The UNB Varsity Reds will play for gold at the University Cup tomorrow.
Phil Halley’s four goals led UNB to a 5-2 semifinal victory over the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday afternoon at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, advancing the Varsity Reds into tomorrow’s championship game.
Cam Braes also scored for UNB while David Shantz made 13 saves in the win.
Nicklas Huard and Nicholas Trecapelli scored for Guelph. Andrew D’Agostini made 35 saves in the loss.
The Varsity Reds, the No. 2 seeded team and Atlantic University Sport champions, advanced to Saturday’s semifinal with a 6-2 victory over the Windsor Lancers on Thursday. The Gryphons, the Ontario University Sport champions and No. 3 seeded team, advanced to the semifinals with a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over the Calgary Dinos.
UNB will play the winner of the Alberta-UQTR semifinal in tomorrow’s championship game at 6:30 p.m. Guelph will play the loser of that game for bronze.
After a brief delay to fix a piece of dislodged glass in the Guelph zone, Halley put in a Dana Faser rebound to give the V-Reds a 1-0 lead just 1:45 into the game.
But Guelph didn’t waste much time in tying it up. At 8:01, Seth Swenson knocked Colin Suellentrop off the puck in the slot area. Huard quickly grabbed the puck and fired it through the five hole of Shantz.
In the second, UNB retook the lead at 5:59 as Braes redirected a Jordan Murray point shot on a power play. But the Gryphons responded with a man advantage goal of their own at 7:32 with Trecapelli beating Shantz to tie it up again.
At 9:16, Maillet and Halley entered the offensive zone on a two-on-one. Maillet delivered a beautiful saucer pass to Halley who one timed the puck past a stretched out D’Agostini to give UNB a 3-2 lead.
Late in the period, Fraser flipped the puck over D’Agostini and into the blue paint. Halley tried to bang it in but was unable to. Shots after 40 minutes of play were 33-11 in favour of the V-Reds.
With 1:05 left in the third and UNB still clinging to a one-goal lead, Halley finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with Randy Gazzola and Cam Critchlow to make it a 4-2 game. Then with 37 seconds left, Halley hit the open net to give the Reds a 5-2 win.