Thursday, June 12, 2014

AUS Releases 2014-205 Schedule

The AUS has announced the 2014-2015 men's hockey schedule, and it has a bit of a different look than previous years.

The season kicks off on Thursday, October 9th - a week earlier than usual - with only one game on the schedule as the St. Thomas Tommies host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus at the Grant*Harvey Centre. The rest of the league will see their first action on Saturday, October 11th.

Due to the season beginning earlier than usual teams will be playing 16 games in the 1st half and 12 after the Christmas break. This was done to allow for more room in the usually-cramped 2nd half and playoff schedules. The season wraps up on February 7th.

With the St. FX X-Men hosting the 2015 CIS University Cup, which will now include 8 teams, the AUS will have three berths at the tournament. The playoff format will include a best-of-3 quarterfinal round, a best-of 5 semi-finals, and a best-of-3 final. If the X-Men are to advance to the AUS Final, a best-of-3 consolation final will be played to determine the third AUS representative at the University Cup.

Here is how the V-Reds schedule looks:

Saturday, October 11th @ UPEI, 7PM
Friday, October 17th vs. Dalhousie, 7PM
Saturday, October 18th vs. St. FX, 7PM
Wednesday, October 22nd vs. St. Thomas, 7PM
Friday, October 24th @ Acadia, 7PM
Saturday, October 25th @ Saint Mary's, 7PM
Friday, October 31st @ St. FX, 7PM
Saturday, November 1st @ Dalhousie, 7PM
Friday, November 7th @ Moncton, 7PM
Saturday, November 8th vs. UPEI, 7PM
Friday, November 14th vs. Saint Mary's, 7PM
Saturday, November 15th vs. Acadia, 7PM
Friday, November 21st @ Saint Mary's, 7PM
Saturday, November 22nd @ St. FX, 7PM
Wednesday, November 26th @ St. Thomas, 7PM
Friday, November 28th vs. Moncton, 7PM
Friday, January 9th vs. UPEI, 7PM
Sunday, January 11th @ Moncton, 2PM
Wednesday, January 14th @ St. Thomas, 7PM
Friday, January 16th vs. St. FX, 7PM
Saturday, January 17th vs. Saint Mary's, 7PM
Friday, January 23rd @ Dalhousie, 7PM
Saturday, January 24th @ Acadia, 7PM
Wednesday, January 28th vs. St. Thomas, 7PM
Friday, January 30th vs. Acadia, 7PM
Saturday, January 31st vs. Dalhousie, 7PM
Wednesday, February 4th vs. Moncton, 7PM
Friday, February 6th @ UPEI, 7PM

A few observations:

- UNB will play 9 away games and 7 home games in the 1st half of the season and then 5 away games and 7 home games in the 2nd half. The AUS also went with a 16/12 split for the 2102-2013 season and UNB had the same home and away breakdown before and after Christmas.

- The V-Reds will open the season on the road on Saturday, October 11th against the UPEI Panthers. This is the earliest season opener since 2007-2008, when they began on October 10th.

- This is the 5th time since 2007-2008 UNB will be opening the season against UPEI. They won 4-3 in 2007, lost 4-3 in OT in 2008, won 10-0 in 2009, and lost 4-2 in 2010. All but the 2009 game were played in Charlottetown.

- The V-Reds have won three straight season openers and are 9-4-1 in such games under Gardiner MacDougall.

- UNB will play their home opener the following Friday when they host the Dalhousie Tigers to the AUC, and they will be looking to extend a couple of impressive streaks. The V-Reds have won 25 consecutive home openers (dating back to 1989) as well as 14 straight home games against Dalhousie.

- The first Battle of the Hill takes place on October 22nd at the AUC. The others will be on November 26th and January 14th at the Grant*Harvey Centre and january 28th at the AUC. All UNB/STU games will be played on a Wednesday this year.

- It seems the AUS has blocked home and away games more this year than in recent years. UNB has a stretch of 4 straight home games and two others of 3 straight. They also have a 5 game and 3 game stretch of away games, both in the first half.

- Speaking of that 5 game road stretch, that appears to be the toughest test of the season as they will have to play the perennially strong Acadia Axemen, Saint Mary's Huskies, and St. FX X-Men, the Dalhousie Tigers, and then rival Moncton in a span of just over two weeks.

- By virtue of playing two more road games in the 1st half than the 2nd half, the V-Reds will make both of their visits to Saint Mary's and St. FX before Christmas.

- The AUS has also decided to change up the traditional travel partners in the 1st half of the season. Dalhousie/St. FX and Acadia/Saint Mary's are partners in the 1st half, before going back to the usual Dalhousie/Acadia and St. FX/Saint Mary's pairings after Christmas.

- All games are scheduled for a 7PM start, with the exception of the January 11th game in Moncton which begins at 2PM. UNB has played the odd 2PM game at home over the previous few years, but this is the first time in recent memory they have played one on the road. This is also the only Sunday game on the schedule.

- The final home game of the season will take place on February 4th against Moncton, the only other game besides the Battle of the Hill to take place on a Wednesday. This is the 4th straight year UNB will be hosting Moncton in their home finale.

- The V-Reds are on a 5 game winning streak in home finales.

- Interestingly, after beginning the season in Charlottetown it will also end there as the season finale is scheduled for February 6th against UPEI. It is the first time UNB has book-ended a season against the same opponent since doing it with UdeM in the 2004-2005 season. This will be the first year since 2006-2007 that UNB will end their campaign against UPEI.

- UNB has won 8 straight season finales and are 11-2-1 in such games under MacDougall.

- February 6th is the earliest UNB has wrapped up the regular season since at least the 1974-1975 season.

With help from the ReDSea Database