Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Streak - 2013 Version

In continuing with our annual tradition....

When the St. Thomas Tommies skated away with a 3-1 victory over the UNB Varsity Reds at the York Arena on October 20th, 2006 it would have been almost inconceivable to believe that 2570 days later STU would still be looking for their next victory against their cross-campus rivals. UNB has gone an unprecedented 35 – 0 – 0 against St. Thomas during this time. Here are some fun and interesting, but completely useless, facts and stats about “The Streak” as both teams prepare for the 182th Battle of the Hill - and 203rd all-time meeting - tomorrow night at the Grant*Harvey Centre. Puck drop is set for 7PM.

- 19 of the games have been played at the AUC, 12 at the LBR, 2 at the Grant*Harvey Centre, 1 in Woodstock (2008), and 1 at the Willie O’Ree Place (2009).

- It includes 27 regular season games, 3 playoff games (2008), and 5 exhibition games (2006, 2 in 2007, 2008, and 2009).

- UNB has outscored STU 189-60 in the 35 games, or an average of 5.4-1.70. As the home team it is 105-31 in 20 games (5.25-1.55). As the visitor it is 84-29 in 15 games (5.60-1.93).

 - There have been 6 shutouts: November 24th, 2006/January 14th, 2009/January 28th, 2009/November 21st, 2010/February 8th, 2012/January 16, 2013. Travis Fullerton accounted for the final five.

- 4 games have gone to Overtime: December 31st, 2006/October 28th, 2009/November 28th, 2009/December 2nd, 2011.

- 2 games have gone to a Shootout: November 16th, 2007 and November 29th, 2008.

- UNB has scored 2 goals (1 time), 3 goals (7 times), 4 goals (4 times), 5 goals (10 times), 6 goals (2 time), 7 goals (4 times), 8 goals (4 times), 9 goals (2 times), and 10 goals (1 time).

- STU has scored 0 goals (6 times), 1 goal (12 times), 2 goals (7 times), 3 goals (6 times), and 4 goals (4 times).

- The games have been decided by 1 goal (10 times), 2 goals (3 times), 3 goals (4 times), 4 goals (5 times), 5 goals (5 times), 6 goals (3 times), 7 goals (3 times), 8 goals (1 times), and 9 goals (1 time).

- Lowest scoring game: 2-1 in OT on October 28th, 2009.

- Highest scoring game: 10-4 on September 17th, 2008 in Woodstock.

- The streak has included 5 Lou Chabot Memorial Games and 6 Mark Jeffrey Memorial Games.

- In the only playoff series between the teams during the streak UNB defeated STU 5-1, 5-4, and 5-1 between February 26th and March 2nd, 2008.

- Only twice during the streak have the two teams played back-to-back regular season games against one another: January 23th and 25th, 2008 and November 25th and December 2nd, 2011.

- This is the first game during the streak to be played on November 1st. In fact, there is only one day (January 28th) that has seen more than one game played. UNB and STU met on this day in both 2008 (9-0) and 2010 (7-1).

- The two teams have played their first regular season game against one another once during the streak (last season). However, the two teams have met in their first exhibition games twice, in 2008 and 2009. They have never played their season finale against one another during the streak.

- This is only the 2nd season during the streak in which the two teams have not played one another before November. The first meeting between the two in 2011-2012 was not until November 25th.

- Varsity Reds goaltender Charles Lavigne went winless in 11 games against UNB during his 3 seasons with STU. He started all but 1 game against the V-Reds during that span.

- Since the streak began UNB has a combined record of 262-57-13 with 2 ties. This includes a 160-28-9 conference record, a 31-11-2 playoff record, a 15-2 record at Nationals, 42-1 in exhibition games against CIS competition, 14-12-1 with 2 ties against NCAA competition, and 0-3-1 against NHL rookie teams/AHL teams. Meanwhile, STU has gone 49-122-16 in conference play and 4-10 in the postseason during this time.

- The Varsity Reds have an almost-equally impressive home winning streak over St. Thomas. They have won 28 consecutive games over the Tommies, with the last loss being a 2-1 overtime setback in game 2 of the AUS semi-finals on February 28th, 2003.

All stats courtesy ReDSea Database


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AUS All-Star Game Coming To Fredericton

(FREDERICTON, N.B.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the return of the AUS men's hockey all-star game.

Returning for the first time since 1999, this year's event will be held Friday, Nov. 8 at the new Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton, N.B. on the St. Thomas Tommies' home ice, with the puck set to drop at 7 p.m. All proceeds from the game will help fund Canada's men's hockey team's trip to Trentino, Italy for the 2013 FISU Winter Universiade, December 11-21.

The 22-man team representing Canada in Trentino will be comprised entirely of players from the eight-team AUS conference, with each school sending a minimum of one and a maximum of four players.

The all-star showcase will also serve as the final identification game before Team Canada is officially selected. The players for this all-star game will be selected by the Team Canada coaching staff comprised of head coach Gardiner MacDougall (head coach, UNB) and assistants Forbes MacPherson (head coach, UPEI) and Brad Peddle (head coach, StFX), who will be accompanied in Italy by equipment manager Serge LeBlanc (Moncton) and trainer Joe Glenn (UNB).

"We are excited to revive the AUS all-star game," said MacDougall. "It will be a great opportunity for our coaching staff to make our final selections for Team Canada,"

MacDougall has coached the Varsity Reds to four CIS championship wins – all in the last seven years – and also served as an assistant coach when Team Canada brought home Universiade gold in 2007.

Players selected for Trentino will be informed the morning of Saturday, Nov. 10. Those chosen will remain in Fredericton for a Team Canada orientation camp which will take place Saturday through Monday, Nov. 12. The team will practice together on the Grant Harvey Centre's Olympic-sized rink.

The Winter Universiade takes place every two years and Canada is represented in men's hockey by each of the three CIS conferences on a rotation basis. Since the rotation system was implemented prior to the 1997 Games, AUS all-stars have represented the country on two occasions, bringing home silver in 2001 (Zakopane, Poland) and claiming gold in 2007 (Turin, Italy).

Since the inaugural Universiade tournament in 1960, Canada has also claimed gold in 1981 (University of Alberta Golden Bears) and 1991 (senior national team).

Head coach MacDougall, together with his coaching staff and the AUS, encourages the hockey community to come out to the all-star hockey game and show support for Team Canada 2013 as they go for gold again once again this year in Trentino.

CIS Top Ten (#4): No Changes At The Top

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears top the CIS men’s hockey national rankings for the fourth time in as many polls this season but are not the only undefeated team in the country heading into November.   

For the fourth consecutive week, Alberta and reigning University Cup champion UNB were the only teams to receive first-place consideration from the media panel, with 14 number one nods going to the Bears (158 total points) and the remaining two to the Varsity Reds (146 points).

Alberta (8-0), UNB (4-0) and the Calgary Dinos (8-0), ranked third for the second week in a row, all maintained their unblemished conference records over the past weekend.

Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 4 UPEI Panthers (3-1 / no change), No. 5 Carleton Ravens (4-1 / up four positions), No. 6 McGill Redmen (3-1-1 / down one), No. 7 Western Mustangs (3-1 / down one), No. 8 Acadia Axemen (3-1 / previously unranked), No. 9 York Lions (5-1 / down one) and No. 10 Lakehead Thunderwolves (5-1 / previously unranked).

Top-ranked Alberta was tested on home ice by UBC (1-5) last Friday, winning 5-3 after scoring in an empty net, but dominated Saturday’s rematch 6-2.

UNB was successful on its first road trip of the young campaign, defeating Saint Mary’s (1-3) and StFX (1-3) by identical 4-2 scores.

Calgary was also on the road last weekend and got all it could handle from Manitoba, taking the first duel 4-3 in overtime and the second contest 5-3, including an empty-netter.

The Bears and Dinos enjoy a break this week, while the V-Reds face St. Thomas (2-2) on Friday and Moncton (2-2) on Saturday.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#4)

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)

1. Alberta (8-0-0) / 158 points (14) / (1)
2. UNB (4-0-0) / 146 (2) / (2)
3. Calgary (8-0-0) / 127 / (3)
4. UPEI (3-1-0) / 91 / (4)
5. Carleton (4-1-0) / 81 / (9)
6. McGill (3-1-1) / 56 / (5)
7. Western (3-1-0) / 55 / (6)
8. Acadia (3-1-0) / 53 / (NR)
9. York (5-1-0) / 39 / (8)
10. Lakehead (5-1-0) / 31 / (NR)

Other teams receiving votes: Saskatchewan (18), Waterloo (9), Windsor (8), Queen’s (5), Moncton (4), StFX (2), Ryerson (1).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Varsity Reds Complete Perfect Weekend

UPDATE: UNB Athletics has posted a weekend recap.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds fell behind early in the 3rd period but rallied for a 4-2 victory over the St. FX X-Men tonight in Antigonish. With the win the V-Reds move to 4-0-0 on the season while the X-Men fall to 1-3-0. The Varsity Reds are now the lone unbeaten team in the conference.

The Varsity Reds, who trailed 1-0 after the first period despite holding a 15-5 shot advantage, tied it up only 2:02 into the middle frame on the power play thanks to a Mike Thomas (Nesbitt) goal. The X-Men outshot UNB 9-8 in the 2nd period.

The X-Men would re-take the lead at 4:34 of the 3rd period when former AHLer Robert Slaney beat Charles Lavigne. However, the Varsity Reds stormed back with a pair of goal within 30 seconds of one another to grab their first lead of the game. First, Nick MacNeil (Kewin) pounced on a rebound at 8:37 and then Cameron Cirtchlow (Maillet) sniped one into the top right corner at 9:07. An empty net goal by MacNeil with 8 seconds remaining rounded out the scoring. UNB held a shot advantage of 15-6 in the period and 42-20 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll and Antoine Houde-Caron remained out of the line-up while Keevin Cutting replaced J.P. Labardo.

- Critchlow, Maillet, and X-Men goalie Drew Owsley were named the game's three stars. 

- UNB was 1 for 6 on the power play. St. FX was 0 for 3.

- UNB won 32 out of 56 face-offs.

- This marks the 4th time in the last 7 seasons UNB has began the season 4-0-0. Interestingly, in the 3 previous instances (2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12) the V-Reds never ended up winning the University Cup, while the 3 seasons they suffered an early-season loss has resulted in a National Championship. 

- In other AUS action tonight St. Thomas got by Dalhousie 5-2 in Fredericton, Saint Mary's picked up their first win of the year with a 5-3 decision on home ice over Moncton, and Acadia handed UPEI a 2-1 loss in Charlottetown.

- The Varsity Reds will play again next Friday when they travel up the hill to face St. Thomas in the season's first Battle of the Hill. They host Moncton at the AUC next Saturday night.Both games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop.




Friday, October 25, 2013

V-Reds Hang On For Win Over SMU

UPDATE: You can find the AUS recap here. The Chronicle Herald has also posted their game story.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used a three goal first period to defeat the Saint Mary's Huskies 4-2 tonight in Halifax. With the win UNB remains perfect in conference play with a 3-0-0 record while the Huskies remain winless.

- The game could not have started any better for the V-Reds as Chris Culligan showed why he was named the AUS male Athlete of the Week this past week, camping out all alone in front of Huskies goalie Curtis Black and converting a Cameron Critchlow pass from behind the net to give UNB a 1-0 lead only 39 seconds into the game. New recruit Philippe Maillet picked up an assist on the play on his first shift in a V-Reds uniform. UNB would continue to carry the play and they would be rewarded only 97 seconds on the power play when Cam Braes (Maclise, MacNeil) made a nice move to get by a defender before cutting in front of the net and out-waiting Black. The Varsity Reds were back on the power play just over nine minutes later and would capitalize once again - their 5th man-advantage tally in the last two games against SMU - as Critchlow tipped in a Matt Petgrave wrist shot from the blueline at 12:58. Maillet got his second assist of the game on the goal. Shots in the period were 14-5 for UNB.

- After a dominating opening period it appeared as though the V-Reds took their foot off the gas a bit in the 2nd period and the Huskies started to play with more urgency and more like the team that we have been accustomed to seeing the last decade or so. SMU would finally get on the board at 12:58 when rookie Stephen Beyers beat goaltender Charles Lavigne on a breakaway. However, it would be the only goal in the period as shots favoured Saint Mary's 11-9.

- Things would get tense for UNB fans early in the 3rd period as Michael Stickland would pull the Huskies back within a goal at 6:22, turning what appeared to be an easy win in the early going into a nail-biter. After some back and forth action the V-Reds would get some much-needed insurance just over 3 minutes later thanks to a great individual effort by Mike Thomas. Thomas blocked a slapshot at his own blueline, raced down the left side to track down the puck for a partial breakaway, and then slid a backhand into the far corner of the net for a 4-2 lead. The Huskies would pull their goalie in the last minute, but to no avail as the Varsity Reds came away with the victory. Shots in the period favourd SMU 14-12. UNB held a slight 35-30 advantage for the game.

- Thomas Nesbitt returned to the line-up after leaving last Saturday's game in the 1st period with an injury. Forwards Antoine Houde-Caron, Tyler Carroll, and defenceman Keevin Cutting were all out.

- Maillet was wearing Daine Todd's old number 16.

- Culligan scored his 4th goal of the season tonight, matching his total from last year.

- UNB continues to excel on special teams in the early going. They were 2 for 3 on the power play tonight and killed off all 5 shorthanded situations. 

- The V-Reds won 45 out of 84 face-offs with Braes, Culligan, and Taylor MacDougall all winning more than 10.

- Critchlow had a game-high 7 shots on goal. Braes had 5.

- After a number of after-the-whistle scrums in last weekend's game there did not appear to be much in the way of extra-curricular activities tonight.

- Surprisingly, the Saint Mary's net did not come of its moorings every time UNB had a scoring chance, as it has had the tendency to do in recent years.

- In other AUS action tonight St. FX won their home opener with a 3-2 win over previously-unbeaten Moncton, Acadia scored 5 goals in the 3rd period to get by St. Thomas 7-2 in Fredericton, and UPEI moved to 3-0 with a 2-1 victory over Dalhousie in Charlottetown.

- UNB will move on to Antigonish for a game against the St. FX X-Men tomorrow night. Game time is scheduled for 7PM and you can watch the game via AUStv.ca.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CIS Top Ten (#3): Golden Bears Continue To Lead Way

The CIS has released the latest top ten rankings for men's hockey and the University of Alberta Golden Bears remain on top. They are followed by the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, who occupy the 2nd spot for the 3rd straight week.
 
MEN’S HOCKEY

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

1. Alberta (6-0-0) / 168 points (15) / (1)
2. UNB (2-0-0) / 154 (2) / (2)
3. Calgary (6-0-0) / 130 / (4)
4. UPEI (2-0-0) / 98 / (6)
5. McGill (3-0-1) / 71 / (NR)
6. Western (2-1-0) / 59 / (3)
7. Moncton (2-0-0) / 57 / (NR)
8. York (4-0-0) / 52 / (9)
9. Carleton (2-1-0) / 38 / (8)
10. Waterloo (2-1-0) / 31 / (5)

Other teams receiving votes: Saskatchewan (26), Windsor (14), Guelph (13), Laurentian (9),
StFX (7), Toronto (6), Lakehead (3), Acadia (1).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Captain Culligan Carries V-Reds

UPDATE: The UNB Athletics website have posted their recap.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds fell behind 2-0 after the first period but rallied for a 5-3 victory over a desperate Saint Mary's Huskies team tonight at the AUC. 5th year senior and team captain Chris Culligan, who played most of the game without his two usual line-mates, put the team on his back with a 3 goal, 1 assist performance as the V-Reds begin the season with consecutive victories.

- The Varsity Reds dominated territorially for the game's first couple minutes but it would be Saint Mary's scoring on their first real chance at 3:31 thanks to Kyle Pereira. They would double their lead with only 7 seconds remaining in the period after an attempted stretch pass by the UNB defence was picked off at the blue line, resulting in a 2-on-1 that reigning CIS player of the year Lucas Bloodoff cashed in on. Shots in the period were 12-9 for UNB.

- It did not take long for the Varsity Reds to begin their comeback as Antoine Houde-Caron converted a Culligan pass on a 2-on-1 to cut the lead in half only 36 seconds into the second period. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers also picked up an assist on the play. They would even things up on the power play at 8:06 when Culligan (Houde-Caron, Murray) fired a laser off the post and past Huskies goalie Curtis Black. The V-Reds were back on the power play in the final minutes of the frame after Culligan was tripped by Black, which may have saved a goal. However, coincidentally it was Culligan (Petgrave, Shutron) who would come through again as he walked in and blasted a shot in at 18:54, only 14 seconds into the man advantage. Shots in the period favoured UNB 16-4.

- The V-Reds were forced to kill off a penalty to begin the third period before getting a power play opportunity of their own at 6:57. They would need only 13 seconds to convert this time as a turnover at the SMU blueline left Cam Maclise with a ton of time and space along the side wall. He found Cam Braes all alone in the slot and Braes one-timed the puck in to give the V-Reds a 4-2 lead. The Huskies cut the lead back to a goal at 14:11 to make for a tense ending but it was Culligan again, knocking the puck into an empty net with under two seconds remaining to cap the victory and his hat-trick. Shots favoured UNB 9-7 in the period and 37-20 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll remained out of the line-up with an injury while Dylan Willick replaced J.P. Labardo. Thomas Nesbitt left the game in the first period and did not return, leaving UNB with 10 forwards for most of the night. As a result, Cameron Critchlow took Carroll's place on the top line for the 2nd consecutive game and Houde-Caron slotted into Nesbitt's place to play alongside Culligan.

- UNB was an encouraging 3 for 6 on the power play. SMU was 0 for 4.

- The Varsity Reds won 36 out of 63 face-offs.

- Attendance was 2228.

- The Varsity Reds must have hit about 3 or 4 posts throughout the course of the game, including a couple that may have, in fact, gone in. Unfortunately the AUS does not employ video review.

- Charles Lavigne picked up the win in goal.

- Mike Thomas and Huskies forward Jeff Marchand (brother of the Bruins Brad) seemed to have a lot to say to one another tonight.  

- With his 3 goal effort Culligan is now a goal shy of his total from last season.

- Houde-Caron's 5 points this weekend leave him halfway to his total from last year.

- The Huskies are now an almost unbelievable 0-7-1 so far this year. They went 0-5-1 in the pre-season before losing their season opener 5-1 to Moncton last night.

- In other AUS action tonight it was St. Thomas picking up their first win under new head coach Pat Power with a 4-3 decision over Dalhousie in Halifax and Moncton improving to 2-0 with a 4-3 home win over St. FX. Acadia and UPEI will play a rare Sunday afternoon game tomorrow to wrap up the first week of play.

- The Varsity Reds hit the road next weekend for games against both of this weekend's opponents. They play the Huskies on Friday evening before heading to Antigonish to face the X-Men on Saturday. Both games are scheduled for 7PM.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Varsity Reds Open With A Victory

UPDATE: The UNB Athletics website has posted their game recap.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds raised both of their championship banners and then went out and defeated the St. FX X-Men 5-2 to extend their win streak in home openers to a remarkable 25.

- After the opening half of the first period only seen a single shot by each team things picked up in the final five minutes. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (MacNeil, Maclise) scored the first goal of the season on the power play at 14:10 on what seemed to be a harmless slap shot from just outside the face-off circle to the right of X-Men goaltender Drew Owsley. The lead would not hold up very long though as rookie Blake Gal knotted the score 1:49 later. The V-Reds would restore their lead with only 23 seconds remaining in the period when Taylor MacDougall (Houde-Caron, Murray) crashed the net hard and re-directed the puck into the net. The X-Men argued that the play should have been goaltender interference but to no avail as the Varsity Reds headed into the intermission with a 2-1 lead, out-shooting the visitors 6-5 in the period.

- UNB would extend their lead to 3-1 at 6:23 of the second period after Tim Priamo made a nice move to get around an X defender and fired a pass across the slot to Nick MacNeil, who made no mistake as he slapped it into the open net. However, shortly afterwards the V-Reds would run into some penalty trouble, a familiar refrain from last season. UNB took 3 penalties within 94 seconds and it cost them as defenceman Bronson Maschmeyer ripped a shot past Charles Lavigne on the 5-on-3 to pull the X-Men back within a goal. There was no more scoring in the period as UNB held a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal.

- The third period started out similarly to the first as shots were hard to come by from both sides. St. FX had a couple of power plays in the first ten minutes but were unable to convert. The score would remain 3-2 until late in the game when some really good work by UNB's 4th line resulted in an insurance marker at 16:36 by MacDougall (Houde-Caron, Kewin), who scored his 2nd goal of the game. Trailing by two the X-Men were forced to press to try and find some offense but it backfired as the V-Reds had back-to-back 2-on-1's, converting on the second one when Thomas Nesbitt (Houde-Caron, Culligan) got the puck in all alone on Owsley and roofed it to give UNB a comfortable three goal lead at 18:05. That is how it would end as the Varsity Reds out-shot the X-Men 13-9 in the period and 28-18 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll remained out of the line-up due to injury while Dylan Willick was also scratched. This meant the V-Reds dressed only 11 forwards to go along with 7 defenceman, making for some constant line juggling throughout the game.

- UNB was 1 for 3 on the power play. St. FX was 1 for 6.

- Attendance was a solid 2816.

- Nick MacNeil had a clear breakaway early in the second period as he got out of the penalty box at the exact moment the puck was being cleared down the ice. He rang his shot off the post.

- The game's three stars were MacNeil, Desnoyers, and Maschmeyer.

- Desnoyers matched his goal total from each of the last two years with his goal tonight. Meanwhile, MacDougall's two goals leave him one shy of the three he has scored in each of his first two seasons.

- MacNeil, Desnoyers, and Ben Shutron were the alternate captains.

- In other AUS action tonight Moncton thumped Saint Mary's 5-1 in their home opener, UPEI won by the same score on the road against Dalhousie, and Acadia needed a big 3rd period and 59 shots to get by St. Thomas 3-1 in Wolfville.  

- The V-Reds are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome the Saint Mary's Huskies to the AUC for the first time since game 3 of the AUS Finals, a game in which UNB won 2-0. It will be their first meeting since the University Cup final in March in Saskatoon, which UNB also won 2-0. Game time is 7PM.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

UNB Varsity Reds 2013-2014 Preview

UPDATE: CHSR colour commentator David Kilfoil has more AUS goodness for us to enjoy as he has his conference preview posted over at the CIS Blog.

While we all await Bruce Hallihan's always excellent annual AUS preview, which will appear in tomorrow's edition of the Daily Gleaner, the AUS website has posted team previews for all 8 teams in the conference.

Here is what they had to say about the V-Reds:

(FREDERICTON, N.B) - The UNB Varsity Reds enter the 2013-14 regular season as the reigning AUS and CIS champions.

The V-Reds continued their odd number year streak of success in CIS men's hockey by capturing their fourth CIS title in the past seven years with a championship game victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies last March in Saskatoon.

UNB has also won titles in 2007, 2009 and 2011 along with a CIS silver medal in 2008.
Last season, the Varsity Reds came out on top in the parity packed AUS conference with their third consecutive Atlantic conference title along with their sixth consecutive regular season pennant despite losing 10 players from their 2011-12 roster.

This year, UNB graduated 12 players but will be welcoming at least 10 new faces to their 2013-14 roster.

Fifth year senior Chris Culligan will once again wear the "C" for the Varsity Reds. He has two national championships under his belt and led the team with 31 points last season.

Along with University Cup MVP Tyler Carroll and third year forward Thomas Nesbitt, they will form a top line for UNB. Nick MacNeil, fresh off his third NHL camp and sophomore Cam Braes will also be key players while on the blue-line, AUS all-star Marc-Antoine Desnoyers and fifth year associate captain Ben Shutron will help lead the way.

Fifth-year goalie Charles Lavigne has had a great pre-season and along with rookie Joel Vienneau will form the key part of the UNB defence. Other rookies who impressed in the pre-season include forward Cam Maclise and defenceman Jordan Murray.

The V-Reds finished with a 5-2 record in pre-season play.

They opened with a 4-2 win over the Moncton Aigles Bleus in Cocagne, N.B., before sweeping the Windsor Lancers in two straight games at the UNB 2013 Fall Classic. They fell by a score of 4-0 to the AHL's Portland Pirates on Sept. 25 and then returned home to defeat the Carleton Ravens 3-2.

UNB wrapped up their pre-season schedule by travelling to Colorado to face some NCAA opposition. The Varsity Reds lost 5-0 to Colorado College on Oct. 5 before defeating Denver the next day by a score of 2-1.

Look for the Varsity Reds to continue to play their high pressure up tempo game with the yearly quest of being the most improved team in the country's toughest conference.

The AUS regular season play begins for UNB on Oct. 18 in Fredericton when the reigning AUS and CIS champion Varsity Reds will host the StFX X-Men.

Notes: The V-Reds have been ranked second in each of the first two CIS Men's Hockey Top 10 polls released this fall ... All of the UNB home games this season will be available via live webcast at www.AUStv.ca ... Fifth-year forward Chris Culligan enters the 2013-14 season as the UNB and AUS active leader in career points scored. In four seasons with UNB, Culligan has 37 goals and 94 assists for 131 points ... Head coach Gardiner MacDougall is just four regular season wins shy of 250 for his career. In 13 seasons behind the UNB bench, he has racked up a regular season record of 246-100-18 ... MacDougall will also serve as Team Canada bench boss at the 2013 Winter Universiade this December in Trentino, Italy. He will be assisted by StFX's Brad Peddle and UPEI's Forbes MacPherson as Team Canada will be represented in men's hockey by a team comprised entirely of players from the AUS conference.

Team Profile:
2012-13 regular season record: 23-5
2012-13 regular season standings: First place in AUS
2012-13 playoff record: 8-2 (5-2 AUS playoffs; 3-0 University Cup)
2012-13 playoff finish: Defeated UPEI in best-of-five AUS semifinal (3-1); defeated Saint Mary's in best-of-three AUS final (2-1); won all three University Cup games in Saskatoon.

Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall 
- Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2013): 14th
- Career AUS regular season record with team: 246-100-18
- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 311-133-18
- Career overall record in CIS (all games included): 388-146-39
- Career overall record in CIS National Championships: 18-4

Quote from head coach:
"It is an exciting opportunity ahead for this season with our team – we have had a very competitive pre-season which included a trip to Denver to play top notch NCAA competition along with our annual AHL game in Portland. This should give us a great foundation to face the challenges of the Atlantic conference." – Gardiner MacDougall

Total number of returning players: 12

Key returning players:

F - Chris Culligan (5th year - team captain): Led the team with 31 points last season and entering the 2013-14 season he is tied for 10th place all-time at UNB for career regular season points (131)…Tied for the most assists in the AUS last season with a career-best 27…plays heavy minutes and is highly respected for his character, sportsmanship and compete level…He was the winner of the 2012-13 AUS Most Sportsmanlike player and named an AUS second team all-star.

F - Tyler Carroll (3rd year): Had a career-best regular season...Tyler became an offensive force in 2012-13 with 15 goals, including nine on the power-play in only 15 games...Was named a second team all-star and was the University Cup MVP.

F - Nick MacNeil (4th year): Nick also had a career-best regular season...A top notch two-way forward, he tied Carroll for second in AUS goal scoring with 15 and was in the top ten in points with 25. Nick was also named to the CIS University Cup all-star team.

D - Ben Shutron (4th year): Ben is a born leader both on and off the ice and in the classroom...An Academic all-Canadian, Ben played all 28 regular season games last year posting 4 goals and 11 assists...At the University Cup he had 1 goal and 2 assists.

D - Marc Antoine Desnoyers (4th year): Had a break-out season last year with UNB and was top-3 in AUS scoring by defencemen...posted an impressive +/- rating of +30...He is an excellent defender and a top penalty killer while also running the power-play....Has excellent mobility and gets the puck out of his own end as good as anyone in the AUS...Named a 2012-13 AUS second team all-star and was also named to the 2013 University Cup all-star team.

Key recruits or transfers:

F - J.P. Labardo: A five-year veteran of the OHL who was an original second round draft selection of the Guelph Storm before being traded to Oshawa where he spent two seasons.  Last year, he had a break-out year with Erie, scoring 24 goals and adding 38 assists for 62 points. He was picked up by the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL at the end of last season and added three points in four games. Labardo has outstanding speed, great offensive skills and a top notch work ethic.

F - Mike Thomas: A product of the Fredericton minor hockey system who played five years with the Saint John Sea Dogs, captaining them to their first Memorial Cup win in 2011. He followed that with one season of pro hockey divided between two AHL and two ECHL teams. Last season Thomas elected to attend UNB as a red-shirt to regain his CIS eligibility, while still managing to play some weekend games of Newfoundland senior hockey. Mike brings leadership, a physical presence, grit and energy on the forecheck to the V-Reds.

F - Dylan Willick: A former captain of the Kamloops Blazers, Willick played his four-year WHL career with his hometown team. He is a natural centre who can play all three forward positions, and has the reputation of being a terrific shot blocker and penalty killer. Dylan notched a career high 28 goals & 26 assists in the 2011-12 campaign, and had 16 goals and 14 assists this past season in 51 games (due to ankle injury).

D - Matt Petgrave: Despite missing 18 games with an injury, Matt had an outstanding 20-year-old season, scoring 50 points in 50 games (10 g / 40 a). He was named as a finalist for the OHL's defenceman of the year. The four-year OHL veteran also has plenty of international experience, participating in the OHL–Russia Challenge and he was a summer camp invitee to Canada's World Junior Camp in 2011. Matt has excellent athletic ability, great offensive upside and a physical presence.

D - Jordan Murray: Jordan had a break-out 20-year-old season with Drummondville of the QMJHL where he was among the top point producing defencemen in the league. He has great size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds along with a great shot. He is composed and physical and has plenty of upside to his game. He has also had a strong pre-season and is adjusting well to the CIS level.

D - Keevin Cutting: The captain of the Owen Sound Attack where he spent all five of his OHL years and appeared in a franchise record 374 OHL regular season and playoff games. He is an excellent defensive defenceman and takes pride in shutting down the opponents' top players. Cutting won a U-17 Canadian championship with Team Ontario along with an OHL Championship.

Key losses:

G – Travis Fullerton: has graduated and is playing for the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL.

G – Dan LaCosta: has graduated and turned down an AHL deal to play for the Cardiff (UK) Devils of the EIHL.

D- Daine Todd: has graduated and finished last year with the AHL Texas Stars. This year he made the line-up of the AHL Portland Pirates.

Source: UNB Sport Information

Varsity Reds Begin Title Defence Tomorrow Night

After a long summer, and a month of pre-season games, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will finally open their 2013-2014 regular season tomorrow night as they welcome the visiting St. FX X-Men to the AUC for a 7PM puck drop.

Of course, there is still some unfinished business to take care of first as fans will have one last chance to show their appreciation for last year's team with the raising of both the AUS and CIS championship banners to the rafters. Remember, all seats, even those purchased at the box office prior to the game, are reserved this year (no general admission seating) so we recommend fans arrive a little earlier than usual to ensure their desired seat for the pre-game festivities.

- Interestingly, St. FX was also the opponent when UNB raised their last CIS banner (for the 2010-2011 season). The V-Reds won that game 3-1 on October 14th, 2011.

- UNB has won their last two season openers - 5-2 against STU last year and the aforementioned game against St. FX - but they have won an impressive 24 consecutive home openers, dating back to a 6-5 OT loss to SMU on November 5th, 1988.

- This is only the 3rd time since 1974 the V-Reds have opened their home schedule against the X-Men. They also won 4-3 on November 5th, 1983.

- For more on the X-Men you can find their AUS team preview here.

- There are a number of ways you can follow the game if you are not able to make it to the rink. The game will be web-cast at AUStv.ca, broadcasted live on CHSR-FM (97.9 on your radio dial, online at chsrfm.ca, or channel 946 on Rogers Digital Cable), and televised live on Rogers TV in New Brunswick (channel 10). You can also follow along on Twitter.


With information from the ReDSea database


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CIS Top Ten (#2): UNB Stays In 2nd

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears top the CIS men’s hockey national rankings for the second time in as many polls this season.   

For the second straight week, Alberta and reigning University Cup champion UNB split first-place votes from the 17-member media panel but this time the Bears held a convincing 13-4 advantage, compared to a 9-8 edge last Tuesday. The defending Canada West champs received 166 total points, while the Varsity Reds earned 157 to remain comfortably in second position.

Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 3 Western Mustangs (116 points / no change), No. 4 Calgary Dinos (112 / no change), No. 5 Waterloo Warriors (83 / no change), No. 6 UPEI Panthers (66 / up one position), No. 7 Saskatchewan Huskies (51 / down one), No. 8 Carleton Ravens (35 / up one), No. 9 York Lions (33 / previously unranked) and No. 10 Saint Mary’s Huskies (33 / down two).

In Canada West action this past weekend, Alberta and Calgary both improved to 4-0 on the season, while Saskatchewan shows a 2-2 mark after splitting its second straight two-game series.

The Bears swept Mount Royal 6-2 and 6-1 and have outscored their opponents 21-3 in four league outings. The Dinos beat UBC 3-1 and 9-5, while the Huskies lost 4-1 to Manitoba before winning the rematch 5-0.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are now getting ready for a doubleheader in Saskatoon this Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile in the OUA, third-ranked Western and No. 5 Waterloo both got off to a 2-0 start in league play, No. 8 Carleton opened with a two-game split, and No. 9 York improved to a perfect 3-0.

The Mustangs edged Concordia 3-2 in overtime and outscored UQTR 5-3. The Warriors came out on top of a pair of 3-2 decisions, in regulation against UOIT and in extra time versus Queen’s. The Ravens crushed Windsor 8-1 in their opener but dropped the rematch 5-2. The Lions dominated newcomer Laurentian 6-1 and doubled Nipissing 4-2.

In the AUS, conference play finally starts this weekend, including UNB opening the defence of its fourth University Cup title in seven years on home ice against StFX (Friday) and No. 10 Saint Mary’s (Saturday).

NOTE: The last time York was ranked in the Top 10 was during the 2005-06 season. That year, the Lions (then Yeomen) were ranked 10th on November 1 (poll #3) and November 8 (poll #4).

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#2)

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)

1. Alberta (4-0-0) / 166 points (13) / (1)
2. UNB (0-0-0) / 157 (4) / (2)
3. Western (2-0-0) / 116 / (3)
4. Calgary (4-0-0) / 112 / (4)
5. Waterloo (2-0-0) / 83 / (5)
6. UPEI (0-0-0) / 66 / (7)
7. Saskatchewan (2-2-0) / 51 / (6)
8. Carleton (1-1-0) / 35 / (9)
9. York (3-0-0) / 33 / (NR) *
10. Saint Mary’s (0-0-0) / 33 / (8)

* York (over Saint Mary’s) was awarded the higher ranking based on number of higher-placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: StFX (24), Lakehead (12), McGill (10), Guelph (10), Acadia (9), Concordia (7), Moncton (5), Dalhousie (2), Windsor (2), UQTR (2).

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CIS Top Ten (#1): Varsity Reds Open Season Ranked 2nd In Country

OTTAWA (CIS) – The Alberta Golden Bears top the first CIS men’s hockey national rankings of the 2013-14 season, while the reigning University Cup champion New Brunswick Varsity Reds were a very close second in the inaugural media poll.  

Alberta received nine out of a possible 17 first-place votes and 162 points from the selection committee, compared to eight first-place nods and 160 points for UNB, which captured its fourth CIS title in seven years last winter. The Golden Bears had last opened the campaign at No. 1 in 2010-11.

Rounding out the first Top 10 of the fall are the No. 3 Western Mustangs (86 points), No. 4 Calgary Dinos (80), No. 5 Waterloo Warriors (70), No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies (68), No. 7 UPEI Panthers (60), No. 8 Saint Mary’s Huskies (56), No. 9 Carleton Ravens (54) and No. 10 UQTR Patriotes (46).

The regular season got under way this past weekend with six games in Canada West and two in the OUA.

Alberta (2-0), Calgary (2-0) and Saskatchewan (1-1) were all in action out West. The defending conference champ Bears blanked Manitoba 5-0 and 4-0. The Dinos swept Regina 5-2 and 4-1. The Huskies settled for a split against Mount Royal, winning 5-2 before dropping a 5-1 decision.

Alberta shows an impressive 11 wins in 13 outings so far in ‘13-14, including a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers rookies on Sept. 10. The Bears’ two pre-season losses came against archrival Calgary, which they also beat twice in non-conference action.

With back-to-back whitewashes last weekend, senior U of A netminder Kurtis Mucha, who was named CIS goalie of the year last season, extended his shutout streak in league play to a Canada West record 214 minutes and 20 seconds going back to last winter. The CIS mark of 292:39 was set in 2008-09 by Travis Fullerton of UNB.

Alberta plays a home-and-away series against Mount Royal Friday and Saturday.

In the AUS conference, the regular schedule only starts two weekends from now, including University Cup champion UNB hosting StFX on Oct. 18 and eighth-ranked Saint Mary’s the following night. The V-Reds downed the Huskies 2-0 in last year’s CIS championship final.
UNB won five of its seven pre-season contests, including a perfect 4-0 mark against CIS competition.

NOTES: Laurentian returns to CIS men’s hockey this season after a 13-year hiatus. The Voyageurs open their OUA schedule at York on Thursday... The University of Saskatchewan will host the PotashCorp University Cup tournament for the second straight year from March 20-23. The tourney will once again be held at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#1)

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)
1. Alberta (2-0-0) / 162 points (9)
2. UNB (0-0-0) / 160 (8)
3. Western (0-0-0) / 86
4. Calgary (2-0-0) / 80
5. Waterloo (0-0-0) / 70
6. Saskatchewan (1-1-0) / 68
7. UPEI (0-0-0) / 60
8. Saint Mary’s (0-0-0) / 56
9. Carleton (0-0-0) / 54
10. UQTR (0-0-0) / 46

Other teams receiving votes: StFX (32), McGill (19), Brock (15), Windsor (8), Ottawa (7), Manitoba (4), Queen’s (4), York (2), Acadia (1), Dalhousie (1).

-CIS-



Monday, October 7, 2013

Varsity Reds/Air Force Game Officially Cancelled

The official site of the U.S. Air Force Academy Athletics has reported that tonight's game between the V-Reds and Falcons has been cancelled due to the government shutdown in the United States.

The next game action for UNB will be the home opener on October 18th when they will raise the 2012-2013 AUS and CIS Championship banners before hosting St. FX. 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shutron, Lavigne Lead V-Reds Over Pioneers

UPDATE: The Pioneers website has a game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds received two first period goals from defenceman Ben Shutron and 37 saves from Charles Lavigne in a 2-1 victory over the Denver Pioneers tonight at Magness Arena.

- The V-Reds raced out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play thanks to goals by Shutron (Braes, Murray) at 12:13 on a 4-on-4 and 15:37 (assisted by Braes, Maclise).

- The Pioneers cut the lead in half with a shorthanded goal at 10:32 of the second period. UNB was on a 5-on-3 powerplay when a Pioneer stepped out of the penalty box, received the puck, and broke in and beat Lavigne.

- The Varsity Reds killed off nine power plays in the game, including one in the final two minutes when the Pioneers also pulled their goalie for a two-man advantage. They were 1 for 6 on the power play themselves.

- Final shots were 38-21 for Denver, including 19-4 in the final period.

- Face-offs favoured UNB 37-35.

- This was UNB's first victory over an NCAA team since a 2-1 decision over Holy Cross two years ago. They went 0-1-1 last year with a 6-0 loss to Boston College and a 2-2 tie versus Maine.

- The team participated in a shoot-out after the game with the Pioneers taking it 2 goals to 1.

Tigers Pull Away From V-Reds

UPDATE: The Tigers website has a game recap posted. 

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds first ever trip to Colorado did not get off to a great start as they came away on the wrong side of a 5-0 score against the Colorado College Tigers tonight.

- The V-Reds only trailed 1-0 after two periods but the Tigers scored 3 times on the power play in the final frame.

- Colorado College was 3 for 7 with the man advantage while UNB was 0 for 5.

- Shots in the game favoured the Tigers 34-30.

- There was a shootout after the game which seen the V-Reds go 2 for 2 and the Tigers go 0 for 2.

- UNB will try to regroup tomorrow evening when they face the Denver Pioneers.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

V-Reds Make First Ever Trip To Colorado, Game Against AF Postponed

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will make their first ever appearance in Colorado this weekend for games against the NCAA's Colorado College Tigers on Saturday night, the Denver Pioneers on Sunday night, and the Air Force Falcons (maybe) on Monday night.

The V-Reds will take the ice at the 7343 seat Colorado Springs World Arena at 7:07 MT on Saturday evening to face the Colorado College Tigers. The Tigers are coming off of an 18-19-5 season under long-time head coach, and Tigers alumni, Scott Owens. Despite last seasons struggles the Tigers have made the NCAA tournament 12 times since 1995. They have won two NCAA Championships in their history, in 1950 and 1957. You can watch the web-cast of tonight's game here, but it will cost $6.95.


On Sunday the Varsity Reds will travel to Magness Arena (capacity: 6026) in Denver to face the #17 ranked Denver Pioneers, who will be entering their first season under new head coach, and former University of Maine star, Jim Montgomery. Game time is scheduled for 6:07 MT. The Pioneers, one of the NCAA's most storied programs, went 20-14-5 last season. They fell 5-2 to New Hampshire in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They have appeared in the tournament 6 consecutive years and 8 times since 2004, winning the NCAA title in both 2004 and 2005. Their 7 championships in school history rank 2nd most all-time. You can watch or listen to the game here, although you will need to purchase a monthly pass for $8.95.

The V-Reds are scheduled to wrap up their trip on Monday with a game at 6:07 MT against the Air Force Falcons at Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs. However, it appears as if the game has been postponed until further notice due to the partial federal government shutdown in the United States. The situation could change at any time, thus why the game has not been officially canceled yet. We will provide updates as they become available.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Todd Makes Pirates Roster

The Portland Pirates - AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes - announced their opening night roster today and among the six defencemen to make the squad was former V-Red Daine Todd. Todd also played two games in the AHL at the end of last season with the Texas Stars, going pointless with a - 1 rating.

Meanwhile, one-time recruit Philippe Halley was assigned to Gwinnett of the ECHL.

The Pirates open their season on October 9th against the Manchester Monarchs.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

V-Reds Announce Addition of Kewin, Mignardi

Earlier today the University of New Brunswick announced the addition of forwards Shea Kewin and Rob Mignardi to the hockey program.

Kewin, a former Dalhousie Tiger who transferred to UNB to complete his MBA, will be eligible to play immediately while Mignardi will have to red-shirt this season after spending the last two years playing between the AHL and ECHL. He will be eligible to play for the V-Reds in the 2014-2015 season.

The UNB Athletics website has more here.