Sunday, March 28, 2010

SMU wins University Cup to close out 2009-10 season

Congratulations to the SMU Huskies who won the University Cup Sunday night with a 3-2 win over the University of Alberta Golden Bears.  The SMU Huskies are the 2009-2010 CIS National Champions.

And with that, we'll look forward to the quest to determine the 2010-2011 champions...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dickson, Friesen make AHL Debuts

On Friday night, both John Scott Dickson and Dustin Friesen made their AHL debuts.  Dickson suited up for the Rochester Americans against the Binghamton Senators, while Friesen skated for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers vs the Manchester Monarchs. 

Another former V-Red made some news in the AHL.  According to the Daily Gleaner, Darryl Boyce has once again been named by his Toronto Marlies team as American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year.  The award is given for outstanding contributions to their local communities during the season.  Boyce was the Marlies selection last season as well. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dustin Friesen Called Up to AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Former captain Dustin Friesen has been "loaned" to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  According to CTpost.com, they will sign him to an amateur tryout contract. There's a bit of an AUS connection involved, as he will actually be joining former STU Tommie forward Jean Bourbeau in Bridgeport.

Friesen took part in Bridgeport's training camp, so there was some familiarity with him.  He will join a team fighting desperately for a playoff spot as the season winds down.

Good luck, Dustin!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

UNB Memorabilia at CIS Nationals

Our thanks to David Kilfoil for snapping a few pics of some V-Reds gear that is on display in Thunder Bay at the CIS Nationals courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

First we have the #14 helmet worn by Dustin Friesen during last year's 2009 championship game. 



Second, we have the game jersey worn by another former captain, Darryl Rivers, from the 1998 champions.



If you're looking to follow the action, SSN has some live game feeds, and David is providing a Live Blog over at the CISBlog.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tremblay Wins CIS Player of the Year

The CIS awarded it's MVP award to Hunter Tremblay Wednesday night.  Tremblay becomes the 2nd UNB player in 3 years and 3rd all time with John Leblanc winning in 85-86.  Tremblay was also named to the first CIS All-Canadian team.

Hunter wasn't the only V-Red to be recognized this evening, as head Coach Gardiner MacDougall took home Coach of the Year hours, while Luke Gallant and John Scott Dickson were named to the second All-Canadian team.  Rounding off the night was Ben Shutron, named to the CIS all-rookie team.

Congratulations to our V-Reds!

Here's the CIS press release.

Dickson To Make AHL Debut Tonight

Today's Daily Gleaner reports that John Scott Dickson will make his debut tonight against the Lake Erie Monsters.  Dickson will wear #23.

Also in the article are some references to possible CIS Awards for a few V-Reds. Hunter Tremblay, Kyle Bailey, and Coach MacDougall are the candidates from the AUS.  We should find out this evening as the festivities get under way in Thunder Bay before the tournament begins tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dickson Joins AHL's Rochester Americans

According to the Rochester Americans official website, John Scott Dickson has been signed by the team to an Amateur Tryout contract (the only way to add a player to the roster this late in the season).  Coincidentally, the team released former SMU defenceman Scott Hotham to make room for Dickson on the roster.

Dickson finished his 5th year at UNB this season and looks to take his patented shot blocking and penalty kill smarts to the next level.  We wish him all the best as he pursues his pro career.  Good luck #12!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

UNB Men's Hockey Awards Dinner

The V-Reds held their annual awards dinner Tuesday night and we have a few highlights to pass along.  The evening began with Coach MacDougall addressing those in attendance.  He mentioned how Fredericton is the only city in Canada where it's front page of the newspaper if the University hockey team loses. We'll take it to mean that it just shows people care, which is a good thing.

The winners of the team awards were as follows:

Hardest worker - Kyle Bailey
Most Improved - Dion Campbell
Top Hitter - Jonathan Harty
Top Defensive Forward - John Scott Dickson
Top Efficiency - Hunter Tremblay
Top D-Man - Luke Gallant

Later, the focus shifted to assitant coach Lucas Madill, who is graduating and moving on from UNB after playing and coaching the past 3 seasons, and following that, John Scott Dickson addressed the crowd.  Like most players, Dickson came to UNB expecting to win, and though things didn't work out this year, Dickson leaves UNB a two-time CIS champion. The crowd paid their respects with a standing ovation. Dickson is the only graduating player, a record low amount that reflects just how young this UNB team was.

UNB Well Represented Among AUS Award Winners

Finally a bit of good news to pass along.  With the AUS finals wrapped up, the AUS released its Men's Hockey Awards and All-Star Teams.  Here's how the V-Reds did:

Hunter Tremblay - Most Valuable Player
Kyle Bailey - Godfrey Award
Gardiner MacDougall - Coach of the Year

First team all-stars:
Hunter Tremblay
John Scott Dickson
Luke Gallant

Second team all-stars:
Travis Fullerton
Bretton Stamler

All-rookie Team:
Chris Culligan
Ben Shutron

Congratulations to all the award winners.  The season didn't end how quite the way we hoped, but let this recognition serve as a reminder that the V-Reds aren't far off the mark either.

Huskies Win 2nd Straight AUS Title

Congratulations to the SMU Huskies who completed the sweep of STFX to claim a second straight AUS championship.  SMU will be the lone representative from the AUS at CIS Nationals in Thunder Bay next week.

Switching gears, for the curious, Robert Touchie writes about former V-Red Chris Hodgson's transition to football in today's Daily Gleaner.  Freak, indeed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2010 Senior Recognition/Awards Night

We're happy to pass along that the date of the 2010 UNB Hockey Annual Senior Recognition / Awards Night has been set for Tuesday, March 16, at 6:30 pm.  The event will be held at Kingswood Lodge. Price will be $15, and includes a (pasta) meal plus the awards ceremony.  Tickets can be reserved by calling the UNB Hockey Office (458-7423) or Shyanne Keith at the Athlectic office 453-5001.

Friday, March 5, 2010

More Bad News For V-Reds

In his column in today's Daily Gleaner, Bill Hunt confirms that UNB team captain Kyle Bailey broke his hand during play late in the 2nd period of Tuesday night's game.  There'll be plenty of time for him to recover.

He also points out the financial implications of lost playoff revenue.  Anyway you add it up, there's no good news to come of it.  Have fun with this one folks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

People Trying to Break Down What Went Wrong

We've received a lot of emails and comments from disappointed V-Reds fans (and jubilated V-Reds bashers) about the meltdown that occurred this past week.  We love the comments, even the shots fired our way, but please keep the language clean.  Pretty much everyone agrees that it wasn't one single element that cost the team the series, but rather that the whole team found a way to play some of its worst hockey of the year at the worst possible time. 

Bruce Hallihan probably sums it up as well as anyone can in today's Daily Gleaner

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dream Season Ends In Nightmare

Sadly, another V-Reds hockey season has come to an end.  Nobody expected it to be in such bitter fashion.  Congratulations to a very deserving STFX team.

For UNB, there will be no ceremony, and no banner raising.  Debate will no doubt carry on as to whether or not it was goalie gaffes, anemic powerplays, struggling stars, running into a hot goaltender, or failure to adapt to the opposition's effective strategy that ultimately did the V-Reds in.  There will be plenty of time this off-season to look back and attribute blame.  For now, just consider that as disappointing as it may be for us as fans, it has to be far worse for the players. 

There will be changes at UNB.  John Scott Dickson has played his last game for the Varsity Reds.  Some others may decide to move on to new challenges, while new players will be added for next season (one has already been announced).

A year from now, one thing is certain.  UNB will be preparing to win a National Championship with their fans behind them.  It stings pretty bad now, but if you endure, there's brighter days ahead folks.

(David Ritchie's game story in the Daily Gleaner)

StFX sweeps UNB with another 3-2 win

ANTIGONISH – It certainly wasn't an outcome predicted by anyone to start the series, but the StFX X-Men once again defeated the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds 3-2 Tuesday night to sweep their playoff semi-finals in three straight games. UNB of course was 27-1 in the regular season, with their only loss of th season on the last weekend to ... StFX. Coincidentally the X-Men have won each of their five playoff games so far this postseason by a score of 3-2.

It was a standing room only crowd of 1600 at the Keating Millennium Centre arena on the StFX campus who were daring to hope that StFX could sweep the defending CIS champions. UNB came out flying to start the game, but Bryan Gillis (Lantz, NS) was steady as always in the X-Men net and his teammates stuck to their winning plan of blocking shots, chipping pucks out of trouble, and clogging up the neutral zone and passing lanes. However, as has happened all series, it was the opportunistic X-Men getting on the scoreboard first at 8:17 when UNB goalie Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) fumbled an initial shot and gave up a juicy puck to a hard charging Rob Warner (Whitehorse, YK) to put into a gaping net. In the last minute of the period UNB had their best scoring chance when the were swarming the crease but just couldn't get a stick on a loose puck. UNB outshot StFX 11-3 in the first period.

The teams traded penalties in the early second period before UNB had back to back power plays. When UNB started their third power play at 7:47 head coach Gardiner MacDougall opted to swap his goaltenders for some reason, putting Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB) in nets. Soon after after Yeomans had to make a breakaway save on X's Brett Robertson (Srathmore, AB) to get himself into the game. UNB came back at StFX with Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth-Andover, NB) trying to score on the rush, Gillis making the save and the rebound coming out to the neutral zone to be gobbled up by the X-Men who had a two-on-one shorthanded rush the other way with Mathew Bragg (Newmans Cove, NL) beating Yeomans at 9:09. With that, MacDougall put Fullerton back in the UNB net. Worse for UNB, in the last minute of the period captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) was chasing down a puck deep in the StFX zone when hulking defenceman Mark Louis (also Ponoka, AB) hammered Bailey into the end boards. There was no penalty on the call, and when he got up Bailey rushed to UNB dressing room cradling his hand.

Kyle Bailey was on the UNB bench to start the third period, but he did not return to the ice in the game. UNB had an early power play, with some scoring chances, but yet again they were continuously foiled by Gillis until late in the power play Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) made a great pass to Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) in the slot who backhanded the puck through traffic and past Gillis to finally get UNB on the scoresheet at 3:03. The Varsity Reds continued their relentless pressure and thought they tied up the game at 12:26 when Lynes had two whacks at the puck in close, but couldn't get the puck over Gillis' pads. Lachlan MacIntosh then lifted the puck into the net for an apparent goal, only to see the referee wave the goal off because the net had moved a bit off its pegs at the same time. The Varsity Reds on the ice and on the bench were livid as they felt it was a StFX player who had deliberately bumped the net during the UNB attack, but their protests didn't change the call. Exactly two minutes later MacIntosh put another puck past Gillis into the net to tie the game, and this time it wasn't called back. StFX managed to get a power play shortly after and Phil Mangan (Gananogue, ON) beat Fullerton through the five hole at 15:10 to take back the lead. UNB in turn had a power play less than a minute later but could do little to generate scoring chances. MacDougall even used his timeout with 26 seconds left in that power play to rest his troops and try to sketch a plan, but it didn't work as StFX was content the rest of the game to block shots, and chip the puck out, or ice it, every time they were under pressure. UNB pulled their goalie with just over a minute to go and had key last gasp faceoffs with eight seconds to go, and again one second to go, but couldn't get the puck on net.

Final shots were 33-23 for UNB. The Varsity Reds outshot StFX every game in the series, 95-54 in total, but still lost each game 3-2. UNB, the top power play in the AUS in the regular season, was only 1-for-8 with the man advantage in this game, and 1-for-18 in the series. StFX was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-12 in the series. StFX will now wait to play the winner of the Acadia-Saint Mary's series, where SMU has a 2-1 series lead.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

UNB Looks To Regroup At STFX For Game 3

Game 3 takes place tonight at STFX. The V-Reds will look to battle their way back into the series after dropping the first two games on home ice. There's plenty of fight left in the team, and a win in game 3 will put all the pressure on the X-Men. Expect UNB to throw everything they can at STFX.

The game can be heard on CHSR 97.9 FM, viewed on SSN, or followed on Twitter.  Game time is 7 PM.  If you can't make it Antigonish make sure you tune in to support your V-Reds.

Go! Reds! Go!