(FREDERICTON, N.B.) Mark Simpson (Rothesay, N.B.) scored in overtime to lift the UNB Varsity Reds to a 3-2 win over the Saint Mary's Huskies, in game one of their Subway Atlantic University Sport men's hockey semi-final series.
Simpson managed to squeeze the puck between Huskies goaltender Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, Que.) and the post at the 7:30 mark of extra time.
"I just happened to get by their defence and the goalie left the short side open and I just threw it on net and it went in. It's a good feeling," said Simpson.
The goal capped a comeback for UNB. The Varsity Reds rallied from a 2-0 deficit to get the win.
"It's big for us to get that first win in the playoffs, especially after being off for a bit," said Simpson. "Saint Mary's is a good opponent. It was a tough night. We're happy we got the win."
Anthony Repaci (Toronto, Ont.) opened the scoring, late in the first period, and Brad Latour (Barrie, Ont.) extended the Huskies lead 5:46 into the second.
But Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, Que.) would hold his ground in the UNB net the rest of the way.
Defenceman Marcus McIvor (Whitby, Ont.), pinching in from his blue line position, put the Varsity Reds on the board at 11:21 of the second period.
Just 12 seconds later, Matt Boudens (Pembroke, Ont.) pulled the home side even.
Boudens then set up Simpson's OT winner.
"Anybody could've won the game," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. "I don't think we deserve anything. We could've won the game. It's as simple as that. Either team could've won the game. There were chances at both ends."
Dubeau stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, while Brassard stopped 27 shots in the Huskies net.
The netminders were named second and third stars, respectively.
"We're comfortable with him there and we knew what he was doing for us," said McIvor, of Dubeau's effort. "As long as we could try and keep pucks away from him, and if he did get pucks, he got into his groove, and we're comfortable playing with him."
Simpson was named the game's first star, and Subway Player of the Game.
"We found a way. We persevered," said Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "Our first opportunity in the playoffs, I thought there was a lot of positive things for our group. That being said, we know we'll have to be even better tomorrow (Friday) night."
UNB now leads the best of five series 1-0 and will host the Huskies in game two, Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.
The series shifts to Halifax for game three, on Monday, and game four, if necessary, on Tuesday.
Source: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics