Friday, May 13, 2016

Changes Coming To AUS Hockey

The AUS held their annual general meetings in Nova Scotia last week and it produced a pair of changes to men's hockey that will go into effect this upcoming season.

First, the seven participating teams agreed upon a balanced 30 game regular season that will see each team play five games against each of the other six teams. All teams will play 15 home games and 15 away games, with the additional home game against each team alternating each year. The teams will remain in one division with the top six teams qualifying for the playoffs.

Originally the plan was to go to a 30 game schedule, but with a two division format consisting of the NB/PEI schools in one division and the Nova Scotia teams in the other. This would have meant each team played 6 games each against division opponents and 3 games each against the other division. This model would have been better economically, but when St. Thomas folded their program last month the schedule had to be adjusted and although this schedule is more costly "the teams wanted balance. They felt that was the most equitable way," according to Varsity Reds athletic director John Richard.

The final schedule for men's hockey will be released next week.

The second change approved involves the overtime format, which will now mirror that of the NHL. Beginning this season overtime will consist of a five minute 3-on-3 period followed by a shoot-out, if necessary. This replaces the current format of a 10 minute 4-on-4 period followed by a shoot-out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

V-Reds Program To Be Recognized

The Maritime Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2016 inductees and it includes the 6-time CIS Champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team.

The Hall of Fame, which was established in 2014, will also welcome golfer Lori Kane, curler Colleen Jones and her rink, baseball player Matt Stairs, boxer George Dixon, rower Robert McGlashen, the 1990's Dartmouth Moosehead Dry baseball team, the 1950's and 1960's Fairview Aces men's volleyball team, and the 1968 Glace Bay Oland's Bay Byes Senior "B" softball team.

The athletes and teams will be recognized on June 22nd at the BMO Centre in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Next Year

In his latest column, Bruce Hallihan of the Daily Gleaner (subscription required) talks to Gardiner MacDougall and the V-Reds head coach offers some insight into next season's roster.

The highlights:

- Forwards Tyler Carroll and Taylor MacDougall and defenceman Alex Wall have all used up their full five years of eligibility and will not be returning.

- 4th year forward Cam Braes will be returning for his 5th season.

- Forward Rob Mignardi has graduated but hopes to get accepted into UNB's law program. If he is successful he will also be back.

- Cam Critchlow plans to be back for his final season. "I'd say 90 percent. We're hosting Nationals and he's our captain. Do the math", said MacDougall.

- It sounds unlikely any former St. Thomas Tommies will be playing for UNB. MacDougall says they will be focusing on bringing in first-year players rather than a transfer student, "unless there's some significant veteran we could add to our team."

Murray Finalist For BLG Award

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defenceman Jordan Murray has been named as the AUS male nominee for the CIS BLG Award, which honours the best student-athlete in the country. The 24th annual BLG Awards will take place on May 2nd in Calgary.

One male and one female athlete from each of the four conferences that make up the CIS are up for the award. The other male nominees for the Doug Mitchell award include UQTR Patriotes hockey player Guillaume Asselin, McMaster volleyball player Stephen Maar, and Calgary football player Andrew Buckley.

It has already been a banner year for the 3rd year native of Riverview. In addition to helping UNB win the University Cup last month and being named to the all-tournament team, Murray has also been named an AUS first team all-star and CIS first team all-Canadian as well as being named the AUS top defenceman,  CIS defenceman of the year, UNB male athlete of the year, and UNB Pete Violette top defenceman.

Current V-Reds assistant coach Rob Hennigar won the award in 2008, becoming the first male hockey player to ever be honoured as well as the first UNB hockey player to be nominated. Hunter Tremblay was nominated in 2010.

You can vote for Murray here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Senior Night This Weekend

The Varsity Reds men's hockey team will be hosting their annual Senior Recognition Night and Awards Ceremony this Sunday, April 17th and 4PM at the Kingswood Lodge. UNB fans of all ages are invited to attend.