Thursday, March 28, 2013

9 V-Reds Invited To Team Canada Evaluation Camp This Weekend

OTTAWA (CIS & AUS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Atlantic University Sport announced Wednesday that the coaching staff of the Canadian men's hockey team, led by head coach Gardiner MacDougall, will host an evaluation camp March 29-31 in Fredericton to help identify the 22 student-athletes who will represent the country in December at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.

Gardiner MacDougall, head coach of the CIS and AUS champion UNB Varsity Reds, will serve as Team Canada bench boss in Trentino. He will be assisted by St. Francis Xavier's Brad Peddle and UPEI's Forbes MacPherson.
At the biennial multi-sport event, which will run from December 11-21, Canada will be represented in men's hockey by a team comprised entirely of players from the AUS conference. Since 1997, selections from each of three CIS leagues have sported the Maple Leaf jersey on a rotating basis.
Atlantic University Sport all-stars have fared very well in two previous appearances at the competition, capturing gold in 2007 in Turin, Italy, and silver in 2001 in Zakopane, Poland. Canada goes into this year's tourney as reigning bronze medallist as a squad of Ontario University Athletics standouts defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 in the third-place game in 2011 in Erzurum, Turkey.

This weekend's three-day evaluation camp will serve as the first step in selecting the 22-man roster that will travel to Italy. Standouts from all eight AUS teams have been invited, including five goalies, 14 defencemen and 25 forwards.

Players will arrive in Fredericton on Friday and will take part in a number of on-ice and off-ice sessions that afternoon and evening. The weekend will also feature three inter-squad games where fans of AUS hockey can see many of the conference's top players compete against each other at the Grant Harvey Centre.

The inter-squad matches are open to the general public and are scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Atlantic Time and 9 p.m., with a third contest set to take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

MacDougall, a native of Bedeque, P.E.I., will be making his second trip to the Universiade, after serving as an assistant to Saint Mary's Trevor Stienburg on the gold medal-winning team in 2007. MacDougall has also guided the Varsity Reds program to four University Cup triumphs (2013, 2011, 2009, 2007) and a pair of CIS silver medals (2008, 2004), while claiming three AUS and one CIS coach-of-the-year awards.

"It is both an honour and privilege to again represent Team Canada at the World University Games," said MacDougall. "This event is one of the very, very special opportunities for CIS hockey and will provide lifetime moments for all of our participants. Our coaching staff is excited about the challenge of selecting the best team possible to represent our country and our conference at the highest possible level."

In addition to the title won by the all-AUS team in 2007 in Italy, Canada was crowned in 1991 in Sapporo, Japan, while represented by the senior national squad, and in 1981 in Jaca, Spain, when the University of Alberta Golden Bears wore the Maple Leaf uniform.

Russia is the reigning two-time Universiade champion.

AUS PLAYERS INVITED TO 2013 EVALUATION CAMP  
Name, School (Year of Eligibility - Hometown)

Goaltenders:
Anthony Peters, Saint Mary's (2nd - Blyth, Ont.)
Wayne Savage, UPEI (3rd - St. Thomas, Ont.)
Drew Owsley, StFX (1st - Lethbridge, Alta.)
Charles Lavigne, UNB (4th - Hawkesbury, Ont.)
Jon Groenheyde, St. Thomas (1st - Surrey, B.C.)

Defencemen
Cullen Morin, Acadia (3rd - Meadow Lake, Sask.)
Chris Owens, Acadia (3rd - St. John's , Nfld.)
Matt Maoine, UPEI (3rd - Unionville, Ont.)
Samuel Groulx, Moncton (2nd - Gatineau, Que.)
Josh Day, StFX (4th - St. John's Nfld.)
Simon Lacroix, Moncton (3rd - Orleans, Ont.)
Alex Wall, UPEI (2nd - Mount Pearl, Nfld.)
Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, UNB (3rd – St. Jerome, Que.)
Ben Shutron, UNB (4th - Orleans, Ont.)
Adrian Robertson, UNB (1st - Mississauga, Ont.)
Daine Todd, UNB (4th - Red Deer, Alta.)
Reg Traccitto, UPEI (3rd - Oakville, Ont.)
Spencer McAvoy, StFX (4th - St. Albert, Alta.)
Mike D'Orazio, Saint Mary's (2nd - Richmond Hill, Ont.) - Injured

Forwards
Liam Heelis, Acadia (2nd - Georgetown, Ont.)
Cam Braes, UNB (1st - Shawnigan Lake, B.C.)
Dylan Anderson, Acadia (1st - Ottawa, Ont.)
Eric Faille, Moncton (3rd - Lachine, Que)
Jordan Knox, UPEI (4th - Skinners Pond, P.E.I.)
Brett Thompson, Acadia (1st - Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
Alex Emond, Moncton (1st – Riviere-du-Loup, Que.)
Brennan Wray, StFX (4th - Moose Jaw, Sask.)
Stephen Sanza, St. Thomas (2nd - London, Ont.)
Chris Desousa, UPEI (2nd - Mississauga, Ont.)
Dana Fraser, UPEI (3rd - Tamagouche, N.S.)
Chris Culligan, UNB (4th - Howie Centre, N.S.)
Nick Mac Neil, UNB (3rd - Creignish, N.S.)
Pierre-Alexandre Vandall, Dalhousie (3rd - St. Louis, Que.)
Ryan Hillier, Saint Mary's (3rd - Halifax, N.S.)
Mike Cazzola, Acadia (1st - Guelph ,Ont.)
Tyler Carroll, UNB (2nd - Strathroy, Ont.)
Robert Slaney, StFX (4th - Upper Island Cove, Nfld.)
Dustin Ekelman, Acadia (3rd - Whitby, Ont.)
Michael Kirkpatrick, StFX (2nd - North Sydney, N.S.)
Cory Tanaka, Saint Mary's (4th - Stouffville, Ont.)
Stephen Johnson, Saint Mary's (2nd - Guelph, Ont.) - Injured
Jason Bast, StFX (3rd - Regina, Sask.) - Injured
Lucas Bloodoff, Saint Mary's (3rd - Castlegar, B.C.) - Injured
Matt Tipoff, Saint Mary's (2nd - Toronto, Ont.) - Injured

TEAM CANADA COACHING STAFF
Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall, University of New Brunswick
Assistant Coach: Brad Peddle, St. Francis Xavier University
Assistant Coach: Forbes MacPherson, University of Prince Edward Island

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fullerton Signs With Bulls

UPDATE: Fullerton made his debut last night, holding the Idaho Steelheads scoreless during regulation before eventually losing 1-0 in OT.

Former University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds goaltender Travis Fullerton has signed an amateur try-out (ATO) with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL, according to Britney Milazzo of the Bleacher Report.

Fullerton, who just completed his 5th year of eligibility, will leave as undoubtedly the greatest goalie in school history. He finished his UNB career with a regular season record of 60-11-2 to go along with a school record 14 shutouts, a save percentage of 0.911, and a goals against average of 1.87. He also led the V-Reds to AUS Championships in 2011 and 2012 while backing up Dan LaCosta this season as UNB won their 3rd consecutive conference crown. Of course, he back-stopped the Varsity Reds to University Cup titles in both 2009 and 2011, running his record at Nationals to 7-0 before finally suffering a loss to Western Ontario in 2012. Fullerton backed up LaCosta this season as he won his 3rd career National Championship.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carroll Named AUS/CIS Athlete Of The Week

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds forward Tyler Carroll has been named both the AUS and CIS male Athlete of the Week after helping the V-Reds win their 5th University Cup title in school history last weekend in Saskatoon.

The 2nd year native of Strathroy, Ontario played a key role in all three of UNB's victories at the tournament. On Thursday night Carroll scored what proved to be the game winning goal as the Varsity Reds began the tournament with a 3-1 win over the host Saskatchewan Huskies. Two nights later against the UQTR Patriotes he added a pair of goals, including the game-tying goal in the first period that helped propel UNB to an eventual 8-3 victory. In Sunday's championship game against Saint Mary's he netted his tournament-leading 4th goal into an empty net, clinching the Varsity Reds 4th title in 7 years. For his efforts Carroll received the Major W.J. 'Danny' McLeod Award as University Cup MVP as well as being named to the all-tournament team.

Congratulations Tyler!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Welcome Home Celebration" Re-scheduled For Thursday

The "Welcome Home" pep rally for the newly crowned University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hockey that had originally scheduled to take place on Wednesday at 12 PM at the AUC will now take place this Thursday at 12 PM at the AUC, according to UNBHockey on Twitter. This is due to the team experiencing some travel difficulties on their way back home from Saskatchewan and getting back later than originally planned.

University Cup Wrap-Up

Here are some post-University Cup links worth checking out:

"UNB Varsity Reds win University Cup with 2-0 victory over Saint Mary's"  by the Canadian Press for the Globe and Mail

"Varsity Reds crowned national champions" by Cole Guenter for The Sheaf (University of Saskatchewan)

"Varsity Reds capture cup" by Darren Zary for the StarPhoenix

"UNB tops SMU for hockey gold" by Glenn MacDonald for the Chronicle Herald

"V-Reds claim 5th University Cup title, 4th in 7 years" by Canadian Interuniversity Sport

"Swan celebrates CIS hockey title with heavy heart" by Erin Pottie for the Cape Breton Post

"Fillier wins second national title with UNB" by Christopher Cameron for The News

"Local host needed for CIS hockey nationals" by Chris Cochrane for the Chronicle Herald


"Recruiting key to Atlantic conference's hockey success" by Chris Cochrane for the Chronicle Herald

"Saskatchewan Huskies head coach Dave Adolph says tournament format could be in for overhaul" by Evan Daum for the Edmonton Journal

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2012 - 2013 CIS CHAMPIONS!

Photo courtesy Nick Murray
UPDATE: Nick Murray has posted his game recap here.

Saskatoon proved to be a good luck charm for the 2nd time as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds capped off another incredible season by winning their 5th University Cup championship in school history with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over fellow AUS rival Saint Mary's Huskies tonight at Credit Union Centre.

It wasn't their prettiest or best played game of the season as the Huskies neutralized the high-powered V-Reds for most of the game, preferring to keep the game a tight-checking, defensive affair, and limiting UNB to shots mostly from the perimeter. SMU was able to take away UNB's time and space for most of the night.

The Varsity Reds got their only puck past SMU goalie Anthony Peters at 10:39 of the first period with a power play goal from Daine Todd (MacNeil, Pridham) when he banged in a puck in the crease just moments before Peters could cover it for a whistle. The shots favoured UNB 12-7 as they held the advantage in play over the first 20 minutes.

The Huskies rebounded from the first period and started to tilt the ice in their favour over the last two periods, but Dan LaCosta was up to the challenge, making a couple of huge saves to keep SMU off the board. It wouldn't be until 19:49 of the third period that V-Reds fans could finally breathe a little easier when Tyler Carroll picked up the puck at centre ice and fired it into an empty net, giving UNB a 2-0 lead and securing the team's 4th University Cup in the last 7 seasons. Shots in the 3rd period were only 5-4 for SMU, with UNB holding a 23-17 advantage in the game.

- Chad Denny, Tim Priamo, Cameron Critchlow, and Luke Lynes all remained scratched for UNB.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play while SMU was 0 for 4.

- Attendance was 3918.

- LaCosta and Peters were named their respective team's player of the game.

- Forward Tyler Carroll was named the tournament MVP after collecting 4 goals in the 3 games.

- Along with Carroll the tournament all-star , as selected by the media, included Varsity Reds forward Nick MacNeil, defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, and goalie Dan LaCosta. Alberta defenceman Jesse Craige and Saint Mary's forward Cory Tanaka rounded out the squad.

- This was only the 4th shutout in Championship Game history. Of course, UNB shutout the McGill Redmen 4-0 two years ago in winning their 4th title.

- LaCosta picked up his 3rd shutout in the last 4 games against SMU, after notching two in the AUS Finals two weeks ago. This was especially impressive considering UNB was only able to score 7 goals in those 4 games.

- For 5th year players Colby Pridham, Bryce Swan, Dion Campbell, Travis Fullerton, Dan LaCosta, and Chad Denny, they end their university career on the highest note possible. Fullerton and Campbell win their 3rd career University Cup, Pridham his 2nd (2010 with SMU), and the others their first.

- This is the 3rd time UNB has won the National Championship along with the AUS title in the same year, having done so in 1998 and 2011 as well. They lost in the AUS Finals in 2007 and 2009 to Moncton and Saint Mary's, respectively. 

- Of course the V-Reds continue their streak of winning in odd-numbered years. They have now won in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

- Only 6 more months until hockey season begins again...

UNB Championship Game History

The Varsity Reds will be playing in their 9th University Cup final this evening, including their 6th under current head coach Gardiner MacDougall. It will also mark the 3rd time they have played a championship game in Saskatoon. Here is how they have fared all-time:

March 17th, 1997 (Toronto) - Guelph defeated UNB 4-3
March 29th, 1998 (Saskatoon) - UNB defeated Acadia 6-3
March 25th, 2000 (Saskatoon) - Alberta defeated UNB 5-4 in OT2
March 28th, 2004 (Fredericton) - St. FX defeated UNB 3-2 in OT2
March 25th, 2007 (Moncton) - UNB defeated Moncton 3-2 in OT
March 23rd, 2008 (Moncton) - Alberta defeated UNB 3-2
March 29th, 2009 (Thunder Bay) - UNB defeated Western Ontario 4-2
March 27th, 2011 (Fredericton) - UNB defeated McGill 4-0 
March 17th, 2013 (Saskatoon) - ?????

Of note, this will be the first time the Varsity Reds and Huskies have met at the University Cup.

Special thanks to Eric Drummie and the ReDSea Database

Championship Sunday Links

Some stories about yesterday's semi-finals as UNB and SMU prepare to battle for CIS Gold this evening in Saskatoon:

"SMU to take on UNB for hockey gold" - by Glenn MacDonald for the Chronicle Herald

"Varsity Reds set up AUS championship rematch" - by Cole Guenter for The Sheaf (University of Saskatchewan)

"Saint Mary's, New Brunswick advance to CIS men's hockey final" - by the Canadian Press for the StarPhoenix

"V-Reds join Saint Mary's in all-AUS University Cup final" - by the CIS

UNB Rolls Over Patriotes, Advances To Final

UPDATE: Nick Murray has his game recap posted here.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds  punched their ticket to the CIS Championship game with a convincing 8-3 victory over the UQTR Patriotes tonight at the University Cup in Saskatoon. With the win the V-Reds will meet the Saint Mary's Huskies tomorrow night in an all-AUS final.

The Varsity Reds got out to a great start as they received goals from Nick MacNeil (Wright, Robertson) only 45 seconds in and then another, from Bryce Swan (Houde-Caron), at 2:28 to grab a quick 2-0 lead. The Patriotes stormed back however, taking the lead with three quick goals against Dan LaCosta in just over 5 minutes of play. UNB would answer right back thanks to a Tyler Carroll (Nesbitt, Culligan) goal at 9:59 to tie the game at 3, which is how the first period would end. Shots in the period were 18-9 for UNB.

The Varsity Reds came out in the 2nd period and put together perhaps their best period of the season. They outshot the Patriotes 22-7 and took control of the game with two goals. First, Dion Campbell (MacNeil, Todd) jumped on a loose puck at the side of the net to beat Patriotes goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas at 5:11 and then MacNeil (Campbell, Pridham) deposited a bouncing puck in front of the crease into the net at 10:53 to give UNB a 5-3 lead heading into the final period.

The Varsity Reds salted the game away in the third period with three goals on 11 more shots. Tyler Carroll (unassisted) picked the pocket of a Patriotes defender and sniped a shot top corner at 8:36, Thomas Nesbitt converted a Chris Culligan pass from the high slot at 13:43, and then Bryce Swan (Houde-Caron, MacDougall) snapped a shot from the left face-off circle and into the net at 15:01. Shots in the period were 11-6 for UNB, who held an overall advantage of 51-22.

- Chad Denny, Tim Priamo, and Cameron Critchlow all remained out for UNB as the V-Reds went with the same line-up as the one they used against Saskatchewan.

- UNB was 0 for 6 on the power play. UQTR was 1 for 7.

- Nick MacNeil (2 goals, 1 assist) was named UNB's player of the game. Pierre-Olivier Morin (1 goal) took the honour for the Patriotes.

- Attendance was 3649.

- With 8 goals scored UNB set a school record for most goals in a University Cup game. The previous record had been 6 (done multiple times).

- There have been 3 previous all-AUS finals and UNB has been involved in all of them. In 1998 the V-Reds won their first championship in school history with a 6-3 win over Acadia in Saskatoon, in 2004 St. FX defeated UNB 3-2 in double overtime in Fredericton, and in 2007 in Moncton UNB took down the home-town Aigles Bleu 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Rob Pearce.

- This will mark UNB's 5th appearance in the Championship Game in the last 7 seasons. They won in 2007, 2009, and 2011. They lost in 2008 and did not appear in either 2010 or 2012. 

- UNB and Saint Mary's have played 7 times this season, with the Varsity Reds emerging victorious on 4 occasions. The teams split their 4 regular season games before the V-Reds beat the Huskies 2 games to 1 in the AUS Championship.

- Colby Pridham will, of course, be facing off with his former team tomorrow night. He was injured during Saint Mary's run to the 2010 University Cup.

- Game time tomorrow night is scheduled for 8:30 PM AST and will be broadcast on Sportsnet One. Of note, there will be a viewing party at the Snooty Fox for the game. Wear your red and black.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Huskies Earn Trip To National Final

The Saint Mary's Huskies came in to their game this afternoon against the Waterloo Warriors knowing they needed to win by at least two goals to advance to tomorrow's final, and they took care of business, beating the Warriors 5-1.

The Warriors got off to a quick start with CIS leading scorer Justin Larson giving his team the lead only 25 seconds into the game. However, the Huskies tied the game on a Shawn O'Donnell goal at 16:08 and never looked back, dominating play for the majority of the game.

Cory Tanaka scored the only goal of the second period at 6:05 of the period to give SMU a 2-1 lead, which kept things interesting for awhile since if that score held it would be Alberta advancing to the finals. The Huskies came out in the 3rd and quickly put that scenario to rest, eliminating the Golden Bears thanks to O'Donnell's 2nd goal of the game. Saint Mary's kept on pouring it on and Tanaka got his 2nd of the game at 9:23 to make 4-1, before Michael Stickland rounded out the scoring on the power play at 14:51, as Waterloo became unglued and took a number of undisciplined penalties.

- Anthony Peters made 24 saves for the Huskies while Keaton Hartigan turned away 45 out of 50 shots directed his way in the Waterloo net.

- O'Donnell was in on all 5 goals for Saint Mary's as he picked up 3 assists to go along with his 2 goals. Tanaka had two assists, giving him 4 points on the afternoon.

- SMU was 1 for 7 on the power play. Waterloo was 0 for 3.

- Attendance was 4339.

- For the second consecutive game SMU forward and CIS MVP Lucas Bloodoff received a 5 minute major penalty for checking to the head and a game misconduct. It appears he will be allowed to play tomorrow night.

- The Huskies now await the winner of tonight's UNB/UQTR game to see who they will play for the CIS Championship.

UNB/UQTR History

When the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds square off with the UQTR Patriotes this evening in the semi-finals of the University Cup they will be facing a team they have seen plenty of over the years. In fact, the V-Reds have faced off with the Patriotes more often than any other non-conference team, with the two teams meeting 12 times previously. UNB has gone 10-1-1 in those games (including a 3-2 win earlier this season), but we are sure many fans remember that one loss fondly as it occurred in Fredericton and was in the exact same scenario the two teams find themselves in tonight - a Saturday night game at the University Cup with a spot in the finals on the line. The Varsity Reds have exacted some revenge since then though, winning 8 straight games against the Patriotes, including 6-0 and 6-1 decisions in two University Cup meetings since, in 2007 and 2012 respectively.

Here is how the all-time series breaks down:

October 19th, 1984 (Exhibition) - 4-4 Tie
October 10th, 1999 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 4-1
October 4th, 2002 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 5-2
March 22nd, 2003 (University Cup in Fredericton) - UQTR defeats UNB 4-3
October 16th, 2004 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 3-1
December 29th, 2005 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 4-2
March 24th, 2007 (University Cup in Moncton) - UNB defeats UQTR 6-0
September 26th, 2008 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 4-3
September 27th, 2008 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 3-2
September 29th, 2011 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 3-2
March 22nd, 2012 (University Cup in Fredericton) - UNB defeats UQTR 6-1
September 23rd, 2012 (Exhibition) - UNB defeats UQTR 3-2

Patriotes Eliminate Huskies

The UQTR Patriotes set up a semi-final showdown with the Varsity Reds tomorrow evening after defeating the host Saskatchewan Huskies 3-1 tonight at the University Cup. The loss drops the Huskies to 0-2 and makes them the first team eliminated from the tournament.

Each team scored a goal in the first period, with Tommy Tremblay giving the Patriotes the lead 6:21 into the game before Kyle Bortis responded on the power play for Saskatchewan just over ten minutes later. The teams would skate through a scoreless second period before Olivier Donovan scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on the power play 1:11 into the third period. Tremblay added his second of the game into an empty net with 0.1 second left.

- Shots were 33-25 for the Patriotes. Marc-Antoine Gelinas picked up the win while Ryan Holfeld was tagged with the loss.

- Saskatchewan was 1 for 6 on the power play. UQTR was 1 for 4.

- Attendance was 4379.

- Since both UNB and UQTR defeated the Huskies tomorrow's game between the two will be a "true" semi-final with the winner moving on to Sunday's championship game. Game time is scheduled for 11 PM AST and can be seen live on Sportsnet.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Golden Bears Get In The Win Column

The University of Alberta Golden Bears faced a must-win game this afternoon at the University Cup against the Saint Mary's Huskies and they prevailed 4-3 in overtime, keeping their slim hopes alive. It marked Alberta's first victory in the tournament since 2010.

The Golden Bears scored in each period, receiving goals from Torrie Dyck on the power play at 19:42 of the first period, Jordan Hickmott on the power play at 2:13 of the middle frame, Johnny Lazo 7:35 into the third period, and Levko Koper, who potted the winner 2:51 into the extra session. First team All-Canadian goaltender Kurtis Mucha was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 10 shots in just under 27 minutes. Real Cyr came on and stopped all 10 shots he seen to pick up the victory.

The Huskies got goals from Matt Tipoff 15:48 into the opening stanza, Cory Tanaka 6:16 into the second period, and Michael Stickland only 19 seconds later. Anothony Peters turned aside 36 out of the 40 shots directed his way. Saint Mary's also lost CIS MVP Lucas Bloodoff to a game misconduct for checking from behind, a play in which he also received a 5 minute major on. He will not be suspended for tomorrow's game, however.

- Alberta was 2 for 7 on the power play. SMU was 0 for 3.

- Attendance was 9465, many of whom were elementary students from the surrounding area.

- Alberta's victory means there are still a variety of scenarios still in play. Essentially, if Waterloo wins tomorrow by any margin the Warriors advance to Sunday's final by virtue of being 2-0. After that we need to break out the calculators because goal differential comes into play. If SMU wins 1-0 Alberta advances since the Golden Bears are at 5 goal for/5 goals against right now, which would trump SMU's 4 goals for/4 goals against. If SMU wins 2-1 both the Golden Bears and Huskies would be at 5 goals for and 5 goals against but Alberta would get the nod due to their head-to-head win this afternoon. If SMU wins by more than 2 goals, or by 1 goal AND they score three goals or more, the Huskies advance. Got all of that?

- Later tonight the host Huskies will try to throw Pool B into chaos as well as they take on the OUA Champion UQTR Patriotes. Game time is 10 PM AST. The Varsity Reds have the evening off to prepare for the Patriotes, their opponent tomorrow evening.


Friday Links

Here are a couple stories of interest as Saint Mary's and Alberta get ready to begin day two of the University Cup in Saskatoon:

"V-Reds power play mauls Huskies in opening game of University Cup" by Nick Murray for UNB Athletics

"UNB downs host Huskies at CIS men's hockey championship tourney" by Darren Zary for the StarPhoenix

"V-Reds silence partisan crowd, edge host Huskies" by CIS

V-Reds Open Tournament With Win Over Huskies

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got their 2013 University Cup started on the right foot with a solid 3-1 victory over the host Saskatchewan Huskies.

The V-Reds carried the majority of play in the first period, out-shooting the Huskies 16-7 and forcing goalie Ryan Holfeld to make a couple big saves, but the game remained scoreless after 20 minutes.

The second period was a different story, however, as three goals were scored. Jimmy Bubnick gave the almost-6000 in attendance a reason to cheer when he potted a power play goal at 5:26 of the frame to give the hometown Huskies a 1-0 lead. The V-Reds rebounded from the goal and started to apply more pressure. They were rewarded at 10:47 on the power play with a controversial goal by Daine Todd (MacNeil, Desnoyers). Todd's shot originally looked to have crossed the line, however the goal light did not come on and the referee's did not signal a goal. The referee's then gathered with the goal judge to discuss the play and declared the goal good. The Varsity Reds would strike again on the power play with only 57 seconds remaining in the period when Tyler Carroll finished off a nice 3-way passing play with Cam Braes and Todd by firing a shot from the slot into the top corner. Shots in the period favoured UNB 12-7.

Saskatchewan came out in the 3rd period pushing hard for the tying goal, but UNB played stifling defence, limiting their chances despite the Huskies possessing the puck more than they had in the first 40 minutes. The V-Reds made things interesting by taking a penalty with just under 6 minutes left. They successfully killed it off and just over a minute later Todd skated the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone, split two defenders, and drew Holfeld out of position before throwing a pass across the slot to Antoine Houde-Caron, who snapped it into the waning net. The Varsity Reds took another penalty at 18:29 but no harm came out of it. Shots in the period were 14-10 for UNB, who held an advantage of 42-24 in the contest.

- Adrian Robertson was back in the line-up. Chad Denny, Tim Priamo, and Cameron Critchlow were all out. Houde-Caron moved up from the 4th line to take Critchlow's spot on the 3rd line with Stefan Salituro slotting into the 4th line.

- UNB was 2 for 5 on the power play. Saskatchewan was 1 for 4.

- We don't have the official stats, but the V-Reds (and particularly Colby Pridham) dominated in the face-off circle.

- Dan LaCosta and Jimmy Bubnick were named their team's player of the game.

- UNB remains perfect all-time against Saskatchewan, improving to 4-0-0.

- With the win the V-Reds earn a day off tomorrow. The Huskies will need to regroup and prepare for the UQTR Patriotes tomorrow night. UNB and UQTR will square off on Saturday night. The Alberta Golden Bears and Saint Mary's Huskies tangle in tomorrow's afternoon game. Of course all of the games will be broadcast live on CHSR-FM (97.9).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Warriors Stun Top-Ranked Golden Bears

UPDATE: TSN.ca and the CIS website have both posted game recaps.

Well, no one seen this one coming. The 6th seeded Waterloo Warriors, picked by many to be easy prey for the #1 seed University of Alberta Golden Bears, defeated the Bears 2-1 in the opening game of the 2012 University Cup this afternoon in Saskatoon.

The Warriors received power play goals from CIS leading scorer Justin Larson in the first period and Blake Chartier in the third period before Alberta made a furious push in the final minutes. The Golden Bears got a power play goal of their own from Torrie Dyck at 16:30 of the final frame to cut the deficit to one and then had a golden opportunity just as time expired, but Johnny Lazo's shot off of a face-off win rang off the post. Warriors goaltender Keaton Hartigan came up big multiple times throughout the game as Alberta out-shot Waterloo 43-13 and controlled the majority of the play. He also got some help as Alberta hit 5 posts on the day.

-  The Golden Bears have now lost 4 straight games at the University Cup. They fell to Saint Mary's in overtime in the CIS Championship Game in 2010, lost to both St. FX and McGill in Fredericton in 2011, and did not qualify for the tournament last season.

- Waterloo will have tomorrow off before playing Saint Mary's on Saturday afternoon in a game which will be broadcast live by Rogers Sportsnet. The Golden Bears will need to quickly regroup as they take on the Huskies tomorrow afternoon and will need a win to keep their chances alive.

- The second game of the tournament will take place at 10 PM AST this evening with the host Saskatchewan Huskies battling the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds.
 

Critchlow Suspension Upheld

The Varsity Reds will be without rookie forward Cameron Critchlow for the entirety of this weekend`s University Cup. The AUS announced today that a Judicial Committee has upheld the 5 game suspension the Varsity Reds forward received last week following a hit to the head of Saint Mary's defenseman Patrick O'Keefe in game 1 of the AUS Finals. As a result, Critchlow, who has already sat out two games, will have to serve the remaining three games before he is eligible to play again. This ends his season as the V-Reds have a maximum of three games left in their season.

AUS Well Represented at CIS Awards Gala

SASKATOON (CIS) – Lucas Bloodoff, a third-year forward from Saint Mary’s University, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night.

The native of Castlegar, B.C., became the third player in school history to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy. Forward Marc Rancourt and goaltender Mark Locken had been honoured in 2008-09 and 1982-83, respectively.

Other winners announced during the SaskTel Awards Presentation at TCU Place in Saskatoon were UQTR rearguard Pierre-Luc Lessard, who was named CIS defenceman of the year; Alberta netminder Kurtis Mucha, selected as the country’s best goaltender; Carleton forward Mitch Porowski, who received the Clare Drake Award as rookie of the year; Alberta forward Jordan Hickmott, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the nation’s most sportsmanlike player; Saint Mary’s head coach Trevor Stienburg, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award; and UPEI forward Jordan Knox, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.

The PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, gets underway Thursday at the Credit Union Centre and culminates Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Saskatchewan Time with the national final, live on Sportsnet ONE.

Sportsnet also has live coverage of the final day of pool play, on Saturday, with contests scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. local. All seven matches from the championship will also be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Lucas Bloodoff, Saint Mary’s

Bloodoff is the fifth AUS player in the past six years to win the Sullivan Trophy.
The talented forward led the Atlantic conference in scoring this season with 38 points in 28 games. Also named a first-team all-Canadian, he netted a league-high 20 goals and added 18 assists. His totals included three game-winning markers and a CIS-leading 12 power-play goals.

In three seasons of university hockey, Bloodoff, a former member of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, has now accumulated 76 career points in 82 conference games.

“At 6-foot-2, 230-pound, Lucas is a pro-level conditioned athlete who has gained a reputation as a punishing fore-checker and extremely hard to play against,” said head coach Trevor Stienburg.

“Whether at practice, in the gym or during a game, the expectations on Lucas have been extremely high and he has delivered on those expectations. Lucas is a natural leader who brings the most out in his teammates and those around him. After 16 years of coaching at this level, his commitment to his team and teammates is second to none and he has made our team, department and school a better place with his personality, professionalism and passion. He epitomizes not only what anyone would want in a student athlete but more so what you would want in a son.”

The other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy were forwards Félix Petit of UQTR and Blair Macaulay of Manitoba.

DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR: Pierre-Luc Lessard, UQTR

Lessard is the first UQTR player to be named the best defenceman in CIS since the inception of the award four years ago.

The business administration student was the top-scoring rearguard in the country in the regular season with five goals and 26 assists for 31 points in 28 games. He also spent only eight minutes in the penalty box, which earned him most sportsmanlike status in the OUA East. After three straight selections as an OUA all-star, this marks his first nomination as an all-Canadian.

Before joining the Patriotes four years ago, the native of Thetford Mines, Que., played in the QMJHL with Gatineau, Prince Edward Island and Baie-Comeau. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2006.

“Pierre-Luc is our captain this season and brings a lot of leadership to our team both on and off the ice,” said first-year UQTR bench boss Gilles Bouchard. “He gets very involved in the play and doesn’t take a night off. His mobility and vision, combined to his offensive abilities make him a player we can use in all game situations.”

Saint Mary’s Michael D’Orazio and Alberta’s Jesse Craige were also in the running for the award.

GOALTENDER OF THE YEAR: Kurtis Mucha, Alberta

Mucha, a third-year netminder, is the second consecutive Golden Bear to win the award after teammate Réal Cyr claimed it in 2012.

The former Portland Winterhawk had a stellar season as he led CIS in goals against average, with a sparkling 1.30, and in save percentage (.936), while earning a 13-2 record. The Sherwood Park, Alta., native also played a key role in setting three Canada West records over the course of the campaign. He and Cyr combined to give Alberta a record three consecutive shutouts to close out the regular season, two of which were earned by Mucha. The Bears also yielded a conference-record fewest goals against this season (45). On top of that, Mucha became the first goalie in Canada West history to be credited with scoring a goal.

After shutting out his final two opponents in the regular season, Mucha then carried that impenetrable play over to the playoffs when he posted two more whitewashes in a two-game sweep of the Calgary Dinos. His personal shutout streak ended at 335 minutes and six seconds after he allowed a goal to Saskatchewan in the second game of the best-of-three league final.

Mucha and Cyr repeated this season as winners of the Adam Kryczka Memorial Trophy for the lowest goals against average by a team in Canada West play.

“Kurtis has been one of our team’s top, and most consistent, student-athletes since the start of camp in September,” said first-year Golden Bears coach Ian Herbers. “He has proven himself to be the top goaltender in Canada West hockey and CIS this season with his outstanding play. He has been a big part of our team success and has set the bar high for Canada West hockey goaltenders. Kurtis gives our team a chance to win every game he plays. It starts with his work ethic, focus and attitude, both in the classroom and on the ice. He challenges himself to improve every day, which forces his teammates to be better. He has become an excellent leader and representative for Golden Bears hockey and CIS.”

The other nominees for top-goalie honours were Wayne Savage of UPEI and Ryan Daniels of Wilfrid Laurier.

CLARE DRAKE AWARD (rookie of the year): Mitch Porowski, Carleton

Porowski, who hails from Ottawa, becomes the first CIS major award winner from Carleton since the Ravens entered OUA hockey in 2007.

In his inaugural university campaign, Porowski collected 19 goals and 19 assists in 28 conference games, which was tops among OUA East division rookies, 14 points ahead of second place. His 38 points ranked the arts student sixth overall in Ontario and he led the Ravens in goals, points, power play markers (9) and game winning goals (4). For his efforts, he was named a first-team OUA all-star.

“His consistent dominance in the offensive zone protecting the puck and driving the net made him an impact player throughout the season,” said Carleton head coach Marty Johnston.

Forwards Mike Cazzola of Acadia and James Henry of Manitoba were also nominated for the Clare Drake Award.

R.W. PUGH AWARD (most sportsmanlike player): Jordan Hickmott, Alberta

Hickmott is just the second member of the Golden Bears’ program to claim the honour, and first since Mike Jickling won in 1998.

A CIS all-rookie team member a year ago, Hickmott led the nation’s number two offence in goals (15) and points (35) during a 28 game regular season in which the top-ranked Bears recorded a 23-4-1 mark. Nationally, he finished inside the top 15 for both points and goals. On top of that, the former Edmonton Oil King took just two minor penalties all season, and also recorded the fourth best plus/minus in Canada West at +19, which was also the highest mark recorded by a forward in the conference.

“Jordan is developing into one of the premiere two-way players in CIS hockey,” said head coach Ian Herbers. “He is a highly skilled forward that plays in every situation. He is an offensive threat at any time, and creates many of his offensive opportunities with solid, responsible hockey. Jordan employs his size, skills, hockey sense, along with his determination, in all facets of the game to excel while staying out of the penalty box. His style of play, along with his respect for his teammates, opponents and the game of hockey, itself, definitely makes Jordan a worthy winner of post-season honours.”

Forwards Chris Culligan of UNB and Steven Reese of Western were also up for the Pugh Award.

FATHER GEORGE KEHOE MEMORIAL AWARD (coach of the year): Trevor Stienburg, Saint Mary’s

In his 16th season as Saint Mary’s bench boss, Stienburg, a four-time AUS coach of the year, is honoured by his CIS peers for the fourth time in his career. He also merited the Father Kehoe Award in 1998-99 and 1999-00.

Bob Boucher is the only other Huskies coach to win the Kehoe Award, in 1972-73 and 1976-77.
Stienburg guided the fourth-ranked Huskies to an 18-7-3 regular season record this season and a second-place finish in the Atlantic conference standings with 39 points.
Since taking over the Saint Mary’s University hockey program in 1997-98, he has led the Huskies to
three AUS crowns (2001-02, 2008-09 and 2009-10) and the first University Cup title in program history in 2009-10. In 2007, he was the head coach of the AUS team that represented Canada and won gold at the Winter Universiade in Torino, Italy. He was also at the helm of the AUS squad that claimed silver at the World University Games in Poland in 2001.

“I feel very fortunate to be re-united with Coach Stienburg,” said Dr. David Murphy, director of athletics at Saint Mary’s. “Trevor brings intensity and integrity to work every day and it shows in the character of his players. He teaches discipline, respect in athletics and dedication to studies and academics. It is no wonder the Saint Mary’s hockey team has had success in both the classroom and on the ice.”

Wilfrid Laurier’s Greg Puhalski and Alberta’s Ian Herbers were also in the running for coach-of-the-year honours.

DR. RANDY GREGG AWARD (hockey, academics & community service): Jordan Knox, UPEI

Knox, a fourth-year forward from Skinner’s Pond, P.E.I., has been an Academic all-Canadian in each of the four seasons he has played in the Atlantic conference. Having already graduated with Bachelors in Business (with a major in accounting), he is currently working towards his Honors in Business degree.

This season, Knox finished 16th in AUS scoring with nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 28 games. His totals included four power-play goals, one short-handed marker and a game-winner. In four seasons with the Panthers, he has collected 33 goals and 67 assists for 100 points in 108 career regular season contests.

In addition to his academic and athletic commitments, Knox volunteers with many hockey associations, fund raising events and community awareness activities.

In his second year at UPEI, he contributed significantly to a fundraising event that amassed close to $7,000 for a member of the UPEI alumni that had one of his children involved in a life altering accident. More recently, another member of the UPEI alumni had tragically passed away and Jordan again played a key role in organizing an event that contributed close to $5,000 towards helping the family. Another recent tragedy claimed a young member of his community (Kameron Cooke, six-years old) who suddenly passed away. Knox is currently serving on a committee that will have fundraising activities set up to benefit a Memorial in Kameron’s name.

Each year, UPEI men’s hockey has a ‘Santa Clause Run’ that raises money for gifts for those who are less fortunate in the community. This event was initiated during Knox’s time at UPEI, and he has played a significant contributing role. He also participates in the ‘Movember’ fundraising event and this past season volunteered on a weekly basis at the East Wiltshire Hockey Academy, a school program designed to introduce kids to the game of hockey.

“Jordan exemplifies exactly what the spirit of this award represents,” said UPEI head coach Forbes MacPherson. “Jordan is the epitome of outstanding AUS achievement in hockey, academics, and community involvement. Jordan ‘gets it’ and he is a model student-athlete. He is a leader in our program, is becoming a young strong leader of our community and is a tremendous nominee for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award.”

Windsor’s Brett Vandehogen and Alberta’s Greg Gardner were also nominated for the Dr. Gregg Award.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Bloodoff, Lessard and Mucha on the first squad were Saint Mary’s defenceman Michael D’Orazio and forwards Félix Petit of UQTR and Blair Macaulay of Manitoba.

Petit finished second in the country in scoring in league play with 11 goals and 32 assists for 43 points in 28 games; Macaulay, who was a second-team CIS all-star a year ago, was third in Canada West scoring (12th in CIS) with a 12-23-35 mark in 28 contests; D’Orazio was the second-highest scoring rearguard in the nation behind Lessard with 30 points (3-27-30) in 28 matches.

The second all-Canadian unit is comprised of Wilfrid Laurier goalie Ryan Daniels, Alberta’s Jesse Craige and Acadia’s Chris Owens on the blue line, as well as forwards Justin Larson of Waterloo, Andrew Clark of Acadia and Kyle Bortis of Saskatchewan.

Teammates Owens and Clark were both first-team all-Canadians last season, when Clark was named CIS player of the year; Larson won the CIS scoring crown this year with 45 points (17-28-45) in 28 league games; Bortis finished first in Canada West (8th in CIS) with 36 points (10-26-36), also in 28 contests.

Joining Porowski on the CIS all-rookie squad were UOIT netminder Bryce O’Hagan, UBC’s Neil Manning and Toronto’s Lane Werbowski on defence, as well as Acadia’s Mike Cazzola and Manitoba’s James Henry on offence.

2012-2013 CIS MEN'S HOCKEY AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy (player of the year): Lucas Bloodoff, Saint Mary’s
Defenceman of the year: Pierre-Luc Lessard, UQTR
Goaltender of the year: Kurtis Mucha, Alberta
Clare Drake Award (rookie of the year): Mitch Porowski, Carleton
R.W. Pugh Award (most sportsmanlike player): Jordan Hickmott, Alberta
Father George Kehoe Memorial Award (coach of the year): Trevor Stienburg, Saint Mary’s
Dr. Randy Gregg Award (hockey, academics & community service): Jordan Knox, UPEI

First Team

Pos. - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Faculty
G Kurtis Mucha Alberta 3 Sherwood Park, Alta. Science
D Pierre-Luc Lessard UQTR 4 Thetford Mines, Que. Administration
D Michael D’Orazio Saint Mary’s 2 Richmond Hill, Ont. Commerce
F Lucas Bloodoff Saint Mary’s 3 Castlegar, B.C. Commerce
F Félix Petit UQTR 3 Jonquière, Que. Administration
F Blair Macaulay Manitoba 4 Winnipeg, Man. Business

Second Team

G Ryan Daniels Laurier 4 Pickering, Ont. Business
D Jesse Craige Alberta 3 Edmonton, Alta. PE & Recreation
D Christopher Owens Acadia 3 St. John’s, Nfld. Business Admin.
F Justin Larson Waterloo 2 Buckhorn, Ont. Legal Studies
F Andrew Clark Acadia 4 Brandon, Man. Kinesiology
F Kyle Bortis Saskatchewan 4 Saskatoon, Sask. Agri. & Bioresources

All-Rookie Team

G Bryce O’Hagan UOIT 1 Burlington, Ont. Criminology
D Neil Manning UBC 1 Nanaimo, B.C. Commerce
D Lane Werbowski Toronto 1 Winnipeg, Man. Arts and Science
F Mitch Porowski Carleton 1 Ottawa, Ont. Arts
F Mike Cazzola Acadia 1 Guelph, Ont. Kinesiology
F James Henry Manitoba 1 Winnipeg, Man. University 1

-CIS-

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

V-Reds/Huskies History

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds begin their quest for a 5th University Cup in school history tomorrow night when they take on the hometown Saskatchewan Huskies at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. Game time is scheduled for 7 PM CST (10 PM AST) and can be viewed live online on CIS TV. It will also be broadcasted (as all 7 tournament games will be) on UNB's own radio station CHSR-FM, which can be found at 97.9 FM on your radio dial, online at chsrfm.ca, or throughout New Brunswick on Rogers digital cable (channel 946).

This will mark the 4th all-time meeting between the Varsity Reds and the Huskies. The previous three match-ups have all occurred at the University Cup with UNB coming out on top each time.

1999/2000 in Saskatoon- UNB defeated Saskatchewan 5-4 in double OT in the semi-finals
2006/2007 in Moncton - UNB defeated Saskatchewan 2-1 in the first game of the tournament
2007/2008 in Moncton - UNB defeated Saskatchewan 4-0 in the semi-finals


Wednesday Links

Some stories of interest on the day before the University Cup kicks off:

"CIS University Cup has convoluted format in need of a TV-and fan-friendly refresher" by Neate Sager of Buzzing The Net for Yahoo! Sports

"Golden Bears have history of success in CIS championships at Saskatoon" by Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal

"Saint Mary's seeks another hockey title" by Glenn MacDonald of the Halifax Chronicle Herald

"Saskatoon hosts 2013 University Cup" by Thomas Pillar of Global News Saskatoon

And finally, three stories from Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix

"Return home for UNB's Campbell"

"13 to watch at PotashCorp University Cup"

"Who's playing in the 2013 University Cup"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

University Cup Preview

The CIS' preview of the 51st annual University Cup tournament can be found below. We would also like to note that all 7 games of the tournament will be broadcast by the University of New Brunswick's CHSR-FM, which you can access either through your radio dial (97.9 FM with Nick Murray and Dave Kilfoil), online (chsrfm.ca), or throughout New Brunswick on Rogers Digital Cable (channel 946). Also, all 7 games will be web-cast on www.cis-sic.tv with the final 3 contests (both Saturday games and Sunday's final) broadcast by Rogers Sportsnet.



OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta men’s hockey program is celebrating its 100th season this year and the top-seeded Golden Bears would like nothing more than to cap off their centennial campaign by claiming a national title in the home city of their archrivals.

The PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, gets underway Thursday at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon and culminates Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Central Time with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet ONE.
Sportsnet also has live coverage of the final day of pool play, on Saturday, with contests scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. CT. All seven matches from the championship will also be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

Joining the Canada West champion Golden Bears in Saskatoon this week will be the second-seeded UNB Varsity Reds (AUS champs), No. 3 UQTR Patriotes (OUA champs), No. 4 Saint Mary’s Huskies (AUS finalists), No. 5 and tournament host Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West finalists), as well as the No. 6 Waterloo Warriors (OUA finalists).

The puck officially drops Thursday at 1 p.m. with the pool A opener between Alberta and Waterloo. UNB and Saskatchewan battle in pool B at 7:20 p.m., following the opening ceremonies.

Saint Mary’s (pool A) and UQTR (pool B) will face the losing teams from Day 1 on Friday and the winners on Saturday. The top finisher in each group advances to the championship match.

New CIS champions will be crowned on Sunday as the McGill Redmen, who a year ago captured the first University Cup title in school history thanks to a thrilling overtime triumph against Western, were eliminated last month in the first round of the OUA playoffs.

The 51st University Cup tourney features five usual suspects and a new kid on the block.

Alberta is making its CIS-leading 36th appearance and has claimed a record 13 titles; UNB, UQTR and Saskatchewan all return from last year’s competition and have combined for nine banners and 46 appearances since 1963; Saint Mary’s has skated in five national finals over the years and finally earned its first ring in 2010.

And then there are the OUA runner-up Warriors. Waterloo is back at the big dance for the first time since 1996, when the championship was played under a Final Four format. Though they are far from University Cup regulars, with only three appearances before this season, the Warriors do have a CIS title to their credit, from way back in 1974.

Brian Bourque, in his eighth campaign behind the Waterloo bench, will not be the only head coach making his U Cup debut this week however, as Alberta and UQTR both hired new mentors in the off-season in Ian Herbers and Gilles Bouchard.

It has already been quite the anniversary season for the top-ranked Golden Bears. On February 8th in Vancouver, thanks to a 2-0 shutout against UBC, they became the first team in Canadian university hockey history to reach the 1000th win plateau in conference play. Less than a month later, on March 3rd, they defeated archrival Saskatchewan 5-2 in the third and decisive game of the league final to capture their 50th Canada West banner.

The 2012-13 Bears have been dominant both offensively and defensively. Their 4.14 goals per contest in conference action were tops in Canada West and ranked second in the country, while their defence was second to none, allowing a remarkable 1.59 goals per game, almost half a goal less than second-place UNB (2.05).

Good defence starts with good goaltending, and no netminder has been better in recent weeks than Kurtis Mucha. The former Kamloops Blazer, who had shared the crease with Réal Cyr – last season’s CIS goalie of the year – for most of the campaign, went a CIS-record streak of 335:06 minutes without allowing a goal from the end of the regular season to his fourth outing of the playoffs, including a mindboggling five straight whitewashes.

The native of Sherwood Park, Alta., had already etched his name in the Canada West record books last fall, on Oct. 26th, when he became the first goalie in conference history to be credited with a goal in a 7-1 win over Lethbridge.

“We have worked hard all season as a team to give ourselves a chance to win a national title. We know we are going to have to raise our level of play to accomplish this final step,” said new U of A bench boss Herbers, a former Golden Bears captain and University Cup champion in 1992. “There are six very good teams from across Canada at the tournament, any of which can win the title. We are looking forward to the challenge. There will be exciting CIS hockey to watch this tournament, great for hockey fans.”

Alberta’s opponents in pool A, Saint Mary’s and Waterloo, took different paths to reach the end-of-the-year tournament.

The Huskies were one of the top-ranked teams in the country all season and finished second in the ultra-competitive Atlantic conference with a solid 18-7-3 mark. Led by league MVP Lucas Bloodoff (20-18-38 in 28 GP) and offensive-minded rearguard Mike D’Orazio (3-27-30 in 28 GP), Saint Mary’s then pushed perennial powerhouse UNB to the limit in the best-of-three AUS championship series.

“It is an incredible accomplishment to get here but five of the six teams leave disappointed,” said AUS coach of the year Trevor Stienburg. “Trying to be that one team consumes us all right now.”

The Warriors, on the other hand, took the sixth playoff spot (out of eight) in the OUA West with a 12-11-5 record and stumbled to the finish line with only three wins in 12 league contests after Christmas. Led by CIS scoring champion Justin Larson (17-28-45 in 28 GP), they got hot at the right time and posted a 6-2 post-season record, including a 2-1 series win over first-place Western in the OUA West semis.

“This is a great step for our program. The berth has created a lot of excitement within our alumni group, on campus and in the community,” Bourque said. “We know the level of hockey increases with every game and we are excited for the opportunity to compete with the top teams in the country.”

In pool B, it should be a dog fight between three teams that have spent most of the season in the higher portion of the national rankings, including a pair of conference champs and a tournament host desperately seeking to put an end to a 30-year title drought in front of its home fans.

UNB was, well, UNB-like this season.

The V-Reds once again finished atop the AUS standings with a superb 23-5-0 record before going 5-2 in the playoffs en route to claiming the conference banner. After sharing the net with veteran Travis Fullerton during league play, Dan LaCosta stepped it up a notch in the post-season with a 1.76 goals against average, a .927 save percentage and two shutouts in seven starts.

Let’s not forget, also, that 2013 is an uneven year. Thirteen-year head coach Gardiner MacDougall guided his troops to the University Cup title in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to represent the University of New Brunswick and the AUS at the CIS national championship. It is always a real privilege and a special opportunity to face off against the top teams in the country,” MacDougall said. “We recognize the passion that the Province of Saskatchewan brings to the hockey world and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead over the next few days.”

If a team looks to be equipped to test the stingy New Brunswick defence, it is UQTR. The Patriotes tied Saint Mary’s for the fourth best offensive mark in the country during the regular season with 3.89 goals per contest, thanks in large part to forward Félix Petit (11-32-43 in 28 GP), who finished second in CIS scoring, and blueliner Pierre-Luc Lessard (5-26-31 in 28 GP), the top-scoring defenceman in the nation.

The four-time University Cup champions almost didn’t make it to Saskatoon however as they needed a goal by freshman Pierre-Olivier Morin 4:17 into the fourth OT period to edge Carleton by 2-1 in Game 3 of the best-of-three OUA East final. The Patriotes went on to beat Waterloo 4-1 in the single-game Queen’s Cup championship match.

“We’re very happy with our season so far. We’ve progressed well both individually and collectively,” Bouchard said. “We have a lot of leadership on this team and it has been a big part of our success. Guys like Pierre-Luc on defence and Félix on offence will definitely play a key role if we’re going to go far in the tournament. We’re very optimistic going in because the guys faced a lot of adversity in the playoffs, so we know they’re ready for another challenge.”

As for tournament host Saskatchewan, head coach Dave Adolph hopes to do some celebrating of his own on Sunday as a national title in front of the Huskies’ fans would no doubt be a nice way to cap off his 20th season at the helm.

Led by Canada West scoring champ Kyle Bortis (10-26-36 in 28 GP), the Huskies proved all season they can compete with the best of them, defeating archrival Alberta three times in eight duels – including a trio of one-goal losses - and also reaching the top of the national rankings in late October.

“After a year of preparation the PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op is just days away. Our men’s hockey team has watched all the efforts being put into this event and want to represent our school, the host organizing committee and chairman Grant Kook well,” said Adolph, who was co-captain of the only Huskies squad to claim the CIS title, back in 1983. “We are in a very challenging pool with two conference champions and will have to be at our very best every shift to be successful.”

PARTICIPATING TEAMS

NO. 1 ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS

Team statistics
Head Coach: Ian Herbers (1st season)
Regular season record: 23-4-1
Regular season standing: 1st Canada West
Playoff record: 4-1
Playoff finish: Canada West champions
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 31-6
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 5-3 vs. Saskatchewan
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 1
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (11 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 19
National ranking (offence): 2nd (4.14)
National ranking (defence): 1st (1.59)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners: Jesse Craige (defenceman), Jordan Hickmott (most sportsmanlike), Greg Gardner (hockey, academics & citizenship), Ian Herbers (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Kurtis Mucha (G), Jesse Craige (D), Jordan Hickmott (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Thomas Carr (D), Johnny Lazo (F)
Conference all-rookie team: No all-rookie team in Canada West
Season leader (points): Jordan Hickmott, 15-20-35 (28 GP)
Season leader (goals): Jordan Hickmott, 15 (28 GP)
Season leader (assists): Jessie Craige, 23 (27 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Jessie Craige, 1-23-24 (27 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Kurtis Mucha (17 GP, 14-2, 3 SHO, 1.30 GAA, .936 SV%)
Season leader (goalie): Réal Cyr (12 GP, 9-3, 1 SHO, 2.02 GAA, .909 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Johnny Lazo, 4-4-8 (5 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Johnny Lazo, 4 (5 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Torrie Dyck, 6 (5 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Jessie Craige, 0-4-4 (5 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Kurtis Mucha (5 GP, 4-1, 3 SHO, 1.39 GAA, .942 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 36th
First appearance: 1964
Last appearance: 2011 (3rd in pool)
All-time record: 61 wins, 30 losses, 2 ties (.667)
Titles: 13 (2008, ‘06, ‘05, ‘00, ‘99, ’92, ‘86, ‘80, ‘79, ‘78, ‘75, ‘68, ‘64)
Finals: 18 (13 titles plus 2010, 1991, 1985, 1977, 1966)
Best result: 13-time champions (see years above)
Sequence: Return after 1-year absence (15th appearance in 17 years)
Appearances Coach Herbers (including 2013): 1st
Record Coach Herbers: 0-0
Titles for Coach Herbers: 0


NO. 2 UNB VARSITY REDS
Media Guide (PDF 3.04 MB)

Team statistics
Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall (13th season)
Regular season record: 23-5-0
Regular season standing: 1st AUS
Playoff record: 5-2
Playoff finish: AUS champions
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 32-8
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 5-3 (1-0 vs. UQTR / 4-3 vs. Saint Mary’s)
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 2
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (6 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 19
National ranking (offence): 3rd (3.96)
National ranking (defence): 2nd (2.05)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners: Chris Culligan (most sportsmanlike)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Colby Pridham (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (D), Tyler Carroll (F), Chris Culligan (F)
Conference all-rookie team: Cam Braes (F)
Season leader (points): Chris Culligan, 4-27-31 (26 GP)
Season leader (goals): Tyler Carroll, 15 (22 GP) / Nick MacNeil, 15 (27 GP)
Season leader (assists): Chris Culligan, 27 (26 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, 1-19-20 (27 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Daniel LaCosta (16 GP, 15-1, 2 SHO, 1.92 GAA, .917 SV%)
Season leader (goalie): Travis Fullerton (12 GP, 8-4, 2 SHO, 2.23 GAA, .877 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Cam Braes, 3-6-9 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Tyler Carroll, 4 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Cam Braes, 6 (7 GP) / Chris Culligan, 6 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, 1-3-4 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Daniel LaCosta (7 GP, 5-2, 2 SHO, 1.76 GAA, .927 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 13th
First appearance: 1964
Last appearance: 2012 (2nd in pool)
All-time record: 22-10 (.688)
Titles: 4 (2011, 2009, 2007, 1998)
Finals: 8 (2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2000, 1998, 1997)
Best result: 4-time champions (2011, 2009, 2007, 1998)
Sequence: 3rd consecutive appearance (6th in 7 years)
Appearances Coach MacDougall (including 2013): 8th
Record Coach MacDougall: 15-5 (.750)
Titles for Coach MacDougall: 3 (2011, 2009, 2007)

NO. 3 UQTR PATRIOTES
Media Guide (PDF 1.52 MB)

Team statistics
Head Coach: Gilles Bouchard (1st season)
Regular season record: 21-6-1
Regular season standing: 1st OUA East (2nd overall OUA)
Playoff record: 7-1
Playoff finish: OUA champions
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 31-10
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 2-2 (0-1 vs. UNB / 1-0 vs. Saint Mary’s / 1-1 vs. Waterloo)
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 3
Top 10 best ranking: No. 3 (6 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 19
National ranking (offence): T4th (3.89)
National ranking (defence): 7th (2.51)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners (OUA East): Félix Petit (MVP), Pierre-Luc Lessard (defenceman & most sportsmanlike), Gilles Bouchard (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Guillaume Nadeau (G), Pierre-Luc Lessard (D), Félix Petit (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): None
Conference all-rookie team (OUA East): None
Season leader (points): Félix Petit, 11-32-43 (28 GP)
Season leader (goals): Tommy Tremblay, 18 (28 GP)
Season leader (assists): Félix Petit, 32 (28 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Pierre-Luc Lessard, 5-26-31 (28 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Guillaume Nadeau (13 GP, 11-2, 0 SHO, 1.97 GAA, .925 SV%)
Season leader (goalie): Marc-Antoine Gélinas (15 GP, 10-5, 0 SHO, 2.78 GAA, .906 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Félix Petit, 6-9-15 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Félix Petit, 6 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Félix Petit, 6 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Pierre-Luc Lessard, 2-6-8 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Marc-Antoine Gélinas (4 GP, 3-0, 1 SHO, 0.47 GAA, .981 SV%)
Playoff leader (goalie): Guillaume Nadeau (5 GP, 4-1, 0 SHO, 2.78 GAA, .907 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 18th
First appearance: 1984
Last appearance: 2012 (3rd in pool)
All-time record: 19-18 (.514)
Titles: 4 (2003, 2001, 1991, 1987)
Finals: 6 (2003, 2002, 2001, 1991, 1987, 1986)
Best result: 4-time champions (2003, 2001, 1991, 1987)
Sequence: 2nd consecutive appearance
Appearances Coach Bouchard (including 2013): 1st
Record Coach Bouchard: 0-0
Titles for Coach Bouchard: 0

NO. 4 SAINT MARY’S HUSKIES
Media Guide (PDF 6.36 MB)

Team statistics
Head Coach: Trevor Stienburg (16th season)
Regular season record: 18-7-3
Regular season standing: 2nd AUS
Playoff record: 4-3
Playoff finish: AUS finalists
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 26-15
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 3-5 (3-4 vs. UNB / 0-1 vs. UQTR)
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 4
Top 10 best ranking: No. 4 (6 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 14
National ranking (offence): T4th (3.89)
National ranking (defence): 6th (2.49)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners: Lucas Bloodoff (MVP), Trevor Stienburg (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Mike D’Orazio (D), Lucas Bloodoff (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Anthony Peters (G)
Conference all-rookie team: Kyle Pereira (D)
Season leader (points): Lucas Bloodoff, 20-18-38 (28 GP)
Season leader (goals): Lucas Bloodoff, 20 (28 GP)
Season leader (assists): Mike D’Orazio, 27 (28 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Mike D’Orazio, 3-27-30 (28 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Anthony Peters (26 GP: 17-9, 5 SHO, 2.44 GAA, .909 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Matt Tipoff, 3-3-6 (7 GP) / Stephen Johnston, 2-4-6 (7 GP) / Shawn O’Donnell, 2-4-6 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Matt Tipoff, 3 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Stephen Johnston, 4 (7 GP) / Shawn O’Donnell, 4 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Mike D’Orazio, 1-2-3 (7 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Anthony Peters (7 GP: 4-3, 1 SHO, 1.61 GAA, .951 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 12th
First appearance: 1969
Last appearance: 2010 (champions)
All-time record: 16-15 (.516)
Titles: 1 (2010)
Finals: 5 (2010, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970)
Best result: 1-time champions (2010)
Sequence: Return after 2-year absence
Appearances Coach Stienburg (including 2013): 4th
Record Coach Stienburg: 5-2 (.714)
Titles for Coach Stienburg: 1 (2010)

NO. 5 SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES
Media Guide (PDF 7.08 MB)

Team statistics
Head Coach: Dave Adolph (20th season)
Regular season record: 19-8-1
Regular season standing: 2nd Canada West
Playoff record: 3-3
Playoff finish: Canada West finalists
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 24-14
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 3-5 vs. Alberta
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 5
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (2 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 19
National ranking (offence): 11th (3.54)
National ranking (defence): 14th (2.85)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners: None
Conference 1st team all-stars: Kyle Bortis (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: None
Conference all-rookie team: No all-rookie team in Canada West
Season leader (points): Kyle Bortis, 10-26-36 (28 GP)
Season leader (goals): Brennan Bosch, 13 (26 GP)
Season leader (assists): Kyle Bortis, 26 (28 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Matthew Delahey, 2-6-8 (28 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Ryan Holfeld (27 GP, 18-9, 1 SHO, 2.74 GAA, .905 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Brennan Bosch, 7-3-10 (6 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Brennan Bosch, 7 (6 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Kyle Bortis, 6 (6 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Matthew Delahey, 0-2-2 (6 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Ryan Holfeld (6 GP, 3-3, 0 SHO, 3.22 GAA, .904 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 15th
First appearance: 1967
Last appearance: 2012 (3rd in pool)
All-time record: 16-17 (.485)
Titles: 1 (1983)
Finals: 5 (2005, 1987, 1983, 1982, 1981)
Best result: 1-time champions (1983)
Sequence: 2nd consecutive appearance
Appearances Coach Adolph (including 2013): 10th
Record Coach Adolph: 7-12 (.368)
Titles for Coach Adolph: 0

NO. 6 WATERLOO WARRIORS

Team statistics
Head Coach: Brian Bourque (8th season)
Regular season record: 12-11-5
Regular season standing: 6th OUA West (12th overall OUA)
Playoff record: 6-2
Playoff finish: OUA finalists
Overall record vs. CIS teams: 19-19
Overall record vs. U Cup teams: 1-1 vs. UQTR
Top 10 final ranking (March 12): No. 6
Top 10 best ranking: No. 6 (2 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (19 polls): 3
National ranking (offence): 13th (3.43)
National ranking (defence): 26th (3.47)

Individual statistics
Conference award winners (OUA West): None
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Justin Larson (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Joe Underwood (D)
Conference all-rookie team: Colin Behenna (F)
Season leader (points): Justin Larson, 17-28-45 (28 GP)
Season leader (goals): Justin Larson, 17 (28 GP)
Season leader (assists): Colin Behenna, 30 (28 GP)
Season leader (points by defenceman): Joe Underwood, 8-15-23 (28 GP)
Season leader (goalie): Keaton Hartigan (22 GP: 9-12, 0 SHO, 3.36 GAA, .902 SV%)
Playoff leader (points): Colin Behenna, 3-6-9 (8 GP) / Joe Underwood, 2-7-9 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (goals): Justin Larson, 5 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (assists): Joe Underwood, 7 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (points by defenceman): Joe Underwood, 2-7-9 (8 GP)
Playoff leader (goalie): Keaton Hartigan (8 GP: 6-2, 0 SHO, 2.50 GAA, .930 SV%)

University Cup history (since 1963)
Appearances (including 2013): 4th
First appearance: 1974
Last appearance: 1996 (finalists)
All-time record: 4-2 (.667)
Titles: 1 (1974)
Finals: 2 (1996, 1974)
Best result: 1-time champions (1974)
Sequence: Return after 16-year absence
Appearances Coach Bourque (including 2013): 1st
Record Coach Bourque: 0-0
Titles for Coach Bourque: 0

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (Central Time)

Pool A
1. Alberta
4. Saint Mary’s
6. Waterloo

Pool B
2. UNB
3. UQTR
5. Saskatchewan

Wednesday, March 13
1:00 pm Meet The Teams Media Conference (Credit Union Centre)
7:15 pm SaskTel All-Canadian Awards Presentation (TCU Place)

Thursday, March 14
1:00 pm Pool A #1: Alberta vs. Waterloo (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
7:20 pm Pool B #1: UNB vs. Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Friday, March 151:00 pm Pool A #2: Loser Pool B #1 vs. Saint Mary’s (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
7:00 pm Pool B #2: Loser Pool A #1 vs. UQTR (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, March 16
1:30 pm Pool A #3: Winner Pool B #1 vs. Saint Mary’s (Sportsnet & www.CIS-SIC.tv) *
8:00 pm Pool B #3: Winner Pool A #1 vs. UQTR (Sportsnet & www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Sunday, March 17
5:30 pm University Cup Final (Sportsnet ONE & www.CIS-SIC.tv)

* Except Sportsnet East

-CIS-

LaCosta Named AUS Male Athlete Of The Week

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds goaltender has been named the Subway AUS Male Athlete of the Week, the league announced today.

LaCosta, the 5th year native of Labrador City, played a huge role as the V-Reds captured their 3rd consecutive AUS banner last week. In three games against the 2nd ranked Saint Mary's Huskies he recorded two shutouts and registered a save percentage of 0.941. His numbers in the playoffs were equally outstanding - a 5-2 record, 1.76 GAA, and 0.927 save percentage. The V-Reds will need LaCosta to continue his strong play this weekend as they hope to bring home the school's 5th National Championship.

Congratulation Dan!

UNB At The University Cup

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will be making their 13th appearance at the CIS/CIAU National Tournament, including their 11th since 1997 and 8th under current head coach Gardiner MacDougall. Here is how they have fared in the previous 12 trips:

1963/64 (1-1) - Defeated Montreal, Lost to Alberta

1983/84 (0-2) - Lost to Toronto 3-2 and 5-2 in best-of-3 Eastern Canadian Regional

1996/97 (1-1) - Defeated Alberta 4-3 OT, Lost to Guelph 4-3 in CIS Final

1997/98 (3-0) - Defeated Windsor 3-2 OT, Defeated Alberta 5-2, Defeated Acadia 6-3 in CIS Final

1999/00 (2-1) - Defeated Western 3-2 OT, Defeated Saskatchewan 5-4 OT2, Lost to Alberta 5-4 OT2 in CIS Final

2002/03 (1-2) - Defeated Lakehead 4-3, Lost to UQTR 4-3, Lost to Alberta 8-2 in Bronze Medal Game

2003/04 (2-1) - Defeated Ottawa 5-2, Defeated Alberta 6-5 OT, Lost to St. FX 3-2 OT2 in CIS Final

2006/07 (3-0) - Defeated Saskatchewan 2-1, Defeated UQTR 6-0, Defeated Moncton 3-2 OT in CIS Final

2007/08 (2-1) - Defeated Brock 6-1, Defeated Saskatchewan 4-0, Lost to Alberta 3-2 in CIS Final

2008/09 (3-0) - Defeated Alberta 6-3, Defeated Lakehead 3-1, Defeated Western 4-2 in CIS Final

2010/11 (3-0) - Defeated Calgary 2-1, Defeated Western 4-0, Defeated McGill 4-0 in CIS Final

2011/12 (1-1) - Defeated UQTR 6-1, Lost to Western 3-2


Overall, UNB is 22-10 all-time in National Tournament play, including 15-5 under MacDougall. They are 4-4 in National Championship games, having reached the final in 5 of their last 6 appearances.

Tuesday Links

Here is more from the Star Phoenix's Darren Zary:

"Bubnick focused on CIS championship"

"13 things to know about the Huskies"

And from the Windsor Star:

"Ex-Spitfires Robertson, Shutron shoot for CIS title"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Links

Darren Zary of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix will have the University Cup well covered all week. Here are a few stories from today:

"Huskies take on history in draw" - Zary notes that Saskatchewan has never beaten UQTR (0-4 all-time) nor UNB (0-3) in the University Cup. Interestingly, all three teams were in the same pool when the tournament was held in Moncton in 2007. UNB, of course, defeated the Huskies 2-1 and the Patriotes 6-0 on the way to their 2nd National title in school history.

"Get to know the 2013 University Cup tournament" - Zary lists 13 things you need to know leading up to the tournament.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seeding, Schedule Announced For 51st University Cup

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears have been established tournament favourites for the 51st CIS men’s hockey championship.

The University of Saskatchewan plays host to the PotashCorp University Cup, presented by Co-op, from March 14 to 17 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

Sportsnet has live coverage of the last two pool play contests, on Saturday, as well as Sunday’s national final at 5:30 p.m. Central Time.

All seven games from the tournament will also be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

New CIS champions will be crowned next Sunday as the 2012 titlist McGill Redmen fell last month in the OUA playoffs.

SEEDING:
1. University of Alberta Golden Bears
2. University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds
3. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes
4. Saint Mary’s University Huskies
5. University of Saskatchewan Huskies
6. University of Waterloo Warriors

POOLS:

Pool A
1. Alberta
4. Saint Mary’s
6. Waterloo

Pool B
2. UNB
3. UQTR
5. Saskatchewan

SCHEDULE (CENTRAL TIME):

Wednesday March 13, 2013
1:00 pm Media Conference (Credit Union Centre)
6:30 pm – 7:15 pm SaskTel All-Canadian Awards Presentation & Celebration (TCU Place)
7:15 pm – 10:00 pm SaskTel Awards Gala (TCU Place)

Thursday, March 14
1:00 pm Game 1 – Alberta (1) vs. Waterloo (6)
7:20 pm Game 2 – UNB (2) vs. Saskatchewan (5)
Friday March 15
1:00 pm Game 3 – Losers game 1 vs. Saint Mary’s (4)
7:00 pm Game 4 – Losers game 2 vs. UQTR (3)

Saturday, March 16
1:30 pm Game 5 – Winners Game 1 vs. Saint Mary’s (SPORTSNET)
7:00 pm Game 6 – Winners Game 2 vs. UQTR (SPORTSNET)

Sunday, March 17
5:30 pm Game 7 - Gold Medal (SPORTSNET)

-CIS-

Saturday, March 9, 2013

UNB Appeals Critchlow Suspension

UPDATE: It appears that a hearing between the Varsity Reds and the committee reviewing the suspension will take place at 4:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon.


As expected the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have appealed the five game suspension Cameron Critchlow received for a hit on Saint Mary's Huskies defensemen Patrick O'Keefe in game 1 of the AUS Finals last Saturday night. There is no timetable on how long the appeal process will take. If the suspension is upheld Cricthlow will miss the entire University Cup tournament.

More details can be found here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

2012 - 2013 AUS Champions!

Photo Courtesy Brian Smith
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds captured their 3rd consecutive AUS banner with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies before a capacity crowd of 3450 tonight at the AUC. With the win the V-Reds will go into the University Cup as the AUS Champion and will be seeded no lower than third.

UNB came out and dominated the first period of play, out-shooting the Huskies 15-3. However, it took until the 20 seconds of the frame before they finally solved SMU goaltender Anthony Peters. Cam Braes had the puck on the side boards and found Dion Campbell streaking all alone through the slot. Campbell's backhand somehow got through Peters, giving the V-Reds a 1-0 lead heading into the intermission. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

After a scoreless second period in which the Varsity Reds held a 12-9 advantage in shots the Huskies threw everything they had at UNB goaltender Dan LaCosta in the 3rd period. LaCosta was up to the challenge though, stopping all 13 shots directed his way, including a number of quality chances. The V-Reds got some insurance at the 14:55 mark when Colby Pridham and a SMU defender were tied up with one another in the corner allowing Antoine Houde-Caron to retrieve the loose puck at their feet, cut across the crease, and beat Peters with an innocent looking backhanded shot. The Huskies pulled their goalie in the final minute to no avail as the V-Reds celebrated their 2nd AUS Championship in 3 years on home ice. The shots in the period favoured SMU 13-10 while UNB held a 37-25 advantage in the game.

- Tim Priamo replaced Chad Denny in the lineup. Adrian Robertson and Cameron Critchlow were also out.

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

- Dion Campbell was named the player of the game. Dan LaCosta was named the series MVP after recording two shutouts and a 0.941 in the three games.

- The last team to win 3 AUS titles in a row was the Acadia Axemen, who accomplished the feat between 1991-1994.

- UNB now has 13 AUS titles, tied with Saint Mary's for 2nd most all-time. St. FX leads the way with 24.

- This was the 4th time UNB has played an AUS Championship-deciding game at home. They are now 3-1 in such games, beating St. FX 5-4 in OT in 2010/11 and Acadia 3-2 in 1997/98. They lost 5-1 to Saint Mary's in 2008/09.

- Although the pools and schedule for the University Cup won't be known until the OUA Championship is decided on Saturday it is likely that UNB will enter the tournament as the #2 seed (behind Alberta) and be in the same group as the host Saskatchewan Huskies and the OUA Champion (either Waterloo or UQTR).

With special thanks to Eric Drummie and the RedSea Database

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Huskies Hold Serve At Home

The Saint Mary's Huskies forced a 3rd and deciding game in the AUS Finals Thursday night back in Fredericton after a 5-2 victory over the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds tonight at the Halifax Forum.

The V-Reds never led in this one. They tied the game on two different occasions, but both times the Huskies quickly responded. After Stephen Johnston scored the only goal of the first period Tyler Carroll tied the game on the power play with an unassisted goal at 15:46 of the middle frame. However, Matt Tipoff gave Saint Mary's the lead once again only 2:43 later. Carroll (Nesbitt, Kidd) again tied the game - at 10:06 of the 3rd period - but this time it only took 1:03 before Kyle Perreira restored the lead for SMU. Shawn O'Donnell's power play goal at 13:19 provided the insurance and Tipoff, with his 2nd of the night into an empty net, rounded out the scoring.

- Shots were 34-20 for UNB. Dan LaCosta made 15 saves on 19 shots on the loss.

- Cameron Critchlow, Tim Priamo, and Adrian Robertson were out for the V-Reds. Chad Denny and Stefan Salituro were back in the line-up.

- UNB 1 for 8 on the power play. SMU was 1 for 4.

- Attendance was 2719.

- The Varsity Reds had a goal disallowed in the first period when it was ruled the whistle had been blown before the puck crossed the line.

- As mentioned, game 3 goes Thursday night at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.

Critchlow Suspended Five Games

UPDATE: Here is a video of the hit. Special thanks to Jamie Tozier of the always-excellent Sea Dogs blog Station Nation for making us aware of it. From the replay it certainly appears Critchlow leaves his feet and targets O'Keefe's upper body/head area.


UPDATE: The AUS press release can be found here. It does note that Critchlow has the right to appeal the decision.

It appears that the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will be without the services of forward Cameron Critchlow for the remainder of the season as sources indicate he has been suspended five games for his hit to the head of Saint Mary's defenseman Patrick O'Keefe during game two of the AUS Finals. The Varsity Reds have, at most, five games remaining in the season (2 playoffs, 3 University Cup). Although there was no penalty awarded on the play the league reviewed the hit and declared it illegal, with Critchlow leaving his feet before making contact with O'Keefe's head. When determining the length of the suspension the AUS undoubtedly took into consideration the fact that Critchlow is a repeat offender, as he was also suspended for game 3 of the UPEI series after receiving a game misconduct for a hit to the head in game 2.