Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Reds Recruit Dove-McFalls

Former 4th round Philadelphia Flyers draft pick and Saint John Sea Dogs centre Samuel Dove-McFalls is the newest member of the University of New Brunswick Reds, the team announced earlier today.

The 6'2", 207 pound Dove-McFalls spent the first four seasons of his CHL career down the highway playing for the Saint John Sea Dogs, helping the team win a QMJHL championship and a Memorial Cup berth in 2017. While in SJ, the 2015 NHL draft pick posted 42 goals and 67 assists in 212 games and also served as their alternate captain his last three years.

The native of Montreal, Quebec was then traded to the Rimouski Oceanic prior to last season and was not only named their team captain, but also had the best statistical season of his career to the tune of 22 goals and 51 assists in 64 games. He added another 9 points in a 7 playoff games. In addition to his offensive prowess, he also earned the Guy Charbonneau Trophy, which is given annually to QMJHL's top defensive forward last season. It might not be a stretch to envision Dove-McFalls - who is strong in the face-off circle and on the penalty kill - beginning his UNB career by sliding seamlessly into the 4th line centre role left vacant with the graduation of Dylan Willick.

With the addition of Dove-McFalls, to go along with previously announced recruits Patrick Watling, Mark Rassell, Matthew Boucher, and James McEwan, the Reds currently feature a very deep and talented forward crop heading into the season.

Dove-McFalls becomes another in a long line of former Sea Dogs to find homes in the AUS this offseason, joining former teammates Cole Reginato (Acadia), Bailey Webster (St. FX), Will Thompson (St. FX), and Blade Mann-Dixon (St. FX). When you factor in current AUS players such as Stephen Anderson (UNB), Matt Murphy (UNB), Olivier LeBlanc (UNB), Oliver Cooper (UNB), and Adam Bateman (SMU) in addition to former players like Mike Thomas (UNB), Pierre Durepos (Moncton), Michael Kirkpatrick (St. FX), Stephen MacAulay (SMU) Saint John has to be considered one of the top CHL teams in the country in terms of sending impact players to the AUS, if not all of U Sports.

Varsity Reds Becoming Reds

In a move that was announced weeks ago, UNB Athletics has begun a re-branding exercise which includes changing the name of the varsity sports teams from Varsity Reds to, simply, Reds. While the traditional red, black, and white colour scheme will remain in place, a new logo is being developed which will be unveiled prior to the upcoming 2018-2019 AUS season.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Exhibition Schedule Features Familiar, Different Opponents

The Varsity Reds have announced their 6 game exhibition slate for the 2018-2019 season and, once again, it features some top quality opposition.

The first games of the new season take place at the AUC on Friday, September 14th at 7PM and Saturday, September 15th at 3PM against the reigning OUA Champion McGill Redmen. The V-Reds and Redmen have gotten to know each other quite well in recent years with 7 match-ups since 2009 - all UNB victories, including a 4-0 win in the 2011 National Championship game. Their last meeting was a 1-0 affair in Montreal in the fall of 2016. UNB is 11-1-0 all-time against the Redmen.

The next weekend the V-Reds will travel to Toronto for a two game set versus the Ryerson Rams, returning the favour after the Rams visited Fredericton last winter for the Pete Kelly Cup. UNB won both games last Christmas - the first two meetings between the schools - by 6-5 (OT) and 8-2 scores. The games will take place on Friday, September 21st (8:15PM) and Saturday, September 22nd (5:15PM) at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, formerly Maple Leaf Garden.

After a weekend of AUS regular season play, the Varsity Reds travel south of the border to face perennial NCAA powerhouse Boston College on Saturday, October 6th at 8PM. This will be the 10th all-time game between the two teams with the Eagles holding a 6-2-1 all-time record, including a 4-2 victory last fall. UNB's two wins came in 2015 (5-2 in Boston) and 2009 (5-3 at the AUC).

The Pete Kelly Cup this season will only feature one game, but it will be against a team the Varsity Reds have never faced in the Lethbridge Pronghorns. The game will take place at the AUC on Saturday, December 28th at 7PM. Lethbridge will no doubt be using this game as a measuring stick as they prepare to host the 2019 University Cup March 14th-17th.

Friday, June 15, 2018

McEwan Is Newest V-Red

UPDATE - Mark Malone of the Chatham Daily News has a great article on McEwan here.

Forward James McEwan of the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm is the latest addition to the AUS Champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, the team announced today. Although the V-Reds have typically waited until late in the summer to announce their recruits, McEwan already becomes the 5th player they have announced for next year, joining forwards Patrick Watling, Mark Rassell, and Matthew Boucher and defenceman Joe Gatenby. 

The 5'11", 194 pound McEwan spent his entire five year junior career with Guelph, the majority of which came as the Storm were rebuilding after a 2014 Memorial Cup run came up one game short.

Unlike UNB's other recruits, McEwan actually saw his numbers dip throughout his junior career. After posting a career high 52 points (25 goals, 27 assists) in 68 games in 2015-2016 and earning team MVP honours in the process, the native of Chatham, Ontario proceeded to put up seasons of 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists) in 58 games in 2016-2017 and 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 64 games this past season. For his career he collected 136 points in 236 games.

However, it appears the numbers don't tell the whole story with McEwan, who has participated in a pair of NHL training camps, first with the Pittsburgh Penguins and then last year with the Montreal Canadiens. He is known for his leadership, popularity, compete level, and for possessing a good shot and high hockey IQ. Furthermore, according to head coach Gardiner MacDougall, McEwan has "excellent speed and is a strong two-way player who can play multiple positions and roles" and has attributes that indicate "an excellent upside and growth to his game."

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Boucher Joins V-Reds

What has already been a strong recruiting summer has gotten even better for the Varsity Reds as they have announced Quebec Remparts captain Matthew Boucher has signed a U Sports Letter of Intent with the team.

The 5'9", 174 pound Boucher just completed an exceptional junior hockey career in which he amassed 192 points (96 goals, 96 assists) in 241 regular season games. He had a career high 31 goals and 38 assists in 66 games this past season and averaged exactly a point per game (176 points in 176 games) during the three years he spent with the Remparts, the last two of which he served as team captain.

Boucher, who was born in Los Angeles, should provide some versatility to the forward ranks as he is able to play all three forward positions and can contribute at both ends of the ice. Despite his size, he is also not afraid to get involved physically as evident by his 307 career PIM.

He is the son of former NHL defenceman Philippe Boucher, a veteran of 16 NHL seasons.