VReds Hold Off Lions

UNB's Marcus McIvor(Whitby, ON) challenges for the puck during the third period of Thursday's 6-3 win over the York University Lions.
UNB's Marcus McIvor(Whitby, ON) challenges for the puck during the third period of Thursday's 6-3 win over the York University Lions.

(FREDERICTON, NB) The Christmas break did little to slow down Philippe Maillet(Terrebonne, QC).

The fourth-year forward scored three goals and assisted on another to lead the UNB Varsity Reds in a 6-3 win over the York University Lions, in the first game of UNB's annual two-game Peterbilt Atlantic Pete Kelly Cup.

"I feel like our team worked pretty hard today, and if you work hard, good things are going to happen," said Maillet.

Philippe Halley(Quebec City, QC), Randy Gazzola(Thorold, ON), and Francis Beauvillier(St. Hyacinthe, QC) also scored for UNB, while Cam Braes(Shawnigan Lake, BC) had three assists.

Trevor Petersen(Thornhill, ON) and Colton Vannucci(High River, AB) each had a goal and an assist for the Lions. Tyler Mort(Keswick, ON) also scored for York.

Maillet set-up Halley for the game's first goal, just 1:41 into the first period.

Petersen tied it up about three minutes later.

Maillet's first sent UNB to the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.

His second of the night, midway through the second period, put UNB up 3-1.

Mort scored in the last minute of the second and Vannucci's power-play goal, early in the third, tied the game.

With time winding down, Gazzola's wrist shot from the blue-line found the net before Maillet completed his hat-trick and Beauvillier scored into an empty net.

"We weathered the storm, as you're going to have to against that team every now and then," said Lions head coach Chris Dennis. "We were right there at the end and we felt we had a chance to win the game."

Dennis praised Maillet's effort.

"16's a difference-maker, and he made the difference tonight," he said.

Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall was reserved after the win, which he credited to persistence.

"We had a decent start," he said. "I thought our second, we didn't play how we wanted to play, but I think that's some credit to the opponent. And in the third, I thought we stuck with it and persistence paid off."

The Lions say they were excited to take a tie game deep into the third period, but admit the Varsity Reds are a resilient bunch.

"They're very fast, very skilled," said Vannucci. "They have four lines that are all talented, not too many teams like that in the OUA, so it was a good test for us."

Maillet was equally as impressed with the Lions.

"They're physical, they played hard, their PK played us really well," he said. "They're really aggressive, that's something we don't usually see during the season, so I guess we're going to have to adjust for tomorrow(Friday) night."

The Lions and Varsity Reds play game two of their exhibition series Friday, at UNB's Aitken Centre. The opening face-off is scheduled for 7:00PM(Atlantic).