Monday, August 31, 2009

Rob Hennigar Traded

Former UNB Varsity Reds forward Rob Hennigar has just been traded from the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) to the Albany River Rats (Carolina Hurricanes). Click here for the AHL story.

Hennigar had an up and down season last year in Bridgeport, where wasn't used in the offensive role he's best at. Part way through the season he was sent down to the ECHL to regain his confidence and responded by scoring at a frantic pace to lead the league in points-per-game during his time there...he was later recalled to Bridgeport and had a much better finish to the season, and even contributed to the scoresheet in Bridgeport's short playoff run.

It's great to see Rob get a fresh start with a new team that has seen him play and knows what he can bring. Good luck in Albany, Rob.

New Logo Revealed

The face of the UNB Varsity Reds got a little prettier today as the program unveiled its new logo. This new logo replaces the previous "exploding flash/shield logo" the team has had since 1992. The stylings of any logo can be interpreted in many ways, but on the surface, the simple, bold "UNB" lettering suggests a salute to UNB logos of the past, with a slight upward slant that hints at moving up.

We are also very pleased to hear that new V-Reds clothing will be available from the good folks at Sub Towne and online. This lets the athletics staff stick to athletics and lets the clothing experts take a stab at clothing design.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Let us know with your comments.

Also, watch for the new website to go live tomorrow to coincide with the start of season ticket sales...and don't forget, there's a new $50 "save your seat" option available this year.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Justin McCutcheon To Sign With Mudbugs

Former UNB Varsity Reds and STU Tommies forward Justin McCutcheon is heading to the Central Hockey League to pursue a pro-career with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. McCutcheon joined UNB in December of last season.

Justin will join some UNB alumni including former V-Reds forward Scott Muscutt (92-97) who is now Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the Mudbugs, as well as former UNB netminder Ken Carroll (96-00) who is returning to Bossier-Shreveport for his 9th season.

Best of luck, Justin.

View the press release on

Saturday, August 29, 2009

UNB Recruits Spencer Corcoran

Spencer Corcoran will be joining the Varsity Reds this fall. The PEI native spent last season playing for the Summerside Capitals of the MJAHL where he helped lead his team to the MJAHL playoff championship and Fred Page Cup.

Corcoran is described as a hard-nosed, physical player, and led the MJAHL in penalty minutes. He balanced that by also putting up 67 points (9 goals, 58 assists) to finish among the top 10 scorers in the league. He also put up some great post-season numbers, adding 24 points in 13 games, and was named the MVP of the playoffs!

He has some experience in the QMJHL as well, playing with V-Reds forwards Jordan Clendenning and Chris Culligan in Cape Breton in 2007-2008.

Welcome to UNB, Spencer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Strength In Numbers

Assuming all the announced recruits show up, UNB may have the most depth at the forward position it has had in a decade. It is conceivable the V-Reds could have around 15 forwards this year, and that's not including the versatile Josh Hepditch and Alex Aldred, who proved to be more valuable as blueliners the last few seasons.

In today's Daily Gleaner, Bill Hunt catches up with Coach MacDougall and some interesting comments are made about Daine Todd and Jordan Clendenning. We know both had surgery for their injuries, and in Todd's case it cost him all last season. It's good to read that he's working out, and by all accounts he should play this year sooner than later. Todd showed a bit of his offensive prowess when he scored 3 times in 3 games vs some tough NCAA competition last fall. Clendenning may or may not require a few more months. We can expect that neither player will be rushed back before they are ready.

It's probably fair to say that Coach MacDougall didn't want to run the risk of not having enough players to get the job done if the team endures anywhere near as many injuries to the forward ranks this year as it did last season.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Few Things...

A few things to pass along today...

First, a lot of people are wondering when season passes will go on sale. We're hearing that they'll be available first thing in September, which is only a few more days away. Also, you may recall that there's a new option available to those who want to have their seats reserved all year for a bit of extra money.

Second, big thanks to Eric for letting us know there'll be an unveiling of the new logo and website update next week. Would it be a stretch to think this will coincide with the first day of ticket sales???

Finally, be sure to check out Bill Hunt's article in today's Daily Gleaner about UNB's exhibition game against Portland.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

David Bowman Joins Alleghe Hockey

Special thanks to the few anonymous readers who brought to our attention that former UNB V-Reds defenceman David Bowman is continuing his hockey career in Italy with Alleghe Hockey. Imagine coming to UNB, winning a few championships, leaving with a degree, and finding yourself paid to play the game you love…in Italy. Good work if you can find it, and apparently Bowman can. Nice to see he’s still wearing a red #8 jersey.

There appears to be a UNB connection here as well, as former V-Reds coach Mike Kelly is listed as “Allenatore”, which can be translated as "coach". We’ll go out on a limb and assume that isn’t a total coincidence. Correction, we should have recalled former UNB coach Mike Kelly was recently named Sea Dogs associate coach. Thanks for the correction David.

Thanks for the great years at UNB, David, and congratulations and best of luck with your new club in Italy.

(photo credit: M. Chase)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

V-Reds vs V-Blues in December

A quick web search will lead you to an interesting piece of information - the University of Toronto Varsity Blues' schedule includes a pair of games against none other than the UNB Varsity Reds on December 29 and 30th, at the Aitken Centre. It appears as though U of T will be this year's Pete Kelly Tournament competition.

Last season, the Blues went 14-11-0-3, finishing with 31 pts, and first place in the OUA's Mid-East Division. The Blues would go on to lose to OUA runners-up, McGill, who are also visiting UNB this fall.

The Varsity Blues are second only to the University of Alberta for most National Championships with 10, though much of that came in the 60's anbd 70's, with their last championship being in 1984. Thanks to the excellent ReDSea Database over at, we can see that historically U of T has UNB's number in the all-time head to head match-ups. UNB was swept in the best-of-3 series at the Eastern Canadian Regionals in 1984, and also lost a pair of exhibition games the following season. There's no doubt the V-Reds will be looking to avenge those 25 year old losses.

Once again, it appears as though the V-Reds deliver us some out-of-conference opponents for exhibition play. It'll be great to see yet another OUA team make the trip east.

Bring on the Varsity Blues!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Pair of Recruits Announced

Today's Daily Gleaner reveals the names of two more recruits - Nick Layton and Matt Fillier from the Montreal Juniors of the QMJHL.

Fillier, Montreal's team captain, was a 7th round draft pick of the LA Kings in 2007 and is known for his gritty play and solid leadership. He should bring some "sandpaper" to the forward lines to mix nicely with the highly skilled players.

Nick Layton is another NB-born player, who wore the "A" in Montreal this season beside Fillier. In addition to being a strong skater, Layton brings a hard checking style to UNB. When Montreal had some injury troubles this past season, Layton was given the opportunity and stepped it up offensively, scoring 29 goals and adding 50 assists for 79 points. In addition to skill, Layton brings some size to UNB's forward ranks at over 6 ft tall and 210 lbs.

These latest two players will be welcome additions to a strong V-Reds lineup, welcome Matt and Nick.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friesen To The Pros, New Recruit Interviewed

Bruce Hallihan writes in today's Daily Gleaner that Dustin Friesen is off to Utah play for the Grizzlies of the ECHL this year, but first up is an invite to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' camp this fall. You can view the article here. It's worth noting that Friesen says some very nice things about UNB and Fredericton. We thank Dustin for all he's done for UNB and wish him and his wife the best of luck with their new baby and careers.

Also, Guy Flaming from Edmonton's The Team 1260 Sports Radio recently had a chance to interview one of the newest UNB Varsity Reds, Taylor Procyshen. Early in the interview Flaming gets us an answer to one of the biggest and most controversial subjects this off-season - how do you pronounce his name? Guy pronounces it "pruh-SESH-un". Click here for the interview. The season hasn't started, but Alex Aldred already has a big assist!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chris Culligan Committs to UNB

Today the V-Reds announced that former team captain of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Chris Culligan, has committed to the program. Click here for the official press release.

Culligan is described as being a very smart player with terrific puck handling skills. He was a consistent offensive contributor for the Screaming Eagles, averaging over a point per game over the last three years, and brings a healthy mix of playmaking and scoring ability to the UNB forward ranks.

This past year, Culligan became the Screaming Eagles all-time points leader, and donated $1 for every point he scored as part of his “Culligan Cares Campaign” , which raised over $22,500 for Cape Breton Regional Hospital’s Cancer Centre. He should be a welcome addition to the UNB Varsity Reds program.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ex-UNBers sign pro contracts

The Daily Gleaner tells us this morning that former V-Reds Denny Johnston and Mike Ouzas have signed ECHL contracts for the coming season. Ouzas will play for the Las Vegas Wranglers, while Johnston joins Rob Pearce with the Ontario Reign.

Several players from the 2006-07 CIS Championship team have moved on to the pros. Darryl Boyce, Rob Hennigar, Nathan O'Nabigon, Justin Dacosta, Brad Efthimiou, Rob Pearce, Denny Johnston, and Mike Ouzas all played pro last year. Colin Sinclair played for awhile as well, and it's a safe bet we'll David Bowman and Dustin Friesen show up somewhere in the near future now that their CIS careers are over.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

V-Reds Add Three Impact Players

Today UNB announced three impressive recruits will be joining the team this fall. First up is Tri-Cities Americans forward Taylor Procyshen, who spent his 4-year WHL career in Tri-Cities, and was named captain of the team for the 2008-09 season.

In addition to being a dynamic offensive player, Taylor brings some WHL hardware with him to UNB. This past season, he was awarded the Doug Wickenheiser Trophy as the WHL’s “Humanitarian of the Year” for his charitable efforts in the Tri-Cities community. He should provide another positive influence in the UNB dressing room.

Also joining UNB is former Edmonton Oil Kings forward Jeff Lee. The big winger had a great year in Edmonton by leading his team in scoring, and helping guide the Oil Kings to their first playoff appearance since returning to the WHL. Lee is the second former Oil Kings captain to be recruited to UNB. Defenceman Bretton Stamler also wore the “C” for Edmonton.

This past spring, the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Springfield signed Lee to an amateur tryout. Lee also recently attended the Oilers’ summer camp. His combination of size, skill, and character should be a big addition to the V-Reds’ forward lines.

Finally, joining newcomer Ben Shutron on the blueline will be Lethbridge Hurricanes team captain, Ben Wright. Wright played for Lethbridge of the WHL, and was a 4th round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2006. He is capable of playing in all situations, demonstrated some offence capability during his WHL career, and brings more leadership to the V-Reds. Expect him to be a stabilizing presence on the UNB blueline.

These are excellent pick-ups by Coach MacDougall. We are very excited to have Taylor, Jeff, and Ben at UNB and look forward to seeing them on the ice this fall.

Also, thanks to “Drummer” for letting us know that the final slab was poured on the Aitken Centre floor this week. Sounds like things are progressing nicely. The official V-Reds website has added some more photos of the renovations, which you can find here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UNB Re-Signs Coach Gardiner MacDougall

Anyone who happened to listen to the local radio on the drive home this afternoon probably caught that Coach Gardiner MacDougall has been locked-up for another five years at UNB.

What else can be said? Coach MacDougall has led the program through its most successful period. Along the way "Coach Mac" has picked up two AUS Coach of the Year awards, three AUS Championships, a Gold Medal from the 2007 World University Games, and two National Championships. We look forward to having him back at UNB to add to that total. Congrats to Coach MacDougall.

Update: Here's the press release on the official CIS website.