03/08/2013 09:41 EST | Updated 05/08/2013 05:12 EDT

UNB shuts out Saint Mary's for AUS hockey title

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds shutout the Saint Mary’s Huskies 2-0 on Thursday night to become the Atlantic University Sport men's hockey champions.

UNB took home the top position in Atlantic university hockey for the third straight year in front of a sold out Aitken Centre in Fredericton.

Dion Campbell scored UNB’s first goal, which held up to be the game winner, with 18 seconds left in the first period.

Antoine Houde-Caron added UNB’s second goal at 14:55 of the third period and Daniel LaCosta turned made 25 saves to earn the shutout.

"It was great, it was obviously nice to get the win here at home in front of our friends and family," LaCosta said.

"And a lot of guys, it's our last game here at the Aitken Centre and it feels really good to go out winning our conference here."

This is the fifth AUS championship that UNB has won with Gardiner MacDougall as the team’s head coach.

"It was a hard fought battle which is indicative of the AUS final. I think the key was to get the lead and protect it and hopefully extend it," MacDougall said.

UNB is now tied with Saint Mary’s for second with 13 AUS hockey championships. St. Francis Xavier, meanwhile, has 24 AUS titles.

The Varsity Reds will now travel to Saskatoon for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships that start on March 14.

Even though UNB won on Thursday night, Saint Mary’s has earned a wildcard berth into the national championships.

UNB shorthanded

The Varsity Reds were forced to play without one of their regulars on Thursday.

Forward Cam Critchlow was suspended for five games after the last match up with the Huskies on March 2 for a hit on defenceman Patrick O’Keefe.

MacDougall said Critchlow’s suspension made the team play even harder.

"If anything it rallied us together," he said.

"It was a shocking call. There's no question about it but it rallied the team together."