(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds scored five third period goals on route to an 8-2 win over the visiting Ryerson Rams in Saturday's finale of the 2017 Peterbilt Atlantic Pete Kelly Cup.
Marcus McIvor(Whitby, ON) recorded three assists in the UNB win.
"At the end of the day, we just want to win every game," said Varsity Reds forward Chris Clapperton(Cap d'Espoir, QC), who was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Clapperton had six assists in the two game series.
"We want to win now, we want to win in March. We want to win nationals. We want to win, if it's in our league or not."
Kyle Tibbo(Conception Bay South, NL) and Brandon Hughes(Oakville, ON) each had a goal and an assist for the Rams.
"We fired over 20 shots and held them to within 40, which compared to the last game, which was a bit lop-sided, is good," said Tibbo. "A few adjustments and it could've been a closer game."
After a scoreless first period, UNB struck first, midway through the second.
Kris Bennett(Brampton, ON) scored short-handed at 10:22.
Hughes tied the game 1-1 at 15:53, but Thomas scored his first 34 seconds later and Stephen Anderson(Morell, PE) made it 3-1 UNB with just eight seconds left in the second period.
Ryerson pulled to within a goal when Tibbo scored 2:52 into the third.
The Varsity Reds then exploded for three goals in just over two minutes.
LeBlanc and Cam Brace(Etobicoke, ON) added late power-play goals for UNB.
"I thought we played better today, and I thought it was a tighter game today than it was yesterday," said Rams head coach Johnny Duco. "The score shows a different story, but I thought today was a closer hockey game than it was yesterday."
Rylan Parenteau(Saskatoon, SK) earned the win in the Varsity Reds net. He stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced.
Brodie Barrick(Welland, ON) took the Rams loss, surrendering seven goals on just 20 shots in just over 28 minutes of work.
Taylor Dupuis(New Liskeard, ON) worked the first 31-plus minutes for Ryerson, giving up one goal on eight shots.
"It's tough circumstances to go in cold, against a top team like this," said Duco, of his goaltending change. "In his three years, he(Barrick) hasn't had a ton of opportunity, so we felt going into the second half that it was important that we got him in there. It was experience for him and we came here for experience and to get everybody some playing time."
Forward Alex Goulet(Disraeli, QC) had an assist on Saturday, his second point in his debut weekend with the Varsity Reds.
"It's an adjustment after spending the first half of the year in pro," said Goulet, who joined UNB after starting the season with the Jacksonville IceMen, of the East Coast Hockey League.
"After a full week of practice, it should be better," he said. "I'll get to know the guys more. It'll be even better next weekend."
Thomas and Tibbo were named players of the game for their respective teams.
UNB's Anderson, Boland and LeBlanc were named tournament all-stars, as were Ryerson's Dupuis, Devon Paliani(LaSalle, ON), and Jared Walsh(Toronto, ON).
Despite being outscored 14-7 in the two game series, the Rams say they're taking something from their visit.
"The premium on fitness that they put in," said Duco. "They're so fast and so strong. They're relentless. They don't slow down and they're able to play for a full 60 minutes."
Duco also intends on returning to Fredericton, in March, when UNB hosts the 2018 Cavendish Farms University Cup.
"Our goal is to win the Queen's Cup and get back here as OUA champions," he said.
"It's an eye-opening experience to know what we're up against," said Tibbo.
The series concludes the Varsity Reds exhibition schedule.
UNB resumes its Atlantic University Sport season on Friday, January 5th, when they host the Dalhousie Tigers. Game time is 7:00pm.
Ryerson picks up their OUA season the same night. The Rams visit Waterloo.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics