Thursday, February 23, 2012

Panthers and V-Reds Unfamiliar Playoff Opponents

When the UPEI Panthers eliminated the Acadia Axemen on Monday night two long streaks came to an end. Not only did the Panthers end more than 15 years of playoff futility, but they advanced to face the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in the postseason for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. That was Gardiner MacDougall's second season behind the Varsity Reds bench and 482 games, 328 wins, 3 AUS Championships, and 3 National Championships ago.

The Panthers and Varsity Reds met 6 times in the playoffs in a 9 year span in the early-mid 90's but have only played each other the one time since. In fact, since that last meeting in the 2001/02 playoffs UNB has played a postseason series against St. FX 6 times, Acadia 4 times, Saint Mary's 3 times, and Dalhousie/St. Thomas/Moncton 2 times each.

Here is how UPEI and UNB have fared against each other in the past:

1981/82: UPEI defeated UNB 9-3 in one game playoff
1989/90: UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 1 in quarter-finals (1-3, 6-3, 6-2)
1991/92: UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 0 in semi-finals (6-5 OT, 4-2)
1992/93: UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 0 in quarter-finals (8-0, 4-3)
1993/94: UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 0 in quarter-finals (3-1, 6-0)
1995/96: UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 1 in quarter-finals (8-1, 5-9, 1-0)
1997/98: UNB defeated UPEI 2 game to 1 in quarter-finals (4-9, 4-2, 5-4)
2001/02: UNB defeated 2 games to 0 in semi-finals (4-2, 7-4)

However, despite the long gap between playoff meetings there is one player on UPEI that has faced the V-Reds in the playoffs - 5th year forward Devan Praught, who was a member of the 2007/08 St. Thomas Tommies that were swept in three games by the eventual AUS Champions.