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.