Friday, January 31, 2014

Halley Lifts V-Reds Into First Place

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were pushed to overtime for the 2nd consecutive game tonight, but once again found a way to come out on the winning end. Philippe Halley played the role of hero as his highlight-reel goal gave the V-Reds a 3-2 win over St. FX  this evening at the AUC. With the victory - UNB's 8th in a row - they move to 19-3-1 on the season and into sole possession of 1st place, two points ahead of the Acadia Axemen.

- St. FX got on the board first when Jason Bast continued his strong play against UNB since being controversially left off of the Canadian Universiade team with a shot from the high-slot that Joel Vienneau didn't see at 15:24 of the first period. The X-Men would take the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, out-shooting UNB 10-9.

- After grabbing the lead the X-Men played a game very reminiscent of  2010, clogging up the neutral zone and not allowing UNB easy access into their zone. The Varsity Reds were finally able to break through when Matt Petgrave (MacNeil, Braes) finished off an odd-man rush with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that beat X-Men goalie Drew Owsley at 10:22 of the 2nd period. That would be the only goal of the period as UNB held an 11-7 advantage in shots.

- The V-Reds took their first lead of the night only 2:20 into the 3rd period when Chris Culligan somehow got the puck to a well-covered Philippe Maillet in front of the net. Despite having a defender draped all over him Maillet then somehow gained control of the puck long enough to slide a backhander into the net. UNB would find themselves in trouble just over six minutes later when they took a pair of penalties less than a minute apart. It only took Rob Slaney 21 seconds to convert on the 5-on-3 to tie the game at 2. The game would remain tied at the end of regulation with UNB out-shooting St. FX 8-7 in the period.

- Overtime would only last 49 seconds as Philippe Halley took the puck near the blue-line and stick-handled his way through the X-Men defence before beating Owley with a backhanded shot short-side, sending the 2200 in attendance home happy. Marc-Antoine Desnoyers and Cam Braes picked up the assists on the goal, which was the only shot in the extra frame. Shots in the game were 29-24 for the V-Reds.

- Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out of the line-up for UNB. Tim Priamo was moved up to forward for the game.

- UNB's power play continues to struggle, going 0 for 5 in the game. St. FX was 1 for 6.

- Halley was named the player of the game. Maillet and Culligan were the 2nd and 3rd stars.

- UNB only won 29 out of 63 face-offs. Braes (6 for 18) and Willick (2 for 9) were off their game while MacDougall (9 for 13) and Culligan (9 for 16) had solid outings.

- This was the first time this season that Vienneau has started back to back games.

- For the 3rd straight game UNB surrendered the first goal.

- In other games around the AUS tonight the UPEI Panthers went on the road and upset Acadia 5-2, Moncton defeated Saint Mary's 6-4 at home, and St. Thomas snapped their skid with a wild 8-6 win over Dalhousie in Halifax.

- The Varsity Reds will look to continue their winning streak tomorrow night when they host the Saint Mary's Huskies at 7PM at the AUC.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

News And Notes: Top Ten, Maillet, Culligan

A few mid-week notes of interest:

- The CIS has released their latest Top 10 rankings and the Varsity Reds remain in 3rd spot with 120 points, including a first place vote. Calgary (149 points, 14 first place votes) and Alberta (134 points) continue to lead the way. Other AUS teams represented include Acadia (5th with 101 points) and Moncton (10th with 16).

- Varsity Reds forward Philippe Maillet has been named both the UNB Domino's Pizza male Athlete of the Week as well as the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week. Maillet had a big weekend as he picked up a goal and 3 assists in Friday night's 6-4 win over St. Thomas and then added 2 goals against UPEI the following night. He was named as the player of the game in both contests. The native of Terrabone, Quebec now sits 5th in the league in scoring with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists).

- According to @VRedsHckyStats V-Reds captain Chris Culligan recorded his 200th career point (regular season + AUS playoffs + University Cup) in Saturday's win over the Panthers. He now ranks 3rd in school history in career points, trailing only Hunter Tremblay and Rob Hennigar. His 40 career playoff points (AUS playoffs + University Cup) - in only 33 games - are a school record, 2 ahead of Kyle Bailey.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

V-Reds Escape Island With Wild Win

The University of New Brunswick rallied from four deficits, including scoring the tying goal with 0.8 seconds left in regulation, to top the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 5-4 in overtime before a full house at the McLaughlin Arena tonight in Charlottetown. With the improbable win UNB moves to 18-3-1 on the season, tied with Acadia for fist place in the AUS.

The Varsity Reds never once held a lead in regulation time. Philippe Maillet (Vienneau) tied the game 1-1 at 10:41 of the 1st period with a shorthanded marker, Thoma Nesbitt (Critchlow, Robertson) squared the game 2-2 at 12:33 of the 2nd period, Maillet (Halley, Culligan) knotted things at 3 with his 2nd of the night just under 5 minutes later, and Jordan Murray (MacNeil) sent the game into overtime with a goal with just 0.8 seconds remaining in the game. Cam Braes was the hero with an unassisted tally 5:55 into the extra frame.

- Taylor MacDougall returned to the line-up. Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out.

- Joel Vienneau got the start in goal and made 32 saves for the win.

- Shots were 37-36 for UNB with period totals of  11-17, 11-8, 9-9, and 6-2.

- Special teams were a struggle for the V-Reds tonight. They went 0 for 5 on the power play while the Panthers converted on 3 out of 8 opportunities. UNB has now surrendered 7 power play goals in their last 3 games.

- Keevin Cutting and Braes were both +3 on the night. Ben Shutron was the only player on UNB who was a minus (-1).

- UPEI won 48 out of the 94 face-offs in the game. Both Chris Culligan (9 for 23) and Taylor MacDougall (2 for 11) had off nights while Dylan Willick (12 for 17) was solid.

- Attendance was 1252.

- Both games held in Charlottetown between these two teams this season were decided past regulation time. UNB won 3-2 in a shootout back on November 6th.

- UNB has now won 7 in a row after being embarrassed 7-2 by St. FX in their first game of the 2nd half.

- In other games around the AUS tonight, Acadia doubled up St. FX 4-2 in Wolfville and Moncton picked up a 5-1 road victory over St. Thomas.

- UNB is back at home next weekend as they host St. FX on Friday night and Saint Mary's on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 7PM for both contests.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Role Reversal For Shorthanded V-Reds

It was a game that was reminiscent of Tuesday night's contest against the University of Maine, only this time the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were the team coming out on top. The V-Reds - playing with only 19 skaters - fell behind 3-0 against the visiting St. Thomas Tommies, but rallied for a 6-4 win in the annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game tonight at the AUC. With the victory UNB moves to 17-3-1 on the season and remain tied for the top spot in the conference with the Acadia Axemen.

To say the game never got off to a great start for UNB would be an understatement. The V-Reds spent the majority of the first shift or two of the game in the St. Thomas zone, but it was Matthew Bissonnette scoring on the Tommies first shot at 1:57. They doubled their lead only 1 minute and 52 seconds later on the power play when Bissonnette redirected a centering pass past Charles Lavigne. There would be no more scoring in the period as UNB outshot STU 12-6.

Joel Vienneau replaced Lavigne in goal to begin the 2nd period, but the change did not pay immediate dividends as Stephen Sanza beat him on the first shot he seen, just 59 seconds into the period. The Varsity Reds responded only 1 minute later as Phillippe Maillet (Culligan, Critchlow) took advantage of a bit of a lucky bounce as a missed shot hit the boards behind the net and ricocheted out to the side of the goal, which Maillet was able to poke in before Tommies goalie Jonathan Groenheyde could slide across. UNB was able to cut the lead to 3-2 at 15:44 while shorthanded when former junior teammates Maillet and Phillippe Halley broke in on a 2-on-1. Halley converted the cross-ice pass to make it a one goal game. Unfortunately, the excitement was short-live as Sanza notched his 2nd of the game only 21 seconds later on the power play. The Varsity Reds would answer again, though. Chris Culligan (Maillet, MacNeil) finished off some nice passing while on the power play (and a delayed penalty) at 17:51 to get UNB back within a goal heading into the 3rd period. Shots in the period favoured UNB 10-5.

Quite simply, the 3rd period was all UNB. The V-Reds out-shot the Tommies 16-1, but despite a number of high quality chances - including a shot off the post - they were not able to find the equalizer until a quick snap-shot from the blue line by Jordan Murray (Maillet) on the power play beat a screened Groenheyde at 12:49. The Varsity Reds kept the pressure on and took their first lead of the game at 15:57 when Tim Priamo intercepted the puck just as he stepped out of the penalty box and fed Marc-Antoine Desnoyers. Desnoyers carried the puck wide into the offensive zone on a 2-on-2 and found a trailing Cam Braes in the high-slot, who wasted no time in ripping a wrist shot into the net for a 5-4 lead. Dylan Willick would close out the scoring with his first career CIS goal into an empty net with 80 seconds left. Shots in the game were 38-12 for UNB.

- Tyler Carroll, Taylor MacDougall, and Shea Kewin were all out of the line-up. Despite playing a man short J.P. Labardo was also out of the line-up, which might confirm the recent speculation that he is no longer with the team.

- As a result of playing with only 10 forwards, defenceman Tim Priamo took even-strength shifts as a winger.

- Nick MacNeil was this year's recipient of the Mark Jeffrey Award.

- UNB has now won 11 consecutive Mark Jeffrey Memorial Games. They are 16-5-1 all-time.

- Maillet, Braes, and Sanza were the three stars.

- UNB was 2 for 9 on the power play. STU was 2 for 6.

- UNB won 37 out of 60 face-offs.

- Elsewhere around the AUS: Saint Mary's rallied from a 3-0 deficit of their own to pick up a big 4-3 shootout win on the road against St. FX, Acadia crushed Dalhousie 7-2 in Halifax, and UPEI squeaked out a 2-1 home win over Moncton.

- Tomorrow night sees UNB hit the road for a tilt in Charlottetown against the Panthers, Moncton visit St. Thomas, and St. FX travel to Wolfville to face Acadia. All games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Black Bears Rally For Win Over V-Reds

The University of New Brunswick built a 3-0 first period lead only to watch the University of Maine Black Bears come back for a 4-3 overtime victory tonight at Alfond Arena in Orono.

The V-Reds received two first period goals from Thomas Nesbitt (from Braes at 2:46 and then from Braes and MacNeil at 9:02) and another from Ben Duffy (assisted by Maillet at 17:01).

The Black Bears scored a pair of goals in the 2nd period, including one on a 5-on-3 power play, and another with just over 6 minutes remaining in the game to tie the score at 3. Maine then received a power play late in the game that carried over into overtime and took full advantage, scoring the game winner only 19 seconds into the extra session.

- UNB outshot Maine 26-24 in the game, although it was 24-13 after 40 minutes. The Black Bears controlled the majority of play in the 3rd period as they pushed for the tying goal and UNB started to show signs of fatigue.

- Maine went 2 for 6 on the power play. UNB had a total of 1:15 of power play time in the game, failing to score.

- Charles Lavigne and Joel Vienneau split the game in goal with each stopping 10 out of 12 shots.

- Everyone played with the exception of Tyler Carroll and J.P. Labardo.

- Taylor MacDougall left the game in the 2nd period after blocking a shot while killing a penalty. He did not return.

- Chris Culligan only played the 1st period before taking the rest of the night off. 

- Maine won 28 out of the 54 face-offs.

- Attendance was 3150.

- UNB hosts St. Thomas this Friday night in the annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. Puck drop is set for 7PM.

CIS Top 10 (#12): UNB Moves Up To 3rd

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Calgary Dinos lead the CIS men’s hockey Top 10 for the fourth consecutive ranking period after sweeping all first-place votes from the national media panel for the first time this season.

The Dinos (19-0-1), the only team in the country without a regulation loss in conference play, tallied 160 points in the 12th weekly poll of the campaign to maintain a comfortable cushion over their Canada West archrivals, the Alberta Golden Bears (18-2), who received 144 points from the panel.

The only change in the new Top 10 sees reigning University Cup champion UNB (16-3-1) move past Acadia (15-2-3) in third place. The Varsity Reds and Axemen are tied atop the AUS standings with 33 points apiece with eight games left in the regular season.

Rounding out this week’s national poll are the No. 5 McGill Redmen (16-5-1), No. 6 UQTR Patriotes (16-4), No. 7 Carleton Ravens (14-5-1), No. 8 Ryerson Rams (15-7), No. 9 Lakehead Thunderwolves (14-5-1) and No. 10 Queen’s Gaels (13-3-5).

While Calgary swept its two-game set against Manitoba over the weekend, 5-4 and 4-3 on home ice, the Dinos were seconds away from suffering their first regulation defeat of the regular schedule in Saturday’s rematch. The No. 1 team in the nation tied it at 3-3 with 79 second left in the third period before prevailing in double overtime.

Calgary, which hold a three-point lead over Alberta in the Canada West race with eight league contests remaining, visits UBC for a pair this week.

The Golden Bears also kept rolling last weekend, sweeping UBC 4-3 and 5-2 in Vancouver.
Meanwhile in the Maritimes, UNB beat Acadia 5-3 on Friday in a much-anticipated confrontation between the top two teams in the AUS. The V-Reds, who had lost twice to the Axemen earlier this season, added a 4-1 win over Dalhousie on Saturday, while Acadia lost for the second straight day, this time 6-5 in extra time to Moncton.

In the OUA conference, Ryerson and Lakehead split their two-game series in Thunder Bay, with the hometown Thunderwolves taking the opener 4-3 and the Rams responding with a 7-1 domination in the rematch.

The lone Top-10 matchup of the coming week in CIS men’s hockey sees No. 10 Queen’s visit No. 7 Carleton on Friday night.


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. Calgary (19-0-1) / 160 points (16) / (1)
2. Alberta (18-2-0) / 144 / (2)
3. UNB (16-3-1) / 124 / (4)
4. Acadia (15-2-3) / 107 / (3)
5. McGill (16-5-1) / 87 / (5)
6. UQTR (16-4-0) / 80 / (6)
7. Carleton (14-5-1) / 51 / (7)
8. Ryerson (15-7-0) / 48 / (8)
9. Lakehead (14-5-1) / 27 / (9)
10. Queen’s (13-3-5) / 20 / (10)

Other teams receiving votes: Moncton (18), Saskatchewan (7), Western (4), UPEI (3).

Saturday, January 18, 2014

V-Reds Topple Tigers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds won their 5th straight game with a tidy 4-1 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the AUC. UNB is now 16-3-1 on the season and have moved into a tie with the Acadia Axemen atop the conference.

The Varsity Reds received a pair of 1st period goals from Cam Braes, the first at 5:40 when he finished off a nice passing play from MacNeil and Shutron with an easy tap-in goal at the side of the net, and then at 10:40 on the power play when he tipped in a Culligan shot. Jordan Murray also picked up an assist on the goal. Shots were 18-4 for UNB in the period.

Mike Thomas extended the lead to 3-0 at 4:44 of the 2nd period with the assists going to MacLise and Culligan when he picked up the rebound from his original shot and backhanded it in. The Tigers got on the board with a power play goal at 13:15 to cut the deficit back to two. Shots favoured the V-Reds 16-7 in the frame.

Jordan Murray rounded out the scoring with a slap shot from the hash marks on a 5-on-3 power play at 15:27 of the 3rd. Culligan picked up his 3rd assist of the night with Maillet getting the other helper. Shots were 8-6 for UNB in the period for a final tally of 42-17.

- The V-Reds dressed the same line-up as last night with Tyler Carroll, J.P. Labardo, and Tim Priamo all sitting.

- Joel Vienneau got a rare start and picked up the win in goal.

- The game was not short on power plays as UNB went 2 for 9 and Dalhousie went 1 for 8 with the man advantage. Overall, there were a combined 20 penalties and 59 penalty minutes in the contest.

- UNB won 31 out of the 57 face-offs.

- Attendance was 2040.

- In other AUS action this evening the Moncton Aigles Bleus recovered from blowing a 4-1 lead against Acadia at home to defeat the Axemen 6-5 in overtime, St. FX staved off St. Thomas 4-2 in Antigonish, and UPEI picked up a 3-2 road win over Saint Mary's.

- The Varsity Reds next game action will be this Tuesday evening when they travel to Orono to face the University of Maine Black Bears in the two teams annual exhibition game. They resume regular season play on Friday night when they host St. Thomas in the 22nd Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game.

Friday, January 17, 2014

V-Reds Pick Up Big Victory

UPDATE: The UNB Athletics web-site has their game recap posted.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds came up with an important 5-3 victory over the 1st place Acadia Axemen tonight before a sold-out crowd - many of whom were elementary school students taking part of Southside Elementary School Night - and a playoff-like atmosphere at the AUC. With the win the V-Reds improve to 15-3-1 on the season, only a single point behind the 15-2-2 Axemen with 9 games left in the regular season.

It was a back and forth game all night as both teams traded goals in both the first and second periods. The Varsity Reds struck first when Philippe Maillet's (Culligan) backhand shot fooled Axemen goalie Evan Mosher at 16:56 only to see Acadia answer only 2:17 later courtesy of the conference's most productive trio. Mike Cozzola (Heelis, Thompson) jumped on a loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble and deposited it behind Charles Lavigne at 19:13. The V-Reds held a slight 8-7 advantage in shots.

The Axemen took their first lead of the game 3:02 into the middle frame as Tyler Ferry (Trask, Archer) slid the puck in after it had appeared Lavigne had been interfered with. However, it would only 63 seconds for the Varsity Reds to tie it up when Thomas Nesbitt (Cutting, MacNeil) made up for missing on a glorious chance earlier in the period when he snapped the puck in from the slot. UNB once again held a slight edge in shots - 10-9 - as the teams would head to the 3rd period tied 2-2.

Acadia regained the lead 6:01 into the period when Heelis (Thompson), the league leader in goals, got his 2nd of the game after some sloppy play by the V-Reds in their own end. Once again though, Thomas Nesbitt (Desnoyers, Braes) quickly replied for UNB to tie the game, firing a shot from near the goal line up and over a sprawled out Mosher only 14 seconds after Acadia scored. The V-Reds starting to gain momentum and carry the play and were rewarded at 9:48 when Marc-Antoine Desnoyers stepped up to knock down a break-out pass near the Axemen blue-line and went in on a breakaway. Mosher stopped the original shot but in doing so he was out of position for the rebound, which Cam Critchlow collected in the crease and easily tapped into the wide open net. Chris Culligan added some insurance at 11:01 with an unassisted shorthanded goal. He took advantage of a bouncing puck that hopped over an Acadia stick near his own blue-line and broke in on a 2-on-1. He elected to shoot and picked the top corner to make it 5-3. That's how it would end as Acadia out-shot UNB 13-12 in the period. Shots in the game were 3-29 in favour of the V-Reds.

- Dylan Willick replaced Tim Priamo in the line-up. Tyler Carroll and J.P. Labardo remained out.

- Both teams were 0 for 3 on the power play.

- UNB won 35 out of 57 face-offs. Taylor MacDougall (9-2), Dylan Willick (7-4), and Chris Culligan (8-4) led the way. Cam Braes (8-12) had a rare off-night.

- Nesbitt, Culligan, and Heelis were named the game's three stars.

- Culligan's goal was his 50th career regular season tally.

- The Varsity Reds officially clinched a playoff spot tonight. They are now 19 points ahead of 7th place St. Thomas with 9 games remaining. 

- These two teams will meet again in the last regular season game of the season on February 15th in Wolfville.

- In other AUS action tonight: Moncton handled Dalhousie 5-1 at home, UPEI got a 3-0 road win over St. FX, and Saint Mary's picked up a crucial 4-0 win over St. Thomas in Halifax.

- The Varsity Reds are back at the AUC tomorrow night when they host the Dalhousie Tigers. Game time is 7PM.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

News And Notes: Top Ten, Critchlow, Pridham

A few stories of interest on this Wednesday:

- The CIS has released their latest men's hockey top 10 rankings this afternoon. The top four positions remain unchanged as the University of Calgary Dinos collected all 16 of the first place votes to stay in the top spot. They are followed by the University of Alberta Golden Bears, Acadia Axemen, and the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. Six OUA teams - McGill, UQTR, Carleton, Ryerson, Lakehead, Queen's - round out the rankings.

- A day after being named the UNB Varsity Reds and Domino's Pizza male Athlete of the Week, V-Reds forward Cameron Critchlow has been named the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week. Critchlow scored the game winning goal and then added the insurance marker as the V-Reds picked up an important 4-2 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus on Sunday night.

- It appears as though former Varsity Reds forward Colby Pridham will be contributing regular articles on CIS hockey leading up to the University Cup for Sportsnet. You can check out his first post here, where he discusses each of the country's top ten teams.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Varsity Reds Double Up Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored two 3rd period goals to break a 2-2 tie en route to a 4-2 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus tonight in a game that was rescheduled from last night due to the weather conditions in the province. The V-Reds are now 14-3-1 on the season, pulling back within three points of the first place Acadia Axemen.

The V-Reds opened the scoring 9:33 into the game when Taylor MacDougall (Kewin, Shutron) found the back of the net. However, Moncton would tie the game before the end of the period and then take their only lead of the night at 3:35 of the 2nd period. UNB would pull back even at 14:04 of the period with their second shorthanded goal of the weekend, this time off of the stick of Cam Braes (Desnoyers). The game would remain deadlocked until 7:35 of the final period when Nick MacNeil found Cameron Critchlow all alone in the slot, who made no mistake with a wrist shot that went off the post and in. Critchlow (Braes) notched another with only 67 seconds remaining to make it a 4-2 final.

- Tyler Carroll (injured), Dylan Willick, and J.P. Labardo all remained out of the line-up.

- Shots were 28-21 in UNB's favour.

- Charles Lavigne picked up the win in goal.

- UNB was 0 for 6 on the night. Moncton went scoreless on a pair of opportunities.

- The V-Reds won 35 out of 68 face-offs. Chris Culligan led the way with 17 wins on 25 draws.

- UNB is back at home next weekend for a pair of games. On Friday night they host the Acadia Axemen in a crucial game in the battle for first place. The Dalhousie Tigers are in town the next night. Both games are scheduled for 7PM.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

UNB/UdeM Postponed

According the the Aigles Bleus Twitter account, tonight's game between the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus has been postponed until tomorrow evening due to the weather conditions. The game is still scheduled for a 7PM puck drop.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Special Teams Lift V-Reds

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used three power play goals, a shorthanded marker, and some exceptional penalty killing to double up the visiting UPEI Panthers 4-2 tonight at the AUC. With the win the Varsity Reds move to 13-3-1 on the season, three points off the pace being set by the 14-1-2 Acadia Axemen.

The game did not start out well for UNB's penalty killing, however, as UPEI got on the board on their first power play of the game 6:57 into the opening frame. Despite surrendering the first 7 shots of the game the Varsity Reds would answer only 71 seconds later - also on their first man-advantage of the game - when a Jordan Murray (Culligan, Maillet) shot from the blue-line ricocheted off the post and past Panthers goalie Mavric Parks. The score remained tied through one period of play with UPEI out-shooting UNB 13-9.

The V-Reds would take their first lead of the night at 9:59 of the second period when they capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play. After working the puck around the offensive zone Murray (from Culligan and Maillet again) scored his 2nd of the night with a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle to the right of Parks. UNB controlled the majority of play in the latter part of the period, holding a shot advantage of 13-9 in the stanza, but it was UPEI scoring at 18:34 to tie the game at 2 on a long shot from the side boards that eluded V-Reds goalie Charles Lavigne. The game would remain tied after 40 minutes of play.

The V-Reds got into some trouble in the 3rd period as they took a penalty near the end of the 2nd period that carried over as well as the first four of the 3rd, all within the first 10:16 of the period. This included a lengthy 5-on-3 for the UPEI. However, not only would the V-Reds they successfully kill them all off they would get the only goal in that time as Mike Thomas (MacNeil) ripped a slap shot into the top corner while shorthanded at 3:59. This proved to be the game winner as the Panthers took three penalties of their own in the last 9 minutes of the game, which not only stalled the comeback effort but led to another power play goal for UNB with Philippe Halley (Cutting, Braes) rounding out the scoring with his first career CIS goal at 18:50. UPEI out-shot UNB 11-9 in the period and 33-31 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll, Dylan Willick, and J.P. Labardo were all out the line-up for UNB.

- According to his Twitter, Antoine Houde-Caron is no longer a member of the Varsity Reds. It appears as though he graduated from UNB at Christmas and is now doing his graduate studies at Concordia University, where he will also play for the Stingers. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

- UPEI went 1 for 8 on the power play while UNB was 3 for 8 to go along with a shorthanded goal. There were a total of 22 minor penalties in the game, the majority coming in the last two periods of play.

- Philippe Maillet was assessed his first minor penalty of the season in the 3rd period.

- Murray, Culligan, and Dana Fraser (both goals for UPEI) were named the game's three stars.

- UNB went 44 and 33 in the face-off circle. Cam Braes led the way, winning 18 out of his 24 draws.

- Attendance was 2016.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight: Acadia kept rolling with a 5-1 home win over Saint Mary's, Moncton defeated St. Thomas 6-2 at home, and Dalhousie rallied from a 3-1 deficit to stun St. FX 5-3 in Halifax.

- UNB travels to Moncton tomorrow for a 7PM date with Les Aigles Bleus.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

V-Reds Pick Up Much Needed Win

Trailing late in the 3rd period and staring at their first three game regular season losing streak since 2006 the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds rallied for a huge 6-4 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies tonight in Halifax. With the win the V-Reds move to 12-3-1 on the season and back to within 3 points of the first place Acadia Axemen.

The two teams traded goals all night as the Huskies held leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 before UNB scored the final 3 goals of the game.

Scoring for the Varsity Reds were Philippe Maillet (from Murray and Culligan at 12:28 of the 1st period), Thomas Nesbitt (from Petgrave and MacNeil at 17:39 of the 1st), Adrian Robertson (from Murray and Braes at 19:50 of the 2nd period), Chris Culligan (from Murray at 14:09 of the 3rd period), Nesbitt with his 2nd of the game (from Braes and MacNeil) only 16 seconds later, and Culligan with his 2nd of the night into an empty net (from MacNeil and Cutting at 19:25).

- Dylan Willick replaced Tyler Carroll in the line-up. Mike Thomas, Antoine Houde-Caron, and J.P. Labardo all remained out.

- Charles Lavigne picked up the win in goal.

- UNB held a 35-25 shot advantage.

- Both teams went scoreless on the power play with UNB having 5 opportunities and SMU having 6.

- Both teams won 40 face-offs in the game.

- Jordan Murray was a +4 on the night.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight: St. FX picked up their 2nd home win of the weekend with a 4-2 decision over Moncton and UPEI used 4 straight 3rd period goals to stun Dalhousie 4-2 in Charlottetown.

- The next action for the V-Reds is Friday night when they host the UPEI Panthers at the AUC. They then travel to Moncton for a match-up against the Aigles Bleus the next night. Both games are scheduled to start at 7PM.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

V-Reds Get Blasted By X-Men

Despite having an extra day of rest due to a winter storm that postponed their game against Saint Mary's last night the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds began the 2nd half of their schedule just as they finished the 1st half - with a blowout loss. The V-Reds were no match for the St. FX X-Men as they were embarrassed 7-2 tonight in Antigonish, marking their worst loss to a CIS team in almost 8 years.

The game started well enough for the V-Reds when defenceman Keevin Cutting (Kewin, Halley) scored at 8:21 of the opening period to stake them to a 1-0 lead. However, in a sign of how things were going to go on this night, St. FX answered only 28 seconds later on the power play and then took the lead with a shorthanded marker at 16:45. The shots in the period were 10-9 for UNB.

The 2nd period was one of the worst UNB has played all year as St. FX scored four straight goals, including another on the power play, within the first 16:16 of the period to build a 6-1 lead. Philippe Maillet (Carroll, MacNeil) made the score a bit more respectable with a goal at 18:39 but it was a period dominated by the X-Men, who out-shot the visitors 15-7.

The final 20 minutes were academic with St. FX just content to let the clock run down. Despite being out-shot 10-6 in the frame they got the only goal at 17:52.

-  Mike Thomas (suspension), Antoine Houde-Caron, Dylan Willick, and J.P. Labardo were all out for UNB. It appeared as if Halley was wearing Houde-Caron's #8 jersey (with no plate on the back).

- The V-Reds continue to play with an unconventional line-up of 11 forwards and 7 defenceman.

- Charles Lavigne played the first 40 minutes of the game, giving up 6 goals on 24 shots. Joel Vienneau took over for the 3rd period and stopped 5 out of 6 shots.

- St. FX was 2 for 4 on the power play. UNB was 0 for 6 and gave up a shorthanded goal.

- The three stars were X-Men Jason Bast, Spencer MacAvoy, and Brandon Hynes.

- The X-Men won 34 out of 59 face-offs. If you are keeping track, the V-Reds didn't really do anything right all night.

- Since starting the season with 7 consecutive victories UNB has only gone 4-3-1 over their last 8 games. 

- In other AUS action tonight Acadia opened up a five point lead over the V-Reds with a 5-2 road win over UPEI, Moncton defeated Saint Mary's 5-3 in Halifax, and St. Thomas got a much needed 6-4 home victory over Dalhousie.

- Six AUS teams are in action tomorrow as they make up games that were postponed on Friday night. The Varsity Reds are in Halifax to face Saint Mary's, Dalhousie travels to Charlottetown to battle the Panthers, and St. FX hosts Moncton.