Wednesday, November 25, 2015

UNB Embarassed In Moncton

There really isn't anything good to say about the V-Reds 7-4 loss tonight to the Aigles Bleus. It was a fitting end to a disastrous 5 game road trip in which they went 1-3-1 and fell into 3rd place. This is just not a good team right now as the injuries are undoubtedly starting to take their toll. Fortunately there is only one game remaining before a very much needed Christmas break.

CIS Top Ten (#7): V-Reds Slip Again

For the 2nd consecutive week there is a new team to beat in the CIS as the Saskatchewan Huskies are ranked as the top team in the country according to the latest men's hockey rankings released yesterday. Meanwhile, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have fallen to the 5th spot, the first time they have been outside the top-3 since the end of the 2013-2014 season.

The Huskies (12-2-0), ranked number one for the first time in three years, received 6 first place nods and 143 points overall to barely edge the McGill Redmen (12-2-0) who also received 6 first place votes and 142 points.

Rounding out the top five are the Alberta Golden Bears (10-3-1), Acadia Axemen (10-2-1), and the Varsity Reds (9-2-2).

Other AUS teams receiving votes were the St. FX (9-2-2) X-Men, who were ranked 6th, and the Saint Mary's Huskies (15th).

The V-Reds close out the first half of the schedule with a home-and-home series against the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. The two teams meet tonight in Moncton and Friday in Fredericton. Both games are scheduled for 7PM.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

V-Reds Snap Skid

After a rare three game losing streak the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got back into the win column with a solid 5-1 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers tonight in Halifax. UNB improves to 9-2-2 on the season and into a tie for 2nd place with the St. FX X-Men. Both teams remain one point behind the 10-2-1 Acadia Axemen.

After a scoreless 1st period in which UNB out-shot the Tigers 8-3 the Varsity Reds struck for three goals in the middle frame. Cameron Brace opened the scoring while on the power play 3:15 into the period when he took a long stretch pass from Jordan Murray to go in all alone on Tigers goalie Corbin Boes. UNB doubled their lead only 96 seconds later after some sustained offensive zone pressure. The puck was eventually worked down low to Rob Mignardi (Halley, Beauvillier), who banged home a pass from below the face-off circle and into an open net. UNB made it 3-0 at 15:46 when Matt Petgrave (Anderson, MacDougall) got the last whack at the puck during a scramble in front of the net. Shots in the period were 20-8 for UNB.

The Varsity Reds stretched their lead to four at 3:34 of the final period when Brace (Gazzola, Carroll) netted his second goal of the night, and league-leading 11th of the season, after the puck made its way to him all alone to Boes right. Brace wasted no time in snapping a one-timer into the net before the Tigers goalie could get in position. Alex Wall (Brace, MacDougall) made it 5-0 when he picked up a rebound while driving to the net and lifted the puck up and in. The Tigers spoiled Etienne Marcoux's shutout bid with a power play goal at 11:07 but it was much too little and much too late as the V-Reds went on to the 5-1 win. Shots in the period were 9-4 for UNB.

- Chris Caissy was out of the line-up, joining Philippe Maillet, Peter Trainor, and Marcus McIvor, who all remained sidelined due to injury.

- UNB out-shot Dalhousie 37-15 in the game.

- Each team had a power play goal in the game as UNB had 8 opportunities while Dalhousie had 6.

- UNB won 42 out of the 68 face-offs with Dylan Willick (12 out of 16) leading the way for the V-Reds.

- Gazzola, Brace, and Carroll were all a game-high +3.

- Brace, Gazzola, and Marcoux were the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 140.

- UNB has now won 14 straight games against Dalhousie, including 7 in a row on the road.

- In other action around the conference tonight the other three road teams also emerged victorious - Acadia demolished St. Thomas 12-2 in Fredericton, Saint Mary's picked up a 3-2 overtime victory in Moncton, and UPEI hung on for a 2-1 win in Antigonish.

- The V-Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Moncton for a game against the Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM and can be seen on The two teams will tangle again on Friday night at the AUC in the last game before the Christmas break.

Friday, November 20, 2015

V-Reds Lose Again

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds trailed 3-1 after the 1st period, squared the game at 3 in the 2nd period, but fell behind shortly after and were never able to recover as they dropped a 6-5 decision to the St. FX X-Men tonight in Antigonish. UNB has now lost 3 straight conference games for the first time since the 2005-2006 season and are 8-2-2 on the season. Their 18 points place them 3rd in the conference behind the 9-1-2 X-Men and 9-2-1 Acadia Axemen.

Scoring for the V-Reds were Chris Caissy, Rob Mignardi, Cam Critchlow, Cameron Brace, and Francis Beauvillier.

Alex Dubeau played the first period before giving way to Etienne Marcoux for the final 40 minutes.

UNB will look to salvage a victory in the final game of their four game road trip through Nova Scotia when they travel to Halifax for a date with the Dalhousie Tigers tomorrow night. Game time is 7PM.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CIS All-Stars, World Junior Prospects To Play Exhibition Games

The CIS and Hockey Canada has announced a two game exhibition series pitting a team of CIS all-stars against Canada's National World Junior Team prospects in preparation of the IIHF World Junior Championships.

The games will be played at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto on Saturday, December 12th at 7:30 PM EST and Sunday, December 13th at 12:00 PM EST.

The CIS team will consist of 23 players - 11 from the OUA and 6 each from the AUS and Canada West - and is expected to be announced on November 30th. The coaching staff will also include representation from all three conferences and will be unveiled by the end of the month.

Hockey Canada will announce the players invited to Canada's National Junior Team selection camp on December 1st and these two games could play a big role in what players will make the final roster, to be announced on December 20th.

The CIS and Hockey Canada have teamed up for games in the past in preparation of the World Juniors, but usually the CIS "All-Stars" team is made up of players from two or three universities, or a single conference. For example, last year the team was made up of players from Ryserson, York, and Toronto. So it should be interesting to see how an actual all-star team made up of players from all over the country fare against some of the top NHL prospects in the country. It will also be interesting to see how the CIS puts the team together, whether they pick a team full of high scoring skilled players or a more balanced team with a 2-3 scoring lines and a checking line. Either way, UNB should have a number of players that will undoubtedly draw interest from the CIS coaching staff to participate in the game.