Sunday, January 30, 2011

UNB clinches 1st place in AUS

CHARLOTTETOWN – The No. 1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team came out flying in the first period on the road Saturday night against the No. 6 ranked University of Prince Edward Island Panthers, scoring twice and then holding on for a 3-1 win. With five games to go in the regular season UNB has clinched first place in the AUS standings, and the reward of a first round playoff bye and home ice throughout the playoffs.

Photo courtesy Brian smith
UNB's power play may be struggling, but they converted on their only man-advantage opportunity in the first period, as Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) scored his 18th goal of the season at 5:06 from Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) and Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) to take over the lead in the AUS goal scoring race. UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) scored at 18:31 from Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) and Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB) to extend their lead. UPEI goaltender Mark Guggenberger (Richfield, MN) was busy in the first 20 minutes, facing 15 shots while UNB's Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) only had to deal with 6 shots.

The second period was a chippy affair, with five V-Reds jammed into the penalty box at one point. UPEI's Dana Fraser (Tatamagouche, NS) scored at 2:57 from Michael MacIssac (O'Leary, PE) and Matt Carter (Mississauga, ON) to draw the Panthers within a goal, but that was to be as close as they could come. The third period saw UNB use their stifling forecheck to keep UPEI from mounting a comeback until the last minute. With their goalie out the Panthers were able to use the extra skater to finally create some sustained pressure in front of Fullerton and managed a shot off the post before Tremblay scored shortly after into the empty net with three seconds to go to close out the game.

UNB outshot UPEI 35-20 in the 3-1 win. The V-Reds were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Panthers came up 0-for-6 against the best penalty killing team in the AUS. The conference points race has tightened up, with Hunter Tremblay's six points on the weekend putting him at 38 points, just one point back of UPEI's Matt Carter for the AUS lead. Tremblay's linemate Chris Culligan sits in third place with 34 points. Fullerton is now tied with SMU's Neil Conway (Painesville, OH) with 14 wins, and the stingy goaltender has lowered his conference-best goals against average to 1.61.
Photo courtesy Brian Smith

UNB's record is now 19-4-0. Next weekend they are on the road again, meeting StFX on Friday night in Antigonish and then onto Halifax on Saturday to play Saint Mary's.

V-Reds Escape the Island WIth 2 Points, Clinch 1st In AUS

The UPEI Panthers proved to be stiff competition again, but Varsity Reds were able to leave UPEI with a 3-1 win thanks to solid penalty killing and timely scoring.  Hunter Tremblay opened the scoring in the first period with a power-play goal, and Kyle Bailey made it 2-0 before the first period was over.  UPEI, got one back in the second period, but that would be as close as they would get.  Tremblay added an empty-net goal with seconds left in the game to leave the score at 3-1 for the good guys.

Mark Guggenberger was stingy in net for the Panthers again.  Shots on goal were 35-20 UNB.  The story in this game might very well be the special teams.  UNB went 1-for-3 on the power-play while UPEI was held to just 6 shots on 6 power-plays and couldn't convert on any of their chances. Travis Fullerton made the start and was great at times putting up 19 saves for the win.

The V-Reds now have a 9 point lead on both SMU and STFX who are tied for 2nd in the AUS.  With that lead, and just 4 games remaining for both SMU and STFX, UNB has clinched 1st place in the AUS and will have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#1 V-Reds humble rival Tommies 7-1

FREDERICTON – The St. Thomas Tommies kept it reasonably close for half a game, but they had no answer Friday night for the first line of the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and then they eventually ran out of gas in losing 7-1. UNB left winger Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) scored a hat trick plus an assist, centre Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) had a goal and three assists, and their left winger on this night, Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB), had two assists. Defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) also had a big night with three assists. UNB's winning streak against the Tommies now extends to 26 games; STU last beat the V-Reds on Oct. 20, 2006.

UNB had a short road trip, travelling downhill just to the foot of campus to the Lady Beaverbrook Rink, home of the Tommies. It was the annual Lou Chabot Memorial Game, so the game got off to a bit of a sombre start at the former STU player was remembered in a pregame ceremony. When the two teams got down to action, the big crowd of 1230 witnessed a scrappy first period. Goals were hard to come by, and UNB only had two goal posts clangs to excite their fans until late in the period, on their fifth power play opportunity. Luke Gallant had two booming point shots in a row, and while Charles Lavigne (Bernardin, ON) made the save on both, the second shot rebounded to captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) in the left circle and his snap shot at 19:20 found the top corner of the net. Shots were 13-7 for UNB in the first period.

photo courtesy Brian Smith
The second period started off better for the Tommies. UNB's Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) was called for interference with seconds to go in the first that carried over, and then Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) was called for tripping on the penalty kill just seven seconds in, and STU had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:44. The Tommies did a good job of controlling the puck, and at 1:28 Randy Cameron (Cornwall, PE) beat Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) to tie the game up. Less than five minutes later the Tommies had a good opportunity to extend their lead, when Jason Cassiday (Toronto, ON) drew Harty into a retaliation penalty. However Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) got the puck to Chris Culligan who drove down the left side of the ice, drawing STU players to him. Once he entered the Tommies zone he made a quick cross-ice pass to Hunter Tremblay who was all alone and made short work of Lavigne for the shorthanded marker at 6:46 to retake the lead.

Four minutes later the V-Reds were creating all sorts of traffic down low, and defenceman Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) fired a point shot through the screen that Lavigne didn't have much chance on. A few minutes later the Tommies did have a great opportunity to get back in the game on the power play, but as Alex Labonte (St-Majorique, QC) went to shoot at a gaping UNB net Harty's reaching stick at the last second caused the puck to instead fly into the seats. At 17:20 Kenton Dulle (Craik, SK) was whistled for checking from behind against Matt Fillier (Durham, NS), which is a two minute minor penalty plus a 10-minute misconduct. The Tommies bench was not happy with the call, probably feeling the hit was more likely boarding, and talked referee Josh Hurly into a bench minor penalty. The good news for them was that STU killed off the two minute five-on-three, limiting UNB to a Gallant shot off the post, and were only down two goals going into the second intermission. Shots favoured UNB 16-9 in the period.

Photo courtesy Brian Smith
The third period was all V-Reds, as the Tommies looked to have drained the tank in the first two periods. Tremblay scored at 1:25, and then at 4:55 he worked the puck behind the STU net before passing to Culligan out front for the successful one-timer. UNB was on the power play, and the shots 40-20 in their favour, when defencemen Ben Wright ripped a shot from the top of the circle to make it 6-1 at 11:31. Less than two minutes later Harty led the rush through traffic into the Tommies zone, and following up on the play Tremblay completed his hat trick. Late in the period, what could have been UNB's 50th shot on goal was instead a Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (Hippolyte, PQ) rocket off the post, the fourth by a V-Reds defencemen in the game. UNBs outshot STU 20-8 in the period, and 49-24 in the game.

Goaltender Lavigne did his best to keep the Tommies in the game, and he was frank about what they were up against. “Kinda tough when you're playing the best team in Canada and the hardest working team in Canada. It's quite the mix they got there, deadly for everyone.” On the second period : “The hardest working team always gets the bounces.” On the third period onslaught, when Lavigne wasn't getting a lot of help from his teammates, he said, “You can't solely blame it on the guys, I've gotta make some saves once in a while. It's a team effort.” He was also generous in his respect for Tremblay. “The best player in Canada is also the hardest working player in Canada which sucks for us, and everyone else.”

As for Tremblay, after the game he said, “A lot of games we have a lot of shots and don't put them in and tonight we ended up executing on our second and third chances.” When asked about his hat trick, Tremblay replied “I'm struggling a little bit of late, so that's nice ... when I shoot a lot I seem to get more chances, so I try to concentrate on that lately.” When it comes to the inconsistent UNB power play, “Our power play has been struggling too lately. We've been working hard at it, and sometimes when you put too much pressure on yourselves it makes it even worse so we're trying to be positive and put pucks to the net like tonight.”

Photo courtesy Brian Smith
The first place V-Reds are off to Charlottetown Saturday night to play the UPEI Panthers, who are now in a four-way tie for second place. UPEI's Matt Carter, with 38 points, is now just two points ahead of Tremblay in the AUS points race.

Game Notes: The three game stars were 1. Hunter Tremblay 2. Chis Culligan 3. Luke Gallant. Matt Fillier made his return to the UNB lineup, after missing the last two weekends to be in Halifax at the bedside of his best friend who was severely injured in a snowmobile accident. A banged up Ryan Seymour was replaced by Nick Layton on the UNB energy line, and Daine Todd was also out of the lineup.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tremblay's Hat Trick Leads V-Reds Over Tommies

Hunter Tremblay's hat trick helped the V-Reds to a 7-1 win over the STU Tommies.  Also scoring for UNB were Kyle Bailey, Josh Kidd, Ben Wright, and Chris Culligan.  Matt Fillier returned to the ice and played a good physical game.  Travis Fullerton was there when needed, stopping 23 of 24 shots. 

UNB sits comfortably in first place with 36 points, but 4 teams are now tied with 27 points for 2nd place.  The race for home ice advantage in the AUS playoffs is on as these teams fight for wins down the stretch. UNB is back at it tomorrow night at UPEI against the Panthers.

172nd Battle of the Hill, tonight at 7pm!

The V-Reds are heading down the hill tonight to take on the Tommies for the 17th annual Lou Chabot Memorial game at the LBR.

This is the third meeting of the regular season between these two teams; the previous two meetings went in favor of the V-Reds with scores of 7-1 and 4-0. The V-Reds have a 24 game winning streak going against the Tommies entering into tonight's game.

The Tommies (3-15-3), are sitting in the basement of the AUS and are all but eliminated from the playoffs this year but tonight they will be playing in memory of Lou Chabot, a former defenceman for the team who died in his sleep at the age of 22. Yuri Cheremetiev leads the team with 19 pts in 21 games while Alex Labonte is coming off of a 3 pt weekend for the Tommies.

The V-Reds (17-4-0) are sitting first in the AUS and CIS, are on a seven game winning streak, and sit seven points ahead of both SMU (13-8-1) and UPEI (12-6-3) in the AUS standings. Hunter Tremblay has 5 pts against the Tommies this year and is currently on a seven game points streak. Travis Fullerton has held the Tommies to one goal in 44 shots over two games this season.

The game can be heard on 95.7 FM and followed on UNBHockey on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AUS Pool Week 11 Results

We're calling it here first - Fan of the Vreds will not repeat as winner of the AUS Pool. Currently sitting in the 26th spot, his shameful performance this season means we'll have new champion.  But it's still anybody's guess as to who that might be.  This week's top performer was Davidlep with 25 pts.  The Top 10 standings are listed below and the complete standings are available at the AUS Pool page.

Pos Team Name             G    A   Gly  Pts  Chg  LWk
=== =================    ===  ===  ===  ===  ===  ===
  1 AUS Fan               71  138   12  256   17    1
  2 jack gillis           74  125   45  244   12    2
  3 Section 10            68  124   31  243   16    3
  4 blackmarketmob        77  119   24  240   24    6
  5 BruinsFan0877         68  130   41  239   13    4
  6 UNB BRUINS FAN        69  122   44  235   18    5
  7 Matt J                69  123   22  233   20    8
  8 Red Devil             64  119   29  227   17    9
  9 Tim Martell           70  115   18  225   22   10
 10 Hardy Fan             58  113   51  222   20   11

Please have a look at your totals to make sure everything is correct. If you think something is out of line, send us an email and we'll check into it for you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CIS Men's Top Ten (#11): UNB still sits on top

For the third week in a row, the UNB V-Reds (17-4-0) were voted #1, receiving 16 of 18 first place votes. McGill (21-0-2) comes in at #2 again, receiving the other two votes. Alberta (13-5-2) has fallen to fourth, being passed by Western (17-1-4). SMU (13-7-1) remains in 5th place while UPEI (12-6-3) moves up to 6th with their weekend wins. StFX (11-9-1) has fallen down to 12th in this poll.

Here are the full results from the Top Ten.

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UNB (17-4-0) / 178 pts (16) / (1)
2. McGill (21-0-2) / 156 (2) / (2)
3. Western Ontario (17-1-4) / 130 / (4)
4. Alberta (13-5-2) / 126 / (3)
5. Saint Mary's (13-7-1) / 104 / (5)
6. UPEI (12-6-3) / 82 / (7)
7. Sasketchewan (11-7-0) / 60 / (6) *
8. Manitoba (10-4-4) / 60 / (8) *
9. Calgary (11-6-2) / 34 / (NR)
10. Lakehead (14-7-1) / 21 / (10)

* Saskatchewan was awarded the higher ranking over Manitoba basd on number of higher-placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (13), StFX (12), UQTR (10), Nipissing (3), Carleton (1). The full article can be viewed here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

V-Reds find the chink in X-Men armour

FREDERICTON – The No. 9 ranked StFX X-Men have shown in the last year that they can play a solid defensive system and score opportunistic goals against the No. 1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, and for two periods Saturday night they did just that, but the V-Reds found a way to penetrate their armour in the the third period, scoring three goals in seven minutes for the hard fought 4-1 victory. First place UNB, 17-4-0 in AUS play, now run their winning streak to seven games and remain undefeated at home this season.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
It was Salute the Military Night at the Aitken University Centre, and the big crowd of 3349 was treated to a pre-game on-ice performance by the Second Battalion the Royal Canadian Regiment Pipes and Drums. Like the hundreds of invited Canadian Forces personnel in attendance at the game, the 2RCR P&D are from nearby CFB Gagetown. When they were introduced for the ceremonial face-off the honoured guests were given a standing ovation by the appreciative fans.

The Varsity Reds carried the attack from the opening faceoff, but they had to fight for every metre of ice through the tight-checking X-Men. Like the night before, UNB's first goal came off the power play, and once again it was defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) from the point, as his wrister through a screen beat Joey Perricone (San Juan Capistrano, CA) at 12:37. That was to be the only goal of the period, that saw UNB have 10 shots on goal to StFX's 3.

The second period was more of the tight checking play, although the chippiness level had elevated. UNB's Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) had appeared to score early in the period off a scrum in front of the net, but referee Scott Lockhart waved off the goal as he apparently lost sight of the puck before it crossed the goal line. UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) probably made his best save of the game at 13:40, when Jason Bast (Moose Jaw, SK) got in behind the V-Reds defence but couldn't deke out Fullerton. Six seconds after Taylor Procyshen was called for holding, StFX captain Chris Hulit (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) on the power play wired a point shot that beat Fullerton on the blocker side to tie the game at 16:56, and considerably quieten the crowd.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
At the end of the period UNB's Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) was knocked down by Josh Day (St. John's, NL) in the neutral ice zone. When he got back up Clendenning gave a whack with his stick to the closest X-Men skating by, Brennan Wray (Moose Jaw, SK). Neither infraction was whistled, and as StFX coach Brad Peddle was heading across the ice to the dressing room he tried to argue the non-call for the retaliation with the referee and was assessed a bench minor penalty, which would carry over to the next period. Shots in the grinding second period were closer, 12-9 in favour of UNB.

While they didn't score on their power play to open the third period, UNB had a couple of chances and seemed to carry some momentum afterwards. The V-Reds were doing a much better job using their speed to find seams in the X-Men defensive zone coverage, and they were rewarded at 5:33 when Jeff Lee (Calgary, AB) came out of the corner with the puck, got the puck to Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB), who in turn passed across the slot to Daine Todd (Stettler, AB) for the easy tap in goal. It was Todd's first goal of the season, coming in the third game of his comeback from an early season shoulder injury.

With UNB now back in the lead, the goal forced the X-Men to open up their game a little bit which played to the V-Reds skating game. At 11:06 Procyshen raced into the StFX zone and snapped a shot that beat Perricone on the blocker side. Less than two minutes later the UNB energy line added to the tally as Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) did a great job protecting the puck on the cycle in the X zone before relaying the puck to Dion Campbell (Melville, SK), who from behind the net passed the puck to Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) for the one-timer goal. StFX played the final 3:34 of the period on the power play with Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) off with a double-minor penalty, but the strong UNB penalty kill limited X to one shot on goal.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

In the 4-1 victory UNB outshot StFX 34-17. The X-Men's only goal came on one of their four power play opportunities, while the V-Reds cashed in just once on their eight man-advantage situations. While UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall was not happy with his team's power play as the game progressed, he was pleased how the team leaders responded in the third period. “I thought in the second we weren't as good as we could be. It's a process. You can't skip steps in the process. You've got to give a lot of credit to the leadership between the second and the third. We've got great leaders. They addressed the way we were skipping steps. You have to do things the right way. I thought fundamentally in the third there were a lot of positives.”

StFX's Brad Peddle thought it was a hard fought game that could have gone either way in the third period. “I was pretty proud of our effort. I was proud of how we played the game. This was a good example tonight of two teams laying it all out there and saying let's go at it.” On the UNB-StFX intensity Peddle added, “That's the rivalry. It's great. Our guys love playing these games and I'm sure their guys are saying the same thing on the other side. They made the most of a couple of opportunities in the third.”

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

Game Notes: UNB's Ryan Seymour went down heavily and awkwardly in the first period, but managed to return later. He was still limping after the game ... UNB has not given up more than two goals in any home game at the AUC this season ... UNB is 13-0 at home, and they will close out the regular season with just one more home game and six on the road ... The V-Reds are down the hill to play St. Thomas on Friday and travel to Charlottetown Saturday to play UPEI ... Several hundred fans at the game had free tickets as a thank-you from the Varsity Reds for braving the snowstorm to attend Friday's game.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three Goals In Third Period Secures 4-1 Win For UNB

A three goal outburst in the third period resulted in UNB defeating the STFX X-Men by a 4-1 score.  The game was tied after two periods until Daine Todd, Taylor Procyshen, and Ryan Seymour hit the back of the net in the third.  Luke Gallant scored the other UNB goal in the first period. Travis Fullerton made 16 saves for the win.  Final shots were 34-17 UNB.

The win leaves UNB 7 points up on SMU and UPEI for first place in the AUS.  UNB locked up a playoff spot last night with the win over SMU, and will now turn their attention towards getting home ice advantage for the playoffs.

MacIntosh leads UNB to 4-1 win over Saint Mary's

FREDERICTON – In a marquee AUS battle, the first place and number one ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team jumped out to an early lead, survived a second period push by the second place and fifth ranked Saint Mary's Huskies, and were the better team in the third period for an important 4-1 win.

The last two CIS champions played Friday what perhaps could be a preview of this year's Cavendish University Cup at the Aitken University Centre in Fredericton. Unfortunately a snowstorm descended on the region a few hours after the Huskies left Halifax, and credit should be given to the just over a thousand die-hard UNB fans who braved the weather to get to the AUC for the big game.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
The game started with a great pace, and just over two minutes in UNB's Daine Todd (Stettler, AB) was stoned by Neil Conway (Painesville, OH) after a great setup by Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB) as a delayed penalty was being called on the Huskies. It only took 13 seconds for the V-Reds to score on the power play, as Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) blasted a shot from the left point that caught a piece of the post on the way into the net at 2:37. The UNB energy line was on the ice when less than a minute later Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) was alone at the side of the net to tip in the puck for a 2-0 lead. UNB almost made it 3-0 at 9:19 when captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) tipped a Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) pass on a bang-bang play, but he put the puck right into Conway who was cleanly beat on the sequence. At 13:37 UNB did go ahead 3-0, when Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) on the forecheck caused Justin Wallingford (Hamilton, ON) to cough up the puck behind the Huskies net. MacIntosh took the puck, danced across the front of the crease until Conway went down, and then put the puck in the top corner. SMU had two power plays after that, and UNB one, but there was no more scoring in the period. The V-Reds outshot the Huskies 10-6.

The second period was very different from the first. There were a lot of penalties called, and the strong play of the SMU special teams appeared to give the Huskies energy. There were also a lot more pushing and shoving incidents after whistles that bogged down the flow of the period, most notably at 7:51 when Corcoran drove the net, Conway made the save, and SMU captain Justin Munden (Halifax, NS) took exception to the UNB player standing in the blue paint. Other players paired off, and Lucas Bloodoff (Castlegar, BC) came off the bench to mix it up with UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). Those two players were given 10-minute misconducts, with SMU assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice in a situation that threatened to get out of hand.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
Midway through the second period Chris MacKinnon (Richmond Hill, ON) forced Fullerton to make a big save off the rush, and drew a Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) hooking penalty in the process. On the resultant power play the Huskies finally cashed in at 12:11 when defenceman Ryan Rorabeck (Oshawa, ON) took advantage of some tic-tac-toe passing as he cruised in from the point to the open back door. UNB goaltender Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) had no chance on the play. There were more power play opportunities for both teams but both goaltenders were strong the rest of the period. The Huskies outshot the V-Reds 15-9 in the middle 20 minutes, with 10 of those shots coming on the power play.

The third period saw UNB take back the momentum when the teams were five-on-five, and they also benefited from a bit of a meltdown by a veteran Huskies defenceman. When David MacDonald (Baddeck, NS) was called for hooking Jeff Lee as he drove the SMU net, Andrew Hotham (Barrie, ON) argued the call and was given a 10-minute misconduct by referee Jeff Hopkins. Then at 8:35 Bailey got tied up in the crease with Conway, well behind the play. The SMU players were up in arms, and for some reason the Huskies were assessed a bench minor. A visibly upset Hotham, still in the penalty box, must have said something to the officials, because he was given a game misconduct and sent to the dressing room, slamming doors as he went. Adding insult to injury, UNB scored on the subsequent power play as once again MacIntosh skated across the front of the net and put the puck up and over a sprawling Conway. The V-Reds were pretty much in control the rest of the way, and outshot the Huskies 14-2 in the period and 33-23 in the game.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
For UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall, the key to the win was the early power play goal, and then the strong play of Fullerton when he was called upon. “We capitalized on our opportunities in the first period and our goaltender was our best player in the second period. We then had a pretty solid third period.” While SMU coach Trevor Steinburg liked his team's play in the second period, he wasn't as enthused about their play in the third. “We didn't lose our desire, but we cracked, and we didn't need to. Guys are so worried about telling the ref that he missed a call, meanwhile there's a game being played out there.”

Game Notes: The three stars were 1. Lachlan MacIntosh 2. Kyle Bailey 3. Cory Tanaka. UNB was 2-for-9 on the power play while SMU was 1-for-8. Before the ceremonial faceoff UNB defenceman Luke Gallant was awarded the Mike Cavanagh Memorial scholarship by J. J. Kennedy. Also, former UNB head coach Don MacAdam was on hand to give out the inaugural Don MacAdam Leadership Award to Bretton Stamler. This new award was initiated by members of the 1983-84 UNB team at their reunion last year in honour of their beloved coach. With their 12th win at home the V-Reds are now 16-4-0 for the season, and they have clinched a playoff berth with eight games remaining in the schedule. UNB hosts third place StFX Saturday night.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fast Start Launches V-Reds To 4-1 Victory Over SMU

First period goals by Luke Gallant, Spencer Corcoran, and Lachlan MacIntosh gave the V-Reds a lead they wouldn't surrender.  SMU scored a power-play marker in the second period, but MacIntosh added one in the third to put this one away for good.  The final score was 4-1 for the good guys.  

Travis Fullerton got the start and had a strong game, including some huge saves in the second period when SMU was pressing hard.   Final shots favoured UNB 32-21.

Surprisingly, a decent crowd of people braved the treacherous snowstorm to see the game.  To reward the faithful, UNB gave them free tickets to tomorrow's game vs. STFX.  Nice gesture.

The win puts UNB 5 points up on SMU for first place in the conference.  UNB is back at it tomorrow night vs STFX.

Screens Up!

The new video screens are up and it won't be too long before they are running.  You'll find them positioned on either side of the "Coulter Room" wall behind Sections 1 and 19.

Here's a sneak peak courtesy of UNBHockey on Twitter:

Surround sound not included.  Exciting times at the AUC!

Retire Player Numbers?

Bill Hunt doesn't pull any punches in his piece in Friday's edition of the Daily Gleaner.  Specifically, Hunt argues that former V-Reds forward Rob Hennigar, who up until recently was the all-time leading scorer in the regular season for the Varsity Reds, deserves to have his old #11 retired by the team.  He also calls for former CFL player, the late Tony Proudfoot's #24 to be retired (by all sports teams?).

It makes for an interesting debate.  We can certainly appreciate the desire to see recognition given where it's due.  What do you guys think?  What should the criteria be for "retiring" a player's number?  Is that sufficient recognition, or perhaps a little over the top?  Would Hennigar's #11 even have been available if UNB hockey teams of the past retired numbers with cause?  Who's number would you like to see hanging from the rafters?  Let us know in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AUS Pool Week 10 Results

We're 19 games into the AUS regular season and AUS Fan continues to exert his pool dominance on the masses.  Coming in with an impressive 239 points, AUS Fan has 3 of the conference's top 4 scorers and doesn't appear ready to surrender the lead.  Jack Gillis is challenging for the stretch run and definitely is in range at 232 points.  There's still a long way to go in the final 4 weeks of play.

The top 10 standings are:

Pos Team Name             G    A   Gly  Pts  Chg  LWk
=== =================    ===  ===  ===  ===  ===  ===
  1 AUS Fan               70  126   11  239   23    1
  2 jack gillis           73  116   43  232   54   10
  3 Section 10            67  113   30  227   25    2
  4 BruinsFan0877         67  118   41  226   56  T17
  5 UNB BRUINS FAN        68  111   38  217   23    4
  6 blackmarketmob        71  107   21  216   21    3
  7 Todd's Shoulder       65   97   52  214   53   23
  8 Matt J                68  112   17  213   25    6
  9 Red Devil             64  108   28  210   19    5
 10 Tim Martell           64  103   18  203   21    7

The complete pool standings can be found over at the AUS Pool Page.  Please take a look at your totals.  If you think we've made an error, we probably have, so kindly send us an email and we'll look into it for you.

Hunter Tremblay's Journey into the Record Books

Hunter Tremblay is playing his fourth year as a V-Red, having played 100 regular season games thus far, Hunter is eligible for a fifth year, which all of us would love, but that is a decision that only Mr. Tremblay can make. As the second half of the regular season progresses, some of us have discussed where we think Hunter will end up when the final period of the Nationals is played this year, and the final numbers are tallied.

Using's ReDSea database, I have put together a spreadsheet of Hunter's record, his competition with Rob Hennigar, and where he sits in conjunction with the greats of UNB's past. I invite you all to speculate where he will sit in conjunction to these other players when all is said and done, and to discuss the most memorable parts of his career thus far.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CIS Men's Top 10 (#10): UNB remains at the top

For the second week in a row, the UNB V-Reds (15-4-0) were voted #1, receiving 13 of 16 first place votes. McGill (19-0-2) comes in at #2, receiving the other three first place votes. The Alberta Golden Bears (13-3-2) fall to the #3 position, with no first place votes this time. The AUS is well represented this time with SMU (13-5-1) at the #5 position, UPEI (10-6-3) at the #7 position, and StFX (11-7-1) entering the Top Ten at the #9 position this week.

Here are the full results from the Top Ten.

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UNB (15-4-0) / 157 pts (13) / (1)
2. McGill (19-0-2) / 138 (3) / (3)
3. Alberta (13-3-2) / 126 / (2)
4. Western Ontario (16-1-3) / 110 / (5)
5. Saint Mary's (13-5-1) / 107 / (4)
6. Saskatchewan (11-7-0) / 71 / (7)
7. UPEI (10-6-3) / 42 / (6)
8. Manitoba (8-4-4) / 40 / (9)
9. StFX (11-7-1) / 22 / (NR)
10. Lakehead (13-6-1) / 21 / (8)

Other teams receiving votes: UQTR (19), Nipissing (14), Calgary (6), Acadia (3), Wilfrid Laurier (3), Waterloo (1). to view the complete article click here.

Tough Times for Matt Fillier

Second year UNB forward Matt Fillier did not dress for last weekend’s games against Moncton and UPEI. Rather, he was in Halifax at the bedside of his best friend, Kevin MacLean. Both are from the small rural community of Durham, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

MacLean, 22, was seriously injured in a snowmobile crash early Sunday morning, January 9, when the machine he was on collided with a pole, not far from Fillier’s family home. He was first taken to the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow and then transferred to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

Maclean, a left winger, played four seasons with the Pictou County Weeks Crushers Jr. A. hockey team and he was the team captain in his final season in 2008-09. “He was a four year local player, a guy who never played major midget hockey and became one of the best leaders we had and one of the most feared guys in the league,” said Wade Taylor, team president of the Crushers, to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. “He was a tremendous captain.”

Former Crushers’ head coach and GM Troy Ryan, now coaching the Metro Marauders, has been to see him every day at the hospital in Halifax. Ryan played hockey for UNB for two seasons, 1993-95, and he is still very close to MacLean, who he coached for four years with the Crushers. He told the New Glasgow News, “A lot of people talk about the will to fight to get through something like this. I don’t know if I believe that but if anyone can it’s Kevin. All he needs is a window of opportunity and he will fight his way through this.”

The UNB Varsity Reds ask for everyone’s kind thoughts for Matt, and hopes and prayers for Kevin as he fights for his life.

Procyshen Named Athlete of the Week

This week's UNB/ Valley Graphics Male Athlete of the Week award went to Taylor Procyshen.  Procyshen scored the big overtime winner vs. UPEI and also contributed with a strong game the night before in Moncton where he picked up an assist.  

Procyshen is working hard to get his game back after missing significant time over the last year with some injury trouble.  Let's hope the progress continues.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

V-Reds Unveil New Mascot

The Varsity Reds added a mascot to the arsenal last night - "Prospect".  He seemed to be a big hit with the younger V-Reds fans and is no doubt a reference to the V-Red Prospects program.  Welcome to the V-Reds, Prospect.
Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

UNB Gets Dramatic Win Over UPEI

FREDERICTON -- While they may be in first place in the AUS men's hockey standings, and ranked number one in the CIS, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds had their hands full with the third place, and number six ranked, UPEI Panthers Saturday night. It took 55 shots, and 8:11 of overtime, before the V-Reds could win 2-1 before 3232 of their fans at the Aitken University Centre. Taylor Procyshen (Emerald Park, SK), who missed the whole first half, scored his first goal of the season with the game winner on a two-on-one rush. For his part, rookie UPEI goaltender Mark Guggenberger (Richfield, MN) did everything he could do to keep his team in the game, but he couldn't stop Procyshen's laser shot to the blocker side.
Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

Going into the match, one wouldn't think goals would be so hard to find, since UPEI and UNB feature two of the top offences in the conference, and the top three scorers in the AUS were playing in the game. The first period had a shaky start, as veteran Panthers defenceman Tyson Gimblett (Newtonville, ON) was called for interference from the bench at the 29 second mark; the call entails an automatic game misconduct. The UNB power play wasn't very effective, and halfway through they gave up a shorthanded odd-man rush and UPEI rookie Matt Brenton (Stewiacke, NS) put the puck through the five-hole of Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB) to stun the large crowd. The Varsity Reds had entered the game with a four-game home shutout streak that was snapped with that goal.

After giving up the goal UNB picked up the pace and had a great opportunity to tie the game four minutes in when both Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) and Josh Hepditch (Fredericton, NB) had chances close in as they battled for the puck. Midway through the period, Matthew Carter (Mississauga, ON), who leads the AUS scoring race, came out of the neutral zone with the puck and a breakaway, but he was chased down by UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) who even avoided taking a penalty on the play. The V-Reds were soon back on the attack, but couldn't solve Guggenberger in the first period despite forcing him to make 18 saves.

UNB had a power play carry over to the start of the second period, and although they didn't score with the man advantage they still had their primary power play unit on the ice, battling for the puck in the Panthers zone, when Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) got a couple of whacks at the puck before tying the game at the 51 second mark. UNB kept buzzing the Panthers net as the period rolled along, and their play down low drew penalties. The V-Reds had a 5-on-3 power play for 72 seconds at 6:30, but a strong Panthers penalty kill really limited their scoring chances. There wasn't a lot of really good scoring chances for the rest of the period, as UPEI did a good job keeping UNB to the perimeter. Despite this, the V-Reds outshot them 15-7 in the period.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
The third period was essentially the story of UNB trying to battle through the UPEI neutral zone trap, with the Panthers patient to wait for turnovers between the blue lines. Late in the period, with UNB shorthanded, defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) blasted a shot from outside the blue line that beat Guggenberger and brought everyone in the building to their feet, until the goal was waved off because a V-Reds forward was still in the Panthers zone and therefore the play was offside. UNB had a couple more chances, and each team picked up late penalties so they were down to four skaters each at the end of regulation time. The V-Red outshot the Panthers 15-4 in the third period.

Thanks to the penalties that carried over, the ten minute overtime opened with three skaters for each team, and somewhat tentative play. However once both teams were back to four skaters, it was wide open hockey, and the speedy V-Reds took advantage of the extra room. It was all UNB in the extra period. Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) completed a great pass from Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS), only to see his shot clang off the crossbar. Soon after Stamler had a great chance in close. Then Marc-Antoine Desnoyer (St-Jerome, QC) rang a shot off the post, followed soon after by Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) rifling a shot off the helmet and visor of Panthers d-man Mathew Maione (Unionville, ON). Finally came the game winner at 8:11 as Procyshen used Desnoyer as the decoy on the odd-man rush. When the game's first star was asked about the goal by the on-ice announcer, Procyshen told the crowd he “just closed his eyes and fired it!” Shots were 7-1 for UNB in the overtime period.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
After the game, Desnoyer remarked that while he was ready for the pass on the play, he was glad that Procyshen scored, while Procyshen noted that although he knew someone was with him on the rush, “it is never a bad idea to shoot” and he decided at the last second to go low, blocker side. Guggenberger acknowledged that he simply got beat by a good shot on the 2-on-1 play.

Speaking on the emotional game UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall said, “That's the game you want to win. There was a good opponent out there. We knew we'd have a wounded animal after their loss to STU.” MacDougall wasn't especially happy with UNB's defensive zone coverage Friday night against Moncton and he thought it really improved in this game, limiting the Panthers to 18 shots and few good scoring chances.

While disappointed with the loss, UPEI head coach Forbie MacPherson saw a huge difference in the play of his team. “I'm very happy after they rebounded today. Every point is valuable now.”
Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
With the win, UNB's record improves to 15-4-0 in conference play and they remain in first place. Saint Mary's lost to Acadia 4-2 and are three points back in second place. UPEI and StFX are now tied for third place, each with 23 points.

Game Notes: This was Hunter Tremblay's 100th regular season game for UNB. He is now tied with George Wood for third in all-time career regular season goals with 68. Tremblay is now just 11 points behind Rob Hennigar for the all-time regular season plus playoffs career points lead. This was the second of two School Nights that are scheduled each season, with large groups of students from Fredericton area elementary schools sitting in designated sections. UNB forwards Matt Fillier, Jeff Lee, and Luke Lynes were not dressed for the game.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Procyshen Ends Overtime Thriller

Taylor Procyshen's shot ended a pretty good hockey game with 1:49 left in overtime as the V-Reds defeated the UPEI Panthers by a 2-1 score.  The story in this game was the solid play of rookie goaltender Mark Guggenberger who made over 50 saves to keep his team in this one.

The game started off with an odd play - Tyson Gimblett was ejected for interference from the bench, but UPEI would score off a shot that deflected off of Jonathan Harty and through Derek Yeomans.  The Panthers contained UNB until Hunter Tremblay scored in the second period.  UNB would come close to ending it in the overtime period, hitting a crossbar and a post on separate plays before Procyshen's goal.

Daine Todd made his return to the ice and handled himself well.  He issued, and received several strong body checks and didn't seem worse for wear.  Final shots favoured the V-Reds 56-18.  Rookie Marc-Antoine Desnoyers made his home debut and appeared to earn an assist on the winner (official results pending).

The win keeps UNB in first place with a 3 point lead over SMU, who were 4-2 losers to Acadia.

V-Reds Host UPEI Tonight

The UPEI Panthers will be visiting the V-Reds this evening at 7PM at the AUC.  The Panthers will be looking to rebound from their 7-1 trouncing at the hands of the STU Tommies last night.  UNB is carrying a streak of 4 consecutive regular season home games without giving up a goal, but that is sure to be put to the test early as the Panthers have been scoring goals as much as any team in the AUC this season.

UPEI  has been one of this season's surprises.  Matt Carter is leading the Panthers offence, and the overall AUS scoring race, with 16 goals and 33 points in 18 games this season.  He's followed closely by Cory Vitarelli's 13 goals and 28 points.  Goalie Jhase Sniderman has been stingy in net, posting a 2.99 GAA and save percentage of .905.

The series has been split so far.  UPEI surprised the V-Reds by a score of 4-2 back on October 15th, but UNB returned the favour 2 weeks later with a 4-1 win at the Aitken Centre.

Expect a full house tonight as hundreds of students from district 18 attend the game.  Tonight's game can be viewed as a webcast on the SSN network, listened to on CHSR radio, and followed on UNBHockey on Twitter.

UNB Defeats UdeM 7-4

MONCTON While the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men's hockey team had their three-game shutout streak halted, they did score three power play goals in a decisive 7-4 road win over the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus. It was the fourth win in a row for UNB and eighth loss in a row for UdeM.

There were four goals scored in the first period, with three of them scored on the power play and two of those by UNB. New Varsity Reds defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyer (St-Jerome, QC) was out on the left point of the first power play, which soon became a five-on-three man advantage, and he picked up his first CIS assist when he passed the puck to captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) behind the Moncton goal line, who in turn fired a quick shot that was deflected by the stick or skate of Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) camped at the side of the net, and past goaltender Andre-Michel Guay (Moncton, NB) at 4:06. Five minutes later UdeM got that goal back on their first power play, as newcomer Alexandre Quesnel (Dorval, QC) fired a wrister from the slot that beat Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB). Seconds later Guay robbed UNB defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) from getting a go ahead goal. However less than five minutes later the V-Reds were back on the power play, and this time Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) pounced on the rebound from Culligan's shot to put UNB once again in the lead. With 61 seconds to go in the period, V-Reds d-man Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) fired a low point shot that Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) adroitly tipped past Guay, and UNB was up 4-1 after 20 minutes, outshooting Moncton 15-7 in the process.

The second period was similar to the first. While Moncton had a couple of good shifts to start, UNB soon settled back in control. The V-Reds put on a clinic on the power play at 6:47 as crisp tic-tac-toe passes from Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB) to Taylor Procyshen (Emerald Park, SK) to Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB) gave Guay no chance to make a save. At 9:34 Ian Mathieu-Girard (St-Gédéon de Beauce, QC) snapped a bouncy puck past Fullerton to put some life into the Moncton attack, but UNB responded yet again at 11:17 when Corcoran jumped into the rush as a trailer and put a deft Dion Campbell (Melville, SK) pass into the top corner of the Aigles Bleus net. Shots were 14-7 for UNB in the middle period.

Moncton's best period was the third, but it was a classic case of too little, too late. UNB's Josh Hepditch (Fredericton, NB), who was back in the line-up and playing forward and defence at different times in the game, was sprung on a breakaway by Gallant and he deked out Guay for a goal at 8:06. Mathieu-Girard responded with an opportunistic goal at 9:34 for his second goal, only to be answered by Tremblay's second at 12:58. The last goal of the game came at 16:48 as UdeM's Charles Bergeron (St-Joseph de Coleraine, QC) was way in behind the UNB defence and turned a long Mathieu-Girard pass into a successful breakaway. Moncton outshot UNB 14-8 in the period, but the V-Reds had the 37-28 shot margin in the game.

UNB now has a record of 14-4-0 and holds onto first place in the AUS standings, just one point ahead of the Saint Mary's Huskies who defeated the Dalhousie Tigers 5-0. The Varsity Reds will be back home Saturday night when they host the UPEI Panthers.

Friday, January 14, 2011

V-Reds Dump UdeM 7-4

The V-Reds offence flexed its muscle in a 7-4 win Friday night vs. UdeM.  Scoring for UNB were Chris Culligan, Hunter Tremblay with 2, Nick MacNeil, Jordan Clendenning, Spencer Corcoran, and Josh Hepditch.  Travis Fullerton got the start and made 24 saves for the win.

Ben Wright served his suspension, while rookie Marc-Antoine Desnoyer made his debut.  Shots on goal favoured UNB by a 37-28 margin.  The win keeps UNB in first place in the AUS, one point ahead of SMU who were winners vs. Dalhousie by a 5-0 score.

The V-Reds are back in Fredericton Saturday night to host the UPEI Panthers.

Boyce Continues To Contribute To Leafs

Darryl Boyce picked up another assist in Toronto's loss last night.  With 2 goals, 3 assists in 8 games, Boyce continues to contribute to the Leafs.  In today's Daily Gleaner, Bill Hunt took a look at some dollars and cents of Boyce's latest trip to the NHL.

We decided we'd do our own numbers checking out of curiousity.  This blogger's favourite NHL team is the train-wreck that has become the Ottawa Senators.  Boyce's points-per-game pace of .625 would tie Jason Spezza for the lead on the Senators.  That's more than Daniel Alfredsson, and Alex Kovalev.  Kovalev earns a paltry $5 million for his production.  That'd buy a lot of Darryl Boyces.

Here's a link to a Darryl Boyce interview from Thursday where he has a few kinds words to say about UNB.

AUS Pool Week 9 Results

Our apologies for being a bit late with the results this week.  The first week of 2011 is behind us and AUS Fan carries the lead with 216 points.  A new challenger in the form of Section 10 has emerged and is threatening to take the lead.

You guys who took a few UPEI Panthers forward Cory Vitarelli as your 4th forward are being rewarded.  He's already eclipsed his career best of 24 pts back in 2007-08 with the 28 and counting he has so far, and finds himself 2 points ahead of Hunter Tremblay in the scoring race.  Perhaps the best comment we can give another team's player is that we won't miss him when he graduates this season.

The standings are listed below.  Please have a look to see if our math is correct.  If it isn't, kindly send us an e-mail and we'll check into it for you.

1 AUS Fan 71 111 216
2 Section 10 70 100 202
3 blackmarketmob 70 96 195
4 UNB BRUINS FAN 62 96 194
5 Red Devil 65 104 191
6 Matt J 62 99 188
7 AUSFAN72 50 88 181
8 Tim Martell 64 98 180
9 Hardy Fan 49 87 179
10 jack gillis 69 99 178
11 Randy Corey 50 94 177
12 UNBforever 51 90 174
13 Jeremy Muise 61 78 173
14 Ken C 57 88 172
15 FORREST  50 86 172
16 vredsfan 67 85 171
17 BruinsFan0877 61 101 170
18 Robert Penney 53 87 170
19 David Kilfoil 50 84 170
20 Brandon 50 90 166
21 Hockey_Princess24 45 84 165
22 CMD 58 88 164
23 Todd's Shoulder 61 83 161
24 Adam Antium 51 78 159
25 Phatrat 42 80 156
26 true north fan 50 73 155
27 KevinCormier 42 77 155
28 Davidlep 47 77 154
29 Eagles A Plenty 45 66 154
30 Dylan.M 45 75 154
31 Adam Lanto 47 79 152
32 slapshot 45 70 151
33 Fan Of the Vreds 48 66 150
34 UNBNurse 42 77 145
35 UNBelievable Fan 44 64 144
36 Lee-Anne 38 70 144
37 Drummer 47 68 141
38 Barney 42 61 139
39 Steve Noddin 49 89 138
40 iceman 44 75 134
41 Stephanie 37 61 134
42 UNBFAN34 36 62 134
43 TommiesVideo 44 81 133
44 Big Bad Jon 40 73 128
45 Wolfville Warrior 39 61 116
46 Alta 3rd liner 38 53 113

UNB @UdeM, tonight!

The CIS #1 V-Reds (13-4-0) travel down to do battle with the AUS #7 UdeM Aigles Bleus (5-10-2) tonight at the J-Lous-Levesque arena at 7pm. This is the final regular season meeting between these two teams, with the V-Reds having won the previous three meetings 4-0, 3-1, and 4-0.

The V-Reds, having been voted the #1 team in the CIS for this first time this season in the last media poll, hold a one point lead over the CIS #4 SMU Huskies (12-4-1) and will look to maintain that lead tonight. Hunter Tremblay is coming off of a 5 point weekend, while Chirs Culligan leads UNB's offence against UdeM this year with 4 points (1G 3A). Travis Fullerton has not allowed any UdeM player to put a puck past him this year, shutting them out on his last two starts against them.

UdeM is trying to turn around a seven game losing streak, and to hunt for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AUS this year. UdeM has acquired three new players since last term with the addition of Eric Faille, Maxime Pilon, and Alexandre Quesnel. UdeM is led in scoring by Dean Ouellet and Kevin Charland with 16 and 12 points respectively.

There is a live feed of the game that can be viewed here; the game can be heard on CHSR 97.9 radio, and can be followed on UNBHockey on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Top Ten of 2011: UNB is #1!

With the beginning of the second term, the CIS has released the ninth Top Ten of the 2010-2011 season, with UNB moving into the #1 spot. SMU moves up to #4, while UPEI remains at #6. UNB's two shutout wins over the weekend, coupled with a 7-1 victory over McGill during the Christmas break, was surely a big part of the reason why UNB has taken over the top spot with 12 first place votes.

Here's how the rankings look in the ninth media poll.

(regular season record) / votes (first-plae votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UNB (13-4-0) / 171 pts (12) / (2)
2. Alberta (12-2-2) / 163 (4) / (1)
3. McGill (18-0-2) / 138 (2) / (3)
4. Saint Mary's (12-4-1) / 125 / (5)
5. Western Ontario (14-1-3) / 109 / (4)
6. UPEI (10-5-2) / 68 / (6)
7. Saskatchewan (10-6-0) / 67 / (8)
8. Lakehead (13-4-1) / 52 / (7)
9. Manitoba (7-3-4) / 38 / (9)
10. UQTR (13-5-0) / 24 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: StFX (14), Calgary (10), Wilfrid Laurier (6), Nipissing (3), Carleton (1), Guelph (1).

The full article can be found here.

V-Reds Add Defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, Jon Harty Player of the Week

It's probably been the worst kept secret at UNB in the last 2 days, but the Varsity Reds have added some offence to the blueline in the form of Marc-Antoine Desnoyers.  After starting two seasons  in the QMJHL with Rouyn-Noranda, Desnoyers played two years in Acadie-Bathurst with current V-Reds forward Jordan Clendenning, and finished his junior career in Drummondville.  This year, he played with Elmira of the ECHL and even a game with Peoria of the AHL.

Last year in Drummondville, he lit the lamp for 18 goals and added 36 assists for 54 points in 68 games.  To try to put some perspective to those numbers, current V-Reds defenceman Luke Gallant saw his highest output total 56 points in 68 games with the Fog Devils back in 2005-06, and Ben Shutron managed 35 points in 67 games in the OHL in 2008-09.  While past performance is no guarantee of future expectations, its safe to say Desnoyers will be looked upon to add some scoring from the blueline.

Welcome to UNB, Marc-Antione.

See also Bill Hunt's article in today's Daily Gleaner.

In other news, Jonathan Harty's two game-winning goals this past weekend help him earn UNB/Valley Graphics Male Athlete of the Week. The UNB press release can be found here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

V-Reds Blunt Axemen 6-0

FREDERICTON – Saturday night the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds blanked the Acadia Axemen 6-0 in a men's hockey game that was much closer than the score would indicate, with all of the scoring coming in the second half of the match. Derek Yeomans (St. Albert, AB) earned the shutout for UNB's second of the weekend, third in a row in AUS conference play, and fourth shutout in a row at home.
Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

The game was projected to be a statement game, and it delivered, as the V-Reds were determined to make up for their 3-2 loss to the Axemen in Wolfville in November, while Acadia was hoping to not only continue the momentum from their road win the night before against UPEI, but prove that they deserve to be considered a threat for the AUS championship.

The first period saw UNB have the clear edge in territorial play as they outshot Acadia 12-4, but neither team could score and each came up short on their single power play opportunity. The best scoring chance for either team came early in the period when Ryan Graham (Mount Pearl, NF) had a shorthanded breakaway and Yeomans made the initial save only to see the puck trickle through his pads. Fortunately for UNB it was stopped by defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) before it could cross the goal line. At the other end of the ice Kris Westblom (Meadow Lake, SK) made key saves in the period off Gallant at the end of a good passing play and he later came up big on a one-timer delivered by Lachlan MacIntosh (Perth Andover, NB).

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
By contrast, the second period was probably the wildest and most intense 20 minutes at the Aitken University Centre this season. At 6:25 UNB's Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) was hit hard along the boards near the Varsity Reds bench by Dustin Ekelman (Whitby, ON) in a play that just about everyone in the building, except the referee, judged to be checking from behind. V-Red defencemen Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) certainly thought so and engaged Ekelman and was subsequently caught up with third-man-in Zack Firlotte (Minto, NB) in a scrum. At 8:16 Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) appeared to have his head driven into the glass by Acadia d-man Michael Ward (Shippagan, NB) at almost the same location as the Bailey incident, and Kidd immediately took matters into his own hands with Ward when no penalty was called on the hit. The big UNB defenceman was fortunate to escape without a fighting major after the spirited tussle.

The first goal of the game came at 11:36 when UNB defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) went to the net with speed and knocked in a rebound, and then got into a pushing and shoving match before he could celebrate the goal. Less than two minutes later Firlotte was called for boarding for a big hit on Kidd, and the UNB power play went to work. Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) made a nice pass to Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) in the slot who fired the puck past Westblom at 14:00 to put UNB up 2-0. In the last minute of the period V-Reds defenceman Ben Wright (Foremost, AB) drove the net with Tremblay, who scored on the play, and Wright plowed into Axeman Paul Kurceba (Calgary, AB), who took exception, and the two defencemen dropped the gloves and had a spirited fight in the crease before the officials jumped in. Both Wright and Kurceba were ejected from the game and they will be automatically suspended for another game. Wright also got an extra minor for the original hit on Kurceba, so Acadia went on the power play after giving up the goal. However the Axeman didn't take advantage, and worse, Bailey and Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) combined to score a shorthanded goal with just 8 seconds to go in the period. So UNB came away with four goals in the period despite being outshot 13-10.
Photo Courtesy Brian Smith

Acadia head coach Darren Burns opted to put Michael Chiasson (Cole Harbour, NS) in the Axemen net to start the third period. Chiasson was doing well until 4:54 when Nick Layton (Salisbury, NB) entered the Acadia zone with speed and ripped a high shot from the top of the circle that blew by the goaltender and sent his water bottle spinning into the air. Less than two minutes later Culligan was behind the Acadia net and passed the puck to Tremblay out front in the slot, and his one-timer made it 6-0 for UNB. The third period had been significantly less edgy until the 10:18 mark, when a scrum broke out in front of the V-Reds net as some Acadia players kept battling in the crease after Yeomans gloved the puck. The pushing and shoving continued as the players paired off in the UNB zone. Fans howled when Tremblay, who was tied up with Chris Bruton (Calgary, AB) along the boards, took several punches to the face while just trying to hold onto his stick. After the players finally calmed down and the officials regained control, four V-Reds (Jordan Clendenning, Harty, Tremblay and Matt Fillier) and four Axemen (Graham, Jonathan Laberge, Bruton and Ward) were given 10-minute misconducts and all but Ward were also assessed minor penalties for roughing. After the penalties were announced the eight combatants were sent to their dressing rooms, creating a lot more room on the team benches.  

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
Despite the lopsided score, the remainder of the period was still pretty entertaining as the Axeman tried to spoil Yeoman's shutout and the V-Reds did everything in their power to prevent it. The shots in the final period were a relatively low 8-6 in favour of Acadia, who were outshot 28-25 in the game. Yeomans earned his first shutout of the season, following up on goaltending partner Travis Fullerton who had a shutout Friday night. The players of the game were: 1. Derek Yeomans; 2. Hunter Tremblay; 3. Chris Culligan. The paid attendance at the Aitken University Centre was 2324.

Even though they lost handly, Burns thought his team played pretty well all game, and he thought the second period power plays were the turning point. “They've got some guys who buried, and we were pretty snake bitten around the net ... they've got some guys who sniped at opportune times.” He added, “I thought we had some fantastic chances tonight, and we didn't score any goals.” Burns wouldn't comment on the officiating as he believes “it takes away from two teams who worked hard.”

UNB captain Bailey, sporting several facial contusions as a result of the weekend's play, was almost relishing the battle scars and played down the two hits to the head he received. “Teams are very close this year. The physicality is going to get ramped up earlier ... the games are close, they're intense, you couldn't ask for anything better.” D-man Harty wasn't surprised by the physical tone of the game. “They're a very tough team, and like to play physical. So do we, and we went toe to toe out there.”

With the win, the V-Reds maintain their hold on first place in the AUS standings and they are now 13-4-0 in conference play. Next weekend UNB will be in Moncton on Friday night to play les Aigles Bleus and they will be back home Saturday night to host the UPEI Panthers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

UNB Continues Second Half With 6-0 Win Vs. Acadia

Not about to be out-done by Travis Fullerton, goaltender Derek Yeomans recorded his own shut-out on Saturday night against the Acadia Axemen as the Varsity Reds rolled to a 6-0 win.  Yeomans turned aside 24 shots in what was a very chippy game at times.  Scoring for UNB were Jonathan Harty, Chris Culligan, Hunter Tremblay with 2, Nick MacNeil, and Nick Layton.

Shots were 28-24 in favour of the V-Reds. The win keeps UNB firmly planted in first place in the AUS with 26 points.

UNB opens second half with win over Dal

FREDERICTON -- The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey team started the second half of AUS conference play the same way they finished the first half – with a shutout win. This time it was 5-0 over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers with the V-Reds defence leading the offence and netminder Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) picking up his fourth shutout of the season.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
UNB was anxious for the rematch against the Tigers to atone for their 6-3 loss on November 27, despite outshooting Dal 55-23 that night. Friday night the V-Reds came out flying and tested Bobby Nadeau (Lac-Etchemin, QC) in the Dal nets several times in the early going to no avail. Around the 12:30 mark UNB captain Kyle Bailey (Ponoka, AB) was taken down with a hard hit to the head by Dal defenceman Justin Javorek (Bratislava, Slovakia). Neither of the two referees working the game called a penalty on the play, and Bailey left the game and did not return. Thirty seconds later UNB defenceman Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) burst into the Dal zone, shrugged off a high stick (which drew a delayed Tigers penalty), split the defence, and wired the puck through Nadeau's legs for the first goal of the game, and a highlight reel play at that.

At 17:49 UNB's energy line was wreaking havoc down low when d-man Spencer Corcoran (Summerside, PEI) let a blast go from the left point through the traffic in the slot that Nadeau probably didn't see until the puck was already in the net. Twenty-two seconds later Chris Culligan (Howie Center, NS) carried the puck down the left side and fired the puck across the slot to a streaking Jordan Clendenning (Fredericton, NB), who redirected the puck into the open side as he drove the net. UNB outshot Dal a decisive 14-6 in the first period.

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
UNB kept the pressure on in the second period, and were rewarded again at 3:09 when big defenceman Josh Kidd (Sundridge, ON) found an open lane and jumped into the rush and beat Nadeau glove side with a nice wrist shot. That goal saw Nadeau replaced in the Dal net by veteran Josh Disher (Burlington, ON). Disher did well to hold the fort until late in the period, at 18:50, when first year V-Red forward Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) took the body to make a play at the blue line, springing Ryan Seymour (Fredericton, NB) who rushed into the slot and beat the Dal goalie with a quick wrist shot. Shots were 11-9 in favour of UNB in the second period.

There was no scoring in the third period, and the Tigers lost forward Francois Gauthier (Rimouski, QC) at 2:39 when he had his face cut as a result of a heavy hit from UNB defenceman Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). There was a fair amount of blood on the ice afterwards, but no penalty call on the play. Tempers flared at 12:26 when Ronald Kelly (Lloydminster, AB) crashed into Fullerton in the UNB net, and again about 30 seconds later when UNB's Hunter Tremblay (Timmins, ON) was involved in an incident that saw him called for slashing, plus an extra ten minutes for disputing the call with the officials. Shots in the third period were a low 5-3 for UNB, who outshot Dal 30-18 in the 5-0 victory.

Neither team scored on the power play in the game, with Dal having four man-advantage situations and UNB two. The three stars of the game were: 1. Ryan Seymour; 2. Bretton Stamler; 3. Travis Fullerton. Paid attendance at the Aitken University Centre was 2307.

UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall was pleased with his team. “Overall it was a pretty good 60 minute effort. I thought we were efficient in the first period and took advantage of our opportunities. We had good shots on the goals we scored.” Speaking to the physical tone of the game, veteran forward Seymour stated that “Dal beat us pretty bad last time and it was a little bit of a redemption game for us and we wanted to prove a point and they were in our building tonight.”

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
From Dal coach Pete Belliveau's perspective, “we were a little short of ammo. They were sharp, we couldn't get anything through that wall.” He added ruefully that thanks to UNB's puck pressure “it was a good chance to practice our d-zone coverage.” Belliveau scratched leading scorer Ben Breault (St.Jean, QC) and new recruit Zach Harnden (Thunder Bay, ON) for breaking team rules.

Game Notes: UNB defenceman Luke Gallant (Bedford, NS) played his first game since breaking his finger on November 9, while forward Taylor Procyshen (Emerald Park, SK)was playing his first conference game of the season, coming back from concussion related symptoms dating to the preseason. UNB's Josh Hepditch (Fredericton, NB) sustained a lower body injury during practice this week and will be out of the line-up for an indefinite period of time. Fullerton's fourth shutout may be a UNB record for most shutouts in one season. UNB's record in AUS conference play is now 12-4-0 and they remain first place in the standings. The V-Reds host the Acadia Axemen Saturday night at 7:00 pm.

Axemen visit the AUC tonight!

The AUS fifth ranked Acadia Axemen (8-6-2) visit the CIS #2 ranked UNB V-Reds (12-4-0) tonight at 7pm at the AUC. The V-Reds still remember the 3-2 loss they suffered against Axemen back on November 26th, and will be looking for payback.

Last night, the V-Reds were running on all cyclinders as they skated to a convincing 5-0 shutout over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers. With five different scorers and an AUS leading fourth shutout for Travis Fullerton, the V-Reds looked like they were back to early season form. The return of Taylor Procyshen and Luke Gallant to the ice was a welcome sight to the fans. Hunter Tremblay added two more assists last night, bringing his career points mark to 195, 17 behind Rob Hennigar's career leading mark of 212.

The Axemen skated to a 4-2 victory over the AUS #3 UPEI Panthers (9-5-2), despite being outshot 32-20. the Axemen are led in scoring by Jonathan Laberge, Chris Bruton, and Andrew Clark with 18, 17, and 17 points respectively.

Tonight's game can be viewed as a webcast on the SSN network, watched on Rogers TV, listened to on CHSR radio, and followed on UNBHockey on Twitter.

Boyce Living The Dream

If you're like us you can't get enough of the feel-good story of Darryl Boyce making it to the NHL.  Today's Daily Gleaner has a story about Boyce by Greg Weston.  Weston gets Boyce to talk about his path to "the show", his decision to pursue a degree and more. Get out and buy a copy.

Interestingly, Weston points to the 4 current players in the NHL who played in the CIS.  We've noticed that 3 of them played in the AUS, Joel Ward (UPEI), Jody Shelley (Dalhousie) and Darryl Boyce (UNB).  Mathieu Darche represents the lone OUA contribution (McGill).

Friday, January 7, 2011

V-Reds Clobber Tigers In 5-0 Win

Powered by five different goal scorers, UNB cruised to a dominant 5-0 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers. Jonathan Harty, Matt Fillier, Jordan Clendenning, Josh Kidd, and Ryan Seymour scored the goals for the V-Reds, while Travis Fullerton stopped 17 shots to earn his league leading 4th shut-out of the season.  It's been awhile since a UNB goalie recorded 4 shut-outs in one season, and Fullerton beat his personal best of 3 shut-outs back in his 2008-09 rookie season with the fourth one tonight.

Shots were 32-17 for the Varsity Reds.  Luke Gallant made his return to the line-up after missing several games.  Kyle Bailey was knocked out of the game midway through the first period with what looked to be an elbow to the head.  No penalty was called on the play.  Hopefully it's nothing serious and he can return to the ice soon.

UNB hosts the Acadia Axemen in what's sure to be a spirited competition tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DAL Tigers visit V-Reds tonight!

The DAL Tigers (8-7-0) come visit the AUC tonight at 7pm to take on the CIS #2 V-Reds (11-4-0). The V-Reds still remember the 6-3 loss that the Tigers handed them back on Nov. 28th, and will be looking to reverse that fortune.

The Christmas break is over, and the V-Reds look to begin their final push to Nationals in their last 13 regular season games. While a big win over McGill and high energy play against Providence was good for the team, the regular season is what really matters, and the V-Reds will look to start the second term on a winning note. With the expectation of more healthy bodies than the V-Reds have had in quite some time, fans will be eager to see what the V-Reds look like starting the second term.

The Tigers added a Zach Harnden to the rost, a 60 point man last year in the OHL. The Tigers one game over the Christmas break was a 4-3 OT loss to the UPEI Panthers. Benjamin Breault and Brad McConnell lead the Tigers with 17 and 14 points respectively.

The game can be watched on Rogers TV, listened to on CHSR radio, and followed on UNBHockey on Twitter.