Cam Critchlow’s goal at 8:24 of overtime gave the UNB Varsity Reds men’s hockey team a 3-2 victory in their 2014-15 Atlantic University Sport season opener.
Critchlow, entering his third year with the team, also had an impressive seven shots in UNB’s win over the UPEI Panthers on Saturday night at Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
Jordan Murray and Phil Maillet also scored for UNB in the win. David Shantz made his regular season debut and stopped 26 shots in the win.
Cole MacMillan and Marcus Power had goals for the Panthers. Mavric Parks made 39 saves in the loss.
UNB opened the scoring at 12:35 of the first period as Murray scored on a shot from the point. Rookie Colin Suellentrop and returnee Cam Braes picked up assists.
UNB outshot UPEI 10-5 in the opening frame.
The tides began to turn in UPEI’s favour in the later stages of the second period. MacMillan scored at 14:02 and that was followed by a Power goal just over two minutes later to give the Panthers a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes.
Despite being outscored, UNB outshot UPEI 12-10 in the second stanza.
4:32 into the third, Maillet scored to tie things up. Freshman Peter Trainor picked up the lone assist. Both teams had opportunities to win the game in regulation time but neither could, sending the match to overtime and allowing Critchlow to end things.
Shots were 16-7 in UNB’s favour in the third and 6-4 Panthers in extra time.
The Panthers have proven to be a tough opponent over the past few seasons for the V-Reds. All four of their meetings last season were decided by two goals or less with one going to overtime and another to a shootout.
UNB and UPEI won’t meet again until Nov. 8 at the Aitken Centre.
The V-Reds begin a stretch of three straight home games on Friday when they host the Dalhousie Tigers at 7 p.m. at the Aitken Centre. UNB will then host the StFX X-Men on Saturday and the St. Thomas Tommies on Wednesday.