Sunday, September 25, 2016

Shorthanded Goal Lifts UNB

Stephen Anderson's shorthanded goal midway through the 3rd period was all the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds needed as they topped the McGill Redmen 1-0 in pre-season play Saturday night in Montreal.

The game was scoreless until 11:32 of the final period when Anderson took a pass from Mark Simpson and went in on a breakaway, beating Jacob Gervais-Chouinard for the only goal of the game.

- UNB was still without defencemen Jordan Murray and Matt Murphy and forward Francis Beauvillier as they remain at NHL training camps.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 34-16, including 13-2 in the 3rd.

- Etienne Marcoux stopped 12 shots over the first 31:17 of action. Alex Dubeau completed UNB's 2nd consecutive shutout with 4 saves over the final 28:43

- Both teams were 0 for 7 on the power play.

- UNB is now 11-1-0 all-time against McGill.

- The Varsity Reds have won 33 straight exhibition games - and 17 straight games overall - against OUA competition.

- Gardiner MacDougall is 37-0-1 against OUA teams in exhibition games and 50-2-1 against them overall (exhibition + Nationals).

- UNB has 27 consecutive victories over OUA East squads.

- The V-Reds are back on the road this weekend as they make their annual trip south of the border
 to face a pair of NCAA teams. They face Merrimack at 8PM on Saturday night and then turn around to battle the University of New Hampshire on Sunday at 5PM.

Monday, September 19, 2016

UNB Flexes Their Muscle In Exhibition Opener

The defending CIS champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds picked up right where they left off in March as they dominated the visiting UPEI Panthers 7-0 tonight at the AUC.

The V-Reds received a 1st period goal from Chris Clapperton before putting the game out of reach in the middle frame with power play goals from Stephen Anderson and Philippe Halley and even strength tally from Cameron Brace. UNB rounded out the scoring with another three goals in the final period courtesy Chris Caissy, Philippe Maillet, and Oliver Cooper.

- Shots in the game were 32-14 for UNB with period totals of 10-4, 17-5, and 5-5.

- Alex Dubeau and Etienne Marcoux split goaltending duties to share the shutout. Dubeau played the first 31 minutes, stopping 5 shots, while Marcoux saved all 9 shots he faced over the final 29 minutes of action.

- UNB played without defencemen Jordan Murray and Matt Murphy and forward Francis Beauvillier. All three are currently attending NHL training camps. As a result, UNB played with only five defenceman tonight.

- The Panthers were also missing a number of key players as their entire top line of Marcus Power, Brent Andrews, and Darcy Ashley did not dress. Sam Aulie, Casey Babineau, and Chad Labelle also sat out.

- New V-Reds Oliver Cooper and Mark Simpson wore number 26 and 24, respectively.

- Simpson won 13 out of 20 face-offs on the night.

- The V-Reds were 2 for 6 on the power play. UPEI was 0 for 4.

- No less than four of the goals UNB scored on the night were highlight reel-worthy.

- Attendance was 627.

- UNB has now won 42 straight home exhibition games against CIS competition dating back to a 4-3 shootout loss to Saint Mary's on December 31st, 2005.

- They have won 19 straight exhibition games overall against CIS competition. Their last loss was a 6-2 setback against Moncton on September 17th, 2012.

- The V-Reds are back in action this Saturday when they travel to Montreal to face the McGill Redmen. Game time is 6PM.

Monday, September 12, 2016

News And Notes: Trey Lewis, NHL Camps, Carroll, Season Passes, Pre-Season

A couple noteworthy items as we await the beginning of another season of V-Reds hockey:

- The Varsity Reds announced today that former St. FX X-Men defenseman - and New Brunswick native - Trey Lewis will transfer to UNB. He will need to sit out the upcoming season before suiting up for the 2017-2018 campaign. Lewis has played the last two seasons in Antigonish, putting up 5 goals and 8 assists in 55 games. Prior to joining the X-Men he played parts of five seasons with the Halifax Moosehead. He was the team captain of the Mooseheads dominant 2012-2013 Memorial Cup-winning squad that featured NHL stars Nathan MacKinnon and Joanathan Drouin.

- Defenseman Jordan Murray is one of 24 players to be invited to the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospect tournament. The tournament will be held in Coral Springs, Florida and will run from September 17th-20th. Francis Beauvillier (Columbus) and Matt Murphy (Winnipeg) will also be attending NHL camps this week. It is unknown how this will affect their availability during the first part of UNB's pre-season schedule.

- Former V-Red Tyler Carroll has reportedly signed with the Gander Flyers of the CWSHL for the upcoming season.

- Just a reminder that Varsity Reds season passes and University Cup tournament passes are now on sale to the general public. It is advised that you purchase University Cup passes well in advance as it is expected to once again sell out beforehand.

- Fans will get their first chance to look at the 2016-2017 edition of the Varsity Reds one week from today when they host the UPEI Panthers in pre-season action. Game time is 7PM at the AUC.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

V-Reds Featured In HockeyNow Article

Randy Lucenti of HockeyNow has posted an article detailing the V-Reds upcoming season. He opines that UNB has a lot going for them heading into the 2016-2017 season and that "all signs point to a repeat".

You can check out the full article here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

V-Reds Stay Local For Recruits

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds finally announced their 2016-2017 recruiting class today and it features three players who are all natives of Fredericton and graduates of the V-Reds Prospects Program. Defenceman Matt Murphy and forwards Oliver Cooper and Mark Simpson have all signed Letters of Intent and are expected to suit up for the defending CIS Champion Varsity Reds when the season gets started in September.

Murphy is a 6'2", 196 pound defenceman who enjoyed a stellar five year QMJHL career across four different franchises. He split last season between the Quebec Remparts and Saint John Sea Dogs. posting a career-high 51 points (11 goals, 40 assists) in 68 games. A 2012-2013 Memorial Cup champion with the Halifax Mooseheads, Murphy amassed a total 166 points (34 goals, 132 assists) in 321 regular season games. He added another 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 75 postseason contests.

Cooper also played five seasons in the QMJHL, spending his first three years in Saint John before moving on to the Charlottetown Islanders for his final two seasons. The 6'3", 194 pound centre, who served as the Islanders team captain last year, comes to UNB after putting up 24 goals and 25 assists in 61 games played. His best season came with Saint John in 2013-2014 when he had 57 points (28 goals, 29 assists) in 68 games. For his career the former QMJHL champion had 183 points in 320 regular season games and another 16 points in 31 playoff games.  

Rounding out the class is the 6'5", 187 pound Mark Simpson. Originally born in Fredericton, but now residing in Rothesay, the centre/left winger played four seasons in the QMHJL with Moncton and Acadie-Bathurst. After minimal success with the Wildcats Simpson broke out as a member of the Titan, culminating with a 59 point (20 goals, 39 assists) campaign last year. In 168 career regular season games Simpson put up 124 points (45 goals, 79 assists). He posted 5 points in 11 playoff contests. He was also known for being one of the better face-off men and penalty killers in the league.

While being a rookie in the AUS always comes with an adjustment period, it isn't a stretch to imagine each of these three eventually filling the roles vacated by the three graduating players - defenceman Alex Wall and forwards Tyler Carroll and Taylor MacDougall - and playing a similar style of game. Although there aren't many players who are as smooth skaters as Wall, Murphy appears capable of not only providing solid offense, but also the puck-moving skills from the back-end that Wall was known for. Meanwhile, Cooper is a big body who is strong on the puck and can also score, which sounds a lot like Tyler Carroll. Simpson, on the other hand, "has some of the attributes that Taylor MacDougall brought here, the penalty kill and faceoffs", according to coach Gardiner MacDougall.

Interestingly, the Varsity Reds ended last season with a full roster and have, as far as we know, only lost the aforementioned three graduated players. With these three additions it appears the Varsity Reds will enter the season with the full allotment of 22 skaters, the maximum allowed under the roster cap. This would be a change in philosophy from previous years in which the coaching staff would leave a spot or two open in the event a player becomes available over the Christmas break. If you remember, the V-Reds added Christopher Clapperton and Cam Braes to the roster last season and Dana Fraser the year before that.