Wednesday, March 21, 2012

V-Reds Dealt Blow Day Before UCup

At today’s media conference UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall confirmed the rumours that have been circulating the last couple of days - first line right winger Shayne Wiebe has an undisclosed injury and will miss the entire 2012 University Cup. Wiebe, who joined the team for the second half of the season after playing in the AHL before Christmas, registered 12 points in 11 regular season games before adding another 8 in 6 playoff contests.

Many people questioned UNB’s decision to carry so many extra players this season but we can’t imagine too many of them will be complaining now. While this is undoubtedly a big loss for the V-Reds there aren’t many – if any – teams in the country that have a player like Geordie Wudrick or Spencer Corcoran that can be inserted into the line-up as an “injury replacement”. Veterans such as Daine Todd, Jordan Clendenning, and Dion Campbell have all elevated their game at the University Cup in the past and they will be counted on to do the same again this year.

No one said it would be easy and fortunately this team has always seemed to thrive on adversity. Witness 2009, when UNB went to Thunder Bay and won a National Championship with an injured Hunter Tremblay. Tremblay was nursing a high-ankle sprain at the time that caused him to miss the first two games of the tournament (against Alberta and Lakehead) and severely limited his minutes and effectiveness in the final against Western.