(FREDERICTON, NB) After raising one championship banner, the UNB Varsity Reds set out on their quest for another. And they left no doubt they're still a force to be reckoned with.
Mike Thomas(New Maryland, NB) scored a goal and assisted on three others, and Jordan Murray(Riverview, NB) scored twice and had an assist as the Varsity Reds beat the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 9-0.
Etienne Marcoux(Terrebonne, QC) stopped all 14 shots he faced to earn the shut-out.
In a pre-game ceremony, the Varsity Reds unveiled the school's sixth CIS championship banner, earned in Halifax, last March.
As if that wasn't enough reason to celebrate, Murray's game-winning goal, just 2:31 into the first period, had the crowd of 2060 roaring.
"We just wanted to come out hard," said Murray. "We wanted to establish ourselves early, and the boys had a good screen in front, I just tried to get the puck through, and the first one just kind of found a way in."
Murray scored again, at 6:46 of the first.
"You never know what the other team is going to bring. We just came out, tried to play our game, worked hard, and came out on top."
Francis Beauvillier(St. Hyacinthe, QC) had a goal and two assists, as did Randy Gazzola(Thorold, ON). Philippe Maillet(Terrebonne, QC) had a goal and an assist. Cam Braes(Shawnigan Lake, BC), Philippe Halley(Quebec City, QC) and Marcus McIvor(Whitby, ON) also scored.
For Murphy, the two point night earned him third star honours in his Varsity Reds debut.
"I was really happy with my game, but I was even happier with the team's game," said Murphy. "I did what I had to do contribute. Those guys make it so easy to do that, they all have so much skill and they all work their hardest."
Thomas, named the game's first star, couldn't remember the last time he had a four-point game.
"We worked hard, every line was going, so we weren't looking for momentum, we'd step on the ice and we already had it," said the fourth year forward.
"We just have to keep building. When we come in, we have to follow the game plan the coaches have and work hard within that game plan. If we do that, we'll be successful."
Moncton was in a tough spot, having to wait while UNB unveiled their banner.
Allowing an early goal didn't help.
"We got beat in every way," said Aigles Bleus' head coach Serge Bourgeois. "They played really well, give them credit."
"I'm not saying that we gave up, but I don't think the effort was where it should've been."
Brandon Thibeau(Riverview, NB) started in the Moncton net.
He gave up the first five goals, on thirty-two shots.
Alexi Thibaudeau(Gatineau, QC) started played the third period, giving up four goals on thirteen shots.
"They're a talented team," said Bourgeois, of the Varsity Reds. "They were a lot better than us tonight."
The Varsity Reds travel to Charlottetown, on Saturday, to face the UPEI Panthers. Game time is 7:00PM.
Moncton is off until next Friday, when they play host to the Varsity Reds.