Friday, December 30, 2011

UNB Hosts Ottawa In Battle For Pete Kelly Cup

The University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team will be hosting the Ottawa Gee-Gees for the 7th annual Peterbilt “Pete Kelly” Tournament on December 30th (7:00 pm) and 31st (1:00 pm). The Pete Kelly Tournament was started in 2006 in honour of the former NHLer, UNB player, coach and athletic director who had a longtime impact on hockey at UNB.  Pete Kelly seldom missed a V-Reds home game right up until his death in 2004. Kelly was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and to the Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame in 1992. The St. Vital native was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.

The “Pete Kelly” gives UNB the opportunity to host a high profile tournament during the holiday season in preparation for the second half of the AUS schedule and varies between a four-team tourney and two-team challenge cup format. Since losing the inaugural Pete Kelly Cup in overtime to Saint Mary’s in 2006, the Varsity Reds have won the trophy the last five years, three times against teams from the NCAA.

The Ottawa Gee-Gees are a much improved hockey team this season with an 11-4-2 record and they were in third place in the OUA East when they completed their first half schedule on December 3. Last season they finished in 8th place in the OUA East standings with an 11-14-3 record.

This week the OUA ruled that the Gee-Gees men’s hockey team used an ineligible player in two games against the Carleton Ravens on October 21 and October 29. As a result, the two games are now officially recorded as forfeits by Ottawa, and Carleton has been awarded a 2-0 victory in each game. Prior to the forfeits, Ottawa was credited with
one win and one overtime loss from those matches. Ottawa’s record now stands at 10-6-1.

Réal Paiement became the20th head coach of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees men’s hockey program in June 2011. The longtime QMJHL bench boss has formerly coached the major junior teams in Granby, Chicoutimi, Moncton,  Acadie-Bathurst and St. John’s.

This season the Gee-Gees are led offensively by Luc Olivier Blain (Longeuil, QC) with 22 points in 17 games, Matthieu Methot (Ottawa, ON) with 17 points and Stephen Blunden (Ottawa, ON) with 14 points, including a team leading 9 goals. Dominic Jalbert (Gatineau, QC) is Ottawa’s top offensive defenceman with 6 goals and 6 assists.  Between the pipes Aaron Barton (Carlisle, ON) is 4-1 with a 1.40 GAA while rookie Russell Abbott (Mill Bay, BC) is 7-5 with a 2.44 GAA.

The Gardiner MacDougall coached V-Reds defeated the Gee-Gees in their last visit to the Aitken University Centre; 5-2 on March 26, 2004 in pool play at the University Cup.  The next season UNB defeated uOttawa 4-3 in pool play at the Lakehead holiday tourney on Dec. 30, 2004. In their only other visit to the Aitken University Centre, uOttawa lost 8-2 in an exhibition game on January 3, 1998.

Fans of the first place (11-2-1) and top ranked Varsity Reds will get their first chance to see the newest V-Red, former Kelowna Rockets sniper Geordie Wudrick. The 6'4”, 214 pound power forward brings obvious size to the team and is expected to make a presence both along  the boards and on the power play. Wudrick was recruited by UNB over the summer but opted to play pro hockey in Germany this fall with the Rosenheim Star Bulls where he put up 3 goals and 6 assists in 14 games. He practiced with the V-Reds early in December and is keen to start his university hockey career at the “Pete Kelly”.

David Kilfoil

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

boring,aint gonna be much of a battle.shoulda invited an aus team....ormake it free...

Anonymous said...

Ottawa is a good hockey club. Well coached by Paiement. The key tho is to shut down their top line of Methot-Blain-Blunden as they are very big and talented. Jalbert is probably the best defensmen along with Dorion from McGill in the OUA.

UNB fans would probably only recognize Max Chamberland, hes a former Tommie.

Ottawa is also a big team so it could be a physical battle.