Saturday, October 13, 2018

UNB Blitz Panthers Early, Roll To Win

The visiting University of New Brunswick Reds scored 21 seconds into the game and then added four more goals in the opening period, cruising to a 6-3 win over the UPEI Panthers tonight at the MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown. UNB improves to 4-0-0 on the young season while the Panthers slip to 1-3-0.

Shortly after the opening face-off the Reds broke in on a 2-on-1 and executed it to perfection with Matthew Boucher feeding Mark Simpson for a one-timer that beat Matthew Mancina, who was seeing his first action of the season in the Panthers goal. Kris Bennett also factored into the goal by picking up the secondary assist. It only took 160 seconds for UNB to make it 2-0 when Patrick Watling (Boudens, Bennett) came out from behind the net and backhanded the puck in between the post and Mancina's arm. The Reds added their third of the night at 11:36 when Christopher Clapperton got the puck to Tyler Boland who then made a nice pass across the slot to a pinching Matt Murphy who had a wide open net to deposit the puck into. The onslaught continued just under five minutes later with two more strikes. At 16:25 Boland took a hit in the offensive zone to make a play on the puck and get it over to Clapperton whose weak shot along the ice beat Mancina. Stephen Anderson was also credited with an assist on the goal, which ended Mancina's night pre-maturely. Matt Murphy (Boudens, Watling) then greeted newly summoned netminder Simon Hofley with a shot off the post and in just 11 seconds later, his second of the night making it 5-0 less than 17 minutes into the contest. The Panthers were able to get one back before the end of the period when a long Doug Blaisdell shot eluded Alex Dubeau a couple of minutes later. Despite the score, shots in the period were 15-12 for UNB.

Much like the opening period, Mark Simpson (Boland, LeBlanc) found the back of the net early in the 2nd period, sweeping in a rebound for a power play goal 54 seconds into the stanza to make it 6-1. Kameron Kielly got the one back with a power play goal of his own at 17:41 and the two teams would head to the intermission with UNB holding a 6-2 lead. Shots in the period were 14-7 for the Reds.

The Panthers had their best period of the night in the 3rd, out-shooting UNB 9-8 and scoring the only goal on a Sam Aulie marker at 11:53. Unfortunately, it was much too little much too late for the Panthers as the Reds wrapped up a convincing 6-3 victory.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night with Cameron Brace, Randy Gazzola, and James McEwan all remaining out.

- Shots in the game were 37-28 for UNB.

- Both teams went 1 for 3 with the man advantage.

- Attendance was 578.

- UNB won 47 out of 90 face-offs with Patrick Watling (10 out of 17) finding the most success.

- Alex Dubeau made his first start of the season. His only other action thus far came two weeks ago when he came on in relief of Rylan Parenteau to pick up the win against Moncton.

- Olivier LeBlanc was a game-high +4.

- Mark Simpson now has an AUS-leading 5 goals on the season.

- The only other game tonight saw the Saint Mary's Huskies break open a close game with four 3rd period goals in an 8-3 victory over Dalhousie.

- Meanwhile, 1611 people witnessed history at the AUC tonight as the UNB Reds women's hockey team made their return to AUS and U Sports action. In what appeared to be a very evenly matched game against Mount Allison - shots were 34 apiece - the Mounties eked out a 2-1 overtime win.

- UNB is back on the road next weekend for their two biggest tests of the season so far. On Friday night they are in Wolfville to face the 2-2-0 Acadia Axemen and on Saturday night they travel to Halifax for a date with the 5-0-0 Saint Mary's Huskies. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start and can be seen at www.AUStv.ca.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Reds Skate Past Moncton

The #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds played their most complete game of the season tonight, taking down the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 5-1 at the AUC in a game marred by a rash of penalties. UNB moves to 3-0-0 on the regular season while Moncton falls to 2-3-0 after their second straight setback.

After a fairly slow start in terms of shots on goal - only three apiece halfway through the opening period - things picked up in the latter half of the stanza. UNB got on the board on a bit of a controversial goal at 14:46 when Alexandre Goulet (Murphy, Parenteau) took a long pass coming down the right side, got a step on the defenceman, but was then upended into goaltender Alexi Thibaudeau while driving towards the net. The puck crossed the line during the pile up and it was ruled a good goal despite the interference to give the Reds a 1-0 advantage. They doubled their lead in the final minute of the period after Moncton failed multiple times to clear the puck out of their own zone. It eventually landed on the stick of Samuel Dove-McFalls (Boudens, Murphy) in the slot and he snapped it into the left corner for his first career AUS goal at 19:35. Shots in the period were 11-8 for UNB.

The Reds played arguably their best stretch of hockey of the season in the opening minutes of the 2nd period as they hemmed the Aigles Bleus into their own end for multiple shifts at a time. They were rewarded at 2:32 when Mark Rassell (Pomerleau, Boucher) slid the puck along the ice and just out of reach of Thibaudeau into the corner for a 3-0 lead. Rassell's first career AUS goal was the only one of the frame as UNB out-shot Moncton 16-8.

UNB put the game away with a pair of power play goals in the 3rd period sandwiched around Moncton's lone marker of the night. At 1:50 Mark Simpson (Bennett, Clapperton) banged a loose puck in from the side of the cage to push the lead to four goals. After Edouard Michaud got Moncton on the board just after a power play expired at 6:35 Rassell (Goulet, Watling) rounded out the scoring by netting his second of the night at 8:20 when his attempted pass from behind the net banked off something in front and into the net. Shots favoured UNB in the period 14-6.

- Patrick Watling saw his first regular season action of the season, replacing Cameron Brace in the line-up. Randy Gazzola and James McEwan remained sidelined.

- Shots in the game were 41-22 for UNB.

- As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of penalties in the game. The two teams combined for 78 minutes on 27 infractions. UNB was 2 for 10 on the power play and Moncton was 0 for 5.

- Rylan Parenteau was solid in net, making 21 stops on 22 shots although not many were of the larcenous variety.

- UNB dominated the face-off circle, winning 49 out of 75 draws. Mark Simpson won 23 on a ridiculous 35 attempts. Dove-McFalls won 10 out of 15.

- Attendance was 2435.

- Rassell was named the player of the game with Matthew Boucher, and Parenteau the other two stars.

- The Reds introduced their sharp new retro jersey for the game. The jersey features the old UNB Red Devils logo on the front with the new Reds logo on one shoulder and the new Reds stylized 'R' on the other shoulder.

- This was UNB's 14th straight win over Moncton at home as well as overall. Moncton hasn't won at the AUC since a 5-2 win on October 13th, 2012.

- UNB has started the year 3-0-0 for the 5th time in 6 seasons.

- In other games around the conference tonight, the St. FX X-Men fell to 1-2-2 with a 4-3 loss in Halifax to the 4-0-0 Saint Mary's Huskies and the Acadia Axemen doubled Dalhousie 6-3 in Wolfville.

- UNB hits the road tomorrow night for a match-up with the UPEI Panthers in Charlottetown. Game time is 7PM and can be viewed at www.AUStv.ca.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

U Sports Top Ten (#2): UNB Maintain Top Spot

Despite getting shellacked 8-1 in their lone game last week - albeit an exhibition game against the NCAA's Boston College Eagles - the University of New Brunswick Reds remain the number one ranked team in the country according to the latest rankings, released on Tuesday.

UNB, 2-0-0 in conference play, garnered a combined total of 282 points (142 media + 140 ELO) to edge Alberta (257) for the number one spot. The rest of the top ten includes Saskatchewan (197), Saint Mary's (193), McGill (183), Queen's (108), Guelph (71), Ryerson (51), Ottawa (47), and Concordia (42).

Moncton (30), Acadia (19), St. FX (11), and UPEI (2) were among the thirteen teams that earned honourable mention by virtue of accumulating points in at least one of the rating methods.

The Reds are back at the AUC tomorrow night, where they will unveil their brand new retro jersey against the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Eagles Score Early, Often In Rout

Things did not go well for UNB tonight in Boston. The Boston College Eagles scored 18 seconds into the game, added another a minute later, and rolled to a dominating 8-1 win over the University of New Brunswick Reds.

Once again, updates from the UNB Twitter account were severely lacking so we had to follow via other sources. All we know is that BC led 4-0 after a period and 6-1 after two with Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Gatenby) getting the loan goal, on the power play, for UNB. Rylan Parenteau started the game with Alex Dubeau coming in after the two early goals. Shots in the game actually favoured UNB 29-24.

In what has become a bit of a disconcerting early trend, UNB fell behind by multiple goals for the 4th time in 7 games so far this season. The absence of defenceman Randy Gazzola and his steady presence on the blue line is undoubtedly being felt as the defence and goaltending have been shaky at times in the early going.

UNB will look to rebound from their worst loss since a 10-3 drubbing at the hands of St. Thomas on February 10th, 2006 when they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus Friday night back at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

MacDougall Named Assistant For U Sports All-Star Series

Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall has been announced as an assistant coach on Mark Howell's (Calgary) staff for the 2018 U Sports Men's Hockey All-Star Series in December in Victoria, BC. Joining MacDougall as an assistant will be Patrick Grandmaitre (Ottawa) and Todd Johnson (Regina).

The event will once again pit the U Sports all-star team playing against a squad made up of Team Canada World Junior Prospects who will be looking to earn a roster spot at the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship, which will be held in Vancouver and Victoria. For the first time it will be a three game series with games scheduled for Wednesday, December 12th (10 PM AST), Thursday, December 13th (10PM AST), and Friday, December 14th (6PM AST) at the Q Centre in Victoria.

Defenceman Randy Gazzola and forward Stephen Anderson took part in last year's event in St. Catharine's as the U Sports team swept both games for the first time ever. Philippe Maillet and Jordan Murray participated in the 2016 showcase.

The U Sports roster is expected to be announced in November.