Saturday, September 5, 2020

Reds Land Outhouse

The University of New Brunswick Reds have already got a head start on their 2021-2022 recruiting, announcing the addition of former pro goaltender Griffen Outhouse to the program. 

Outhouse, a 6' 185 pound native of Williams Lake, British Columbia spent his entire four year junior career with the WHL's Victoria Royals, posting a record of 114-60-7 while never finishing a season with a save percentage below 0.913. His 0.937 save percentage in his rookie year was the best in the country. 

After concluding his junior career Outhouse was one of the top overage goaltenders available out of the CHL and originally committed to the Alberta Golden Bears for the 2019-2020 season. However, he would instead sign a two-way AHL/ECHL contract with the Winnipeg Jets. He split last season with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, playing five games and putting up a 3.70 GAA and 0.882 save percentage, and the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen, where he had 4.25 GAA and .874 GAA in nine games before suffering a season-ending left knee injury. 

Due to playing professionally after his age 21 season Outhouse will be not only be docked a year of eligibility, but will also not become eligible to play until a year from his last professional game, which was in late January. Although it is technically possible he could play this season, the uncertainty surrounding the campaign due to COVID-19 combined with UNB already boasting the stellar tandem of Rylan Parenteau and Samuel Harvey between the pipes  means it is likely the Reds will opt to hold Outhouse out until next season. 

It should also be noted that Parenteau is entering his fourth season while Harvey, as Gardiner MacDougall pointed out in the press release, has fast-tracked his degree and will be graduating in the spring after only two seasons, much like former UNB goaltenders Michael Ouzas and Etienne Marcoux did, so the plan could be to have Outhouse practice with the team this season before taking over as the number one goaltender in 2021-2022. 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Roster Questions Answered

Bruce Hallihan's recent article in the Daily Gleaner (subscription required) helped bring some clarity to the Reds 2020-2021 roster situation.

As you may recall in our post last month about the recruitment of forward Isaac Nurse, we noted that this gave the Reds 23 skaters on their roster - one above the maximum allowed cap of 22 - and speculated that there may be an unannounced departure. Hallihan confirmed that this is indeed the case as forward Ben Hawerchuk will not return for his sophomore season, instead opting to stay home in Ontario as his father - Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk - battles a recurrence of cancer. He joins forwards Stephen Anderson, Patrick Watling, and Mark Simpson as well as defencemen Marcus McIvor and Matt Murphy as those not returning. However, forward Oliver Cooper will be back for his 5th and final season of eligibility. 

This is how the roster looks as of today. It includes 22 skaters (15 forwards + seven defencemen) and three goaltenders:

5TH YEAR (1)
F - Oliver Cooper

4TH YEAR (6)
G - Rylan Parenteau 
F - Tyler Boland
F - Kris Bennett
F - Alexandre Goulet
D - Tristan Pomerleau
D - Olivier LeBlanc

3RD YEAR (6)
F - Mark Rassell
F - Matthew Boucher
F - Samuel Dove-McFalls
F - James McEwan
D - Joe Gatenby
D - Noah Carroll

2ND YEAR (6)
G - Samuel Harvey
G - Tanner Somers
F - Brady Gilmour
F - Dylan Seitz
D - Connor Hall
D - Benjamin Gagne

1ST YEAR (6)
F - Austen Keating
F - Nicolas Guay
F - Jason Willms
F - Macauley Carson
F - Isaac Nurse
D - Kade Landry

Alberta Reinstates Hockey Programs

The University of Alberta's request to reinstate their Golden Bears and Pandas hockey teams for the upcoming 2020-2021 season - should there be one - has been approved by Canada West, it was announced this past week.

The school had announced in June that they were withdrawing from conference competition for the 2020-2021 season in two-term sports - hockey, volleyball, and basketball - due to financial constraints. However, thanks to support from alumni the school applied to reinstate their hockey programs. They did not make a request to reinstate the other two sports. 

The conference has already cancelled fall semester competition with a decision regarding the winter semester coming no later October 8th. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

News And Notes: Murphy, McIvor, Boudens, Maillet

A few tidbits as a long off-season drags on:

- Recent graduates Marcus McIvor and Matt Murphy have found a home for next season as both have signed with the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets. The Komets, who are an affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, also inked Acadia forward Stephen Harper to a contract. The trio will join former Red Matt Boudens, who just completed his rookie season with the Komets. Boudens scored ten goals with Fort Wayne while also appearing in ten games with the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

- Former Reds - and U Sports - superstar Philippe Maillet has been named to the Washington Capitals 31 player playoff roster. Maillet led their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, in scoring this season with 17 goals and 27 assists in 61 games. As one of the top four teams in the conference when the season was suspended, Washington will receive a bye through the first round of the playoffs. They will instead play seeding games against Boston, Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia. The playoffs get started Saturday in Toronto and Edmonton. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Reds Add Nurse

The University of New Brunswick Reds have completed their summer recruiting with the addition of Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) forward and team captain Isaac Nurse.

Nurse spent his entire major junior career with the Bulldogs, where he was a teammate of fellow recruit Kade Landry. Overall, he compiled 50 goals and 42 assists in 221 regular season games. He had a career-high of 17 goals and 13 assists in 2017-2018 before adding another seven goals and four assists in 21 postseason games that season, helping his team capture the OHL Championship. Injuries limited him this past season, but he was on pace for a career year with 15 goals and 11 assists in only 31 games.

Head coach Gardiner MacDougall praised Nurse's "speed and relentless work ethic" and noted that the 5'11", 185 pound native of Hamilton has "continuously improved his game", working his way from a late round draft pick to become the Bulldog's captain this past year.

Nurse comes from a family with a long line of accomplished athletes. His sister was a member of Canada's silver medal hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is the cousin of Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and Kia Nurse, who plays for New York in the WNBA. He is also the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

The addition of Nurse is an interesting move for the Reds. They finished the season with a maxed out roster of 22 skaters and have lost five players to eligibility or graduation in Stephen Anderson, Patrick Watling, Marcus McIvor, Mark Simpson, and Matt Murphy. However, they have now announced six recruits for the upcoming season. This leads one to believe forward Oliver Cooper will not be returning for his 5th season of eligibility, there has been an unannounced departure, or they are planning on keeping someone out of game action all season as to not count against the roster cap.