Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saint Mary's Huskies AUS Champions

The SMU Huskies defeated the UNB Varsity Reds by a score of 5-1 in front of a sellout crowd at the Aitken Centre. There will be no excuses from UNB fans on this night - shots on goal aside, the Saint Mary's super snipers just overwhelmed a shorthanded UNB lineup, and for 2 of 3 games in this series, were the better team. Many diehard UNB fans considered last year's SMU team the best UNB faced all season - and this year's SMU team, a bit older and wiser, has earned the right to call themselves AUS Champions.

The game wasn't without some bad luck for the V-Reds. Few people disputed the buzzer beating goal that Saint Mary's scored in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. From our vantage point it was a good goal, and let's give the official some slack for having to make one of the toughest possible calls in hockey. Hey, if a save is made there, there's no controversy anyway - who wants to be saved by the bell? No, the bad luck on this night came in the form of questionable hits that injured two of UNB's top three forwards. Hunter Tremblay was pushed into the boards during the early power play of the 2nd period and limped off the ice. He did not return. Early in the third period Jim Cuddihy was hit near the boards and couldn't come back to the ice to help his team. No penalties were called on either play. No word yet on how serious these injuries are, but Tremblay was seen skating during the stoppages, seemingly trying to test things out. We'll take that as a good sign, and let's hope this is nothing serious.

Congratulations to the SMU Huskies on winning the AUS Championship, and congratulations to their fans who made the trek to Fredericotn tonight.

Despite the loss, UNB has earned a second chance at glory and will try to shake this one off and get ready for the CIS Nationals in Thunder Bay starting next Thursday afternoon.

Go Reds Go!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I consider myself a pretty big UNB fan and I can honestly say that what bothers me even more than losing to SMU tonight was the fact that most of the so-called UNB fans couldn't find the exits quick enough after the final buzzer had sounded.

That team played their hearts out for us this year and to see them salute an empty rink was pathetic, IMO. Believe me, I was just as disappointed as those that fled the rink but think of it this way... we're only feeling about 1/100th the disappointment that those players are feeling. The least we as a collective group could have done was give them what they deserve... our thanks for a great season and our best wishes for the Nationals.

David said...

I agree completely ... I was very disappointed with the fans who shouldn't have left the rink until UNB left the ice.

Anonymous said...

That stated, give the fans credit for coming out. There was a definite buzz in the rink tonight and I'm sure there was a collective sense of disappointment with how poorly the game went. Fredericton fans responded in the most tangible way they could, they showed up!!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit to leaving with 4 minutes left. I knew that traffic would be a nightmare.

Michael Sanderson said...

Cuddihy's injury was on a clean hit. It's too bad he got injured, but there's no reason for a penalty on that play. Don't stand ten feet from the boards with your head down.

Congrats to SMU for a great game. UNB looked vulnerable all night and played on their heels a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Fans paid their 12 bucks. Believe that gives them an option of when and whether to leave.

David said...

Fine if you believe being a "fan" means paying your 12 bucks to be entertained, then I see your point.

If on the other hand you interpret a "fan" as not a mere spectator but a supporter of a hockey club who tries to be that "extra man" in pushing the team along and then is there to salute them in bad times and good as their "support network", then I believe that true fan should not leave until the team leaves the ice. Just sayin' ....

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

Support is a relative term. By going to the rink on an every-day basis, that is the support teams need to make money. If a fan doesn't like what's going on during a game or feels the team didn't play well, it's the fan's right to leave whenever he or she choose. There are too many of these freeloaders who put their noses into everybody's business and try and tell us what we should and should not do. I've been a loyal fan for years and go to just about every game. If I want to leave with five minutes left and the score 5-1, I will leave and not hang my head despite what some guy might think about what a true fan is or is not, even if he feels the right to chastise people for not hanging around to watch the opposing team celebrate. I commend what UNB has achieved and will hope for them at the nationals. But if I want to turn off the radio with five minutes left in the game and the score is one-sided, I will do so and not feel in the least that I have let my team down. That's the message to the comments regarding the fans who should fee the "shame'' of leaving the rink early the other night.

Anonymous said...

I am guilt of leaving right when the buzzer went off. I usually wait untill the players are off, and I feel guilty that I didn't.

It just shows the players that you are still proud of them. I think it would of been nice if people gave Friesein a chant and a chear.. it being his last game..

I am just as guilty though.. Seasons not over though, kick some ass in Thunder Bay.. put this behind us.. btw, wasnt that Saint marys fan above there bench a tool? He was putting his arms up looking at the UNB fans with like 10 seconds to go.. UNB fans are cocky throughout the game, but never would we rub it in the faces of the other team.. not classy

Ken C said...

Not the end of the world if you want to leave early - I can appreciate that other people have lives and responsibilities outside of hockey. I do agree though that it is nice to stick around out of respect and support though. In a perfect world...

I didn't get home until after 10 PM on work night. I can see how people who brought kids or have kids might want to get back earlier. It doesn't help the traffic is terrible when the rink is reasonably full and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it.

Plus 1000 of those fans are above and beyond the usual attendance too, so it's to be expected I guess.

In terms of fans and support, Fredericton is too quick to knock itself. I've been to every other AUS town over the last several years, 4 other rinks this year and nobody else comes close. Acadia's rink during game 3 was one of the quietest hockey games I've ever been too - and that was a close game they should have been into it.

I've been to WHL games in Red Deer, Saskatoon, Brandon, and Regina and unless there was a big draw in town (rivalry) or it was a playoff game their fans aren't any louder or more intense. They are bigger cities and might have proportionately more fans at their bigger rinks though.

That's something UNB and UNB fans should be proud of. We do this as well as any in the CIS - only 1 school has more support but that area has almost 3 times the population and doesn't share it with STU. Good on us!

Anonymous said...

To turn your radio off or leave during a 5-1 loss in January is one thing, but to leave during the team's last home game and no doubt their toughest loss this year is a whole different story.
The whole team played their hearts out all year. And there's a handful of our best players leaving this year - they deserve better than to see virtually no support after their last game here.
I know the rink was full, but there's a big difference between being a customer and a true fan.
Cheers to the few who stayed.

Anonymous said...

So my question to all the UNB fans that left early is this... would you still have left early if the score was 5-1 for UNB? I'm not trying for a second to say that just because I didn't leave early from last night's game that I'm any bigger of a UNB fan than any of those of you who did choose to leave early but think of it this way... you could be the biggest UNB fan in the world but if you're nowhere to be seen, then how does that support the team... isn't that why we all go to the rink in the first place?

Ken C said...

Nah, I think most people go to participate in a spectator sport event live involving their home team- it's entertainment. Moral support is implied. I don't think you have to follow some unwritten code to prove your level of commitment to the team either. The great thing about being a fan is there's no requirements and no discrimination. Cheer as loud or as little as you want. One's a lot more fun but I'd rather you be on our side than against us. If being a fan suddenly became conditional on certain requirements it would just become yet another elitist thing for people to be divided on instead of rally together over.

Come to think of it - when we win any game the crowd is usually half-gone before the first 2 players shake hands. People want to get home win or lose. Doesn't mean they care less.

But yeah, of course people would stay longer to see the presenting of the banner. Those are special moments you want to be there for.

Anonymous said...

The crowd is usually half gone because those are the customers.
The fans stay 'til the end of the game - no matter the outcome. Or maybe a better term would be the 'supporters' of the team.
Stay an extra 15 minutes - you'll be sitting in traffic that long anyway!

Anonymous said...

Here's my problem with it all.. Why do ppl think its such a big deal to pay 12 bucks to see a team play? Ya the economy is in shambles but does that mean your not going to go to an AUS championship game ? Fredericton ppl are so frugal its unbelivable. That's why no team would ever survive hear from the Q. So if you paid your whole 12 dollars and want to leave early then by all means but don't complain about ticket prices like your spending a fortune. The team has to run on some sort of a budget and on top of that unb hockey supports the rest of the athletics at the school. Do you know an operating budget with only 14 home games a year? Do the math before we complain about 12 bucks

Peter said...

I am a huge fan, been following UNB for over 20 years. Season ticket holder. I left early. Simple reasons - the game was out of reach, and the parking lots are a mess to get out of.

And I also leave a few minutes early when UNB is winning.

Why has this topic departed from the game to the fans?? SMU deserved to win, we didn't. Ouch, now time to work on PP and PK are get ready to win CIS next week!

Anonymous said...

I guess to answer that one last question... I thought of the players. To have just lost the biggest game of their season to date, and for some, guys like Friesen, to have just played his last game in a V-Reds jersey on home ice after being our Captain for 3 years... I guess, IMO, it would have been nice to see the majority of the crowd stay and support the players in a loss as they would have in a win... but like someone said previously... only in a perfect world.

Sorry to those that I offended... not intentional.

Anonymous said...

As Peter says above...I consider myself a huge fan, I'm a season ticket holder and I've been at almost every home game since 1998, but it was a weeknight, the crowd was huge, and I knew getting out of the parking lot would be a nightmare...so I left early. In hindsight, yeah I feel guilty but I also think that if you ask the players, they really weren't checking the stands afterwards to see how many stayed. They probably just wanted to put it behind them too.

Anonymous said...

we need a qmjhl team in this city......frederictioniona have no idea of the excitment a team would bring this city,also credibility on the hockey map wich it does not have right now...sure they have a great university team but come on people it is what it is............. a university team.

Anonymous said...

lets get the maniacs here!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........would it ever be nice to be going into a real 7 game seres against Moncton or St. John, PEI etc right now in the 1st round with a chance for your team to go to the Memorial Cup!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it would be nice to have a situation where teams play of seven series and there's some drama that builds. I can appreciate the restrictions the university programs work under with balancing academics and stuff, but it's a tragedy when championships are decided by a best of three. Hardly a telltale of just what is the best team. It seems coaches have to beg to even get best of fives, and that's never a guarantee from year to year. At least with the jr. product, the operators realize the money to be made comes in the playoffs and they gear their schedules accordingly. The city is ripe for a major junior team. It would give the city something to embrace. Hard to do that with the university program because of all the other factors involved.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what you guys feel about the value of CHSR-FM using the resources to cover the nationals. Just asking with the presence of web casts, TV, etc...

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong but I don't think TV is covering all the UNB/SMU games and let's be honest, webcasts aren't the most comfortable way to watch the game. Worse, if there's a lot of people trying to watch at once (likely for Nationals) there's a greater chance the quality of the webcast could be affected.

If CHSR has played its cards right on this then it has secured sponsors for the games, offsetting the costs of coverage and making some extra to go towards other programming efforts.

Listen to the other school's radio broadcasts and their littered with paying sponsors. It's quite remarkable in the age of limited budgets that the V-Reds haven't adopted a "show me the money" attitude and abandoned CHSR in favor of the highest bidder. Good for them, but I wonder how much longer that will last. CHSR has to improve in that area I think, but I hope they do, it would be good for both sides.

So good for CHSR for covering the school's team.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, when players are despondent after getting hammered 5-1 on home ice; when a guy has that range of emotions that comes with playing your last game on home ice in a five year career; do you think "Geez, why didn't the fans stick around to salute us?" is among them.
Hardly!
These guys are grownups.

Anonymous said...

Typical Frederictonian. Abandon the loser the first chance you get and then say 'I told you so' or 'I knew it would never work'.
That's why we can't keep a pro team here. No sense of loyalty in this city.

freelancer said...

If CHSR doesn't have paying sponsors, it's only through their own lack of securing them. And there is no "highest bidder" when it comes to broadcasting the games. Mainstream radio won't touch hockey broadcasts. There's no margin in it for them. Which is why we're fortunate to have community stations for whom the exposure is beneficial.