Friday, September 27, 2013

V-Reds Survive Penalty-Filled Affair

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got back to their winning ways with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Carleton Ravens of the OUA in a game that featured 33 penalties and 82 penalty minutes.

- The Varsity Reds got on the board first, 12 minutes into the opening frame, when rookie Cameron Maclise (MacDougall, Houde-Caron) banged a rebound past Ravens goalie Ryan Dube.

- Then the penalties came. UNB took 5 straight penalties (including a double-minor and 10-minute misconduct) in the latter half of the period that left them shorthanded from 13:50 of the first period to 1:14 of the second period, save for 13 seconds. This included a couple of 5-on-3's that the Ravens were able to capitalize on. First, Jeff Hayes scored at 15:47 and then Linden Bahm beat Charles Lavigne at 19:38 to give the Ravens a lead heading into intermission. Shots in the period were 13-10 for Carleton.

- The tables turned a bit in the 2nd period with Carleton taking 12 out of the 17 penalties in the frame, including a stretch in which UNB received 6 straight power plays. The V-Reds would only convert on one of their opportunities though, when Matt Petgrave (Desnoyers, Culligan) wristed a shot in from the right circle at 14:14, tying the game at 2. Shots in the period were 14-7 for UNB.

- The Varsity Reds came out flying to open the 3rd period but the Ravens weathered the storm, with Dube making several big stops in the face of relentless pressure. It looked like things had turned in Carleton's favour when UNB went down two men yet again halfway through the period, but the V-Reds killed it off successfully and just over a minute later Tyler Carroll (Culligan, Nesbitt) finished off a nice rush with what proved to be the game-winning goal at 15:31. The Ravens got one more chance when they received another power play with 87 seconds remaining, but they were unable to convert despite pulling their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage for the last 66 seconds of the game. Shots favoured UNB 11-4 in the period and 35-24 in the game.

- Nick MacNeil, Kodi Estey, and Keevin Cutting were out of the line-up while former Dalhousie Tiger forward Shea Kewin seen his first game action in a V-Reds uniform.

- Thomas Nesbitt was awarded a penalty shot at 14:32 of the 2nd period after a Ravens defenceman closed their hand on the puck in the crease, but he was denied by Dube as he tried to go five-hole.

- Charles Lavigne started the game and made 16 saves on 18 shots in 29:45 of action. Joel Vienneau turned aside all 6 shots he seen over the last 30:15 to pick up the win.

- Attendance was 2109 as the university celebrates Homecoming this weekend. 

- Saint John Sea Dogs fans might have recognized a familiar name in the Ravens line-up as former Sea Dogs defenceman Jason Seed is in his rookie season with Carleton. Seed played parts of three seasons with the Sea Dogs, including 17 games for the 2010-11 Memorial Cup Champions. He was a teammate of current V-Reds forward Mike Thomas.

- In other AUS action tonight the St. FX X-Men beat St. Thomas 4-1, UPEI routed Dalhousie 5-1, and Brock defeated saint Mary's 6-5.

- Up next for UNB is a trip to Colorado next weekend. They play Colorado College Saturday night, Denver Saturday night, and Air Force Monday night.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pirates Blank V-Reds

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds dropped their first pre-season game of the year this afternoon as they were shut-out 4-0 by the Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Jeff Mannix, who is the voice of the Pirates, has posted a quick recap here. His game preview can be found here.

There were a few players of note who suited up for the Pirates today, perhaps none more than former V-Reds defenceman Daine Todd, who was invited to the Coyotes main camp before being assigned to Portland. Others included former St. FX X-Man defenceman Mark Louis, former recruit Philippe Halley (who scored the game's first goal, shortly after he officially signed with the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators), and former PEI Rocket star Josh Currie.

- UNB iced the same line-up as they did on Saturday night. Everyone on the roster played with the exception of Nick MacNeil.

- The Varsity Reds are back at the AUC this Friday night for a non-conference tilt against the Carleton Ravens. Game time is 7PM.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Varsity Reds Rally Past Lancers

UPDATE: UNB Athletics has their game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds spotted the visiting Windsor Lancers a 4-2 3rd period lead before storming back for a 5-4 come-from-behind victory tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds faced some early season adversity but were able to escape with a win in a game that may serve the team well down the road.

- The Lancers took a quick 1-0 lead with a goal by Evan Stibbard only 71 seconds into the contest. It appeared Jordan Murray had tied the game later in the period, but the goal was waved off due to a player in the crease. UNB finally got on the board at 18:46 thanks to Thomas Nesbitt (Murray, Braes). However, Derek Lanoue quickly restored the lead for Windsor, scoring only 48 seconds later to give the Lancers a 2-1 advantage heading into the first intermission. Shots in the period favoured the V-Reds 16-6.

- Windsor would not take long to extend their lead as Lanoue, with his 2nd of the night, scored 1:05 into the 2nd period. The V-Reds would get back within one at 18:22 when Chris Culligan (Carroll, Nesbitt) took a pass from in tight and shoveled it in. Shots in the period were 12-7 for UNB.

- The V-Reds came out strong in the final period, applying a ton of pressure as they looked to find the equalizer, but it was the Lancers who would find the back of the net when Paul Bezzo beat a screened Charles Lavigne at 4:31 to push the lead back to two at 4-2. Just like last night the middle of the 3rd period proved to be the difference as they scored 3 goals in just under six minutes. First it was Cam Braes (Robertson) on the power play at 7:15 once again bringing UNB within a goal and then, only 61 seconds later, it was Keevin Cutting who took a pass from Ben Shutron and put in his first goal in a V-Reds uniform. Taylor MacDougall was credited with the second assist on the game-tying goal. With all of the momentum on their side UNB kept up the pressure and were rewarded at 13:08 when Tyler Carroll teamed up with fellow line-mates Chris Culligan and Thomas Nesbitt for a highlight-reel goal to give UNB their first, and only, lead of the game. The V-Reds would hold on for the 5-4 victory as they out-shot Windsor 19-5 in the period and 47-18 in the game.

- Joel Vienneau started in goal for UNB, giving up 3 goals on 9 shots in 28:22 of playing time. Lavigne allowed 1 goal on 9 shots the rest of the way to pick up the win.

- Cam Maclise made his V-Reds debut after returning from the LA Kings training camp. Nick MacNeil remained out of the line-up. Everyone else on the roster was dressed.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play. Windsor was 0 for 3.

- Attendance was 1581.

-  The Varsity Reds are back in action on Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Maine to take on the AHL's Portland Pirates. Game time is scheduled for 2PM. They return to the AUC on Friday night to face the OUA's Carleton Ravens at 7PM.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lavigne, V-Reds Blank Lancers

UPDATE: UNB Athletics has a game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds improved to 2-0 in pre-season play with a 5-0 victory over the visiting University of Windsor Lancers tonight at the AUC. The game was fairly even through the first two period but, like we have seen so many times in recent years, the V-Reds pulled away in the final frame by scoring three goals in just over five minutes of play.

- Scoring for the Varsity Reds were Thomas Nesbitt (from Robertson and Carroll at 17:30 of the first), rookie Jordan Murray (from Nesbitt and Carroll at 3:07 of the second), Tyler Carroll (from Nesbitt and Desnoyers on the power play at 5:17 of the third), and Cam Braes with two (from Willick and Priamo at 7:27 and from Petgrave at 10:37 of the third).

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 34-23 (9-4 UNB in the first, 12-10 Windsor in the second, and 15-7 UNB in the third).

- Charles Lavigne stopped all 23 shots he faced to pick up his first shutout as a V-Red. He made some big stops in the first two periods while the game was still close to preserve the lead.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play. Windsor was 0 for 5.

- Nick MacNeil was not in the line-up tonight. 

- The rookies were wearing the following familiar numbers tonight: Jordan Murray (Luke Gallant's #4), Matt Petgrave (Jonathan Harty's #40), Keevin Cutting (Stefan Salituro's #44), Dylan Willick (Bryce Swan's #9), J.P. Labardo (Colby Pridham's #19), Mike Thomas (Chad Denny's #71), Joel Vienneau (Travis Fullerton's #1), and Charles Lavigne (Daniel LaCosta's #30). Meanwhile, Tim Priamo was sporting Matt Fillier's #27. Cam Maclise, who is still away at the LA Kings training camp, was listed in the game program as wearing Luke Lyne's old #15.

- Defenceman Kodi Estey (Daine Todd's #16) was also in the line-up tonight. It is unknown whether he has been recruited or is just on a try-out.

- Forward Phillippe Halley, who was recruited over the summer, has apparently signed a contract with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL.

- Attendance was 1766.

- Both teams are back in action tomorrow night. Game time is 7PM.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Varsity Reds Host Lancers This Weekend

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will be on home ice for the first time this season when they host the University of Windsor Lancers for a pair of games this weekend. Game time for both contests is 7PM.

The Varsity Reds compiled a 23-5-0 regular season record last season before defeating the UPEI Panthers 3 game to 1 in the AUS semi-finals and Saint Mary's Huskies 2 games to 1 in the AUS Finals. Riding the momentum from their 3rd consecutive AUS banner the V-Reds headed to Sasktoon for the University Cup and went on to capture their 5th National Championship (and 4th in 7 years) in school history by topping the host University of Saskatchewan Huskies 3-1, UQTR Patriotes 8-3, and Saint Mary's Huskies 2-0.

Meanwhile, the Lancers are an up-and-coming team who have improved in each of the last 4 years, going from 10-13-5 in 2009/10 to 12-12-4 in 2010/11 to 15-12-1 in 2011/12 to finishing in 2nd place in the OUA West division last year with an 18-9-1 record. They have been on the cusp of going to the University Cup in each of the last two years, falling in the OUA West Final to Waterloo last season and UQTR in the OUA Bronze Medal game the year prior.

UNB will be looking to extend a remarkable streak this weekend. Since Gardiner MacDougall became head coach before the 2000/01 season the Varsity Reds have gone 28-0-1 in exhibition play against OUA teams, including a current streak of 22 consecutive victories. The only setback was a 5-4 shootout loss against Lakehead on December 29th, 2004. During this time they have defeated UQTR (7 times), McGill (5), Ottawa (3), Brock (3), Carelton (2), Lakehead (2), Waterloo (1), Laurier (1), York (1), Guelph (1), Toronto (1), and Concordia (1).

However, the V-Reds and Lancers have only met once previously with UNB emerging victorious 3-2 in OT in the opening game of the 1998 University Cup in Saskatoon. The Varsity Reds would go on to win their 1st National Championship three days later.

- UNB has gone 10-2 at the University Cup against OUA teams under MacDougall. Both losses occurred at the AUC and in the semi-finals - 4-3 against UQTR in 2003 and 3-2 against Western in 2012. 

- Overall the Varsity Reds are 38-2-1 against OUA teams under MacDougall.
With information from the ReDSea database

V-Reds Announce Addition Of J.P. Labardo

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds officially announced the recruitment of forward J.P. Labardo this afternoon.

The 5'8'', 175 pound native of Bolton, Ontario comes to the V-Reds via the OHL where he spent five seasons playing for Guelph, Oshawa, and Erie. He had his best season last year when he notched 24 goals and 38 assists in 67 games for the Erie Otters, far surpassing his previous high of 22 points. He was rewarded for his efforts with a four game stint in the ECHL for the Fort Wayne Komets during which time he posted 1 goal and 2 assists.

Labardo is expected to be in the line-up tomorrow night when the Varsity Reds host the Windsor Lancers at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.

Welcome to UNB, J.P!

Monday, September 16, 2013

V-Reds Open With Win

UPDATE: has a brief recap of the game. 

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds opened their pre-season schedule with a 4-2 victory tonight over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in a game that took place in Cocagne, New Brunswick.

The Aigles Bleus struck early in the game but the V-Reds would tie it before the end of the first period with a power play goal courtesy of Cameron Critchlow (Murray, MacNeil). UNB would extend their lead in the middle frame thanks to goals by Tyler Carroll (Robertson) and captain Chris Culligan (Desnoyers), the latter coming while shorthanded. Moncton got within one before the end of the 2nd period, but a power play marker with 13 minutes remaining in the game by Carroll (Nesbitt, Shutron), his 2nd of the night, put the game away for the Varsity Reds.

- Charles Lavigne and Joel Vienneau split the goaltending duties.

- The V-Reds are back in action this Friday night when they host the OUA's Windsor Lancers at the AUC. It will be their first game on home ice since defeating Saint Mary's 2-0 in game 3 of the best-of-3 AUS Finals in March.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

V-Reds Open Pre-Season Schedule Tomorrow Night

UPDATE: @UNBHockey will be tweeting updates throughout the night. 

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will hit the ice for the first time since winning their fifth University Cup title last March tomorrow night with a pre-season tilt against the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in a game that is to take place in Cocagne, N.B. Game time is 7PM.

This will be the 2nd consecutive year the V-Reds and Aigles Bleus will be opening the season against one another. Moncton handed UNB their first pre-season loss against CIS competition in 36 games (and 7 years) with a 6-2 victory at this time last year. The V-Reds did, however, take the season series 3 game to 1 and have won 19 of the last 22 meetings.

Fans will see a vastly different team than the one that defeated Saint Mary's 2-0 in the national championship game on March 17th as a number of player have either graduated or moved on to the pro ranks. This includes goaltenders Travis Fullerton and Daniel LaCosta, forwards Colby Pridham, Bryce Swan, Dion Campbell, Matt Fillier, Stefan Salituro, and Luke Lynes, and defencemen Chad Denny, Josh Kidd, Ben Wright, and Daine Todd. However, there is still a ton of veteran talent that will be returning such as forwards Antoine Houde-Caron, Cam Braes, Nick MacNeil, Taylor MacDougall, Cameron Critchlow, Tyler Carroll, Thomas Nesbitt, and captain Chris Culligan, as well as defencemen Ben Shutron, Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, Tim Priamo, and Adrian Robertson. 

With the new AUS roster cap being put in place this year which limits teams to 22 skaters (not counting goaltenders) it means head coach Gardiner MacDougall and staff will not be able to carry as many players as previous years. However, as we have all come to expect, a top-notch recruiting class will be joining the team for the 2013-2014 season. So far we have heard about ten new players joining the team - goaltenders Charles Lavigne and Joel Vienneau, forwards Mike Thomas, Dylan Willick, Cam Maclise, Philippe Halley, and J.P. Labardo, and defencemen Jordan Murray, Keevin Cutting, and Matt Petgrave. It should be noted that both Maclise (LA) and Petgrave (Washington) were/are attending NHL camps so it is unclear if either will be in the line-up tomorrow night.

Doing some quick math tells us that 12 skaters (8 forwards/4 defenceman) are expected to return to go along with 8 recruits (5 forwards/3 defencemen), which leaves UNB with two open rosters spots at the moment. In other words, do not be surprised to see the MacDougall and Co. try to bolster the line-up even further before the regular season begins next month with another addition or two.

As of now there has been no mention of any way to follow the game on-line, but if somethign should come up we will keep you posted.