REDS defeat Huskies 4-2 in Game 1 of Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship finals

Photo by James West
Photo by James West

(FREDERICTON, N.B.) The UNB REDS held off the Saint Mary's Huskies 4-2 to win Game 1 of the best-of-three Subway AUS Men's Hockey Championship finals, Sunday night at UNB's Aitken Centre. 

Macauley Carson (Midhurst, Ont.) had a goal and an assist to lead the REDS. He was named Subway Player of the Game. 

"We're going to enjoy it until midnight and then we've got to come to the rink tomorrow and put it behind us," said Carson. "We have a big game at Saint Mary's and they're a tough team to play against in their own rink, so we know it'll be a hard-fought road game." 

UNB was first on the board, scoring 7:16 into the first period. 

REDS defenceman Kade Landry (Gowanstown, Ont.) broke down the left wing and fired a shot high, short side that beat Huskies' netminder Jeremy Helvig (Kingston, Ont.). 

"Coaches are always saying to go to the net with it, so I took it to the net and lucky enough, it went in," said Landry. 

At the 16:53 mark, Carson was able to corral a loose puck in front of the Huskies' net and put it over a sprawling Helvig to put the home team up 2-0. 

"He's thriving," said REDS head coach Gardiner MacDougall, of Carson. "He can shut down, but he's also contributing offensively, which is huge for our group." 

Saint Mary's got on the board midway through the second when Keith Getson (Bridgewater, N.S.) scored on a scramble in front of REDS' goalie Samuel Richard (Ste. Catherine, Que.). 

Less than a minute later, the REDS were able to restore their two-goal advantage when Austen Keating (Guelph, Ont.) scored from close range to make it a 3-1 game. 

Carson was awarded a penalty shot when he was upended on his way to the net with less than 15 seconds to play in the period, but he fired wide on the attempt. 

Midway through the third, Connor Olson (London, Ont.) fired a puck from the blueline that found its way past Richard, trimming UNB's lead to just a goal. 

With 1:17 left, the Huskies pulled Helvig in favour of the extra attacker, but it was the REDS who scored. 

Isaac Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) scored into the empty Saint Mary's net with 41 seconds left on the clock to seal UNB's victory. 

"We expected a lot from them," said Landry. "We knew they were going to push. We just had to kill their push and get back to playing our hockey." 

Helvig made 36 saves on the 39 shots he faced, while Richard stopped 22 of 24 Saint Mary's shots. 

"It would've been nice to get one on the road now," said Huskies' head coach Tyler Naugler. "We have to win one on the road to win this series, but now we have to take care of business at home on Tuesday night." 

"I'm proud with how, even when we get down by one or two, especially here against these guys, they're not an easy team to catch, but our guys are pretty persistent, so I'm happy with the continued push," he added. 

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday night, in Halifax, at Saint Mary's Dauphinee Centre. Game time is 7 p.m. 

"They're a good team," said Carson. "We know it's going to be hard, but that's what this time of year is and we're looking forward to the challenge. 

Source: Andy Campbell for UNB Athletics

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