The Gardiner MacDougall-coached UNB Reds have added another championship banner to a growing collection.
The Reds defeated the No. 1-seeded Alberta Golden Bears 4-2 in the winner-take-all final in Lethbridge, Alta., on Sunday night. It was UNB’s eighth national championship. The son of Evelyn and the late Charlie MacDougall of Bedeque has been behind the bench for seven of those titles in his 19 years at UNB.
The Reds and Golden Bears were tied 1-1 after the opening period, and UNB took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
UNB goaltender Alex Dubeau turned in a strong 34-save performance. Overall, the Reds outshot the Golden Bears, who lost the 2019 U Sports player of the year Luke Philp to an injury in the first period by a 42-36 margin.
Samuel Dove-McFalls, Kris Bennett, Oliver Cooper and Mark Rassell scored for the Reds.
UNB’s penalty-killing units also played a big part in the win, killing off six of seven Alberta power plays. The Golden Bears were 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Two former Summerside Western Capitals are also part of P.E.I.’s connections to the Reds. Kinkora native Charlie Cameron is an assistant coach, and forward Stephen Anderson of Morell just completed his fourth season.
In the bronze-medal game, also played Sunday, the St. Francis Xavier X-Men defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 5-1.
Defenceman Bailey Webster of Kelvin Grove is in his first season with the X-Men.
The Reds posted a 25-2-3 (won-lost-overtime losses) record to finish first in the Atlantic University Sport Men’s Hockey Conference’s regular season. After earning a first-round bye, UNB swept the UPEI Panthers and X-Men en route to the conference title.
At the nationals, UNB edged Carleton 2-1 in a quarter-final game Friday, and downed the X-Men 9-1 in the semifinals on Saturday.
St. Francis Xavier posted a 5-3 come-from-behind win over Queen’s in its quarter-final on Friday.