Thursday, December 6, 2018

Clapperton Wins Monthly Honour

Forward and AUS leading scorer Christopher Clapperton has been announced as the UNB Reds/Valley Graphics male Athlete of the Month for November.

After getting off to a bit of a slow start - at least by his lofty standards - with eight points in his first nine games this season, the diminutive 4th year winger found the score sheet in all eight of UNB's games in November, totaling eight goals and ten assists to vault to the top of the conference scoring race. He was also a +11 and had three game-winning goals during the month.

For the season Clapperton has amassed a league-leading 27 points and five game-winning goals. However, perhaps most importantly, is that after playing in only 43 out of 60 regular games the last two seasons, Clapperton has suited up for all 18 games thus far.

Clapperton, along with four of his teammates, will head to Victoria next week as members of the U Sports all-star team for a trio of games against Canada's world junior team prospects

Five Reds Named To All-Star Team

Five members of the #1 nationally ranked University of New Brunswick Reds - forwards Christopher Clapperton, Kris Bennett, and Mark Simpson, along with defencemen Marcus McIvor and Matt Murphy - have been named to the 25 player U Sports All-Star team that will face Canada's world junior team prospects next week in Victoria, British Colombia. Head coach Gardiner MacDougall will serve as an assistant coach for the squad.

UNB led the way with their five selections. The Calgary Dinos - whose head coach Mark Holwell will be serving the same role in Victoria - placed four members on the team with Alberta and Saskactehwan each contributing three players. There were only three other AUS players selected - Saint Mary's Huskies forward Hunter Garlent (returning for a second straight year), Huskies defenceman Alex Peters, and St. FX X-Men forward Holden Cook, who made the team for a third straight year.

Current Reds Randy Gazzola and Stephen Anderson represented UNB at last year's event.

After years of playing a pair of games against one another, this will be the first time the series will include a third contest. The Reds contingent is expected to travel across the country on Monday in preparation for their first game on Wednesday, December 12th (10PM AST). They will also play on Thursday, December 13th (10PM AST) and Friday, December 14th (6PM AST).

You can hear interviews with the five Reds players here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

U Sports Top Ten (#10): Reds Complete First Half Sweep

For the 10th time in as many polls the University of New Brunswick Reds are the top ranked men's hockey team in the country.

UNB was the unanimous choice, picking up all 15 first place media votes as well as 150 ELO points for a perfect total of 300 combined points. The Alberta Golden Bears (259) and Saskatchewan Huskies (246) remain 2nd and 3rd, respectively, after the two split their two game series last weekend. The Ottawa Gee Gees are up a spot to 4th with 207 points while the Queen's Gaels (148) make the biggest move in going from 8th to 5th.

The rest of the top ten is made up of the Ryerson Rams (139), Brock Badgers (97), Saint Mary's Huskies (95), Carleton Ravens (63), and McGill Redmen (41).

The St. FX X-Men (7) and UPEI Panthers (2) were among four teams to receive honourable mention.

Boland Picks Up Pair Of Awards

Reds forward Tyler Boland capped off an outstanding first semester by being named both the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza and Subway AUS male athlete of the week. 

Boland played a key role in both of UNB's road victories this past weekend. On Friday night he scored two goals and had an assist in a crucial 7-4 win over the 2nd place Saint Mary's Huskies. The next night he assisted on the eventual game winning goal in the Reds 5-1 win against Acadia. 

After joining UNB as a highly rated recruit prior to last season the 6', 194 pound Boland posted a solid rookie campaign with 7 goals, 20 assists, and a +20 rating while playing all 30 regular season games. He added a point per game during the AUS playoffs (5 points) and University Cup (3 points). However, the native of Saint John's, Newfoundland has elevated his game to another level thus far this year, currently sitting 2nd in the league in scoring with 13 goals and 13 assists in 18 games. He is also a league-best +19.

Boland and the rest of his teammates are back in action on Saturday, December 29th when they face the 2019 University Cup host Lethbridge Pronghorns at 7PM at the AUC.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

UNB Enter Break On High

The University of New Brunswick Reds wrapped up the first portion of their season with a win tonight in Wolfville, defeating the Acadia Axemen 5-1. For the second consecutive season UNB will enter the Christmas break with a 15-0-3, sitting comfortably in the top spot in the AUS.

The game got off to a bit of a slow start with minimal shots on goal and scoring chances in the early going. This changed at 7:46 when the Reds got on the board. Mark Simpson made a nice play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, finding Marcus McIvor with a pass along the blue line. McIvor then put the puck towards the net just as Matthew Boucher was gliding in front of the goal and the rookie forward was able to get a stick on it and get it past Logan Flodell. This was the only goal in a period in which UNB out-shot the Axemen 9-7.

The Reds blew the game open early in the 2nd period, striking for three goals in the first 4:19 of the frame. At 1:21 Christopher Clapperton (Boland, Anderson) took advantage of a defensive zone turnover by the Axemen to make it 2-0 and then, just 47 seconds later, Alexandre Goulet weaved through the slot on a delayed penalty before backhanding the puck in for an unassisted marker to push the cushion to three goals. This proved to be the end of the night for Flodell as he was replaced by Dawson Carty in the Acadia goal. The move quickly proved futile as Kris Bennett completed the onslaught minutes later when he took McIvor's long lob pass from inside the Reds zone at the Axemen blue line and beat Carty on a breakaway. The Axemen were able to get on the board at 6:04 when Loch Morrison collected a loose puck just off a face-off and found Rylan Parenteau's five-hole for his first career goal to make it 4-1. After the four goal flurry the game remained without a goal for the remainder of the period. Shots were 13-7 for UNB in the period.

The Reds would add the only goal of the 3rd period with Goulet (Boudens, Cooper) finishing off a nice passing play with his second of the night at 14:00. He later had a short breakaway with a chance to complete the hat-trick, but was denied. Shots in the final period favoured UNB 11-8 as they rolled to their fourth straight win over the Axemen this season.

- Noah Carroll was in the line-up for the first time since October 27th. He took the place of Matt Murphy on the blue line. Patrick Watling and James McEwan remained sidelined.

- Shots in the game were 33-22 for UNB.

- Acadia was 0 for 6 on the power play. The Reds had a rare scoreless night with the man advantage, going 0 for 2. This is only the 4th time this season they failed to score a power play goal and had been an absurd 9 for 15 on the power play against Acadia through their first three meetings.

- The Reds were called for two Too Many Men On Ice penalties. They also had one last night against Saint Mary's.

- UNB also uncharacteristically struggled at the face-off circle, winning only 23 out of 52 draws.

- Goulet was named the player of the game. Axemen forward Jack Flaman and Matthew Boucher were the other two stars.

- The Axemen were missing four regulars and only played with 16 skaters.

- Rylan Parenteau was solid in net in improving to 8-0-1 on the season. While he wasn't forced to make many really tough saves, the Axemen had a number of close calls around the crease throughout the game that weren't reflected on the shot clock.

- Christopher Clapperton (10 goals, 17 assists) and Tyler Boland (13 goals, 13 assists) enter the break ranked 1-2 in conference scoring. They are among six Reds who are averaging over a point per game thus far. Matthew Boucher (21 points), Stephen Anderson (20), Kris Bennett (20), and Cameron Brace (18 in 16 games) are the others.

- As mentioned, UNB was also 15-0-3 at this time last season. The only other time prior to these last two seasons they went through their pre-Christmas schedule without a regulation loss was 2009/2010 when they won all 15 games before Christmas.

- The Reds are 77-4-10 in conference play since the beginning of the 2016 calendar year. This also corresponds to the addition of Christopher Clapperton to the team.

- The other two games on the schedule tonight both went in UNB's favour. The UPEI Panthers defeated the 2nd place Saint Mary's 4-3 in Halifax and the Moncton Aigles Bleus picked up a 3-2 home win against the 3rd place St. FX X-Men.

- Here is how the standings look (NOTE - Not all teams have played the same number of games)

UNB = 15-0-3 (33 points in 18 games)
SMU = 11-6-1 (23 points  in 18 games)
St. FX = 9-7-2 (20 points in 18 games)
UPEI = 9-6-1 (19 points in 16 games)
UdeM = 8-7-3 (19 points in 18 games)
ACA = 5-10-2 (12 points in 17 games)
DAL = 4-13-0 (8 points in 17 games)

- The Reds are now off for 28 days. They next play on Saturday, December 29th when they host the Lethbridge Pronghorns of Canada West for an exhibition game at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.