HALIFAX (from UNB Varsity Reds) – Chris Clapperton (Cap d’Espoir, Que.) recorded the hat trick to lead the UNB Varsity Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Friday night at the Halifax Forum.
With the win, UNB (22-2-3) leapfrogged the StFX X-Men (21-2-4) for first place in the Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey standings. The Huskies stay two points up on Acadia for third in the conference.
Tyler Boland (St. John’s, N.L.) scored UNB’s first goal, and Mark Simpson (Rothesay, N.B.) netted the winner.
UNB netminder Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, Que.) finished with 26 saves to pick up his 14th win of the season.
Calder Brooks (Emerald Park, Sask.), Thomas Stavert (Kensington, PEI), Stephen Johnson (Moncton, N.B.) and Hunter Garlent (Thorold, Ont.) scored for the Huskies, while Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, Que.) made 25 saves.
Boland opened the scoring 14:38 into the first. Cam Brace (Etobicoke, Ont.) tapped the puck to Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON), who made a short pass at the SMU blue line to spring Boland on a breakaway. He made a move to his forehand and slipped it home five-hole.
Clapperton made it 2-0 just 22 seconds later. Olivier LeBlanc (Quebec City) hit Clapperton with a long stretch pass that sprung him on a break. He made a move to the backhand and lifted his shot inside the post.
Brooks got the Huskies on the board at 17:46 of the first, with a low snap shot that beat Dubeau glove side.
Clapperton got his second 1:36 into the middle period. Stephen Anderson (Morell, PEI) found Bennett with some space in the left circle and Bennett put a cross-ice feed on Clapperton’s tape just out from the right post and he one-touched it home.
Stavert made it 3-2 with a power play goal at the 4:20 mark. Johnson tied things up with a short-handed tally at the 6:30 mark, and Garlent put Saint Mary’s on top 4-3 about two minutes later.
Clapperton’s third goal tied things 4-4 at 9:51 of the second. He pulled the puck off the wall, worked out into the high slot and fired a low wrister back across the grain that pinged in off the post.
The goalies took over the show in the third, both making several high quality stops.
Simpson was the only shooter to break through. He jumped on a Huskies turnover atop the right circle. His shot went off a stick and skipped off the ice, going in low on the blocker side.
Shots on goal were even at 30-30.
Up next, the Varsity Reds travel Saturday to take on the Acadia Axemen, while the Huskies will be back at the Halifax Forum to host the UPEI Panthers. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.