Thursday, February 28, 2013

UNB In The AUS Finals

The University of New Brunswick will be making their 14th appearance in the AUS Finals, including their 7th in the previous 8 years. Here is a look at how they have done:

1983/84: Defeated Moncton 2 games to 0 (3-1, 5-3)
1992/93: Lost to Acadia 2 games to 0 (1-3, 0-6)
1993/94: Lost to Acadia 2 games to 0 (3-5, 3-7)
1996/97: Defeated Acadia 2 games to 0 (5-4 OT, 5-4)
1997/98: Defeated Acadia 2 games to 1 (1-2, 3-2 OT, 3-2)
1999/00: Defeated Acadia 3 games to 1 (2-4, 5-4, 3-2 OT2, 4-3 OT2)
2002/03: Defeated St. FX 3 games to 1 (3-1, 2-4, 5-3, 4-3)
2005/06: Lost to Acadia 3 games to 0 (1-2 OT, 3-5, 3-5)
2006/07: Lost to Moncton 2 games to 0 (2-4, 2-3 OT)
2007/08: Defeated SMU 2 games to 0 (3-2 OT, 3-2 OT2)
2008/09: Lost to SMU 2 games to 1 (5-1, 2-3, 1-5)
2010/11: Defeated St. FX 3 games to 2 (3-2 OT, 1-2 OT, 2-0, 3-6, 5-4 OT)
2011/12: Defeated Moncton 3 games to 0 (8-3, 4-2, 4-0)

Overall, UNB is 8-5 all-time in AUS Finals series with an overall record of 21-16.

UNB vs. SMU: A Playoff History

When the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and Saint Mary's Huskies face-off in the AUS Finals starting Saturday night at the AUC it will mark only the 4th time the two teams have met in a playoff series - all since the 2002-03 season. It is also the 3rd time in the last 6 years they have met for the AUS Championship. Here are how the first three meetings unfolded:

2002/03 Quarter-finals: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 (2-0, 3-1)
2007/08 AUS Finals: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 (3-2 OT, 3-2 OT2)
2008/09 AUS Finals: SMU defeated UNB 2 games to 1 (1-5, 3-2, 5-1)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AUS Finals Schedule Announced

The AUS released the schedule for the best-of-3 AUS Finals between the Saint Mary's Huskies and the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds today. Here is how it looks:

Game 1: Saturday, March 2nd at UNB, 7PM
Game 2: Tuesday, March 5th at SMU, 7PM
Game 3: Thursday, March 7th at UNB, 7PM (if necessary)



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

V-Reds Punch Ticket To AUS Finals, University Cup

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds clinched a berth in the AUS Finals with a 5-1 victory over the UPEI Panthers tonight in Charlottetown, taking the series 3 games to 1. More importantly, the V-Reds earn a berth at next month's University Cup in Saskatoon.

The game got off to an ominous start for UNB as Jordan Mayer beat Dan LaCosta only 40 seconds into the contest, giving the Panthers their first opening goal of the series. Just after the midway point of the first period UNB's Chad Denny was assessed a 5 minute major for charging and a game misconduct after he absolutely demolished a Panthers player, but UPEI picked up a two minute penalty for retaliation on the play. On the ensuing 4-on-4 Nick MacNeil (Pridham) picked up the puck in front of Panthers goaltender Wayne Savage and beat him from in close at 12:19, evening the game. The V-Reds would kill off the 3 minute disadvantage and head to the intermission tied at 1. Shots favoured UPEI 15-8 in the frame.

Unlike previous games, when UNB waited until the 3rd period to pull away, tonight they used a big 2nd period to take control of the contest. First, Cameron Critchlow (Nesbitt, Desnoyers) deflected a point shot in front to give UNB their first lead of the night at 9:58. Then, at 14:41, Thomas Nesbitt finished off a 2-on-1 with Carroll to give the V-Reds a two goal lead. Chris Culligan also picked up an assist on the goal. Finally, after two UPEI penalties gave UNB an extended 5-on-3, Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (Shutron, Culligan) rifled a slap shot from in close to increase the lead to 4-1 at 18:25. Shots in the period were 14-5 for the Varsity Reds.

The Panthers started to lose their composure in the 3rd as they took 5 of the first 6 penalties, but UNB was content with milking the clock. Ben Wright provided the final goal at 15:15, one timing a Thomas Nesbitt pass from just inside the blue line into the top corner. Carroll also received an assist on the play. The rest of the game was filled with penalties as their were scrums at 16:18, 17:37, and 20:00. Six players received 10 minute misconducts, include 4 V-Reds (Desnoyers, Critchlow, Kidd, Wright). Shots were 10-7 in the period and 32-27 in the game for UNB.

- Cameron Critchlow was back in the line-up for UNB, replacing Stefan Salituro, while Chad Denny replaced Adrian Robertson on the back-end. Tim Priamo was also out.

- UNB was 1 for 7 on the power play. UPEI was 0 for 4.

- The teams accounted for a combined 42 infractions and 175 penalty minutes (25 for 99 for UPEI and 17 for 77 for UNB.

- Dan LaCosta was named the player of the game.

- Attendance was 1459.

- UNB outscored UPEI 21-9 in the 4 games.

- The V-Reds will now meet the Saint Mary's Huskies in the best-of-3 AUS Finals. The schedule has yet to be announced but we know UNB will be hosting game 1 and game 3 (if necessary).

- UNB will be making their 3rd straight appearance at the University Cup and their 6th in the previous 7 years.

CIS Men's Hockey Top 10 (#17): Alberta Jumps Over UNB

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears are back atop the CIS men’s hockey rankings following an impressive two-game sweep of provincial rival Calgary in their playoff debut.
The Bears (23-4-1 regular season / 2-0 playoffs), who had spent the last four weeks at No. 2 behind the New Brunswick Varsity Reds, received 11 first-place votes and 164 points from the 17-member media panel to move in front of the V-Reds (23-5-0 / 2-1), who fall to second place after tallying the remaining six first-place nods and 157 points.

Rounding out the 17th national poll of the campaign are the No. 3 UQTR Patriotes (21-6-1 / 4-0), No. 4 Saint Mary’s Huskies (18-7-3 / 3-1) and No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (19-8-1 / 2-1), all of whom move up one position in the new Top 10; the No. 6 Carleton Ravens (19-7-2 / 4-1), up three spots; No. 7 Waterloo Warriors (12-11-5 / 4-1), No. 8 Windsor Lancers (18-9-1 / 4-0) and No. 9 UPEI Panthers (15-11-2 / 3-2), all unranked a week ago; as well as the Western Mustangs (21-5-2 / 3-2), who drop all the way from third place to No. 10 after being upset in the second round of the OUA playoffs.

Two weeks from the start of the University Cup national championship, nine teams are still standing across the country.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and Saint Mary’s have already booked their ticket for the six-team CIS tournament. The remaining AUS berth will go to either UNB or UPEI, while UQTR, Carleton, Waterloo and Windsor are still in the running for the two OUA spots.
In last weekend’s Canada West semifinals, the Bears posted back-to-back shutouts against Calgary, 4-0 and 2-0, while the Huskies needed three games to get by Manitoba. The best-of-three conference final kicks off Friday in Edmonton.

In the best-of-five AUS semis, Saint Mary’s eliminated Acadia in four contests, while UNB leads UPEI two games to one. Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday night in Charlottetown and, should a fifth duel be necessary, it would go Thursday evening in Fredericton.

In the OUA divisional semis, UQTR (vs. Nipissing) and Windsor (vs. Guelph) posted two-game sweeps, while Carleton (vs. Ottawa) and Waterloo (vs. Western) needed three matches to advance. The best-of-three division finals will pit UQTR against Carleton for the East title, and Windsor versus Waterloo for the West crown.

The University of Saskatchewan hosts the PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, from March 14 to 17 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. New national champions will be crowned next month as the 2012 titlist McGill Redmen were eliminated in the first round of the OUA post-season.

Below is a complete post-season schedule for this week (all times LOCAL).


Tuesday, Feb. 26
19:00 UNB at UPEI (Game 4 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

Wednesday, Feb. 27
19:30 Waterloo at Windsor (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West final)
19:30 Carleton at UQTR (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East final)

Thursday, Feb. 28
19:00 UPEI at UNB (If necessary: Game 5 best-of-5 AUS semifinal)

Friday, March 1
19:00 Saskatchewan at Alberta (Game 1 best-of-3 Canada West final)
19:30 UQTR at Carleton (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East final)

Saturday, March 2
18:00 Saskatchewan at Alberta (Game 2 best-of-3 Canada West final)
19:30 Windsor at Waterloo (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West final)

Sunday, March 3
14:00 Carleton at UQTR (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East final)
18:00 Saskatchewan at Alberta (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 Canada West final)
19:30 Waterloo at Windsor (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West final)

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#17)

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. Alberta (23-4-1 / 2-0) / 164 points (11) / (2)
2. UNB (23-5-0 / 2-1) / 157 (6) / (1)
3. UQTR (21-6-1 / 4-0) / 121 / (4)
4. Saint Mary’s (18-7-3 / 3-1) / 119 / (5)
5. Saskatchewan (19-8-1 / 2-1) / 113 / (6)
6. Carleton (19-7-2 / 4-1) / 59 / (9)
7. Waterloo (12-11-5 / 4-1) / 52 / (NR)
8. Windsor (18-9-1 / 4-0) / 50 / (NR)
9. UPEI (15-11-2 / 3-2) / 46 / (NR)
10. Western (21-5-2 / 3-2) / 33 / (3)

Other teams receiving votes: Manitoba (14), Acadia (7).

-CIS-

Monday, February 25, 2013

V-Reds Rebound, Take Series Lead

The University of New Brunswick responded in a big way to one of their worst games in recent memory with a 7-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers tonight in Charlottetown. The V-Reds now lead the best-of-5 semi-final series 2 games to 1 with game 4 scheduled for tomorrow night.

Much like game 1 this contest was close through the first two periods before UNB pulled away in the 3rd period. The Varsity Reds opened the scoring at 11:32 of the first period on the power play when Chris Culligan completed a nice passing play with Cam Braes and Tyler Carroll. However, the Panthers responded exactly three minutes later with a power play goal of their own courtesy Matthew Brenton. The team headed into the intermission tied at one with UNB holding the edge in shots 11-7.

The V-Reds re-took the lead 7:00 into the second period when Bryce Swan (MacNeil) pounced on a loose puck in the crease and slid it past Panthers goalie Mavric Parks. Shortly after taking the lead the Varsity Reds got into penalty trouble, an all-too-common occurrence this season, as they were called for three straight infractions. After failing to score on the first two power plays the Panthers finally took advantage when Jordan Knox converted after a fortunate bounce put the puck right on his stick as he was streaking towards the UNB goal. He put the puck five-hole through Dan LaCosta, tying the game at two. The V-Reds quickly squashed any momentum the Panthers may have gained from the goal as Cam Braes gave UNB a 3-2 lead only 45 seconds later after a nifty play and pass from Daine Todd at the blue-line. The Panthers would receive their 4th straight power play of the period at 18:38 but it was Chris Culligan who sprung Ben Shutron down the left side for a back-breaking shorthanded goal 19:26, giving UNB a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes. Shots in the period favoured UNB 11-9.

The first half of the 3rd period was fairly uneventful as UNB was content with getting the puck deep in UPEI territory and running time off the clock. The V-Reds would add to their lead after a great shift in the Panthers zone led to a power play. On the ensuing man advantage Braes took the puck from Culligan behind the net and quickly found Tyler Carroll skating into the slot, who wasted no time in wristing one past Parks at 15:04. Things would quickly deteriorate as tempers and frustration started to boil over at 15:51, leading to two 10-minute misconducts for each team. The V-Reds would put the finishing touches on the victory with a pair of goals in the final two minutes. First, Braes (Wright, Nesbitt) notched his 2nd of the game at 18:08 into an empty net and then, after another scuffle put UNB on the power play, Stefan Salituro (Kidd) rounded out the scoring at 19:54. Shots in the period were 13-8 for UNB, who held a 35-24 advantage for the game.

- Cameron Critchlow served his one game suspension for picking up a 5 minute major penalty in game 2. Antoine Houde-Caron took his spot in the top-9 while Salituro played alongside Fillier and MacDougall on the 4th line. Dion Campbell returned after missing game 2 but took a hard hit midway through the game and did not appear to return. Tim Priamo and Chad Denny both remained out.

- UNB was 3 for 6 on the power play. UPEI was 2 for 6.

- The Panthers have still not scored an even strength goal in the series. Of their 8 goals 6 have been scored on the power play while the other 2 have been scored shorthanded.

- Attendance was 1694 at MacLauchlan Arena.

- The winner of this series will meet the Saint Mary's Huskies in the AUS Finals. The Huskies eliminated the Acadia Axemen with a 1-0 victory on Sunday night, winning the series 3 game to 1. By virtue of making the AUS Finals the Huskies have already secured a berth at next month's University Cup in Saskatoon, with the winner of the UNB/UPEI series also gaining a spot.

- In other CIS playoff action the Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies will battle in the Canada West Finals, with both teams guaranteed a spot at the University Cup. Meanwhile, in the OUA Windsor and Waterloo will meet in the West Finals while UQTR and Carleton will play each other in the East Finals, with both winners advancing to the University Cup.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Panthers Top Listless V-Reds To Knot Series

This is going to be short and sweet. The UPEI Panthers rebounded from an embarrassing 7-2 defeat last night to out-play, out-hustle, out-hit, out-shoot (30-20), and out-score (4-2) an uninspired Varsity Red squad before over 1900 tonight at the AUC. The Varsity Reds couldn't get out of their own way for most of the night as they took undisciplined penalties (12 in all for 43 minutes), were careless with the puck, made poor decisions, gave up two more power play goals (to go along with the two they gave up last night), and surrendered two shorthanded goals. Despite all of that, however, they were only trailing 3-2 heading into the final period, which is usually their best. However, tonight they came out and managed only one shot on goal in the first half of the period, took five penalties (including a 10 minute misconduct, a 5 minute major, and game misconduct), and failed to generate much on an almost-4 minute power play. If it wasn't for Dan LaCosta this game would not have been close.

Ultimately, the V-Reds missed a golden opportunity to take a commanding series lead. Instead, the series is now tied at 1 game apiece with the next two games at McLaughlin Arena in Charlottetown, which is never an easy building to win in. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night at 7PM.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

V-Reds Show No Signs Of Rust In Game 1 Rout

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds received scoring from all four lines as they rolled to a convincing 7-2 victory over the visiting UPEI Panthers tonight at the AUC in game 1 of their best-of-5 semi-final.

The V-Reds scored the only goal of the opening period - on the power play - at 6:41 courtesy of Cam Braes (Shutron, Culligan) and then extended their lead to three midway through the second when Nick MacNeil scored a pair of goals. Colby Pridham picked up the lone assist on the first goal at 10:22 and then Ben Wright and Dion Campbell picked up helpers on MacNeil's 2nd just under three minutes later. The Panthers finally got on the board with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 16:09, cutting the deficit to two heading into the final period. After two periods of play the shots were even at 26 apiece.

Just like we have seen so often recently the V-Reds took over the game in the 3rd, quickly putting any hopes of a UPEI comeback to rest with 3 goals in the first 7:20 of the period. Stefan Salituro (MacDougall) at 2:13, Josh Kidd (Fillier, Pridham) at 6:29, and Tyler Carroll (Braes, Culligan) on the power play at 7:20 all found the back of the net as UNB chased Panthers goalie Wayne Savage. UPEI responded with their 2nd power play goal of the night at 13:10 but Bryce Swan (Critchlow, Braes) got it back for the V-Reds, capping the scoring at 19:13. Shots favoured UNB in the period 14-4 and in the game 40-30.

- Tyler Carroll and Josh Kidd were back in the line-up for UNB. Antoine Houde-Caron served the 2nd of his two game suspension while Chad Denny and Tim Priamo were scratched.

- Dan LaCosta was stellar in net for the V-Reds making 28 saves, including a number of key stops early when the game was still close.

- UNB was 3 for 6 on the power play. UPEI was 2 for 4.

- 14 V-Reds recorded at least one point on the contest.

- MacNeil, Pridham, and Kidd were named the game's three stars.

- This was only the second game all year in which the Varsity Reds have surrendered more than 28 shots on goal. Both have been against the Panthers.

- Attendance was 1218.

- UNB has now won 8 consecutive playoff games dating back to game 5 of the 2011 AUS Championship against St. FX. They went 6-0 in last year's playoffs en route to their 2nd straight AUS banner.

- In other AUS playoff action tonight the Saint Mary's Huskies rebounded from last night's 3-2 overtime loss to even their series against the Acadia Axemen with a 4-2 victory in Halifax. The series now shifts to Wolfville with game 3 scheduled for Sunday night.

- The V-Reds and Panthers are back at it tomorrow night with game 2 scheduled for 7PM at the AUC.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Semi-Final Schedule Announced

The AUS released the schedule for both semi-finals today and the V-Reds will begin their AUS title defence on Thursday night at the AUC against the UPEI Panthers. The complete schedule can be found below:

UNB vs. UPEI

Game 1 at UNB: Thursday, February 21st
Game 2 at UNB: Friday, February 22nd
Game 3 at UPEI: Monday, February 25th
Game 4 at UPEI: Tuesday, February 26th (if necessary)
Game 5 at UNB: Thursday, February 28th (if necessary)

Saint Mary's vs. Acadia

Game 1 at SMU: Wednesday, February 20th
Game 2 at SMU: Thursday, February 21st
Game 3 at ACA: Saturday, February 23rd
Game 4 at ACA: Sunday, February 24th (if necessary)
Game 5 at SMU: Tuesday, February 26th (if necessary)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Panthers and V-Reds To Meet In Semi's

With the Acadia Axemen's 4-3 double overtime victory over Moncton in game 3 of their quarter-final series tonight in Wolfville the AUS semi-final pairings are now set. The Axemen will play Saint Mary's while the UPEI Panthers, who swept St. FX two games to none in their series, will face UNB for the 2nd consecutive year. The Varsity Reds won all four games between the two teams this season, but three were one goal affairs. Both semi-final winners will be guaranteed a spot at the University Cup in Saskatoon next month.

We will have more information, including the complete schedule, in the coming days.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CIS Men's Hockey Top 10 (#15): V-Reds #1 Heading Into Playoffs

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men’s hockey rankings for the third consecutive week.

The leading trio remains unchanged in the 15th national poll of the campaign as UNB (23-5-0) stays ahead of the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears (23-4-1) and No. 3 Western Mustangs (21-5-2). The V-Reds did lose one first-place vote to the Bears this week, earning 12 nods from the media panel compared to five for their Edmonton rivals.

The only change in the new Top 10 sees the UQTR Patriotes (21-6-1) and Saint Mary’s Huskies (18-7-3) switch positions at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. The sixth-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies (19-8-1), No. 7 Manitoba Bisons (17-7-4), No. 8 Acadia Axemen (17-9-2), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (19-7-2) and No. 10 Calgary Dinos (17-11-0) all hold on to their previous spot.

The regular season came to an end this past weekend in all three CIS conferences and most playoff-bound teams don’t get much of a break as the first post-season match-ups are scheduled for Wednesday night.

Only four Top-10 squads will enjoy a well-deserved rest in the first-round, including UNB, Alberta, Saint Mary’s and Saskatchewan.

Top-ranked UNB wrapped up conference play last Friday with a 2-0 shutout against Moncton and finished with a comfortable seven-point lead atop the AUS standings. The V-Reds are currently riding an eight-game winning streak and have won 11 of 12 since league play resumed in January.

Alberta, which prevailed with an eight-point cushion in the Canada West race, is also red-hot going into the post season having won four straight and nine of 10 since the December break. The Bears defeated UBC 2-0 and 5-2 last weekend in Vancouver. With their 2-0 victory on Friday night, they became the first team in Canada West history to post three consecutive shutouts in conference action.

In the OUA, Western and UQTR, who finished first in the West and East divisions, respectively, ended league play in opposite fashion. The Mustangs have lost three straight following defeats at the hands of Brock, 4-3 in a shootout, and Windsor, 3-2. The Patriotes closed out the regular season with convincing victories against RMC, 5-2, and Queen’s, 7-3, and have now won three straight and seven of their last eight contests.

Following a month-long playoff season, the top six teams in the nation will gather at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon from March 14 to 17 for the PotashCorp University Cup championship, presented by Co-op.

Below is a complete post-season schedule for this week (all times LOCAL).

Wednesday, Feb. 13
19:00 Moncton at Acadia (Game 1 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 UPEI at StFX (Game 1 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 Queen’s at Carleton (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 McGill at Nipissing (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 Windsor at York (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Lakehead at Waterloo (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 UQTR at Ryerson (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:30 Ottawa at Toronto (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)

Thursday, Feb. 14
19:00 UOIT at Western (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Laurier at Guelph (Game 1 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)

Friday, Feb. 15
19:00 Acadia at Moncton (Game 2 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 StFX at UPEI (Game 2 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 Toronto at Ottawa (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 Regina at Manitoba (Game 1 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)
19:00 UBC at Calgary (Game 1 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)
19:30 York at Windsor (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Carleton at Queen’s (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:30 Waterloo at Lakehead (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)

Saturday, Feb. 16
14:00 Ryerson at UQTR (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
18:00 UBC at Calgary (Game 2 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)
19:00 Toronto at Ottawa (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 Regina at Manitoba (Game 2 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)
19:30 Nipissing at McGill (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:30 York at Windsor (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Western at UOIT (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Waterloo at Lakehead (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:30 Guelph at Laurier (Game 2 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)

Sunday, Feb. 17
14:00 Ryerson at UQTR (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 Moncton at Acadia (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 UPEI at StFX (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 AUS quarter-final)
19:00 Queen’s at Carleton (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:00 UOIT at Western (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
19:00 Regina at Manitoba (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)
19:30 Nipissing at McGill (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA East quarter-final)
19:30 Laurier at Guelph (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 OUA West quarter-final)
TBA UBC at Calgary (If necessary: Game 3 best-of-3 Canada West quarter-final)

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 (23-5-0) / 165 points (12) / (1)
2. Alberta (23-4-1) / 158 (5) / (2)
3. Western (21-5-2) / 117 / (3)
4. UQTR (21-6-1) / 114 / (5)
5. Saint Mary’s (18-7-3) / 109 / (4)
6. Saskatchewan (19-8-1) / 89 / (6)
7. Manitoba (17-7-4) / 62 / (7)
8. Acadia (17-9-2) / 53 / (8)
9. Carleton (19-7-2) / 32 / (9)
10. Calgary (17-11-0) / 13 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Windsor (12), StFX (7), Ottawa (2), Lakehead (1), McGill (1).

-CIS-

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2012-2013: By The Numbers

Here are some stats and notes about the Varsity Reds 2012-2013 regular season:

- UNB finished the season with a record of 23-5-0. They won at least 20 games for the 6th straight year and 23 games for the 4th time in those 6 seasons. To put this achievement in perspective, since the current 28 game schedule was introduced before the 1996-1997 season only the 1997-1998 CIS Champion V-Reds (who went 24-3-1) have won at least 23 games in a season and only 5 other teams have topped the 20 win plateau - 21 by the 1996-1997 Acadia Axemen, 24 by the 1997-1998 UNB Varsity Reds, 22 by the 2006-2007 Moncton Aigle Bleus, and 20 by the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 Saint Mary's Huskies. Their 46 points this season ranked 2nd in the CIS behind Alberta, who went 21-4-3.

- For the record, yours truly predicted a 22-5-1 record in my season preview back in October. Not too bad.

- The V-Reds went 12-2-0 at the AUC this year, the 9th time in the last 10 seasons they have won 10+ home games. In the last 6 years they are a remarkable 75-8-1 on home ice.

- UNB went 11-3-0 on the road, the first time in 3 seasons they have reached double digits in victories away from home.

- With 11 wins in the first half and 12 in the second half the Varsity Reds have now won 10+ games in 11 of their last 12 'halfs' over the last 6 seasons (they went 9-3-2 in the second half last year).

- Although UNB led the AUS in goals scored for the 4th consecutive year with 111 (3.96 per game), and ranked 4th in the entire CIS behind only Western (118), Alberta (117), and UQTR (112), this was their fewest total since the 2006-2007 season when they scored 109. However, they have now finished in the top two in AUS goal scoring in each of the last 11 seasons.

- The V-Reds only gave up 59 goals, marking the 6th consecutive year they have led the conference in goals against average. This is also the 4th time in that span they have held opponents under 60. They ranked 2nd in the CIS behind Alberta, who only gave up 46 goals this season.

- UNB outscored the opposition 56-29 at home this year, and an almost identical 55-30 on the road. Their 56 home goals were the fewest in 6 seasons, but the 30 goals allowed on the road tied for their fewest over that span.

- For the 6th consecutive season the V-Reds gave up fewer goals in the second half of the season (24) than the first half (35).

- The Varsity Reds outscored opponents 33-19 in the first period, 33-23 in the second, 45-17 in the third, and 2-0 in overtime.

- Despite averaging over 35 shots on goal for the 6th straight year, this is the first time during that span they have not led the conference. Both Acadia (37.9) and Saint Mary's (36.7) took more than UNB's (35.2).

- They did, however, lead the entire CIS in shots allowed for the 5th consecutive season, surrendering only 21.25 per game. Alberta was 2nd at 21.39 per game. UNB only allowed more than 28 shots in one conference game all season (31 in a 3-2 win against UPEI on January 18th).

- The V-Reds went 26 for 138 on the power play. Their 18.8% success rate ranked 4th in the AUS and was their best in 3 seasons, but still a far cry from the three years prior when they were at 29.1% (2007-2008), 22.6% (2008-2009), and 26.6% (2009-2010). Their 138 opportunities this year were the fewest in 6 seasons.

- UNB killed off 122 of 149 penalties this year (81.9%) which ranked 6th in the AUS. This was their worst mark since the 2008-2009 season when they were successful only 79.4% of the time. By comparison, they killed off 91.5% in 2009-2010, 90.5% in 20110, and 82.8% last year.

- UNB's 6 shorthanded goals ranked 2nd in the AUS, one behind Moncton. This was their fewest since scoring only 4 in 2008-2009. They had 12 last year, 9 in 2010-2011, and 8 in 2009-2010.

- The Varsity Reds were -21 goals when shorthanded this year (27 power play goals against, 6 shorthanded goals scored). Over the previous three years they were a remarkable -26 combined (53 power play goals against, 27 shorthanded goals scored), including seasons of -4 in 2009-2010 (12 power play goals against, 8 shorthanded goals for) and -5 in 2010-2011 (14 power play goals against, 9 shorthanded goals for).

- UNB's .903 save percentage only ranked 6th in the AUS, but was a big upgrade compared to last year's 0.892 mark.

- UNB's 4 shutouts were only one behind Saint Mary's conference-leading 5. 

- The V-Reds were the best team in the league with the empty net, leading the conference in both goals for (6) and fewest goals allowed (1).

- Although UNB took more penalty minutes per game than last year (20.3 vs 19.0 in 2011-2012), this was still below the two seasons before that (23.7 in 2010-2011 and 21.9 in 2009-2010).

- UNB once again easily led the AUS in home attendance - averaging almost 1200 per game more than 2nd place Acadia - even though their average of 2518 per game was the lowest since the 2008-2009 season (2495). By comparison, the Varsity Reds drew an average of 2820 in 2009-2010, 2559 in 2010-2011, and 2759 last season.


Friday, February 8, 2013

V-Reds Close Out Regular Season With Win

UPDATE: Nick Murray, via UNB Athletics, has his game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds wrapped up another highly successful regular season with a 2-0 shutout of the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus this evening before 2428 in attendance at the AUC. With the victory the V-Reds finish the regular season with a 23-5-0 record, marking the 4th time in the last 6 years they have won at least that many games.

After a scoreless first period in which UNB outshot the visitors 13-7 while controlling the majority of play, the Varsity Reds finally found the score-sheet while shorthanded only 4:03 into the middle frame courtesy of Taylor MacDougall (MacNeil, LaCosta). Moncton had the puck in UNB's zone for the first 90 seconds of the man-advantage, not allowing the V-Reds to change their penalty killers. Finally, MacDougall was able to gain control of the puck and rather than clear it down the ice he skated into the Moncton zone and took what appeared to be a harmless shot that beat Andre-Michel Guay. UNB was able to extend their lead at 18:58 when Thomas Nesbitt took a pass through the neutral zone from Chris Culligan, skated down the right side, and wristed a shot past Guay. Cameron Critchlow picked up the secondary assist on the goal. Shots in the period were 13-4 for the V-Reds.

Despite Moncton holding a 15-13 edge in shots in the final period there was no more scoring. Shots in the game favoured the Varsity Reds 39-26 with Dan LaCosta picking up his 2nd shutout of the year in net for UNB.

- Adrian Robertson and Bryce Swan were back in the line-up while Tyler Carroll, Josh Kidd, and Luke Lynes all remained out. Antoine Houde-Caron also had to sit out due to his fighting major last weekend. As a result, Chad Denny played the game as a forward.

- LaCosta, Nesbitt, and Ben Wright were named the three stars.

- UNB is now 0 for their last 16 on the power play after an 0 for 4 showing tonight. Moncton was 0 for 3.

- Before the game Travis Fullerton, Nick MacNeil, and Ben Wright were announced as the winners of the annual 'Punchy' Walker Memorial Award. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers was honoured with the annual Mike Cavanagh Memorial Award.

- In other AUS action tonight Acadia picked up an 8-5 home win over Dalhousie, UPEI rolled over St. Thomas 5-1 in Charlottetown, and St. FX picked up a 4-3 shootout victory over Saint Mary's in Halifax.

- So with the regular season in the books the final AUS standings look like this: UNB (46 points), Saint Mary's (39), Acadia (36), St. FX (34), UPEI (32), Moncton (30), Dalhousie (19), and St. Thomas (7).

- The Varsity Reds have a first round playoff bye and are scheduled to open the best-of-5 semi-finals with home games on February 21st and 22nd against the lowest remaining seed from the quarterfinals. Both best-of-3 quarterfinals begin on Wednesday night with Acadia hosting Moncton and St. FX hosting UPEI.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

CIS Men's Hockey Top 10 (#14): V-Reds Retain Top Ranking

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds top the CIS men’s hockey rankings for the second straight week after extending their winning streak to seven games.

The leading trio remains unchanged in the 14th national poll of the campaign as UNB (22-5-0) stays ahead of the No. 2 Alberta Golden Bears (21-4-1) and No. 3 Western Mustangs (21-4-1). The V-Reds received 13 of 17 first-place votes from the media panel, with the four remaining nods going to the Bears.

Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 4 Saint Mary’s Huskies (18-7-2), who move up one position; No. 5 UQTR Patriotes (19-6-1), down one spot; No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies (17-8-1), up one; No. 7 Manitoba Bisons (16-6-4), also up one; No. 8 Acadia Axemen (16-9-2), down two; No. 9 Carleton Ravens (18-6-2), who stay put this week; and No. 10 Calgary Dinos (16-10-0), also holding on to their previous position.

The regular season comes to an end across the country this weekend, with UNB (AUS), Alberta (Canada West) and Western (OUA West) having secured first place in their respective conference or division standings.

The only race still to be determined heading into the final weekend of league play is in the OUA East division, where fifth-ranked UQTR holds a slim one-point lead over No. 9 Carleton with two home games remaining for both teams. The Patriotes host RMC (3-21-2) and Queen’s (10-10-6) on Friday and Saturday, while the Ravens battle Nipissing (14-10-2) and Ryerson (11-15-0).

In the Atlantic conference, UNB has now won 10 of its last 11 contests following victories over St. Thomas, 5-1, and UPEI, 5-2. The V-Reds, who lead the AUS standings by six points with one game left, close out the regular schedule Friday night with a home tilt against Moncton (12-9-6) and then will enjoy a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

In Canada West, Alberta posted back-to-back shutouts against Regina over the weekend, 6-0 and 2-0. The Bears, who currently have a seven-point cushion over Manitoba and lead Saskatchewan by eight, end league play with a two-game series versus UBC (14-9-3) in Vancouver.

In Ontario, Western outscored Windsor 7-3 last Friday but was upset 2-1 in overtime by York on Saturday. The Mustangs still hold a commanding nine-point advantage atop the OUA West standings as they get set to wrap up their conference schedule at home against Brock (8-14-4) and Windsor (16-9-1).

Following a month-long playoff season, the top six teams in the nation will battle for the University Cup from March 14 to 17 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#14)

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 (22-5-0) / 166 points (13) / (1) 2. Alberta (21-4-1) / 156 (4) / (2)
3. Western (21-4-1) / 131 / (3)
4. Saint Mary’s (18-7-2) / 116 / (5)
5. UQTR (19-6-1) / 95 / (4)
6. Saskatchewan (17-8-1) / 69 / (7)
7. Manitoba (16-6-4) / 63 / (8)
8. Acadia (16-9-2) / 60 / (6)
9. Carleton (18-6-2) / 45 / (9)
10. Calgary (16-10-0) / 19 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (9), StFX (4), McGill (1), Ottawa (1).

-CIS-

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Big 3rd Period Once Again Keys V-Reds

UPDATE: Nick Murray, via UNB Athletics, as well as The Guardian have both posted their game recaps.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds completed a season sweep of the visiting UPEI Panthers with a 5-2 victory before 2385 in attendance on their annualThink Pink night this evening at the AUC. With the win the V-Reds extend their winning streak to 7 games and improve to 22-5-0 on the season.

For the second consecutive weekend the V-Reds jumped out to a 2-0 2nd period lead only to see the visiting team tie up the game by the end of the period. Colby Pridham (MacNeil, Nesbitt) opened the scoring at the 17:00 mark of the opening frame and Antoine Houde-Caron (Salituro, Todd) doubled the lead 8:45 into the 2nd period before the Panthers came back with a pair of goals of their own, one at 13:00 and another on the power play at 15:23. The teams headed to the 3rd period tied at 2 despite UNB holding a 24-17 advantage on the shot clock.

The final period was all UNB as they outscored the Panthers 3-0 and outshot them 15-4. Cameron Critchlow (Culligan, Nesbitt) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 6:55 and only 19 seconds later Houde-Caron (MacDougall, Fillier) scored his 2nd of the game to give the V-Reds a 4-2 lead. Nick MacNeil (Pridham, Shutron) capped the scoring at 11:43 with his 3rd shorthanded goal of the season. Shots in the game were 39-21 for UNB.

- UNB once again played with a short bench as Bryce Swan was out of the line-up. Tyler Carroll, Adrian Robertson, and Josh Kidd all remained out.

- The V-Reds went 0 for 6 on the power play while the Panthers were 1 for 8.

- Dan LaCosta made 19 saves in improving to 14-1-0 on the season.

- Houde-Caron and the Panthers Mike MacIsaac each received a 5 minute major for fighting at 13:59 of the 3rd period. Both players will be suspended for their team's season finale next weekend.

- There were a combined 90 penalty minutes in the game.

- Houde-Caron, Culligan, and MacNeil were named the game's three stars.

- MacNeil has now scored in 4 consecutive games and has a point in 12 out of his last 14 contests. He is now tied for 2nd in the AUS - with teammate Tyler Carroll - with 15 goals on the season.

- This is the V-Reds 2nd 7-game winning streak of the season, also having done so from November 9th - 30th.

- In other AUS action tonight the Saint Mary's Huskies clinched 2nd place and the other first round bye with a 3-0 shutout of the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville and St. FX picked up a 2-1 road win over Dalhousie. Moncton and St. Thomas meet tomorrow at the Grant*Harvey Centre in the only afternoon game scheduled this season.

- The AUS standings now look like this: UNB (44 points), Saint Mary's (38), Acadia (34), St. FX (32), UPEI (30), Moncton (28 with two games remaining), Dalhousie (19), and St. Thomas (7 with two games remaining).

- The V-Reds wrap up the regular season next Friday night when they host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM.

Friday, February 1, 2013

V-Reds Pull Away From STU

UPDATE: Nick Murray, via UNB Athletics, has his game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsty Reds completed their 6th consecutive season series sweep of the St. Thomas Tommies with a 5-1 victory this evening before 1452 in attendance at the Grant*Harvey Centre. With the win the V-Reds extend their winning streak to 6 games and improve to 21-5-0 on the season, eclipsing last season's victory total.

Despite out-shooting St. Thomas 9-5 in the first period and 15-1 in the second UNB only led 1-0 thanks to a Ben Shutron (Wright, Braes) goal 6:57 into the middle frame. However, the V-Reds put the game away against the depleted Tommies in the final period with goals by Thomas Nesbitt (Culligan, Todd) at 1:35, Nick MacNeil (Denny, Salituro) at 8:26, Shutron (Culligan, Todd) with his second while shorthanded at 13:29, and Nesbitt (Critchlow) again at 18:52. Felix Poulin would ruin Travis Fullerton's shutout bid with only 41 seconds remaining. Shots in the 3rd period were 10-4 for UNB and for the game they were 34-10 in favour of the V-Reds.   

- Cam Braes was back in the line-up for the Varsity Reds. Tyler Carroll, Adrian Robertson, and Josh Kidd all remained out.

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

- Ben Shutron, Chris Culligan, and Daine Todd were named the 3 stars of the game.

- The V-Reds outscored St. Thomas 23-4 and out-shot them 163-45 on the season.

- In other AUS action tonight Moncton defeated UPEI 5-0 at home, Saint Mary's handled Dalhousie 6-2, and St. FX got by Acadia 3-2 in Antigonish.

- With only two games remaining in the regular season the standings now look like this: UNB (42 points), Saint Mary's (36), Acadia (34), St. FX (30), UPEI (30), Moncton (28), Dalhousie (19), and St. Thomas (7).

- The V-Reds are back in action tomorrow night when they host the UPEI Panthers. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.