Thursday, April 20, 2017

News And Notes: Halley, Gazzola, Marcoux, Thomas, Willick, Maillet

Some roster news as the V-Reds now turn their attention to the 2017-2018 season:

- Earlier this week forward Philippe Halley became the latest in a long list of departures as he has signed with Amiens in France for next season.

After putting up 65 points (29 goals, 36 assists) in 69 games in his first three seasons at UNB, Halley saw his numbers slip a bit this year (18 points in 30 games) as he took on a more defensive role, frequently teaming up with Dylan Willick to form one of the most dangerous penalty killing duos in the league.

A native of Quebec City, the speedy forward will perhaps best be remembered for his clutch performances on the biggest stage. In 9 University Cup games over the last three years Halley found the back of the net a school-record 11 times, including firing three hat-tricks.

- In today's Daily Gleaner (subscription required), Bruce Hallihan talks to Randy Gazzola and the defenceman confirms that he will be returning for his 4th season in the fall despite receiving interest from a number of pro teams. He will be joined on the blue line next year by returnees Colin Suellentrop, Marcus McIvor, and Matt Murphy as well as former St. FX X-Men Trey Lewis, who redshirted this year after transferring to UNB.

Gazzola also discussed the future of a number of his teammates. He says goaltender Etienne Marcoux, who came to UNB with two years of university credits already under his belt, will move on with the hopes of getting an AHL tryout. Also, forward Mike Thomas is expected to be back for his 5th and final season while graduating forward Dylan Willick, who recently landed a job in Fredericton with a software company, is "questionable" to return for his final season of eligibility.

- The recognition keeps coming for former V-Reds forward Philippe Maillet as he has been named one of four finalists - and the AUS representative - for the BLG Award/Doug Mitchell Trophy, which is given annually to the U Sports male athlete of the year.

The 25th annual BLG Awards honouring the U Sports male and female athlete of the year will be presented on Monday, May 1st and will air on Sportsnet later in May. Each winner will receive a $10 000 post-graduate scholarship.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Murray Signs With AHL's Senators

Varsity Reds defenceman Jordan Murray has signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement with the Binghamton Senators, the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators.

Murray capped off his university career with a career best 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in helping UNB to a second consecutive University Cup. He also captured his second straight U Sports Defenceman of the Year honour.

The native of Riverview, New Brunswick leaves the Varsity Reds as arguably the best defenceman in program history. In addition to the above accolades, he is also the highest scoring rearguard in school history with 133 points (38 goals, 94 assists) in 138 games as well as being named an All-Canadian in each of his last three years after being named to the All-Rookie team following his freshman campaign.

Murray joins Philippe Maillet, Francis Beauvillier, and Cam Braes as V-Reds who have signed AHL contracts since the end of the season.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Maillet Signs With AHL's Reign

The exodus of players from the University Cup champion Varsity Reds continues as forward Philippe Maillet has signed a one year professional contract with the Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. The contract will cove the rest of this season as well as the 2017-2018 campaign. Coincidentally, Maillet tried out with the Reign when they were an ECHL team just prior to joining UNB in the fall of 2013.

The 24 year old native of Terrebonne, Quebec is coming off of one of the most decorated seasons in school history, which included:

- 71 points (55 regular season + 6 playoffs + 10 University Cup), second only to Rob Hennigar's 72 in 2008.
- AUS first team all-star
- AUS MVP
- U Sports first team all-Canadian
- U Sports Player of the Year
- University Cup all-star team
- University Cup MVP

Maillet leaves the Varsity Reds as the fourth leading scorer in school history, having amassed 201 points (76 goals, 125 assists) in 131 games.

Head Coach Gardiner MacDougall will have his work cut out for himself this off-season with Maillet joining Cam Braes (graduation), Rob Mignardi (graduation), Cameron Critchlow (graduation), Francis Beauvillier (pro), and Matt Petgrave (pro) as players who definitely will not be returning next season.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

News And Notes: Braes, Petgrave, Critchlow, MacDougall

Although the season has been over for less than a week, a number of Varsity Reds have found new homes:

- Forward Cam Braes has signed an amateur tryout with the Stockton Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. The 5th year native of Shawinigan Lake, BC capped his university career with a four goal performance in UNB's 5-3 win over Saskatchewan in last Sunday's University Cup final. It was Braes 3rd national championship (2013, 2016, 2017) to go along with a silver medal finish in 2015.

- 4th year defenceman Matt Petgrave has signed a standard player contract with the Brampton Beast, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Petgrave, who is from Brampton, leaves the Varsity Reds after having registered exactly 15 points in each of his four seasons, spanning 108 regular season games. He scored 13 goals, dished out 47 assists, and threw a number of highlight-reel hip checks while helping lead UNB to two national championships and a runner-up finish during his career.

- Graduating team captain Cameron Critchlow has been signed by the Adelaide Adrenaline of the eight team Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) for their upcoming season. Critchlow put up 72 points (29 goals, 43 assists) in 132 points during his five seasons at UNB and, like Braes, was part of three gold medal and one silver medal winning teams. He will join former UPEI Panthers captain Cole MacMillan with the Adrenaline.

- Jason Simmons of PEI's Journal Pioneer has a pair of articles about head coach Gardiner MacDougall, one discussing the University Cup victory and another talking about the upcoming busy offseason as the V-Reds will have a number of holes to fill.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

News And Notes: Maillet, Beauvillier, Willick, UCup Stories

Some post-University Cup notes as the Varsity Reds and their fans continue to celebrate the team's seventh national championship:

- In the wake of leading all players with 10 points at the University Cup, forward Philippe Maillet capped off his incredible season by winning both the Subway AUS male athlete of the week and ArcelorMittal Dofasco U SPORTS male athlete of the week.

- Varsity Reds forward Francis Beauvillier has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets.

- Brendan Pawliw of www.myprincegeorgenow.com talks with Dylan Willick about his second University Cup victory as well as what the future may hold for the graduating fourth year forward.

- Prior to Saturday's semi-final game against Saskatchewan, St. FX X-Men Brent Turbull along with some of his teammates found themselves in a scary situation as they helped rescue a women who had just been involved in a car accident.

- Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix discusses the Huskies gained a new fan during their week in Fredericton.