Wednesday, December 2, 2020

15 Reds Named Academic All-Canadians

Fifteen members of the Reds men's hockey team were among a school-record 129 UNB student-athletes to be named U Sports Academic All-Canadians in a virtual ceremony that was held earlier this week.

The players honoured were:

Kris Bennett
Tyler Boland
Matthew Boucher
Samuel Dove-McFalls
Joe Gatenby
Benjamin Gagne
Brady Gilmour
Alexandre Goulet
Connor Hall
Samuel Harvey
James McEwan
Rylan Parenteau
Tristan Pomerleau
Mark Rassell
Mark Simpson

To qualify as an Academic All-Canadian a student-athlete must compete in a varsity sport while maintaining a grade point average of 3.5 or better. 

Overall, just over half of all UNB athletes - 129 out of 255 - achieved this impressive feat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

AUS Axes Season

The news all of us dreaded was confirmed late last week as the AUS announced the cancellation of conference-sanctioned regular seasons and postseasons for the 2021 winter semester, following in the footsteps of the OUA and Canada West. 

Given how well Atlantic Canada was handling the COVID-19 pandemic there was optimism we would see a condensed regular season followed by conference playoffs in the new year. Unfortunately, the decision on whether to proceed with a season or not had to be made just as coronavirus cases spiked across the region, effectively squashing any hope of a season. 

There was a sliver of good news, though, as the AUS has stated that member schools will be allowed to engage in competition (ie/ exhibition games) as long as they follow the most up-to-date public health directives. In Bruce Hallihan's recent chat with Gardiner MacDougall, the head coach said "some coaches have reached out" so it appears some conversations have already taken place about the possibility of having games in the new year.. At this point any kind of competition would be welcome, exhibition or not. Hopefully it comes to fruition.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Bennett, Cooper Named Captains

Fourth year forward Kris Bennett has been named the newest team captain of the Reds, succeeding graduating defenceman Marcus McIvor, the team has announced. Oliver Cooper, the team's lone 5th year player, will serve as the associate captain. 

The hard-working Bennett has been one of the top U Sports players in the country and a fan favourite since joining UNB out of the OHL in 2017. He posted 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 30 games in his freshman year, earning both the AUS and U Sports Rookie of the Year for his efforts. He followed up his stellar rookie campaign with 15 goals and 20 assists in 30 regular season games in 2018-2019, but it was the postseason where he really took his game to another level, helping the Reds to an AUS title and National Championship. He led all players in scoring in the AUS Playoffs with eight points in five games and then had six points in three games at the University Cup in Lethbridge, including a four goal performance in a 9-1 semi-final victory over St. FX and what turned out to be the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win over Alberta in the final. He carried that momentum into last season where he enjoyed the best regular season of his career with 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 29 games before adding another seven points in six playoff games as UNB won their 3rd straight conference championship. 

The remaining members of the Reds leadership group will be announced at a later date.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

News and Notes: Simpson, Anderson, Power Rankings

A few notes of interest:

- Centre Mark Simpson has agreed to terms with the Stockton Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. Earlier in the summer Simpson had indicated that he was planning on moving on after four years at UNB, during which time he cemented himself as one of the best two-way forwards in the country and helped the Reds to a pair of national championships. Simpson departs UNB having scored 77 points in 109 regular season games and 15 points in 25 AUS playoff games. 

- Fellow forward Stephen Anderson has also joined the professional ranks. After five seasons at UNB the Morell, PEI product has inked a deal for the 2020-2021 season with the ECHL's Florida Everblades, an affiliate of the Nashville Predators. The smooth skating Anderson was a key member to the Reds top line over the previous two seasons and leaves UNB having scored 130 points in 132 career regular season games and another 23 points in 26 AUS postseason games. He was part of three University Cup-winning teams while at UNB.

- With Simpson and Anderson turning pro, it means every graduating member of last season's team have now signed professional contracts for the upcoming season. Patrick Watling (Allen, ECHL), Marcus McIvor (Fort Wayne, ECHL), and Matt Murphy (Fort Wayne, ECHL) all signed contracts earlier in the summer. 

- The excellent U Sports website 49 Sports recently published their men's hockey power rankings for the last decade. Needless to say, UNB fans will be very happy with the results. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Phelan To Join Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds have added another important piece to their 2021-2022 recruiting class, announcing the addition of former AHL forward James Phelan to the program. The Reds had previously confirmed the commitment of goaltender Griffen Outhouse to next season's roster. 

The 6', 185 pound Phelan split his QMJHL career between the Shawinigan Cataractes, Victoriaville Tigres - where he was a teammate of current Reds Alexandre Goulet and Tristan Pomerleau - and Moncton Wildcats. Over 321 career games he recorded 86 goals and 105 assists for 191 points, including a career-high of 33 goals and 41 assists in his final season. He contributed another nine goals and five assists in 31 playoff contests.  

After his five year major junior career came to an end in 2018, the native of Laval, Quebec originally committed to UNB before signing a professional contract with the AHL's Texas Stars. He would spend the next two seasons playing in the AHL and ECHL, combining for six goals and nine assists in 83 games. 

Phelan has been practicing with the Reds this fall while he red-shirts. He will be eligible to play beginning in the fall of 2021.