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UNB falls short in gold medal game

The Alberta Golden Bears are golden once again.

Alberta won their second consecutive University Cup men’s hockey championship on Sunday night at Scotiabank Centre, defeating the UNB Varsity Reds 6-3. It’s the 15th national championship in school history.

Stephane Legault, Jordan Hickmott, Johnny Lazo, Kruise Reddick, Levko Koper and Jordan Rowley scored for Alberta in the victory while Kurtis Mucha made six saves in the win.

Dylan Willick, Phil Maillet and Adrian Robertson had UNB’s goals. David Shantz made 18 saves in the loss.

The Golden Bears entered the tournament as the Canada West champions and were the No. 1 seeded team. They proved why they were the top seed with dominating 5-1 wins over the StFX X-Men and UQTR Patriotes. To top things off, their win over the Varsity Reds was their third game in as many nights.

UNB, the Atlantic University Sport champions and No. 2 seed, advanced to the gold medal game with a 6-2 quarterfinal win over the Windsor Lancers on Thursday and a 5-2 semifinal victory over the Guelph Gryphons yesterday.

The Golden Bears opened the scoring just 2:09 into the game when a cross crease pass found Legault. Then at 10:00 on a power play, Hickmott fired a wrist shot from the circle that beat Shantz to give Alberta a 2-0 lead after one.

At 3:05 of the second, Matt Boudens found Willick in front, getting the Varsity Reds on the board. Despite having quite a bit of power play time in the middle stanza, the Reds had trouble getting pucks on net. With 3.6 seconds left in the period, Koper’s pass from the corner found Lazo who redirected the puck past Shantz to make it 3-1 Alberta after 40 minutes. Shots after two were just 10-6 in favour of the Golden Bears.

In the third, it was all Alberta early on. But at 7:55, Jordan Murray fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Maillet to make it a 3-2 game.

A too many men penalty halfway through the third by UNB proved to be costly. On the ensuing man advantage, Reddick fired a shot through traffic to give Alberta a two-goal lead again. Robertson got UNB back within one at 15:50 only to have Koper score shorthanded at 17:24. The Bears sealed the deal with Rowley’s empty netter at 18:11, making it a 6-3 final.

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