Friday, September 30, 2011

V-Reds Make It Four In A Row

WOODSTOCK – Thursday night the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds moved to 4-0 in preseason hockey play with a 3-2 victory over les Patriotes from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in a game played at the Carleton Civic Centre in Woodstock.

UNB's Jordan Clendenning, who grew up in Woodstock before moving downriver to Fredericton as a youngster to pursue his hockey dream, took both the ceremonial faceoff and the real faceoff in front of an appreciative crowd. The V-Reds' two Quebec-born players, Marc-Antoine Desnoyer (St. Hippolyte, QC) and Antoine Houde-Caron (Trois-Rivières, QC), were both part of the opening line-up against a UQTR squad that was once accustomed to recruiting the best Francophone players from the QMJHL.

The first period did not have any goals for the fans. Neither team looked especially fluid in the first period, other than Tommy Tremblay (La Tuque, QC) with an early chance on the power play against UNB's starting netminder Dan LaCosta (Labrador City, NF). UNB had three power plays of their own in the period and peppered rookie UQTR goalie Guillaume Nadeau (St-Jean-Chrysostome, QC) with shots when they had the man advantage. Shots were 16-6 for UNB in the first 20 minutes.

The second period continued along with no score and not a lot of great scoring chances for either team. UNB's Travis Fullerton (Riverview, NB) spelled off LaCosta in nets midway through the period. Rookie Thomas Nesbitt (Ottawa, ON) was playing his first game with the V-Reds since rejoining the team this week after spending time at the New Jersey Devils' camp, and as the match went on you could see him getting more comfortable with his new linemates Nick MacNeil (Creignish, NS) and Chris Culligan (Howie Centre, NS). At 12:42 Nesbitt won the battle for the puck in the UQTR corner, and fired the puck from below the goal line to MacNeil at the net for the redirect goal. UQTR's best scoring chance of the period was about three-quarters through when Olivier Ouellet (Drummondville, QC) had a partial break but couldn't beat Fullerton's glove.. Shots were ten apiece in the middle period.

The third period started off great for les Patriotes. Right off the opening faceoff UQTR swarmed the ice in front of Fullerton, and after several players had a whack at the puck it was Maxime Gravel (Château-Richer, QC) who was credited with the last touch before it went in at the 40 second mark. With the game now tied the tempo picked up measurably. At 7:30 it was the V-Reds flooding the offensive zone, and Luke Lynes (Rochester Hills, MI) wristed the puck through a screen of players into the top corner. UNB increased their lead to two goals at 9:55 when Nesbitt scored a pretty one from MacNeil and Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, AB). However less than a minute later, UQTR was handed a golden opportunity to get back in the game when V-Reds d-man Jonathan Harty (Oromocto, NB) was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for head contact when he nailed a UQTR player in the slot. Harty had been a physical force all night, and as unhappy as he was to leave the ice and the game it was probably the right call by the referee.

UQTR only managed one goal on the five-minute power play, when Toimmy Tremblay finished a tic-tac-toe passing play at 12:22. However Tremblay wore the goat horns in the last minute of the game, when he was called for charging on Nesbitt -- putting UQTR a man down for their last chance to tie the game late. Fittingly it was Nesbitt who had UNB's best scoring chance on the power play in the dying seconds of the period.

Final shots were 36-25 for UNB in the 3-1 victory. The three game stars were: #1 Thomas Nesbitt, #2 Guillaume Nadeau, #3 Jordan Clendenning. The V-Reds head across the border to play the NCAA's New Hampshire on Saturday and Maine on Sunday (both games at 4:00 pm EDT) while UQTR is in Truro Friday night for a game against Saint Mary's, before retracing their steps back to Fredericton on Saturday to play St. Thomas.

UNB Wins 3-2 vs. UQTR

Third period goals from Luke Lynes and Thomas Nesbitt helped secure a 3-2 victory vs. UQTR in Woodstock on Thursday night.  Nick MacNeil scored the other UNB goal, assisted by Nesbitt, who was the game's 1st star in his first game in a UNB jersey.

Dan Lacosta started the game and was relieved by Travis Fullerton midway through the second period.  Final shots on goal were 36-25 for UNB.

The team continues its road trip to New Hampshire on Saturday, and Maine on Sunday for a pair of tough NCAA opponents.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

UNB hosts UQTR tonight in Woodstock

The CIS defending champion UNB V-Reds will be the host to the UQTR Patriotes at the 7:00 pm at the Carleton Civic Centre in Woodstock.

This will be the 10th meeting of these two teams since the 84-85 season. The V-Reds have a 7-1-0-1 record against UQTR in those previous nine games. Their last meeting was in a pair of games the 26th and 27th of September in 2008, when the V-Reds won 4-3 in OT and 3-2 in regulation.

The V-Reds are 3-0-0 in the preseason this year, having scored 13 goals while only allowing one. With a mix of veteran and new players, the V-Reds have shown that the defensive system they have in place works quite well, while still scoring key goals with their patient offensive style.

UQTR is 2-1-0 this preseason, with victories over Concordia and Lakehead, and a loss to Lakehead. UQTR has 13 new players this year and are once again looking to challenge for the OUA title. The Civic Center will open its doors at 6pm for spectators.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

UNB Adds Forwards To Roster

The UNB Varsity Reds would like to announce the addition of forwards Robbie Drummond and Stefan Salituro and the return of Thomas Nesbitt from his NHL camp to their roster for the upcoming 2010-11 AUS regular season. The defending CIS Champions are off to a 3-0 pre-season start and will have 3 games on the road this week-end including a 7:00 pm start on Thursday in Woodstock, NB versus UQTR.

Drummond is a 5 year OHL veteran of the London Knights where he helped win a Memorial Cup. The London, Ontario native was team captain in his final year with the Knights where he had 21G-45A for 66 points in 56 games played. The 5’11” 180 pound speedster then played 2 years of professional hockey including 50 games in the ECHL with the Johnstown Chiefs where he scored 41 points before being called up to the American Hockey League. He played parts of 2 years with the Lake Erie Monsters where he played 33 games before cutting short his career because of injuries. He had off season ankle surgery this past summer and is expected to play for the V-Reds at some point in the 1st half of the season. UNB Head Coach Gardiner Mac Dougall had these comments “Robbie has a great deal of championship experience and is excited about resuming his career here at UNB. His skill set, his speed and tenacity along with his leadership qualities will make him a fine addition to our program.”

Stefan Salituro is a 20 year old forward from Willowdale, Ontario who was a key member of the 2011 Royal Bank Champion Pembroke Lumber Kings where he scored 41 points in just 25 games in the regular season before adding 19 in 14 playoff games. He was a former member of Robert Morris of the NCAA where he tied a school rookie scoring record with 15 points in 25 games. He had earlier played 2 years in the North American Junior League where he was the leading scorer for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms with 48 points in 57 games. He was invited on a try-out to UNB and had 2 goals in his first 3 CIS games with the Varsity Reds.” Stefan has been a pleasant surprise for our team and has shown a very good skill set and the ability to create offensive opportunities.”

Nesbitt had been attending the NHL main camp of the New Jersey Devils and will be in the line-up this week-end for UNB. The Varsity Reds will head south after their game vs UQTR to play 2 top Hockey East opponents in University of New Hampshire on Saturday at 4:00pm and University of Maine on Sunday at 4:00pm.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UNB beats Calgary 2-0

For the second night in a row, the V-Reds did battle with the Calgary Dinos, this time it was at the Tri-County Complex in Fredericton Junction.

The V-Reds came out hard, but were unable to find the back of the net in the first period. The second period saw the V-Reds continue to push and they were rewarded at the 3:01 mark when Clendenning scored on a pass from Lee and Campbell. The rest of the second was a back and forth battle, with no more scoring.

The V-Reds continued to push in the third, but were unable to score until Antoine Houde-Caron picked up an empty netter on a pass from Taylor MacDougall at the 19:17 mark.

The V-Reds are in action again on Thursday, September 29th when they travel to Woodstock to take on UQTR.

Friday, September 23, 2011

UNB drops Calgary 3-1

In their preseason home opener, the V-Reds dropped the Calgary Dinos 3-1 in front of approximately 1300 fans.

The two teams got off to a slow start, with only 11 shots combined in the first period. Josh Kidd scored at the 19:12 mark, to give the V-Reds a 1-0 lead after one. The V-Reds came out stronger in the second, and Salituro picked up an unassisted goal at the 8:58 mark of the second. Calgary bounced back, scoring at the 13:36 mark, the rest of the second saw a back and forth, with no more scoring.

The third period saw UNB control more of the tempo, and at the 7:03 mark, Campbell scored on a nice pass from Clendenning to make the score 3-1. The final shots on net were 30-14 in favor or the V-Reds.

These two teams pick up again tomorrow in Fredericton Junction for the Brooks Memorial game at 7:00 pm.

V-Reds preseason home opener: TONIGHT!!!

The CIS defending National champions UNB V-Reds host the Calgary Dinos tonight and Saturday night in a pair of preseason games. The first game will be played tonight night at 7pm at the Aitken University Center, while the second will be played Saturday night at 7pm at the Tri-County Complex in Fredericton Junction. This will be the annual Brooks Memorial game in support of minor hockey in the Tri-County area.

UNB is 1-0-0 in the preseason, with a dominant 8-0 victory over the DAL Tigers on Monday night in a game where six different V-Reds scored and that saw the V-Reds outshoot DAL 37-11.

The Dinos, who are 1-2-2 in the preseason this year, defeated StFX 2-1 Wednesday night after falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Axemen Tuesday night. The Dinos earned a berth at the 2011 CIS championship as the Canada West second place team. They had a 17-8-3 regular season record last year, eventually losing to Alberta in the CW finals. The Dinos were 0-2 at the CIS championship, but were tied 1-1 with the V-Reds in their first game of the tournament until defenseman Josh Kidd scored with 4.1 seconds left to lift the V-Reds to victory.

The game will be available as a webcast here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

V-Reds Score Often In Exhibition Tilt Vs. Tigers

A balanced offensive attack lead the UNB Varsity Reds to an 8-0 win vs. the Dalhousie Tigers in Port Hawkesbury, NS in the first exhibition game of the 2011-2012 season.  The defending CIS champs got out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first period with some nifty back-to-back goals by hometown hero Nick MacNeil, both assisted by Chris Culligan.  Dion Campbell and rookie Stefan Salituro added goals to end the first period.

The second period saw a goaltending switch, as newcomer Dan Lacosta relieved starter Travis Fullerton about half way through the period, but no goals were scored by either side.

In the third period Jordan Clendenning added two goals, while Luke Lynes and Ben Wright each had one to finish this one off.  

UNB returns to the ice this Friday at the Aitken Centre to host the Calgary Dinos.

V-Reds preseason starts TONIGHT!

It has been a long summer of waiting, but the V-Reds finally get back into the swing of things tonight as they travel down to Port Hawkesbury to take on the DAL Tigers in the first game of their preseason.

In the last twenty meetings between these two teams, the V-Reds hold a record of 18-2-0, but many remember the 6-3 pounding that DAL delivered to UNB last November, as it was their most lopsided loss of the year. Can DAL step up and do it again, or will UNB continue their winning ways from their dominant performance at Nationals last year?

Many questions remain unanswered at this point: Who will be the team captain? How will the new rookies look? Who will start between the pipes? The answers to these and other questions will start to unfold tonight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Varsity Reds Add Players

The UNB Varsity Reds would like to announce the addition of the following forward recruits to their line-up for the upcoming 2011-12 season. The Varsity Reds will be replacing eight forwards from their 2011 National Championship squad and these first four recruits include QMJHL graduates Antoine Houde-Caron of the Lewiston Maineiacs , Taylor Mac Dougall of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles along with OHL graduates Tyler Carroll of the Guelph Storm and Thomas Nesbitt of the Ottawa 67’s.

Antoine Houde-Caron is a five year QMJHL veteran who comes to the Varsity Reds via the Lewiston Maniacs of the QMJHL. Born in Brossard, Quebec, Antoine played 4 seasons for the Shawinigan Cataracts before joining Lewiston in 2010 - 11. A high energy, explosive forward, Antoine put up 16 goals, 25 assists for 41 points and 75 penalty minutes in 2010-11. As an alternate captain with Lewiston in his first season, he was awarded the Maniacs Unsung Hero award for his skill, leadership, and character. He possesses excellent speed and is in great physical condition.

Former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle Assistant Captain, Taylor MacDougall of New Maryland will be another one of a number of new faces amongst the UNB forward group. Originally selected in the 2nd Round of the QMJHL draft by the Saint John's Fog Devils, MacDougall, who is 6'04" and 225 lbs, is a five year QMJHL veteran who played over 300 games with the Eagles, Fog Devils and the now defunct Montreal Juniors . He had 9-11-20 pts in just 28 games in an injury plagued over-age year which saw him undergo season ending shoulder surgery in January. The hard working 2 way forward is an original member of UNB’s  V Reds Prospects developmental program and will be the sixth recent  member of the Screaming Eagles to join the UNB program.  Fully recovered from surgery, Mac Dougall attended the New York Rangers NHL Summer Development camp this past summer and had previously attended the Boston Bruins rookie camp in 2009.

Tyler Carroll had the best season of his four year OHL career with a 23 goal campaign as the Storm’s captain and for his performances was named co-team MVP, Humanitarian of the Year and Fan Favourite. The hard working 6’1 210 lb Carroll is a native of Strathroy, Ontario and has a big upside in his overall development. He was named among the top “2” in an OHL coaches poll as Hardest Worker, Best Defensive Forward and Most Under-rated. He excelled in Guelph on their special team’s unit especially as a top notch penalty killer and shot-blocker. He is attending his first NHL camp at the Traverse City Prospects tournament for the Carolina Hurricanes rookie squad.

Thomas Nesbitt is the former captain of the Ottawa 67’s who also enjoyed his best offensive season with 32 G - 33 A for 65 points in 65 games played. The durable five year OHL veteran set an all- time 67’s record for most games played (331) which included two 30 goal seasons. The 5’11 190 lb. Stittsville, Ontario native has a strong 2 way game, excellent speed and a potent offensive upside. This past year, he was awarded Ottawa’s Best 2 way Forward award along with the prestigious Brian Kilrea leadership award. He has previously attended the New Jersey Devils rookie and development camps and has been invited to their 2011 main training camp. Nesbitt will study Business Administration at UNB.

The Varsity Reds also announced that OHL playoff MVP Rob Mignardi will also attend UNB if he doesn’t sign a professional contract. Mignardi is currently at the LA Kings rookie camp and will also attend their main training camp later this month.  The Varsity Reds kick off their 2011 exhibition campaign in Port Hawkesbury, NS next Monday, Sept 19th vs. the Dalhousie Tigers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

UNB Adds Goaltender

The UNB Varsity Reds –defending 2011 CIS National Champions, are pleased to announce the first of their new recruits with the addition of goaltender Dan Lacosta to their line-up for the upcoming 2011-12 hockey season.

Goaltender Dan Lacosta was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 3rd round #93 overall of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Over the course of his career he suited for four games in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets; one in 2007 - 2008 and three in 2008-2009, posting two wins including an NHL shut-out and had a .950 save percentage.

Dan was a former OHL All-Star and played three seasons for the Owen Sound Attack before being traded to the Barrie Colts – where he was a team-mate of UNB’s all-time leading scorer Hunter Tremblay. His best OHL season was 2005-2006 with Barrie where he had six shut-outs, a save percentage of .915 and a 2.55 goals against average.

He then embarked on a professional career, which saw him play over a 100 games in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, top affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets along with stints in the East Coast Hockey league with Elmira and Dayton. He played 45 AHL games in 2008-2009 where he posted a 2.79 goals against and 9.13 save percentage before getting his second NHL call up to Columbus.

Born in Labrador City, NFLD, the 6’1 190 lb Lacosta is enrolled in Business Administration program. He sat out last season and had a 3.7 GPA during the 2011 winter semester at UNB. Lacosta will team up with 4th year veteran Travis Fullerton to give UNB a solid goaltending tandem.

The Varsity Reds would also like to announce that their first exhibition game of the season will be held on Monday, September 19th in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia where they will play the Dalhousie Tigers. UNB’s first home exhibition games – the annual UNB Fall Challenge will be held on Friday, September 23 when they host the University of Calgary Dinos before travelling to Fredericton Junction the next night to play the second game versus the Dinos.

For more information, please contact:
Gardiner MacDougall