The Saint Mary’s Huskies could only sit in the stands and watch as the New Brunswick Varsity Reds — a team they defeated to win the Atlantic University Sport banner — captured the University Cup yesterday in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The V-Reds, who went to nationals as the AUS’s second seed, claimed their second Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s hockey title in the past three years yesterday with a 4-2 victory over the Western Ontario Mustangs.
The Mustangs’ presence in the final was unlikely, as they had to beat the Huskies by three goals on Saturday in order to advance. But they pulled it off in shocking fashion, scoring five times in the third period to post a 7-2 victory.
It was still sinking in for the Huskies yesterday.
“We’re disappointed, no question,” said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg. “They played the game of their life and got every bounce, and we didn’t seem to play real well. For whatever reason, things didn’t go our way.”
Stienburg said his team “didn’t have a whole lot of jump all game, right from the get-go,” perhaps getting caught looking ahead to the final because of the Mustangs’ long odds. But Stienburg said there is no point “beating it to death.”
“It is what it is,” Stienburg said. “Did 20 guys decide they didn’t want to win? No. Did 20 guys decide they didn’t want to try? No. Did 20 guys have a tough time getting their act together and putting the puck in the net? Yeah.”
Third-year forward Lachlan MacIntosh was named University Cup MVP after scoring a hat trick in the V-Reds’ win. The Huskies beat the V-Reds 2-1 in the AUS final and won three of four head-to-head matchups in the regular season.