Monday, March 30, 2009
Good luck, Rob!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
New Brunswick's own, Lachlan MacIntosh, provided much of the fire power for UNB, scoring a hat trick. For his efforts, he was named Player of the Game for the 2nd time in the Tournament. UNB's only other goal came off the stick of John Scott Dickson. Assisting on the UNB goals were David Bowman, Jonathan Harty, Jimmy Cuddihy and Kyle Bailey (2). Goal scorers for the Mustangs were Patrick Ouellet and Kevin Baker.
In addition to being named Player of the Game, MacIntosh (F), along with teammates Kyle Bailey (F), Dustin Friesen (D) and Travis Fullerton (G) were named Tournament All-Stars for the Champion V-Reds, while Chris Petrow (D) and Joe McCann (F) were selected from Western Ontario. Lachlan MacIntosh, as well, was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, tallying 5 goals and 1 assist in the process.
Congratulations to the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds on a job well done.
More to follow...
Early in the day, #3 Western managed an upset victory over SMU to win pool B.
UNB fought a hard, close game against the host team Lakehead University. Scoring for UNB were David Bowman, Kyle Bailey, and captain Dustin Friesen.
The official CIS recap is available here.
The championship game will played today at 3PM AST.
This will the be the third consecutive appearance in the final for the V-Reds.
Go Reds Go!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Game #2 of the CIS National Men's Hockey Tournament was eveything that it was billed to be... a hard fought tilt between 2 of the country's best hockey programs. A complete game recap can be found at the official Cavendish University Cup website... http://www.universitysport.ca/e/championships/m_hockey/2009/.
UNB's next game will be Saturday evening against the host team, Lakehead University, at 7:00pm, EST and will be braodcast via Rogers Sportsnet. A guaranteed berth in Sunday's final will be on the line so be sure to tune in and cheer UNB onto victory.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Lots of returning faces on both teams so expect another classic. Many pundits had these two teams picked to play the gold medal game on Sunday afternoon, but the loss to SMU in the AUS finals saw UNB placed in Pool A as the #4 seed, along with Alberta and Lakehead, so the now the only two teams to be ranked #1 for the past two seasons will play on the first day.
Prior to the 2008 final UNB had played Alberta several times at the CIS tournament. The Bears lead the all-time head-to-head series 4 games to 3:
2008 - Alberta 3 , UNB 2
2004 - UNB 6, Alberta 5 (OT)
2003 - Alberta 8, UNB 2
2000 - Alberta 5, UNB 4 (OT2)
1998 - UNB 5, Alberta 2
1997 - UNB 4, Alberta 3 (OT)
1964 - Alberta 5, UNB 3
You can listen to the game on CHSR FM, or watch the webcast from SSN. As one commenter suggests, you can even watch the video while listening to Fredericton's own Dave & Dave on CHSR. Either way be sure to catch this game and cheer on the V-Reds!!!
Go Reds Go!
(UNB vs Alberta stats courtesy of www.vredshockey.com and www.universitysport.ca)
Monday, March 23, 2009
Just posted on the CIS website: http://www.universitysport.ca/e/championships/m_hockey/2009/story_detail.cfm?id=14135
All times Eastern.
SEEDINGS & POOLS
1. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champions / 22-4-2 regular season, 4-1 playoffs)
2. Saint Mary's Huskies (AUS champions / 20-7-1 regular season, 5-2 playoffs)
3. Western Ontario Mustangs (OUA champions / 19-7-2 regular season, 7-1 playoffs)
4. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists / 21-4-3 regular season, 4-2 playoffs)
5. McGill Redmen (OUA finalists / 18-8-2 regular season, 6-2 playoffs)
6. Lakehead Thunderwolves (Championship hosts / 18-8-2 regular season, 3-2 playoffs)
2. Saint Mary's
3. Western Ontario
Wednesday, March 25
13:00 Media Conference (Fort William Curling Club - Fort William Gardens)
18:00 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Fort William Historical Park)
Thursday, March 26
14:00 Pool B #1: No. 2 Saint Mary's vs. No. 5 McGill (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Pool A #1: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 4 UNB (SSN Canada webcast)
Friday, March 27
14:00 Pool B #2: No. 3 Western vs. Loser Pool B #1 (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Pool A #2: No. 6 Lakehead vs. Loser Pool A #1 (SSN Canada webcast)
Saturday, March 28
14:00 Pool B #3: No. 3 Western vs. Winner Pool B #1 (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)
19:00 Pool A #3: No. 6 Lakehead vs. Winner Pool A #1 (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)
Sunday, March 29
14:00 Final (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
As always, determining the makeup of the two pools is in advance of the official tournament announcement is a source of entertainment for CIS hockey fans, so we'll take a stab at it. The CIS directives on this matter offer some flexibility, but we know that teams #2 and #3 must be in one pool together, and that when possible teams from the same conference are not to be placed in the same pool. Finally, the final rankings are determined by the conference playoffs and the last CIS Top 10 rankings from during the regular season.
We know that with their CW Championship, the Alberta Golden Bears are #1, SMU is #2 and Western will get #3. Lakehead "should" go in as the #6th seed as tournament host. UNB and McGill round off #4 and #5.
By that logic, Pool A will consist of:
#1 - Alberta
#4 - UNB
#6 - Lakehead
and Pool B will look like:
This look would be consistent with the 06-07 situation where 3 AUS teams went, Moncton was #1, Saskatchewan#2, UQTR #3, Laurier #4, UNB #5 and StFX #6. Back then the pools were #1, #4, #6, and #2,#3, #5 as well. Truth is nobody's completely sure outside the tournmant officials yet.
Also, just a reminder today at 4PM to 5PM you can bring the family to skate with the V-Reds to send them off to Thunder Bay. Let's show our Varsity Reds that their fans support them win, lose, or draw.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here's the link.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Expect another energetic, jam-packed crowd for this one. There were line-ups at the box office for tickets as early as Monday afternoon, so if you haven't bought your tickets yet, you might want to visit the box office during the day or get to the game early to beat the rush.
Game time is 7 PM and of course if you are unable to make it you can listen to it live on CHSR.
Win or lose, this is the last game on home ice for UNB this season, and our team captain's last game at the Aitken Centre. So let's be the "sixth skater" on the ice for our V-Reds and make sure the folks in Thunder Bay know we're coming!!!
Go Reds Go!
(Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune)
Monday, March 16, 2009
It was a different Saint Mary’s Huskies team Sunday night at the Halifax Forum, as they came out from the opening whistle with an intensity that had the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds penned in their own zone for most of the game’s first ten minutes, thanks to key face off wins, hustle, and three consecutive SMU power plays. UNB goalie Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) was the difference in the early going, but SMU netminder Brandon Verge (Fall River, NS) was the player of the game as the Huskies withstood the eventual V-Reds surge to hold on for a 3-2 win and force a deciding game 3 for the AUS men’s hockey championship Wednesday night in Fredericton.
The biggest crowd of the season in Halifax, 3248, saw the Huskies halt UNB’s six game win streak, including four straight victories in the playoffs. Special teams were a big factor in a game called tightly by referee Mark Hulshof. UNB was 0 for 9 on the power play on the night while SMU was 1 for 5 with the man advantage.
After killing off three penalties in the early going, and Fullerton keeping UNB in the game, the Varsity Reds scored what they thought was a goal on their own power play at 14:44. Rookie defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromcto, NB) had pinched from the point to the slot and reached up through a crowd and pulled a rebound high out of the air down to the ice, seemingly to his stick, and over to John Scott Dickson (Barrie, ON) who banged in the puck past Verge. However, after talking with his linesmen the referee waved off the goal, ruling that Harty had gloved ahead the puck. That was UNB’s best scoring opportunity, as the Varsity Reds were outshot 19-6 in the first period, a testament to the pressure exerted by the desperate Huskies.
UNB’s bad luck continued in the second period, when on the power play David Bowman (St. Catharines, ON) had his point shot clang off the crossbar at 3:12. The game’s first goal came midway through the period at 10:31 as SMU’s conference-best power play finally cashed in, with the AUS’s point leader Marc Rancourt (Gloucester, ON) at the back door to bang in the rebound from an Andrew Hotham (Barrie, ON) point shot. UNB outshot SMU 13-7 in the middle period, enhanced by their five power play opportunities.
UNB had some good pressure in the early minutes of the third period, but a seemingly innocent play cost them a second goal. SMU’s Cam Fergus (Brandford, ON) entered the UNB zone one-on-one against UNB captain Dustin Friesen (Waldheim, SK). As Friesen steered Fergus towards the corner the SMU forward let loose a quick wrist shout around Friesen that fooled Fullerton, who was visibly upset after the goal light went on at 5:24. The turning point of the game was probably just over six minutes later, when SMU’s Ryan Rorabeck (Oshawa, ON) was assessed a four minute double-minor penalty for high sticking Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) in the neutral zone. SMU’s aggressive penalty kill and Verge’s stellar work in nets foiled the Varsity Reds attack. A minute after the power play expired UNB finally got on the scoreboard when Kevin Henderson (Toronto, ON) won the faceoff back to Friesen who found the inside of the far post with his one-timer. However that momentum was squelched two minutes later by a flukey Huskies goal, when Chris Morehouse (Amherst, NS) fired a puck from the corner that appeared to hit a UNB skate as it deflected past Fullerton. UNB didn’t get an opportunity to pull their goalie until the last 29 seconds, and Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) pulled UNB within one goal with his wrist shot from the slot with 4 seconds left on the clock. UNB won the final faceoff at centre ice, but couldn’t get another shot on net before time expired, and the huge crowd released their breath in a loud cheer. SMU edged UNB 14-12 in shots in the third period, and 40-31 in the game thanks to their strong first period. The third and deciding game for the AUS championship goes Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton.
But that's ok, the loss gives the V-Reds the chance to win the championship on home ice in game 3 at the Aitken Centre on Wednesday night, no doubt in front of another big home crowd.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The stakes are the same, the Fan Bus is full, and the Reds are hungry. Let's see if history repeats itself tonight. Game time is 7PM. You can listen to the game on CHSR FM.
Friday, March 13, 2009
It was a decisive victory for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds over the visiting Saint Mary’s Huskies, as they scored three times in the third period to put away the 5-1 win in front of an appreciative sell-out crowd of 3768. With the win UNB can now take the AUS men’s hockey championship Sunday night in Halifax.
The game got off to a pretty physical start, with UNB’s Justin McCutcheon (Ithaca, NY) and SMU’s Chris Morehouse (Amherst, NS) each earning 10 minute misconduct penalties at 2:16 thanks to a fencing match on the faceoff. There was a few minor penalties later in the period, but no scoring. Shots in the first 20 minutes favoured UNB 14-9 as both teams skated off the rust from not playing since last Thursday.
The first goal came in the second period when Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth-Andover, NB)was at the side of the net and one-timed a Rob Pierce (Fredericton, NB) pass from below the goal line to beat Brandon Verge (Fall River, NS) on the short side at 2:14. Just 36 seconds later Tyler Cuthbert (Omenee, ON) scored his first goal of the season to tie it up as he one-timed a cross ice pass from Marc Rancourt (Gloucester, ON) into the top left corner of the net to beat Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB). UNB regained their goal late in the period, at 17:50 when Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) was awarded a penalty shot after a SMU player put his hand on the puck in the crease during a goal mouth scramble. Bailey pulled Verge to his left before putting the puck in the right side of the net to complete the deke.
In the third period Jimmy Cuddihy (Aylmer, QC) fooled Verge with a soft shot from the side of the net at 2:24. At 6:42 Clendenning scored his second of the game from the slot as he leaned into a wrist shot. At 17:58 SMU’s 6’7”Justin Wallingford (Hamilton, ON) was given a match penalty and a roughing penalty for chopping down Bailey at the edge of the SMU net, and then getting tied up with the much smaller Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) who came to the aid of the prone Bailey. On the resultant power play Alex Aldred (St. Albert, AB) tipped in a Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) point shot at 19:13 for the final shot of the game..
Shots in the game favoured UNB 42-22 in the game and 18-3 in the final period that they clearly dominated. Game 2 goes Sunday night at the Halifax Forum. SMU was 0 for 4 on the power play and UNB was 1 for 7 with the man advantage.
UNB takes a 1-0 series lead in the best of 3 AUS Finals with game 2 taking place this Sunday in Halifax. To those of you lucky enough to be on the Fan Bus, wear red and be loud!
Expect a good crowd tonight, but if you are unable to attend the game is available on CHSR and also on Rogers TV. If you are there, wear Red and cheer on our UNB Varsity Reds!
Go Reds Go!!!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
For the complete list of all-star selections you can read the offical AUS release here.
Congratulations to our V-Reds all-stars!
However, in a leave-no-fan-behind effort, there is work to put together a 2nd bus. How far this goes depends on the amount of interest shown. If you are interested in traveling on the 2nd bus to SMU, please contact us ASAP with your name so you can be put you on the waiting list. If there is sufficient demand for a 2nd Fan Bus, the good folks organizing this will do their best to send one, so look for a sign-up table for Bus #2 set up behind Section 3 during Game 1 on Friday. In the meantime, if there are cancellations for the first Fan Bus, names will be taken from the waiting list in the order they were taken. If you’re on the fence, don’t wait – send us an email to get your name on the list now!
Let’s send 2 buses of rowdy Reds fans to Halifax guys!!!
|_V-REDS FAN BUS__|_|____\
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The bus is a 56 passenger deluxe motorcoach equipped with an on-board washroom, TV, DVD player, etc. The cost is $40.00 per person, which includes your game ticket. There will be a sign-up table during Game 1 outside of Section 3 of the AUC. The bus is scheduled to arrive in Halifax around 5:00pm, which will allow for a pit stop or two along the way, and go directly to the Forum. Once there, everyone will break for supper as there are approximately a half-dozen or so restaurants/pubs/fast food joints, etc. within short walking distance.
Accommodations will be made for the group's tickets to be reserved at the box office as well as for a section of seats to be reserved behind the UNB player bench. As seats are filling up quickly, it is encouraged that anyone interested contact unbhockeyfans.com for more information. Thank you for your support and see you at the game... GO V-REDS!
|_V-REDS FAN BUS__|_|____\
Saturday, March 7, 2009
First of all, as UNB fans, we all know that SMU won 3 out of the 4 games in which they faced the V-Reds this season. However, did you know that:
- 3 of the 4 games in which these 2 teams played were decided by a single goal (2 of which needed overtime to determine a winner).
- Brandon Verge started all 4 head-to-head match-ups between these 2 teams and recorded a win in all but one of the games. Derek Yeomans started the first 3 games for the V-Reds and unfortunately came up on the losing end of each. It wasn’t until Travis Fullerton got the call in Game 4 that UNB recorded their first win of the season against SMU.
- UNB’s largest crowd of the season of 3,869 fans occurred on February 6, 2009 at the AUC against SMU. SMU’s third smallest crowd of the season of 291 fans was against UNB at the Halifax Forum, a game which was held on November 2, 2008.
- Of the 13 goals that UNB scored against SMU, 3 were scored in the 1st period (23.1%), 7 were scored in the 2nd period (53.8%), 2 were scored in the 3rd period (15.4%), and 1 was scored in overtime (7.7%). For SMU, of the 16 they scored against the V-Reds, 5 were scored in the 1st period (31.3%), 4 were scored in the 2nd period (25.0%), 6 were scored in the 3rd period (37.5%), and 1 was scored in overtime (6.2%).
- UNB only trailed once heading into the 3rd period. Ironically for them, that was the only game they won against the Huskies. In the other 3 games that these 2 teams played one another, the V-Reds either held a share of the lead or the outright lead heading into the final period.
- 9 different goal scorers accounted for the 13 goals that UNB scored, while SMU had 10 different goal scorers account for their 16 goals.
- Overall, UNB went 3-29 (10.3%) on the man advantage with a total of 33 shots (1.1 shots per PP attempt). SMU, on the other hand, went 7-19 (36.8%) on the Power Play with a total of 34 shots (1.8 shots per PP attempt). WOW!
- On that same note, all 3 goals that Cody Thornton scored were with the man advantage, both of the goals that Marc Rancourt scored were with the man advantage, and 2 of the 3 goals that Cam Fergus scored came on the Power Play as well.
- In terms of even strength goals, UNB scored at a higher percentage than SMU. The V-Reds scored 9 out of 13 at even strength (69.2%), while the Huskies only scored 9 out of 16 goals at even strength (56.3%).
- Of the 132 shots that UNB fired at Brandon Verge over the span of 4 games, 13 found the back of the net (save percentage of .902). Of the 77 shots that Derek Yeomans faced over the 3 games in which he played, 13, as well, found the back of the net (save percentage of .831). Of the 29 shots that Travis Fullerton faced in the UNB’s lone win against SMU, only 3 found the back of the net (save percentage of .897).
- The only short-handed goal of the 4 games played between these 2 teams came in the 1st period of Game 4 and was scored by UNB’s Jonathan Harty. The only penalty shot occurred in Game 4 as well and the attempt on Brandon Verge by Jimmy Cuddihy was missed.
- UNB’s top line of Tremblay, Cuddihy, and Henderson combined for 4 goals, 12 assists, and a +/- of +7. For SMU, Thornton, Fergus, and Rancourt combined for 8 goals, 11 assists, and a +/- of -3. For the V-Reds, Friesen and Bowman accounted for 1 goal, 2 assists, and a +/- of +2. On the other hand, the Hotham brothers, for the Huskies, accounted for 2 goals, 11 assists, and a +/- of +1.
What does it all mean?
*Stats courtesy of the AUS Men's Hockey website.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Both teams qualify for CIS Nationals in Thunder Bay later this month, but bragging rights are on the line as well as the chance to go in as the top seed in their pool at Nationals.
And yes, there will be a Fan Bus going to the game on Sunday, March 15. The bus will leave from the Aitken Centre at 12:00PM. The trip is approximately 4.5 hrs to Halifax, which should leave time for folks to grab a bite to eat in Halifax before the game. Arrival time in Fredericton is probably 2:00-2:30 AM. No word on exact pricing yet as details are still being ironed out with the Bus line and Halifax Forum Box office, but expect it to be similar, give or take, to the quoted price for the attempted Acadia trip.
There's only 50 seats for this one and it is expected to fill up fast so look for the sign-up table at the Aitken Centre during Game 1 next Friday.
We'll pass along more details as they become available. Let's hope we can recreate last year's turn of events and bring back the AUS Championship!
|_V-REDS FAN BUS__ |_|____\
Thursday, March 5, 2009
It wasn't easy, and it took overtime, but the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds
defeated the Acadia Axemen 3-2 to sweep their AUS semi-final series in three straight
games and advance to the University Cup. UNB will play the Saint Mary's Huskies for
the AUS championship for the second year in a row, only this time both teams will
advance to Nationals.
UNB killed back to back penalties early in the first period, but they weren't third time
lucky as David Lomas (Burlington, ON) astutely fired the puck through UNB captain Dustin
Friesen, who was minus a stick, and onto to the net and Jonathan Laberge (Ste-Foy, QC)
banged in the rebound at 17:00. Two minutes later Acadia's Zack Firlotte (Minto, NB)
picked up two minutes and a game misconduct for checking from behind on Bretton Stamler
(Edmonton, AB). UNB outshot Acadia 12-10 in the first 20 minutes.
The second period didn't have any scoring, but did have its share of incidents. At 4:47
Acadia captain Paul MacFarland (Richmond Hill, ON) and UNB's Hunter Tremblay (Timmins,
ON) collided in the Axemen zone and MacFarland went down hard with a cut to his nose
and upper facial area that created a pool of blood on the ice. MacFarland went to the
locker room and needed 15 stitches before returning in the third period. Around the 11
minute mark Justin McCutcheon (Ithica, NY) was robbed at the edge of the net by
Acadia's Kristofer Westblom (Meadow Lake, SK). Late in the period, at 17:51, Stammler
hit Ryan Graham (Mount Pearl, NF) hard by the Acadia bench and was called for checking
from behind, plus the resultant automatic game misconduct. Shots favoured UNB 11-9 in
Early in the third period, just 37 seconds in, UNB got on the scoreboard as Luke Gallant
(Bedford, NS) wired a point shot through a crowd past Westblom while the referee was
indicating a delayed penalty. The Axemen regained their lead just over two minutes
later after Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth-Andover, NB) gave the puck away to McFarland who
raced through the neutral zone and let a wrist shot go from just inside the blue line
that fooled UNB netminder Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) over the shoulder. A minute
later at the other end of the ice UNB's Jimmy Cuddihy (Aylmer, QC) walked out of the
corner and undressed an Axemen defencemen as he stick-handled across the crease, but he
couldn't beat Westblom. As the third period wore on UNB started to dominate the Axemen
in the offensive zone with an aggressive forecheck and were rewarded when all of the
Varsity Reds forwards had a whack at the puck in the crease before a pinching Jonathan
Harty (Oromocto, NB) put the puck past Westblom at 11:57 to tie the game up once again.
UNB kept pressing but couldn't get the go ahead goal, including a faceoff win by Kyle
Bailey (Ponoka, AB), with less than two seconds to go in regulation, back to Tremblay
for the one-timer that was saved by Westblom. UNB had 16 shots in the third period
while Acadia had 6.
In overtime UNB was continuing to carry the bulk of the play, and at 5:33 Harty skated
across the blue line and let a blast go from the top of the circle that grazed
Westblom's right shoulder on the way to the back of the net, and just like that,
Acadia's season was over. UNB had the only 3 shots on net in the overtime period, for
a game total of 42 shots. Acadia had 25 shots in the game. UNB was 0 for 4 on the
power play and Acadia was 1 for 7 on the night.
By David Kilfoil for the UNB Varsity Reds.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
You can cheer on the V-Reds as you listen to the game on CHSR FM. Game time is 7 PM.
Subtely positioned near the bottom of Bill Hunt's "Smith says MJAHL could work here - someday" was comment by MJAHL Derryl Smith suggest that Summerside Capitals defenceman Spencer Corcoran is heading to UNB this fall...Nothing official from UNB yet.
If you're curious, Corcoran is described as a physical, hard-nosed player who gets into the faces of his opponents. He has a season plus experience in the QMJHL as well.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
"I want to make this crystal clear," he said. "I'll be damned if anything is going to negatively affect all the hard work and passion and dedication and perseverance that's gone into building this program into the best program in the country...we will never, ever compromise that happening.
Read the rest of the article here.
This seems to be the response UNB fans wanted to hear. We received several emails that all suggested this story will end quietly with a "thanks, but no thanks". But it makes for good hockey talk in between game days.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Many of you probably read today’s copy of the Daily Gleaner and saw the piece on the possibility of a QMJHL team relocating to Fredericton. For those of you who may have missed it, you can read the Daily Gleaner article here.
Fredericton has been down this road before with the QMJHL’s Rocket. It seems every time a QMJHL team looks to relocate, Fredericton and the Aitken Centre come up. And why not? Fredericton is currently the 2nd largest market without a QMJHL or pro hockey team in region and with the recent departure of the Fog Devils from St John’s, NF, Freddy Beach probably climbs to the top of the list. There’s the possible benefit of 3 other teams in New Brunswick alone to form rivalries with (Bathurst, Moncton, and Saint John) and a few more just a short bus ride away in PEI, Halifax, and Cape Breton. On the surface it sounds plausible.
On the other hand, the devil’s advocate would point to the age and layout of the Aitken Centre, cite the fact that Fredericton was the 2nd choice after a failed attempt to relocate to Boisbriand, QC, and bring up the big question mark around fan support. Valid points.
Is this just crazy talk or is there something to it? Is there enough room for 2 CIS hockey teams and QMJHL franchise? Let us know what you think.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Travis Fullerton stopped all 23 shots for his first AUS playoff shutout. Hunter Tremblay scored the game's only goal late in the 2nd period.
The shots in this one were 43-23 in favor of the V-Reds, roughly the same as game 1, but Acadia played a tight defensive game all night and Kristofer Westblom was outstanding in goal for the Axemen which kept the game close.
UNB can wrap up the series in game 3 at Wolfville on the Thursday.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
For a team that hasn’t played since February 14th, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds looked pretty sharp as they cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Acadia Axemen, taking the first game in their best-of-five AUS men’s hockey semi-finals. UNB was idle due to their first round playoff bye and Acadia swept StFX in two games to win their quarter final to advance and meet the Varsity Reds. The big story of the night was the domination of UNB’s big line; with Kevin Henderson (Toronto, ON) scoring four goals and linemate Jimmy Cuddihy (Aylmer, QC) scoring the other while Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) had three assists. Cuddihy also added two assists as the line was just too much to handle all night for the Acadia defenders.
Acadia goaltender Kristofer Westblom (Meadow Lake, SK) withstood the initial flurry as UNB came out flying of the gates to start the game. Midway through the period Cuddihy with one hand on his stick passed the puck behind the net to Tremblay while he fought off an Acadia defender. Tremblay then fired back across the slot to Henderson who banged in the puck for the goal. That ended up being the only goal of the period as UNB outshot Acadia 15-9.
In the second period UNB got an early power play and Cuddihy made the best of a missed pass as he walked out of the corner and had three whacks at the puck before finally getting it by Westblom at 1:10. At 4:46 UNB had a golden opportunity to extend their lead after Acadia captain Paul McFarland (Richmond Hill, ON) was given a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct for an elbow to the head of UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). Stamler went to the dressing room after the hit and did not return to the game until the third period. Credit the Axemen penalty kill, as the Varsity Reds were not able to score during the five minute man advantage. Midway through the period the Axemen found themselves on a two-on-one after UNB defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) laid a big hit on David Lomas (Burlington, ON) at the blue line. UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) stayed with the puck carrier Tyler Whitehead (Bedford, NS), who then laid a perfect pass over to Ryan Graham (Mount Pearl, NL) for the tap in goal. The goal put some spark in the Acadia play for a while, but this was snuffed out with two minutes to go in the period with the V-Reds shorthanded when Henderson fought off two Acadia defenders to drive the net, and then worked a give an go with Tremblay when he caught up to the play, before putting the puck past Westblom. UNB outshot Acadia 11-6 in the second period.
The third period was more of the same, as UNB continued to control the play. At 3:32 UNB captain Dustin Friesen (Waldheim, SK), celebrating his 26th birthday, wired a point shot that Henderson tipped past Westblom to make it 4-1. At 5:54 Acadia drew within two goals on the power play, as Graham, playing the point, ripped a one-timer past Fullerton. UNB got this goal back five minutes later on the power play when Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) blasted a shot from the top of the circle that yet again Henderson was able to tip past the Acadia goaltender. That was all of the scoring in the period that saw some rough stuff at 17:38 after Acadia’s Paul Kucerba (Calgary, AB) chopped down Lynes at the edge of the Axemen crease. UNB’s Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) and Chris Hodgson (Fredericton, NB) and Acadia’s Lomas and James Klie (Harrow, ON) all picked up roughing minors in the spirited ruckus, with Hodgson getting an extra two minutes and a ten minute misconduct. UNB outshot Acadia 16-4 in the third period, and 42-19 in the game.
The attendance was 1683 at the Aitken University Centre, which less than 24 hours beforehand had been a volleyball venue for the CIS women’s national championship, won by the UBC Thunderbirds in a thrilling five set victory over the Calgary Dinos. A crew of 36, mostly students, worked all Saturday night to restore the rink, which was ready for a UNB hockey practice at 10:00 a.m. Sunday.
In the pregame faceoff ceremony there was two presentations: retiring UNB president John MacLaughlin and his wife were both presented UNB hockey jerseys by team captain Dustin Friesen. Friesen in turn was given a photo montage plaque by Dr. MacLauglin in recognition of Dustin playing a UNB record 137 regular season games over his five year career with the team.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
At times, the V-Reds looked like a team that hadn't seen the ice in over 2 weeks, but they found their legs eventually, outshooting Acadia and controlling much of the play.
Travis Fullerton got the start for UNB, and recorded his first ever playoff win in a V-Reds uniform.
The series continues with game 2 tomorrow night at the Aitken Centre.