FREDERICTON, NB - The UNB Reds are the 2020 Atlantic University Sport men's hockey champions after defeating the Acadia Axemen 5-1 in game three of the best of three championship series.
Alexandre Goulet (Disraeli, QC) scored three goals to lead the Reds in a 5-1 win over the Acadia Axemen on Friday, in the third and deciding game of their AUS championship series.
The game was played before a sell-out crowd of 3374 at UNB's Aitken Centre.
Goulet was named the Subway Player of the Game, while Reds goaltender Samuel Harvey (Alma, QC) was named the most valuable player of the AUS playoffs.
Friday's game began with both teams playing a close, tight-checking game.
They played a scoreless first period, but the capacity crowd didn't have to wait long for a goal in the second period.
Oliver Cooper (Fredericton, NB) fired a quick shot from the slot that beat Axemen goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) at the 2:51 mark.
UNB's Mark Rassell (Calgary, AB) started the play, rushing the puck in on a partial breakaway, but firing the puck over the Acadia next. The Reds gained possession of the loose puck in the corner, before working it in front to Cooper.
With time winding down in the period, and the Reds buzzing inside the Acadia zone, Tristan Pomerleau (Riviere-du-Loup, QC) fed Goulet at the point. His low blast found its way through traffic and beat Flodell, giving UNB a 2-0 lead.
The Axemen came out swinging in the third, and at 1:08, Ross MacDougall (St. Stephen, NB) put the Axemen on the board. His point shot ended almost 146 minutes of shut-out hockey by Harvey in the UNB net.
Goulet's second goal, at 14:27, restored UNB's two-goal lead. It was a rocket of a shot off another nice feed from Pomerleau.
Mark Simpson (Rothesay, NB) scored into an empty Acadia net at 16:23, and Goulet completed his hat-trick 29 seconds later, beating Flodell after he'd returned to the Axemen net.
Harvey stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced for the win, allowing a total of three goals in the series.
"It's a small margin of error for us, against them, and a couple of plays in the second that they got two goals on, a couple of them didn't really have to happen, but that's the way it is," said Axemen head coach Darren Burns. "We were in the box a lot. That kind of takes the energy out and turns the momentum. That's what hurt us in the second, those momentum switches."
"That was great entertainment," said Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "It was a hard-fought game, two teams that are pretty close. We had a great opponent."
Both teams now prepare for the 2020 Cavendish Farms University Cup national championship tournament, in Halifax. That begins Thursday.
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: James West/for UNB Athletics