(FREDERICTON, N.B.) - The UNB Varsity Reds scored three second period goals in a 5-1 win over the Saint Mary's Huskies Thursday, to win Game 1 of the Subway AUS Men's Hockey Playoffs best-of-five semi-final series.
Francis Beauvillier (St. Hyacinthe, Que.) scored twice to lead the Varsity Reds, while Philippe Halley (Quebec City, Que.) added a goal and an assist and Randy Gazzola (Thorold, Ont.) had two assists.
Francis Menard (Embrun, Ont.) scored the Huskies lone goal.
"We had a game plan, it was to come out hard in the first 10 minutes," said Beauvillier. "Unfortunately we had to kill some penalties, the boys did a pretty good job. We knew they were short on defence, so we put pressure on them the whole game and ended up with the win."
Beauvillier scored the first of his pair with 2:34 left to play in the first period.
Halley had opened the scoring, less than four minutes in, on a breakaway as the Varsity Reds played short-handed.
"When you score short-handed, it's such a big bonus. I thought we got some confidence off that," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Caissy scored a goal that many will remember for some time.
He took the puck on a turnover at the Saint Mary's blue line, split the Huskies' defence, then slid the puck through his legs before lifting it up and over netminder Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, Que.).
"The D was a little flat-footed so I had a little bit of a jump on them," said Caissy. "I pulled a little bit of a move that the D just missed on and, I guess, ended up on a breakaway with it and then it was in the net."
Beauvillier, with his second, and Cam Braes (Shawnigan Lake, B.C.) scored less than three minutes apart to give UNB a 5-0 lead.
Menard would score before the end of the second, and the 5-1 score stood through the end of the game.
"We had nothing, we had absolutely nothing, and all we did was spoon-feed them confidence," said a frustrated Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. "I thought we came back and had a little bit better second, but when you're trying to stop that team and get your confidence back with a depleted line-up, it's not going to happen very easily."
The Huskies iced only 16 skaters.
They finished the game with just 13.
"I have to have them ready and frothing at the bit, and maybe I didn't get my job done tonight," said Stienburg.
Despite the lopsided score, the Varsity Reds know the Huskies can be dangerous.
"We know they have a good team, they beat us twice during the regular season," said Beauvillier. "We knew we had to come out strong and that's what we did."
Etienne Marcoux (Terrebonne, Que.) stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced to earn the win for UNB.
Brassard stopped 35 of the 40 he saw in the Saint Mary's net.
"It's a start, but I think there is parts of our game that we can get better at too," said MacDougall. "We have to get focused and get ready for Game 2."
The best-of-five series continues Friday, in Fredericton.
Game two goes at 7 p.m., at UNB's Aitken Centre.
The series will shift to Halifax for Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4.
Source: Andy Campbell, UNB Athletics Communications