Wednesday, February 29, 2012

V-Reds Sweep UPEI With OT Win

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated the UPEI Panthers 3-2 in overtime tonight to win their best-of-5 semi-final series 3 games to 0 before 1628 in Charlottetown. With the victory UNB moves on to the AUS finals, where they await the winner of the Moncton/Saint Mary's semi-final series.

The Varsity Reds came out and dominated the first period of play as they out-shot the Panthers 15-2. They were only able to find the back of the net once though, when Chris Culligan and Shayne Wiebe worked a two-on-one to perfection. Culligan took the pass and was stopped on his initial shot by Panthers goaltender Mavric Park, but he got another crack at the puck and made no mistake putting it in for the game's first goal at 10:39. Bretton Stamler also got an assist on the play.

The second period seen a much better effort by UPEI as they controlled the majority of the play and out-shot UNB 19-10. However, they were unable to tie the game as Travis Fullerton was up to the task in the V-Reds net, including making a handful of spectacular saves.

UPEI finally got on the board at 8:12 of the third period, tying the game when Matt Carter, standing near the top of the face-off circle to Fullerton's left, rifled a slap shot into the top corner on a Panthers power play. They would take the lead exactly 9 minutes later after an uncharacteristic giveaway by Stamler. Devin Praught took a shot that was turned aside but Jared Gomes collected the rebound at the side of the net to Fullerton's left and deposited it for a 2-1 lead. The Varsity Reds pressed hard for the equalizer in the dying minutes and were rewarded with only 68 seconds remaining when Nick MacNeil (Wiebe) fluttered a shot from in close over Parks, who was sprawled flat on his back on the ice. Both teams skated out the rest of the period and went to overtime tied at 2. UNB held a 14-9 advantage in shots in the period.

In overtime UNB had a great chance to end it early when they broke into the Panthers zone on a two-on-one, however the pass bounced over the stick of MacNeil when it looked like he had an open net to shoot at. The Varsity Reds kept up the pace and took advantage of a fortunate break to win the game 5:20 into the extra frame. A UPEI player tried to rim the puck around the boards behind the Panthers net, but the puck hit a stanchion behind Parks. Thomas Nesbitt, all alone behind the cage, gathered the puck and quickly sent a pass into the slot, where Jordan Clendenning buried the series clinching goal. Shots favoured UNB 5-1 in overtime and 44-31 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll was back in the line-up for the V-Reds while Luke Gallant, Ben Shutron, Chad Denny, Geordie Wudrick, Luke Lynes, Jeff Lee, and Stefan Salituro were all out.

- Thomas Nesbitt was named the player of the game.

- Despite everything that transpired in the 3rd period of game 2 there were only 7 minor penalties called in the game. UNB went 0 for 3 on the power play. UPEI was 1 for 4.

- UNB went a season worst 30-57 in the face-off circle.

- The V-Reds improved to 14-0-1 with Travis Fullerton in net, surrendering only 27 goals in that span.

- UNB's victory also means the Moncton/Saint Mary's winner is now assured a berth at the University Cup in Fredericton in three weeks time. Moncton currently leads the series 2 game to 1 after a 6-1 win tonight. Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday night in Moncton.

- The schedule for the AUS finals won't be finalized or announced until the UdeM/SMU series is completed.

Game 3 Tonight

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and UPEI Panthers continue their best-of-5 AUS semi-final tonight with game 3 scheduled for 7pm in Charlottetown. UNB currently leads the series 2 game to 0 and can advance with a win. Here is a look at some key storylines to keep an eye on:

WHAT'S AT STAKE: With a victory tonight the V-Reds advance to the AUS Finals for the second consecutive year, and 5th time in the last 6 years. For the Panthers, they need a win tonight keep their season alive and force a game 4, which is scheduled for Thursday night. A loss means their season comes to an end.

HOW WE GOT HERE: UNB took a commanding 2 game lead in the series with victories last Friday and Saturday night at the AUC. In the first game the Varsity Reds stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Panthers 4-3 thanks to a late goal by Chris Culligan. On Saturday night UNB used a three goal second period to skate away with a 5-1 victory in a game that included a number of questionable hits and 123 minutes in penalties.

KEY MATCH-UP: UPEI's power play was one of the most potent in the conference this season, clicking at 21.5% overall. However, it was even better at home as the Panthers converted on 19 of 82 chances, which was good for 23.2%. The success continued in their first round series against Acadia as they went 3 for 11 in the two games in Charlottetown. UNB, on the other hand, had a good, but not great penalty kill this season. The Varsity Reds finished 3rd in the AUS at 82.8%, well off of their pace from the last few season when they hovered around 90%. They were 4th overall on the road this year with an 82.9% success rate. So far UNB has killed off 10 of 11 penalties in this series - and 26 of 27 going back to the regular season. That success will need to continue tonight if they want to wrap up the series.

WHO TO WATCH FOR: Panthers forward Matt Carter finished tied for the league lead in scoring this season after registering 18 goals and 20 assists in 28 regular season games. He added 5 goals in the Panthers first round victory over Acadia but has been neutralized so far by UNB, collecting an assist in game 1 before being held scoreless and going -4 in game 2. Carter has been held without a point in consecutive games only twice this year so look for him to come out with a big game with UPEI's season on the line. For UNB, the forward line of Chris Culligan, Tyler Carroll and Shayne Wiebe has been arguably the team's top unit since being put together. They have accumulated 10 points through the first two games and hope to continue their great play together.

SUSPENSIONS: In today's Guardian we receive confirmation that Panthers forward Chris DeSousa has, indeed, been suspended for two games for his hit to Varsity Reds forward Thomas Nesbitt. As the article points out, the hit can not be appealed under AUS rules. UNB forward Geordie Wudrick and UPEI's Zach McCullough will also miss the game after both players were assessed 5 minute checking from behind penalties in game 2. V-Reds forward Tyler Carroll, who missed the second game because of a similar play, is eligible to return. It does not appear that UNB defenceman Ben Wright will be suspended after receiving a 5 minute interference penalty for running into Panthers goalie Mavric Parks in the 3rd period on Saturday night.

SOLD OUT: As mentioned yesterday, the game tonight has essentially been sold out since Monday. The Varsity Reds will certainly have their hands full as they will be playing against a desperate opponent looking to extend their season, as well as what is sure to be a hostile and raucous crowd. UNB was the league's best road team this season, with an 8-3-3 record. They went 1-1 in Charlottetown; losing 3-2 on November 18th before picking up their only regular season win against UPEI, 4-1 on February 10th.

FOLLOW ALONG: For those who can't make it to the game you can watch the webcast here or follow UNBHockey on Twitter.

UdeM/SMU: The other AUS semi-final, between Moncton and Saint Mary's, also resumes tonight in Moncton. The series is tied at one game apiece. You can watch the game here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top Ten (#16): Varsity Reds Still On Top

The CIS released their 16th men's hockey rankings of the season on Tuesday afternoon and for the 3rd consecutive week - and 13th time overall - the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds claimed the top spot. The Varsity Reds received 14 out of 17 first place votes and 167 points while the McGill Redmen garnered the other 3 first place votes and 145 points to sit second.

There was very little movement in the rankings as all of the top ten teams are still alive in the playoffs. The only change from last week sees #9 UQTR and #10 UPEI flipping positions.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#16)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

(regular season / playoff records) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)
1. UNB (20-5-3 / 2-0) / 167 pts (14) / (1)
2. McGill (22-4-2 / 4-0) / 145 (3) / (2)
3. Manitoba (20-5-3) / 134 / (3)
4. Western (21-4-3 / 4-0) / 107 / (4) *
5. Alberta (20-6-2) / 107 / (5)
6. Saint Mary’s (18-7-3 / 1-1) / 82 / (6)
7. Saskatchewan (19-6-3 / 2-0) / 74 / (7)
8. Moncton (18-9-1 / 3-2) / 55 / (8)
9. UQTR (19-7-2 / 4-2) / 27 / (10)
10. UPEI (18-10-0 / 2-3) / 19 / (9)

* Western (over Alberta) was awarded the higher ranking based on number of higher placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: Calgary (12), Windsor (6).

Game 3 Notes: "A Sold-out show", DeSousa Suspended

Today's Guardian has a preview of game three between the visiting UNB Varsity Reds and UPEI Panthers, scheduled for 7pm tomorrow night. Of note is word that the game is already sold-out, so anyone who was planning on making the trip over is out of luck. UPEI captain Dylan Quaille also had a few interesting things to say about the series shifting to Charlottetown, which is sure to raise a few eyebrows:
“They know the series isn’t over and they know what we’re capable of. They want to start that stuff against us, but they’re going to be scared coming against us in The Mac when it’s packed. We’ll show them what they’re made of.”
Also, it appears that UPEI rookie forward Chris DeSousa will be suspended two games for his hit on Varsity Reds forward Thomas Nesbitt in the 3rd period of Saturday's game, a play that resulted in a two minute penalty for hitting to the head and a ten minute misconduct. He tweeted yesterday:
"Brutal case of the mondays today.. Suspended 2 games for nothing.. Hockey is becoming a real soft game"
This is a significant loss for the Panthers as DeSousa finished 6th in the AUS in scoring this year - and 1st among rookies - with 13 goals and 18 assists in 25 games. He also leads all players in playoff scoring, notching 7 points in 5 games, including two goals in the first game of the series.

Culligan Named Male Athlete Of The Week

Varsity Reds 3rd year forward Chris Culligan has been named the UNB/Valley Graphics male Athlete of the Week. The native of Howie Center, Nova Scotia had a big weekend as the V-Reds took a two game lead in their best-of-5 semi-final against the UPEI Panthers. On Friday night Culligan had two assists before scoring the game winning goal late in the third period as UNB rallied from a two goal deficit to defeat the Panthers 4-3. He had another strong game on Saturday night, collecting three assists in a 5-1 UNB victory. He also won 64% of his face-offs between the two games.

Culligan, a former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle, has been one of UNB's best all-around players since joining the team prior to the 2009/10 season, putting up point totals of 32 (28 games), 38 (27 games), and 30 (24 games) in his three seasons, while being one of the league's best penalty killers and face-off men.

Congratulations Chris!

Monday, February 27, 2012

CIS UPDATE: Six More Teams Eliminated From Contention

This past week seen the AUS begin their semi-finals, OUA East and OUA West complete their semi-finals, and Canada West wrap up their quarter-finals. As a result, there are only 11 teams left to battle for 5 spots at the University Cup in Fredericton next month. Here is a recap of everything that has transpired around the country in the last 7 days.

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT
- Two berths at University Cup (UNB + Champion, or runner-up if UNB wins conference)
  • SEMI-FINALS (Best-of-5)
#1 UNB leads #4 UPEI 2 games to 0 (4-3, 5-1) - Series resumes Wednesday

#2 SMU and #3 UdeM tied at 1 (6-2 SMU, 3-0 UdeM) - Series resumes Wednesday

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

- Three berths at University Cup (OUA East Champion + OUA West Champion + Winner of OUA East Finals Loser/OUA West Finals Loser)

OUA EAST
  • SEMI-FINALS (Best-of-3)

#1 McGill defeated #6 Ottawa 2 gamed to 0 (5-3, 5-3)

#2 UQTR defeated #5 Carleton 2 games to 1 (8-1, 1-5, 3-2OT)

  • FINALS (Best-of-3)
#1 McGill vs. #2 UQTR - Series begins Wednesday

OUA WEST
  • SEMI-FINALS (Best-of-3)

#1 Western defeated #6 Brock 2 gamed to 0 (5-3, 3-2)

#5 Windsor defeated #2 Lakehead 2 games to 1 (2-3, 4-1, 3-2OT)

  • FINALS (Best-of-3)
#1 Western vs. #5 Windsor - Series begins Wednesday

CANADA WEST
- One berth at University Cup (Champion)
  • QUARTER-FINALS (Best-of-3)
#3 Saskatchewan defeated #6 Lethbridge 2 games to 0 (4-2, 10-3)

#4 Calgary defeated #5 UBC 2 games to 1 (3-4, 4-0, 3-2)
  • SEMI-FINALS (Best-of-3)
#1 Manitoba vs. #4 Calgary - Series begins Friday

#2 Alberta vs. #3 Saskatchewan - Series begins Friday

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Game 2 Links

Lots of stuff to talk about today in the aftermath of last night's game. Here are the links:

David Kilfoil - "V-Reds take commanding lead in series"
The Daily Gleaner, via UNB Athletics- "V-Reds put choke-hold on Panthers"
The Guardian - "Down but not out"
The Guardian - "V-Reds drop Panthers 5-1 in game two"
The Guardian - Live Blog Recap
Hockeyscene.com - "V-Reds take two game lead in series"
The Chronicle Herald - "Moncton tops SMU, evens series"
Hockeyscene.com - "Blue Eagles tie series with win"

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Varsity Reds Take 2-0 Series Lead Against Panthers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated the UPEI Panthers 5-1 in a chippy, penalty-filled affair before 2004 people tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds now lead the best-of-5 semi-final 2 games to none.

Shayne Wiebe (from Stamler at 6:11 of the first), Dion Campbell (Houde-Caron, Culligan at 2:13, second), Kyle Bailey on the power play (Kidd, Todd at 11:23, second), Wiebe (Bailey, Culligan at 14:12, second) with his second of the game, and Josh Kidd (MacNeil, Culligan at 6:22 of the third) all found the mark for UNB. Mike MacIsaac scored the lone Panthers goal, tying the game at one goal apiece at 16:19 of the first period. UPEI also had a goal disallowed late in the game due to a goalie interference penalty.

Shots favoured the V-Reds 10-3 after one period, 26-16 after two, and 33-26 for the game.

There were plenty of questionable hits by both sides in this one that the league will no doubt be reviewing so we now await word on any possible suspensions heading into game 3, which goes Wednesday in Charlottetown. Geordie Wudrick (checking from behind), UPEI's Zach McCullough (checking from behind), and Ben Wright (goalie interference) all received 5 minute majors and game misconducts. Both starting goalies, Travis Fullerton for UNB and Mavric Parks for the Panthers, were replaced with 3:34 left in the game as a precaution against any injury as things were getting out of hand.

- Wudrick replaced Tyler Carroll in the line-up. Carroll was serving a one game suspension for a hit from behind in Friday's game. Luke Gallant, Ben Shutron, Chad Denny, Luke Lynes, Jeff Lee, and Stefan Salituro all remained out.

- UNB went 1 for 8 on the PP while UPEI was 0 for 6

- UNB went 45 and 33 in the face-off circle

- There were a combined 123 penalty minutes in the game, 65 for the Panthers and 58 for the V-Reds. The teams accumulated 88 PIM in the third period alone.

- Shayne Wiebe (2 goals) was named the game's first star, Chris Culligan (3 assists) the second star, and Josh Kidd (1 goal, 1 assist) the third star.

- UdeM defeated Saint Mary's 3-1 to even their series at one game each.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Boyce Claimed By Columbus

According to David Alter, Maple Leafs and NHL reporter for Sportsnet 590 The Fan, the Columbus Blue Jackets have claimed former University of New Brunswick forward Darryl Boyce off of waivers. The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Boyce, an unrestricted free agent after the season, on waivers Friday. He had 1 goal and 1 assist in 17 games for Toronto this year after signing a 1 year/700K contract with the Maple Leafs in July. For his career Boyce has amassed 6 goals and 9 assists in 64 NHL games.

The Blue Jackets blog Puck-Rakers and the Globe and Mail have more on the transaction.

Game 1 Recaps, Live Blog Tonight

Here are some recaps about last night's games:

David Kilfoil, for UNB Athletics - "V-Reds rally to take 1st game of series"
The Guardian - "Varsity Reds strike first"
The Journal Pioneer - "UNB rallies to beat UPEI"
Hockeyscene.com - "Varsity Reds eke out win over Panthers"
The Guardian - Live Blog Recap
The Chronicle Herald - "SMU takes Game 1"
Hockeyscene.com - "Huskies take 1-0 lead over Aigles Bleus"

Also, if you can't make it out to the AUC tonight it appears that The Guardian will also be doing a live blog for tonight's game. Click here and follow the link.

Friday, February 24, 2012

V-Reds Erase Early Deficit, Drop Panthers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds drew first blood against the UPEI Panthers in their best-of-5 AUS semi-final, coming back for a 4-3 victory tonight in front of 1958 spectators at the AUC.

The first period did not begin well for the V-Reds as UPEI (DeSousa and Knox) struck for two goals against Travis Fullerton within the first 5:15, making the crowd, who no doubt remembered UPEI scoring 13 goals in two games against UNB at AUC earlier this season, restless. The Varsity Reds were perhaps trying to shake the rust that comes with not playing a game for two weeks. The V-Reds had a big opportunity to get back into the game when they were handed three straight power plays in a five minute span, but were unable to convert. Tyler Carroll (Wiebe, Culligan) finally got the V-Reds on the board and back within a goal at 17:46 when the puck found its way out to the slot and he quickly fired it past Panthers goalie Mavric Parks before he had time to react. The momentum was short-lived, however, as DesSousa scored his second of the game on the power play 76 seconds later, restoring the two goal lead with just under a minute left in the frame. The Panthers would take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, despite getting outshot 16-8.

In the second period the Varsity Reds would once again get within a goal with a power play marker of their own. After some sustained pressure in the offensive zone Kyle Bailey (Harty, Wiebe) snapped a shot from the slot and into the net. That was the only goal in the period. UNB held a 14-7 advantage in shots in the period.

UNB came out hard in the third looking to find the equalizer, with Desnoyers and Carroll both ringing shots off the post (to go along with one by Harty earlier in the game). The V-Reds caught a bit of a break when Carroll was assessed a 5 minute major for checking from behind, only to see the Panthers be called for a too many men on the ice penalty as Parks played the puck as he was going to the bench for the extra attacker. UNB managed to kill off the three minute power play and would tie the game up at 9:07 when Nick MacNeil (Campbell, MacDougall), rushing down the left side on a three-on-two, had a big rebound from the initial shot come right to him. He made no mistake putting it into the gaping net. Chris Culligan (Todd, Harty) would give UNB their first, and only, lead of the game at 13:02 when he snapped a wicked wrist shot from the hash marks that found the back of the net. The Panthers would pull their goalie late but were unable to find the equalizer. Shots favoured UNB 11-5 in the period and 41-20 in the game.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play. UPEI was 1 for 6 with the man advantage.

- UNB was a dominating 42 and 13 in the face-off circle.

- Chris Culligan was the first star of the game, followed by Kyle Bailey and Mavric Parks.

- Luke Gallant, Chad Denny, Ben Shutron, Jeff Lee, Luke Lynes, Geordie Wudrick, and Stefan Salituro were all out of the lineup for UNB.

- Before the game Bretton Stamler (Edmonton, Alberta) was named the winner of the Don MacAdam Leadership award for the second consecutive year. The former UNB head coach was on hand to present the award to the 4th year defenceman.

The series resumes tomorrow night at the AUC at 7PM. The game will be played regardless of the weather.

Game One - Round Two - V-Reds host Panthers, TONIGHT!

Last Meeting – On February 10th, these two teams met at UPEI with the V-Reds skating away with a convincing 4-1 victory on goals by Nick MacNeil (2), Tyler Carroll, and Bretton Stamler. Devin Praught picked up the Panthers lone goal. Shots were 42-26 in favor of the V-Reds.

Number 1 hosts number 4 – The V-Reds (20-5-3) had a first round bye for ending up #1 in the AUS, while the #4 Panthers (18-10-0) had to play against the #5 Acadia Axemen (16-10-2) in the first round, beating them two games to one. The final game went into double overtime where Matt Carter scored on a two on one break away with Mike MacIsaac.

Head-to-Head –The Panthers held a 3-1 record vs. the V-Reds this year, and were the only team to defeat the V-Reds at home, doing it twice by scores of 5-4 and 8-7. This is the first time the V-Reds have met the Panthers in the playoffs since the quarter finals of the 2001-2002 season. The V-Reds took that series 2-0. Since the 1981 season, the V-Reds have faced the Panthers 18 times in the playoffs and currently have a 10-7-1 record against them.

Who to Watch for on UPEI –This is the first playoff series victory for UPEI since 1996, and the Panthers are hungry to advance to the finals. Chris DeSousa (2G 3A) and Matt Carter (5G) are currently tied for first in points in the playoffs. These two also had the most points in the regular season against the V-Red with DeSousa (3G 4A) and Carter (2G 4A). Below are the Panthers team points against the V-Reds this season.


Who to Watch for on UNB – Tyler Carroll finished the regular season with (4G 2A) in his final three games and will look to continue that momentum. Chris Culligan (1G 6A), Nick MacNeil (4G 2A), and Kyle Bailey (1G 5A) led the team in points vs. UPEI this year. Below are the V-Reds team points against the Panthers this season.


UNB V-Reds –Regular Season

• (20-5-3 / 43 pts) 1st AUS, 1st CIS
• 32-F- Kyle Bailey (16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points in 27 games)
• 57-F- Chris Culligan (8 goals, 22 assists, 31 points in 24 games)
• 40-D- Jonathan Harty (7 goals, 20 assists, 27 points in 26 games)
• 26-F- Tyler Carroll (15 goals, 11 assists, 26 points in 27 games)
• 4-D- Luke Gallant (5 goals, 21 assists, 26 points in 27 games)
• 1-G- Travis Fullerton (11-0-1, 1.67 GAA, .909 SAV% in 13 games)

UPEI Panthers – Regular Season

• (18-10-0 / 36 Pts) 4th AUS, 9th CIS
• 17-F- Matt Carter (18 goals, 20 assists, 38 points in 28 games)
• 15-F- Jared Gomez (21 goals, 10 assists, 31 points in 28 games)
• 28-F- Chris DeSousa (13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points in 25 games)
• 9-F- Jordan Knox (12 goals, 18 assists, 30 points in 28 games)
• 14-F- Mike MacIsaac (7 goals, 19 assists, 26 points in 25 games)
• 49-G- Mavric Parks (14-9-0, 3.26 GAA, .908 SAV% in 24 games)

Special Teams – Regular Season

UNB on PP 25-142 (17.6%) 6th in AUS
UPEI on PP 35-163 (21.5%) 2nd in AUS
UNB PK is 131-158 (82.9%) 3rd in AUS
UPEI PK is 138-168 (82.1%) 4th in AUS

If you can't make it out to the game, it can be viewed as a webcast, and of course you can follow UNBHockey on Twitter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AUS Pool - Final Results - The Winner Is...

With the playoffs starting for UNB Friday night we are pleased to announce the winner of the 3rd Annual AUS Pool.  The winner of the pool - and new undisputed king of AUS puck-pickery - Drummer!  Led by a strong group of forwards inlcuding Andrew Clark, Kyle Bailey, and Jason Bast, Drummer held off last year's champ, AUS Fan by a mere 2 points to lay claim to this season's crown.

The top 10 are listed below, and as always, the full results are available over at the AUS Pool Page. 

Pos Team Name G A Gly Pts Chg LWk
=== ================= === === === === === ===
1 Drummer 110 138 45 293 32 2
2 AUS Fan 97 141 53 291 26 1
3 POND RAPIDS 101 137 45 283 37 5
4 FreddyFoyle 104 139 38 281 29 3
5 CMD 97 134 46 277 26 4
6 Rooit 99 132 45 276 33 7
7 TopCat 111 127 55 274 32 8
T8 Ken C 89 137 45 271 30 9
T8 Super Squirrel 88 138 45 271 41 T12
10 Fan of the Vreds 88 126 54 268 31 10

Big thanks to our friends over at http://www.vredshockey.com/ for hosting the pool page again.  And thanks to all who competed, we hope to see you again next year.

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.

Semi-Final Previews

With both AUS semi-finals due to get underway tomorrow night a number of media outlets have their previews up.

UNB vs. UPEI

Daily Gleaner, via UNB Athletics - "Panthers in to challenge the champs"
The Guardian - "We have our hands full"
The Guardian - "Panthers, Varsity Reds to clash in men's hockey showdown"
The Chronicle Herald - "Fireworks likely in other semi"

SMU vs. UdeM
Hockeyscene.com - "Stienburg not taking anything for granted"
Hockeyscene.com - "Aigles Bleus anxious to get started"
The Chronicle Herald - "Goaltending strong for hockey Huskies"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Varsity Reds Survive Injury Problems

In today's Halifax Metro Christopher Cameron, writing for the Canadian Press, discusses the injury-filled season UNB had this year, specifically mentioning the almost humorous (in hindsight) mid-season goalie carousel the V-Reds had to overcome. Head coach Gardiner MacDougall summed it up this way:
"In 12 years I don't think we've had an injury (to a goaltender) and this year we had double injuries for both goaltenders. We've had to use about seven or eight goalies in practice this year and I give full credit to Matty Davis. There's a guy that hadn't played in three years at this level. He brought something to our group and got us a key win in Moncton and a key point at Acadia and when you look at the difference in the standings, those three points were big for us."
You can check out the entire article here.

The Brunswickan Talks With Gardiner MacDougall

In today's Brunswickan Nick Murray sits down with head coach Gardiner MacDougall. Among the topics discussed are the Winter Universiade, how he got started in coaching, and his time at UNB.

You can read the full article here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"New" Wudrick Blog Post

For those who missed it (like us), Geordie Wudrick posted a new blog entry last week over at the UNB Athletics site in which he discussed the Varsity Reds final three games of the regular season. Check it out here.

Top Ten (#15): V-Reds Remain In Top Spot

In the latest CIS men's hockey top ten released today the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds earned 15 out of a possible 17 first place votes to top the rankings for the second consecutive week, and 12th time in 15 polls this season. UNB collected 167 points while McGill was second with 143 points, including the other two first place votes. The only change in the top ten this week seen Manitoba move up to 3rd and Western fall back to 4th.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#15)

Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

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

1. UNB (20-5-3) / 167 pts (15) / (1)
2. McGill (22-4-2 / 2-0 playoffs) / 143 (2) / (2)
3. Manitoba (20-5-3) / 125 / (4)
4. Western (21-4-3 / 2-0 playoffs) / 112 / (3)
5. Alberta (20-6-2) / 110 / (5)
6. Saint Mary’s (18-7-3) / 91 / (6)
7. Saskatchewan (19-6-3) / 67 / (7)
8. Moncton (18-9-1 / 2-1 playoffs) / 39 / (8)
9. UPEI (18-10-0 / 2-1 playoffs) / 36 / (9)
10. UQTR (19-7-2 / 2-1 playoffs) / 20 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (13), Ottawa (5), Acadia (4), Calgary (2), Carleton (1).

You can find the CIS press release here.

Semi-Final Schedule Announced

The schedule for the AUS semi-finals has been announced. Both series are best-of-5.

UNB vs. UPEI
Game 1: Friday, February 24th at UNB, 7PM
Game 2: Saturday, February 25th at UNB, 7 PM
Game 3: Wednesday, February 29th at UPEI, 7PM
Game 4: Thursday, March 1st at UPEI, 7 PM*
Game 5: Sunday, March 4th at UNB, 4:30 PM*

SMU vs. UdeM
Game 1: Friday, February 24th at SMU, 7PM
Game 2: Saturday, February 25th at SMU, 7 PM
Game 3: Wednesday, February 29th at Moncton, 7PM
Game 4: Saturday, March 3rd at Moncton, 7 PM*
Game 5: Monday, March 5th at SMU, 7PM*

* IF NECESSARY

Monday, February 20, 2012

UNB vs. UPEI In AUS Semi-Finals

The Varsity Reds semi-final opponent has been determined. Matt Carter's goal in the second overtime period propelled the #4 UPEI Panthers to a 6-5 double overtime victory tonight over the #5 Acadia Axemen, giving the Panthers their first playoff series win in over 15 years and a date with the reigning National Champions. We are sure most fans remember the Panthers defeating UNB in the first three meetings between the two this season - including handing UNB their only two home losses of the year - so the V-Reds will be looking to exact the ultimate measure of revenge. These teams feature the #2 (UNB) and #6 (UPEI) offences in the country so it should be a good one.

Be sure to check back here often as we will have plenty of previews, news, and info in the next couple of days, including the schedule as soon as it is finalized.

CIS UPDATE: V-Reds To Face Panthers In Semi-Finals

Although it was a slow week for the Varsity Reds as they anxiously await the start of their semi-final series there has been no shortage of action going on around the CIS over the past week. The AUS and OUA completed their first round series while Canada West wrapped up their regular season, with playoffs set to begin this weekend. Here is the complete recap of everything that has transpired on the ice in the last seven days, as teams look to secure a berth at the Cavendish University Cup in Fredericton next month.

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT
- Two berths at University Cup (UNB + Champion, or runner-up if UNB wins conference)

  • QUARTER-FINALS

Byes: #1 UNB (20-5-3) and #2 Saint Mary’s (18-7-3)

#3 Moncton (18-9-1) defeated #6 St. FX (10-14-4) 2 games to 1 (3-0, 2-3, 1-0)

#4 UPEI (18-10-0) defeated #5 Acadia (16-10-2) 2 games to 1 (4-3, 3-4, 6-5 OT)

  • SEMI-FINALS

#1 UNB vs. #4 UPEI - Best-of-5 series begins Friday

#2 Saint Mary’s vs. #3 Moncton - Best-of-5 series begins Friday


ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
- Three berths at University Cup (East Champion + West Champion + Winner of OUA East finalist/OUA West finalist)

OUA EAST

  • QUARTER-FINALS

#1 McGill (22-4-2) defeated #8 Queen’s (13-13-2) 2 games to 0 (3-2, 5-1)

#2 UQTR (19-7-2) defeated #7 Ryerson (13-12-3) 2 games to 1 (2-9, 7-5, 5-3)

#6 Ottawa (14-13-1) defeated #3 Nipissing (17-7-4) 2 games to 0 (5-2, 3-1)

#5 Carleton (15-10-3) defeated #4 Toronto (16-9-3) 2 games to 1 (6-2, 0-3, 4-3 OT)

  • SEMI-FINALS

#1 McGill vs. #6 Ottawa – Best-of-3 series begins Wednesday

#2 UQTR vs. #5 Carleton – Best-of-3 series begins Wednesday

OUA WEST

  • QUARTER-FINALS

#1 Western (21-4-3) defeated #8 Laurier (9-17-2) 2 games to 0 (4-2, 2-1)

#2 Lakehead (19-9-0) defeated #7 Guelph (9-14-5) 2 games to 1 (4-5, 5-1, 3-2)

#6 Brock (13-14-1) defeated #3 Waterloo (15-9-4) 2 games to 0 (2-1 OT, 7-4)


#5 Windsor (15-12-1) defeated #4 York (14-10-4) 2 games to 0 (5-4 OT, 5-1)
  • SEMI-FINALS

#1 Western vs. #6 Brock – Best-of-3 series begins Wednesday

#2 Lakehead vs. #5 Windsor – Best-of-3 series begins Wednesday


CANADA WEST

- One berth at University Cup (Champion)

  • QUARTER-FINALS

Byes: #1 Manitoba (20-5-3) and #2 Alberta (20-6-2)

#3 Saskatchewan (19-6-3) vs. #6 Lethbridge (7-18-3) – Best-of-3 series begins Friday

#4 Calgary (15-11-2) vs. #5 UBC (12-12-4) – Best-of-3 series begins Friday


For scores and schedules you can visit the CIS site or the AUS/OUA/CW sites.