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UNB Reds’ Oliver Cooper, right, tries to wrangle a loose puck in front of Saint Mary’s Huskies’ Jacob Friend during Atlantic university hockey action Friday night at the Halifax Forum. UNB won 7-4. - Tim Krochak
UNB Reds’ Oliver Cooper, right, tries to wrangle a loose puck in front of Saint Mary’s Huskies’ Jacob Friend during Atlantic university hockey action Friday night at the Halifax Forum. UNB won 7-4. - Tim Krochak

UNB sophomore forward Tyler Boland scored two goals and moved to within a point of teammate Christopher Clapperton for the Atlantic university scoring lead as the U Sports No. 1 Reds defeated the No. 6 Saint Mary’s Huskies 7-4 Friday night at the Halifax Forum.

In their fourth meeting of the season, it was the Varsity Reds’ first victory over the Huskies in regulation time. Their previous three matchups each went to overtime with SMU winning the previous two, including a 4-3 decision Nov. 23 in Fredericton.

“Every time we battle against these guys, it’s always a great game,” said Boland, who also had an assist to give him 25 points in 17 games. “The last three games before tonight went to overtime. We’re happy to bounce back after losing in overtime last week. It was a big win for our team.”

Cameron Brace, Matthew Boucher, Stephen Anderson, Mark Rassell and Joe Gatenby had the other goals for the conference-leading Reds, who improve to 14-0-3, eight points ahead of the second-place Huskies.

Bradley Latour, Nick Welsh, Alex Peters and Connor McGlynn scored for SMU (11-5-1). UNB held a 38-23 shot advantage.

Each team has one game remaining before the league breaks for five weeks for the holidays. The Huskies host the UPEI Panthers on Saturday while the Reds visit the Acadia Axemen.

“Hopefully we can execute like we did tonight and good things will happen,” Boland said.

Axemen 5, Panthers 2:

At Wolfville, Acadia scored three third-period goals to pull away from UPEI.

Jackson Houck and Stephen Harper each had a goal and an assist for the Axemen (5-9-2).

Kyle Farrell, Garrett McFadden and Marc McNulty also scored for Acadia. Filip Rydstrom and Brent Andrews answered for the Panthers (8-6-1).

Aigles Bleus 4, Tigers 1:

At Moncton, Etienne Montpetit stopped 44 shots to lead the host team over Dalhousie.

Robbie Graham and Maxime St-Cyr notched a goal and an assist apiece for Moncton (7-7-3), which hosts the St. Francis Xavier X-Men (9-6-2) on Saturday in the teams’ final game of the first half.

Dillon Boucher had the lone Dal goal. Connor Hicks had 47 saves for the Tigers, who head into the Christmas break in last place with a 4-13 record.

In AUS women’s hockey:

Tommies 2, X-Women 1 (SO):

At Fredericton, Lauren Legault had the shootout winner to lead first-place St. Thomas (14-2) past St. F.X. Lindsey Donovan responded for X (10-3-3).

Panthers 2, Tigers 1:

At Charlottetown, Taylor Gillis had the eventual game-winner 11:44 into the third as UPEI topped Dal. Taylor Joyce tallied for the Tigers.

Two games remain before women’s hockey breaks for the holiday. SMU hosts Mount Allison at Civic Arena while UPEI entertains UNB on Saturday.

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