of former Tommies forward Randy Cameron, wore Randy’s old No. 17… the attendance was an announced 683.

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