The University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team came out on top against Alberta in a back-and-forth affair to win the University Cup national championship for the eighth time in program history on Sunday. The final score was 4-2 to UNB.
The U SPORTS Cavendish Farms championship game was a classic matchup between the top two teams in the country, with the second-seeded UNB Reds facing off against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. The victory is UNB’s third time claiming the title in the past four years.
Alberta made the first goal four and a half minutes into the first period on a power play, scored by Steven Owre off a pass from forward Brandon Magee. But the UNB Reds responded with the equalizer just over two minutes later, when freshman forward Mark Rassell intercepted an Alberta clearing attempt at the blue line and passed the puck to fellow first-year forward Samuel Dove-McFalls.
Dove-McFalls snuck a backhander past Alberta goaltender Zach Sawchenko to tie the game.
“I think in the first period, the key part was the penalty kills and our goaltender was outstanding. Our goal was to be the most improved team in the game,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “I think we got through with our defensive effort and our grit and grind.”
The game remained tied until the 14:27 mark of the period, when UNB third-year forward Oliver Cooper redirected the puck for a goal off a pass by UNB fifth-year defenceman Randy Gazzola.
UNB second-year forward Kris Bennett extended the Reds lead to two late in the second period on a power play goal.
Alberta scored their second goal with 13:13 remaining in the third period after the Golden Bears’ Grayson Pawlenchuk forced a turnover and passed to Magee, who scored on a wrist shot to make it 3-2.
Rassell then scored the final goal for UNB just over four minutes later, on a sharp-angle shot that flew past Sawchenko.
UNB fourth-year goaltender Alex Dubeau was presented with the Major W.J. ‘Danny’ McLeod Award as the tournament MVP. Reds players Dubeau, Bennett, Marcus McIvor and Chris Clapperton were named tournament all-stars.