CIS University Cup Recap: Semifinals

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Halley pots four goals to catapult UNB to finals 

By Dylan McAteer

Semifinal Saturday saw the end of a true Cinderella story, where the below .500 Guelph Gryphons finally tasted defeat. The UNB Varsity Reds outlasted the OUA champions 5-2 with multiple goals from Philippe Halley.

The real story of the tournament was Guelph netminder Andrew D’Agostini, who faced 40 shots on the afternoon. He continued to be the driving force behind the Gryphons after helping dispatch the Calgary Dinos in their quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. There wasn’t a hint of doubt who the player of the game was going to be, with D’Agostini making several key saves throughout. Halley picked up the honours for the Varsity Reds, scoring four of their five goals.

The Varsity Reds got the action started early scoring at the 1:45 mark, with Philippe Halley cleaning up a loose puck in the crease. The Gryphons found themselves trailing for the first time in the tournament.

After conceding the first goal, Guelph was unraveling early taking a penalty shortly after. With a strong kill and several saves from D’Agostini, the Gryphons found an equalizer off the stick of Nicklas Huard.

The second period was a different story, with the Gryphons looking like they were in the wrong building. The Varsity Reds dominated play before getting a clutch power play. With a slap shot from the point from Jordan Murray, forward Cam Braes managed to get a stick on the puck to deflect it past D’Agostini. The ice looked to be tilted as UNB reclaimed the lead with half a period still to play.

The Gryphons didn’t let that last long, however, when the puck squirted across the top of the circles for a one-timer from Nicholas Trecapelli to equalize. The power play goal came just 1:34 after UNB took the lead.

The Varsity Reds wasted no time in taking back the lead with a swift saucer pass off a two on one from Philippe Maillet to Philippe Halley.

Andrew D’Agostini was a man under siege for the final minutes of the second period, making a series of remarkable saves. This including two mad scrambles in the crease with a mass of Gryphon players sprawled out to keep it a one goal game. At the buzzer, the shots read 33-11 in favour of UNB.

The third began with a lot of neutral zone play and not many shots for either side, until Guelph’s Carlos Amestoy broke down the wing and fired a wrist shot to the top corner that was punched out by V-Reds goalie David Shantz.

A rather quiet period saw the Gryphons gain momentum and control the zone before coughing up a crucial three on one. With their tournament on the line, D’Agostini stood tall and shut the door with six minutes remaining. The Gryphons wasted a key power play that could have seen them pull even with four minutes left. This would prove costly as UNB all but sealed the deal with a last minute goal for the hat trick from Halley. And because three goals weren’t enough, Halley potted a fourth on the empty net. Missed opportunities were the downfall of the Gryphons who came up just short in game where the score didn’t tell the true story.

UNB will go on to the gold medal game Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The Gryphons will close out their tournament in the bronze medal matchup at 2 p.m.

Alberta punch ticket to finals, prepare for tilt with UNB

By Jake Tallon

Defending University Cup champion Alberta Golden Bears claimed their place in the tournament’s final with a 5 -1 victory over the UQTR Patriotes Saturday afternoon at the Scotiabank Centre.

The Golden Bears came out hot, with captain Kruise Reddick opening the scoring just over one minute into the contest. His blast from the high slot fooled most of the 3500 fans on hand, and even a few of the players, passing right through the twine and ricocheting off the back boards.

From there it was all systems go for Alberta, maintaining pressure in the zone and getting puck after puck on net. Patriotes goaltender Guillaume Nadeau made several brilliant saves in the opening frame to keep his team in the game, including a sprawling cross crease glove save on the power play.

Despite Nadeau’s play, UQTR was unable to generate much of anything in the offensive zone, losing crucial puck battles to the physical Alberta defence, registering only 17 shots in the game.

Alberta was especially lethal on the power play, going three for four in the game. Both Brett Ferguson and Jordan Hickmott tallied on the man advantage within the first ten seconds of the power play.

The Patriotes came into the third period in a three-goal hole, a position they were all too familiar with. The previous night UQTR managed to crawl back from a 5-2 deficit to win it in overtime. However, there was no such magic on tap this time.

Captain Tommy Tremblay scored the Patriotes only goal of the game midway through the final frame on a deflection from Mikael Langlois’ point shot. The tally spoiled Luke Siemens shutout bid, although he did manage to keep out the other 16 shots that came his way.

Despite this, Alberta answered back, with Hickmott sealing the deal with an open net tally, his second of the night.

The victory for Alberta gives them their second title shot in as many years. Although this squad has never faced UNB, coach Ian Herbers sees it as just another game to win.

“Its just another checkmark on our list, it doesn’t matter who it is, we’re going to play the same game.”

Before Alberta has a chance to defend their title, UQTR will face off against No. 3 seed Guelph Gryphons in the bronze medal game. Although Patriotes coach Marc-Etienne Hubert would have cherished the chance to play for first place, he feels leaving with third place is nothing to scoff at. He also added that the Golden Bears were the best team he has ever seen in CIS competition.

Alberta will play the UNB Variety Reds Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Centre.

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Dylan McAteer

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