Monday, January 20, 2020

Harvey Named Athlete Of The Week

For the first time in his career, goaltender Samuel Harvey has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week.

Starting on consecutive days for the first time this season, the rookie netminder played arguably the best hockey of his young UNB career this past weekend in a pair of crucial wins. In Friday night's much anticipated showdown with the 2nd place Acadia Axemen he stopped 25 out of 26 shots, including a highlight-reel save late in overtime, and then stoned the final two shootout attempts in a 2-1 victory. He got the start the following afternoon against the 3rd place Saint Mary's Huskies and turned aside 23 out of 24 shots in a 4-1 win.

After a bit of a slow start, Harvey is showing why he was arguably the most sought after goaltending recruit in the country last summer. For the season he is 11-2 with a 1.91 GAA (t-1st in the AUS) and 0.909 save percentage (2nd) on the season.

Harvey will look to keep up his strong play this weekend when the Reds host the Dalhousie Tigers and St. FX X-Men on Friday and Saturday night, respectively.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Reds Extend Winning Streak

The University of New Brunswick Reds wrapped up a highly successful week with a solid 4-1 victory over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies in an afternoon matinee today at the AUC. UNB's 3rd win in five days - and 8th straight overall - gives them a 20-4-0 record on the season. They are now five points up on the second place Acadia Axemen with six games remaining in the regular season.

Much like Friday night, the Reds came out strong in this one as they out-shot the Huskies 13-2 in the first twelve minutes and 18-7 in the period. They were rewarded only 1:26 in to the game when Stephen Anderson (Watling, Boland) converted a one-timer in the slot, putting it past Huskies goaltender Erik Brassard's glove and into the top right corner. That would be the only goal of the period as Brassard made a number of key saves to keep the Huskies in the game.

The Reds once again struck early in the 2nd period, and once again it was the top line connecting. Anderson got the puck to Tyler Boland deep in the offensive zone and Boland made a quick curl at the bottom of the left face-off circle before feeding a pass to a wide-open Patrick Watling, who was rushing into the zone and was able to skate into a slap shot and hammer the puck past Brassard. The goal came at 1:03 and made it 2-0. The rest of the period was fairly even as the Huskies started to push back. They out-shot UNB 10-9 in the frame thanks to a couple of late power plays, but Samuel Harvey was up to the task to keep Saint Mary's scoreless through 40 minutes.

The Huskies received their third straight man advantage early in the 3rd period and this time they made it count. Connor McGlynn was able to get around Connor Hall to jump on a loose puck for a short break and he slid a backhanded shot just inside the far post to make it a one goal game at 3:10. A bad giveaway by the Reds in the ensuing minutes led to two point-blank chances for the Huskies, but Harvey was there to snuff them out to maintain the lead. At 6:56 UNB got that goal back as Alexandre Goulet (Watling, Gilmour) finished off a 3-on-1 rush with a shot that appeared to deflect off Huskies defenceman Nick Welsh, who trying to block the shot, and into the net. The Reds would add an insurance goal at 17:10 when Samuel Dove-McFalls (Pomerleau, Cooper) skated down the left wing and sniped a wrist shot into the top corner on the short side, popping the water bottle in the process. That would be the final goal of the game as Reds out-shot the Huskies 16-7 in the period.

- Benjamin Gagne was in the line-up, replacing Marcus McIvor. Olivier LeBlanc, Mark Simpson, and Dylan Seitz were also scratched.

- Shots ended up 43-24 for UNB.

- Saint Mary's went 1 for 7 on the power play. UNB went scoreless on three opportunities and went 0 for the weekend. It is only the second time this season the Reds failed to score a power play goal in back to back games. Coincidentally, the other time was when they hosted Acadia and Saint Mary's on November 8th and 9th.

- UNB won 46 out of 75 face-offs with Dove-McFalls (18 out of 25) shouldering the majority of the load.

- Watling was named player of the game. Harvey and McGlynn were the other two stars.

- Attendance was 2327.

- Prior to the game Oliver Cooper and Rylan Parenteau were named as this year's recipients of the "Punchy" Walker Award while Matt Murphy was awarded the Don MacAdam Scholarship.

- Stephen Anderson's goal was his 50th career regular season marker.

- UNB has reached the 20 win plateau for a 13th consecutive season. The Carleton Ravens (20-3-1) are the only other team in the country to hit that mark thus far, although both Toronto and Alberta have 19 wins in only 22 games.

- With the win, the Reds have clinched a 1st round playoff bye for the 14th straight year.

- UNB is now 3-1-0 against Saint Mary's this season, the 5th straight year they have taken the season series.

- Elsewhere around the league Saturday night, St. FX went on the road and doubled up the UPEI Panthers 4-2 and Moncton scored goals 27 seconds apart in the 1st period and held on for a 2-1 home win over the Acadia Axemen.

- The Reds are back at home for another doubleheader next weekend. They host the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday night and the St. FX X-Men the next evening. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Reds Down Axemen In Thriller

Tonight's game at the AUC between two of the top teams in the country certainly lived up to the hype as the #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds emerged with a 2-1 shootout victory over the #6 Acadia Axemen in a highly entertaining affair that featured a playoff-like atmosphere. UNB improves to 19-4-0 with their 7th win in a row, moving them three points clear of the 17-5-1 Axemen.

The Reds were buzzing in the early going, but a couple key saves by Axemen goalie Logan Flodell kept the game scoreless. After weathering the early storm, Acadia opened the scoring at 4:14 when Jordy Stallard shoveled the puck from just outside the crease and past Samuel Harvey. It was the first time in five games the Reds surrendered the first goal of the game. The Axemen had a chance to build on their lead halfway through the period when they were awarded the first power play of the night, however it was UNB knotting the game. After some aggressive forechecking by Oliver Cooper the puck came back to Joe Gatenby. His long shot was stopped but he tracked down his own rebound and fed it to Samuel Dove-McFalls, who got in behind a defender and slid the puck between the post and Flodell's left leg. The shorthanded marker came at 11:04 and would prove to be the last goal either team would score until the shootout.

After UNB out-shot Acadia 16-7 in the opening period the two teams were pretty evenly matched the rest of the way with the Reds holding a slight 23-19 advantage. Each team had their opportunities over the next 45 minutes, perhaps none bigger than the Axemen receiving a power play with 1:14 remaining in the 3-on-3 overtime period after UNB took a too many men on ice penalty. The penalty killers stepped up with some big blocks and Harvey made the save of the game when he slid to his right to deny what looked a sure goal with a right pad save, sending the game to a shootout.

In the shootout Alexandre Goulet was up first for the Reds. He was able get Flodell down, but was unable to lift the puck over the netminder's right pad as his patented move failed for possibly the first time in his tenure at UNB. Stephen Harper gave Acadia a 1-0 lead when his snap shot beat Harvey only to have Tyler Boland reply with shot through Flodell's five-hole. Mason McCarthy answered back for the Axemen. With UNB's back to the wall the next four outcomes all went their way. First, Matthew Boucher kept the game alive, beating Flodell with a well placed wrist shot just inside the right post and then, needing a goal to win, Acadia's Jordy Stallard was denied by Harvey. Kris Bennett was up next for UNB and he used Goulet's strategy, out-waiting Flodell to get him down before putting the puck in the vacated upper half of the net. With the pressure now shifted to Acadia, Harvey once again came up big, turning aside Maurizio Colella to give the Reds the dramatic victory.

- Mark Simpson was out of the line-up tonight as James McEwan drew in. Olivier LeBlanc, Benjamin Gagne, and Dylan Seitz all remained sidelined.

- With LeBlanc already out, the defence was stretched even thinner when Marcus McIvor left the game in the 1st period and never returned. The remaining five 'D' - Murphy, Gatenby, Hall, Pomerleau, and Carroll - all stepped up in a huge way, logging big minutes and keeping the Axemen off the scoreboard for the last 60+ minutes of the game. 

- Shots in the game were 39-26 for UNB.

- Both teams went scoreless on four power play opportunities.

- Even without Simpson, the Reds dominated the face-off circle as they won 40 out of 59 draws. Tyler Boland (13 out of 15) had the best night while Dove-McFalls (11 out of 17) and Goulet (9 out of 15) also had strong showings.

- Kris Bennett was named the player of the game. Dove-McFalls and Harvey were named 2nd and 3rd stars, respectively.

- Harvey was rock solid all night in improving to 10-2-0 on the season with a 1.99 GAA and 0.905 save percentage. He avenged a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Axemen in his season debut back on September 28th.

- Attendance was 2885.

- There was only one other game in the AUS tonight and it saw the Saint Mary's Huskies go on the road and defeat the Moncton Aigles Bleus 3-2 in overtime. The scheduled Dalhousie at UPEI game was postponed due to high winds restricting travel on the Confederation Bridge.

- It is a quick turnaround for the Reds as they are back on the ice at 4PM tomorrow afternoon to face the Huskies.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Reds Edge Panthers

Coming off of an 11-0 loss to the University of New Brunswick Reds on Friday night, the UPEI Panthers put forth a much better effort tonight at home, but ultimately it still wasn't enough as the Reds skated to a 3-1 victory in a hard-hitting physical affair in Charlottetown. UNB improves to 18-4-0 on the season, two points clear of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen. The Panthers are now 8-11-3 and tied for 5th place with St. FX.

- The opening ten minutes looked like more of the same as UNB jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Mark Rassell (Dove-McFalls, Pomerleau) struck for the game's first goal at 2:09 when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Simon Hofley. At 10:12 it was Kris Bennett (Gilmour, Pomerleau) jamming the puck in at the side of the net to double the visitors advantage. 

- The two teams played through a scoreless 2nd period, thanks in large part to the Panthers penalty killing. Darian Pilon's high, hard hit on Tyler Boland at the 10:57 mark not only knocked the Reds star temporarily out for the rest of the period, but put UNB on a five minute power play that they could not cash in on. Then, at 18:44, Troy Lajeeunesse was assessed a double minor for high-sticking that UPEI also killed off. 

- The Panthers got an opportunity with the man advantage early in the 3rd period and they were able to convert with Filip Rydstrom's shot getting through a screen in front and past Rylan Parenteau who, otherwise, was excellent on the night. 

- With UPEI back within a goal and gaining momentum the Reds power play finally came through with a big insurance tally courtesy Matthew Boucher (Rassell, Goulet) at 9:26.

- Just after the Boucher goal UNB took two quick penalties, which gave the Panthers a 53 second 5-on-3. The Reds were up to the task and killed it off. 

- The Panthers pulled Hofley with 2:09 remaining in search of the necessary offense, however neither team was able to score.

- Shots in the game were 34-25 for UNB with period totals of 12-8, 15-9, and 7-8.

- Olivier LeBlanc, Benjamin Gagne, James McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- UNB went 1 for 4 on the power play. The Panthers went 1 for 5.

- UPEI's power play goal snapped the Reds streak of 29 consecutive successful penalty kills dating back to November 29th (7 games ago).

- Parenteau picked up his 8th win of the season. He turned aside 46 out of 47 shots in his last two games - both against the Panthers. 

- Rassell was named the player of the game.

- The Reds only won 37 out of 78 face-offs in the game. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the best night with 14 wins on 26 draws.

- Boucher had a game-high eight shots on goal.

- As mentioned above, Tyler Boland left the game in the 2nd period after being on the receiving end of a high hit into the glass. Fortunately, he returned at the beginning of the 3rd period. 

- Attendance was 615.

- UNB is at home this weekend for two big games. On Friday night (7PM) they face the Acadia Axemen. They turn around and take on the Saint Mary's Huskies at 4PM on Saturday afternoon. 

Seitz Joins Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds have officially announced the addition of forward Dylan Seitz, a move that had been rumoured for quite some time now

The 6'2", 185 pound native of Eden, New York played one season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, putting up 8 goals and 10 assists in 60 games. He then moved on to the Moncton Wildcats for two full seasons, posting 17 goals and 14 assists in 57 games in 2017-2018 and 16 goals and 17 assists in 64 games last season. He played in six games earlier this year with the Wildcats but, like current Reds forward Brady Gilmour, found himself as the odd man out in a crowded overage situation and decided to pursue his education instead. Overall, Seitz tallied 41 goals and 41 assists to go along with 281 PIM in 187 CHL games.

Seitz has previously played for the USA's U18 team at the 2016 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he captured a silver medal, and attended the New Jersey Devils rookie camp in 2018.

With Seitz now in the fold UNB has reached the roster cap of 22 skaters for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.