Sunday, December 10, 2017

Varsity Reds Take Down Poland

The #2 ranked U Sports University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds added an impressive win to their resume this afternoon as they defeated Poland's national men's team - the 20th ranked team in the world according to current IIHF rankings - by a 4-1 score.

UNB jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead thanks to a power play goal by Chris Clapperton (Bennett, Anderson) at 9:53 and a breakaway goal by Tyler Boland (Clapperton, McIvor) at 12:45. After Oliver Cooper (Brace, Murphy) got behind the defence for a power play goal 4:56 into the second period that pushed the lead to 3-0, the Polish squad played quite well the rest of the game and had a number of high quality scoring chances. Krystian Dziubinski scored Poland's lone goal of the afternoon off of a rebound four seconds into a power play at 7:05 of the second period to cut the V-Reds lead to 3-1, but Kris Bennett (Murphy, Boudens) sealed the game with an empty net marker with 1:21 remaining.

- Shots in the game were 34-28 for UNB. The period totals were 14-10, 9-9, and 11-9.

- Mark Simpson sat out the game while Chris Caissy did not appear to play after the first period.

- UNB was 2 for 3 on the power play. Poland had all five of their opportunities in succession over a 23 minute span in the 2nd and 3rd periods, scoring once.

- Alex Dubeau played the opening twenty minutes and stopped all 11 shots he saw. Rylan Parenteau turned aside 16 out of 17 shots over the final two periods.

- Attendance was 1901.

- Clapperton (1 goal, 1 assist), Dziubinski (1 goal), and Boland (1 goal) were named the game's three stars.

- UNB won 35 out of 62 face-offs with Boland (8 out of 14) and Bennett (7 out of 11) doing the bulk of the damage.

- Prior to the contest 4th year veteran defenceman - and alternate captain - Randy Gazzola was awarded this year's Don MacAdam Award for leadership.

- The V-Reds will now focus on exams before hosting the OUA's Ryerson Rams on Friday, December 29th (7PM) and Saturday, December 30th (4PM) in the annual Pete Kelly Challenge.

Friday, December 8, 2017

News And Notes: Back From Vacation Edition

Catching up on some news over the past week:

- The Varsity Reds picked up an important three points in their last two regular season games before the Christmas break, despite not leading for a single second of game time. On Friday night they rallied from 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3 deficits against Saint Mary's before finally succumbing in the 10th round of the shoot-out. The next night they fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 against Acadia, but battled back to tie it each time. Matt Murphy's goal on a great individual effort just 15 seconds into overtime gave the V-Reds their first pre-Christmas win in Wolfville since 2009.

UNB heads into the holiday break having already clinched a playoff spot and in first place in the AUS with a 15-0-3 record, just ahead of the 15-1-2 St. FX X-Men. This is only the second time in school history they have been undefeated in regulation in the first half of the season. The only other instance was 2009-2010 when they were 15-0-0 at the break.

-  Thanks in large part to his overtime winning goal, Murphy was named the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza Athlete of the Week.

- Forward Stephen Anderson and defenceman Randy Gazzola have been named to the U Sports Men's Hockey all-star team that will face Canada's National Junior Team prospects for a pair of games next week in St. Catharines, Ontario. The games are scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th at 8PM AST and Thursday, December 14th at 5PM AST.

The 21 player roster, which also features fellow AUS players Hunter Garlent (SMU), Boston Leier (Acadia), Stephen Harper (Acadia), Jagger Dirk (St. FX), Holden Cook (St. FX), and Michael Clarke (St. FX), is being coached by Brad Peddle (St. FX) along with assistant coaches Mark Howell (Calgary), Patrick Grandmaitre (Ottawa), and Trevor Stienburg (Saint Mary's). V-Reds forward Christopher Clapperton was also selected before a concussion injury kept him out of action for seven games.

- Although the regular season schedule is on hold until after Christmas, the Varsity Reds will be in action this Sunday afternoon at 2PM when they host Team Poland in an exhibition game at the AUC. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Clapperton Picks Up Pair Of Awards

After missing seven games due to post-concussion symptoms, forward Christopher Clapperton made a successful return to the line-up this past weekend and, as a result, has been awarded both the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week and Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week.

Playing in his first game since October 27th, Clapperton recorded a pair of goals and an assist in Friday night's 8-1 victory over the UPEI Panthers. He matched that production the next night in a 5-3 win in Moncton, including scoring what proved to be the game winning goal in the 3rd period.

For the season, the 3rd year veteran has 7 goals and 9 assists in 9 games.

Clapperton and the rest of his Varsity Reds teammates wrap up the first part of the regular season schedule this weekend when they travel to play Saint Mary's and Acadia.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

V-Reds Hold Off Pesky Aigles Bleus

Although they controlled play for the majority of the game, the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were never able to pull away from the Université de Moncton, needing an empty net goal to secure a 5-3 victory tonight. The V-Reds head into the final weekend of the first semester with a 14-0-2 record, two points clear of the St. FX X-Men.

- The two teams traded goals in the opening period. Oliver Cooper (Simpson, Boudens) got the visitors on the board just 53 seconds into the contest only to see the Aigles Bleus respond at 6:30 on an Alexis Roy marker after a scramble in front of the Rylan Parenteau's net. At 12:35 the Varsity Reds regained the lead when Kris Bennett (Suellentrop) came down the left wing and handcuffed goaltender Alexi Thibaudeau with a wrist shot. However, the home side answered once again, with Roy getting his second of the game when he redirected a hard pass in front of the net for a power play goal. Shots in the period were 12-6 for UNB.

- The Varsity Reds turned it up in the 2nd period, out-shooting Moncton 17-5, and scored the only goal of the frame at 10:52 to grab a 3-2 lead. While on the power play, Olivier LeBlanc made a break-out pass to Christopher Clapperton in the neutral zone. Clapperton drew the defense to him along the boards as he entered the Moncton zone before spotting Tyler Boland streaking towards the net with a cross-ice pass. The rookie wasted little time in firing a wrist shot past Thibaudeau to give UNB their third lead of the game.

- Clapperton (Trainor, McIvor) gave the V-Reds a two goal lead 7:32 into the final period, taking a pass from Marcus McIvor after a Moncton neutral zone turnover, skating down the left side, and putting the puck into the top right corner. The Aigles Bleus did not go down quietly though as Alex Chiasson pulled them back within a goal exactly three minutes later when he pounced on a rebound in front put it home. Moncton pushed hard for the tying goal in the final moments, coming close on a couple of goalmouth scrambles, but Clapperton (Willick, McIvor) sealed the game at 19:00 with an empty net goal from his own end of the ice after a defensive zone face-off win. Shots in the period were 11 apiece.

- Trey Lewis drew back into the line-up as Cameron Brace sat out due to suspension from his major penalty the night before.

- Shots were 40-22 for UNB.

- The V-Reds were 1 for 3 on the power play while Moncton scored once on five opportunities.

- Thibaudeau was named the player of the game after stopping 35 of 39 shots.

- UNB won 53 of 79 face-offs. Mark Simpson (17 out of 25), Tyler Boland (13 of 19), Dylan Willick (11 of 16), and Chris Caissy (9 of 14) all had strong showings.

- Attendance was 469.

- The V-Reds push their winning streak over Moncton to 11 in a row.

- UNB is 27-0-3 in their last 30 regular season games dating back to 3-2 loss to Saint Mary's on November 26th, 2016.

- In the only other game in the conference, Acadia defeated Dalhousie 3-1 in Halifax.

- The first half of the schedule comes to an end next weekend with the Varsity Reds playing a pair of tough games in Nova Scotia. On Friday night they are in Halifax to face Saint Mary's and then on Saturday they travel to Wolfville to battle Acadia. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start and can be viewed at www.AUStv.ca.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Offense Breaks Out

The return of star forward Christopher Clapperton helped spur the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds to their best offensive output of the season as the defending National Champions erupted for an 8-1 victory over a very short-staffed UPEI Panthers squad tonight at the AUC on the 2nd annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. UNB is now 13-0-2 as the season has reached its midpoint.

- After some early scoring chances and close calls had everyone on the edge of their seat, Peter Trainor (Willick, Murphy) triggered the showering of 1155 stuffed animals on to the ice by tipping in a point shot past Panthers goaltender Connor Wilkinson at 12:17 of the 1st period. It was the only goal in the frame as UNB held a 14-7 advantage in shots on goal.

- The V-Reds power play struggles continued early in the 2nd period as Marcus Power went in all alone on a shorthanded breakaway and beat Alex Dubeau blocker side to tie the game at 2:53. It is the second straight game UNB has surrendered a shorthanded marker.

- After the Panthers goal the Varsity Reds took complete control of the game and exploded for 5 goals over the next 6+ minutes and 6 goals total in the period. Matt Murphy (Anderson) got the onslaught started at 5:44 when he tapped in a centering pass to restore the lead and then Clapperton and Boland sprung Stephen Anderson for a breakaway goal at 7:54 to make it 3-1. UNB added three more goals in 66 seconds with Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Brace) at 10:43, Dylan Willick (Trainor, McIvor) at 11:21, and Chris Caissy (Bennett, Boudens) at 11:49 doing the honours. Finally, Cameron Brace (Caissy, Bennett) capped the V-Reds most productive period of the season with a tip in at 19:32. Shots in the period were 18-11 for UNB.

- The Panthers made a goaltending change to begin the 3rd period with Matt Mahalak replacing the beleaguered Wilkinson and, although Clapperton (Gazzola, Boland) beat him on a breakaway 1:30 into the period, he held things in check the rest of the way, making a couple of nice saves in the process. UNB out-shot the Panthers 13-9 in the period.

- With Clapperton back in the line-up, Trey Lewis was the lone scratch.

- Shots in the game were 45-27, the 11th time in 15 games UNB has fired 40+ shots on net.

- Tristan Pomerleau was the only member of the V-Reds to fail to record a shot on goal.

- UNB went 0 for 2 on the power play. UPEI was scoreless on 7 opportunities even though they had the man advantage for 11:39 out of final 13:42 of the game. This included a five minute power play after Cameron Brace was assessed a major penalty for checking to the head, which will most likely cause him to miss at least one game, and a full minute of 5-on-3 time.

- Over their last six games UNB has been outscored on their power play as they have only scored one power play goal while giving up two shorthanded goals.

- Clapperton, Murphy, and Boland were the game's three stars.

- UNB won 43 out of 80 face-offs. Dylan Willick had by far the best  night, winning 16 out of 20.

- Due to injuries and suspensions the Panthers began the game with only 13 skaters, only 2 of whom were natural defenceman. The problem was further exacerbated when they lost another player early in the game after a big hit from Mike Thomas. They also lost Riley Whittingham, who was on the receiving end of the Brace hit that earned him the major penalty, briefly but he did eventually return.

- Attendance was 3168 for the 2nd annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.

- Since there were over 1000 stuffed animals collected for children in need this holiday season, all ticket holders receive 40% off of their bill at the Snooty Fox (for tonight only).

- This is the most goals UNB has scored in a game since they also put up 8 against Saint Mary's last December 2nd.

- Elsewhere around the conference tonight, the 2nd place St. FX X-Men kept pace with a 2-1 home win over Acadia and Saint Mary's got past Dalhousie 3-1 in the battle of Halifax.

- The V-Reds are back at it tomorrow night when they travel 90 minutes down the highway to face the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM.