Tuesday, September 30, 2014

V-Reds Ranked 3rd In Initial Poll

OTTAWA (CIS) – A few months after they captured a record 14th University Cup title, the Alberta Golden Bears top the first CIS men’s hockey rankings of the 2014-15 season.

In one of the closest inaugural polls in recent years, the Bears open at No. 1 for the second straight campaign despite receiving only five of 16 first-place votes (132 points) from the national media panel, one less than the second-ranked Calgary Dinos (125 points).

No less than three others teams also earned first-place nods, including the third-ranked UNB Varsity Reds (3), the No. 4 Saskatchewan Huskies (1), as well as the Mount Royal Cougars (1), who were left out of the Top 10 despite meriting one vote for No. 1.

Rounding out the first rankings are a number of usual suspects, including the No. 5 Acadia Axemen, No. 6 UQTR Patriotes, No. 7 Carleton Ravens, No. 8 McGill Redmen, No. 9 Saint Mary’s Huskies and No. 10 Western Mustangs.

Alberta had an up-and-down pre-season, compiling a 4-3 overall record, with four wins in five outings against Canada West competition. The reigning CIS champions kicked off conference play in similar fashion last weekend in Vancouver, edging UBC 3-2 in their opener before dropping the rematch by a 5-2 score.

In other Canada West action on opening weekend, Calgary swept Manitoba 6-1 and 4-1, Saskatchewan beat Regina 2-0 and 4-2, while Mount Royal defeated Lethbridge 2-0 and 7-2.

League action gets underway on Wednesday in the OUA conference, while the AUS regular season starts on Oct. 9.


Voting is based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, with a 1st place vote worth 10 points. The CIS Men’s Ice Hockey Top Ten Committee is made up of media members from across Canada.

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

1. Alberta (1-1) / 132 points (5) / (-)
2. Calgary (2-0) / 125 (6) / (-)
3. UNB (0-0) / 114 (3) / (-)
4. Saskatchewan (2-0) / 86 (1) / (-) *
5. Acadia (0-0) / 86 / (-)
6. UQTR (0-0) / 66 / (-)
7. Carleton (0-0) / 57 / (-)
8. McGill (0-0) / 44 / (-)
9. Saint Mary’s (0-0) / 35 / (-)
10. Western (0-0) / 28 / (-)
* Saskatchewan (over Acadia) was awarded the higher ranking based on number of higher place votes.

Other teams receiving votes: Windsor (27), UBC (21), StFX (20), Mount Royal (14 / 1 first-place vote), Brock (6), Moncton (6), Concordia (4), York (3), Lakehead (2), Queen’s (2), Guelph (1), Manitoba (1).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Power Play Helps UNB Remain Undefeated

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds improved their preseason record to 3-0 with a 2-1 victory over the visiting UdeM Aigles Bleus in front of 1,593 fans. UNB’s special teams were the difference again tonight with 2 power-play goals (2-8) and frustrating Moncton on the penalty kill (4-4). This brings Moncton’s record to 1-3 with their loan win coming last weekend in a 3-2 SO over Acadia.

Tyler Carroll got UNB on the board early in the first with a power-play goal from the face-off circle over the shoulder and under the bar on UdeM goalie Brandon Thibeau (assists to R. Gazzola & J. Murray).  UNB extended their lead even earlier in the second at 3:51 with another power-play marker from the blue paint by Cam Braes (assists to Trainor & Petgrave).  Moncton countered with 7 minutes left in the period when a wrist shot hit UNB goalie David Shantz’s glove, but tricked over and in. Moncton pushed back after that to the end of the period and messy neutral ice play by UNB was helping the Moncton cause, but Shantz made some key saves and the period ended 2-1 for UNB. UNB outshot Moncton 10-6 in the period.

The third period was pretty even for the most part, but UNB did have the edge in shots and hit 2 post, 4 for the game, that could have given the Varsity Reds a bigger cushion. A Matt Boudens interference penalty behind Moncton’s net, with 1:44 left, put Moncton on the power-play until the end of the game. Moncton took a time out with 1:03 left when Shantz covered the puck for a stoppage. Moncton pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but UNB won the draw and was able to keep Moncton penned in allowing no shots, but there were some nervous moments as Moncton got the puck back into UNB’s end for the last 10secs – followed by a clearing shot which ended the game.

- The final shots were 30-15 for UNB while 2-8 on the PP and 4-4 on the penalty kill.

- UNB’s next game is next Saturday in Boston as they take on Boston College (Chestnut Hill) who is ranked #2, with 3 first place votes, as voted on by Hockey East coaches. BC also claims freshman talent and top defensive prospect in the upcoming NHL draft - Noah Hanifin. The next day they take on UMaine (Orono) who is picked 9th in the same poll.

- Colin Suellentrop made his UNB debut tonight. He arrived on campus earlier this week having been released by the Arizona Coyotes last Sunday.

- Adrian Robertson was injured in the first period and did not return.

- Dylan Willick was cross-checked into the boards behind the Moncton net resulting in a 5-min Major+GM for Moncton defenseman Danick Emond at the 4min mark of the 2nd period. Willick did return to play awhile later but was obviously dazed after the hit. UNB was unable to capitalize and extend their lead to 3-0.

- This is the 3rd year in a row that UNB has played Moncton in the preseason, but the first time since 1983 that they have played Moncton in a pre-season game at the AUC.

- Rob Minardi did not play as he served his 1-game suspension for his 5min-major received in last weekend’s game vs Nipissing.

- The UNB Men’s Hockey Golf Tournament is October 9th at Kingswood Golf.

Special thanks to Eric Drummie of www.vredshockey.com for the game recap. All stats courtesy the RedSea Database

Friday, September 19, 2014

V-Reds Dismantle Lakers

UPDATES: The UNB Athletics website has posted their game recap

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds didn't show any hospitality to the visiting University of Nipissing Lakers tonight at the AUC, destroying the Lakers 11-1 in the first meeting ever between the two schools.

- Taylor MacDougall led the way with a hat-trick while Jordan Murray, Adrian Robertson, and Cameron Brace each had two goals. Peter Trainor and Matt Boudens had the other markers. Nipissing scored their only goal on the power play with 2:41 left in the first period, cutting the deficit to 3-1 at the time.

- Alex Wall had 4 assists.

- UNB held a 40-11 shots advantage with period totals of 17-4, 16-3, and 7-4.

- UNB's special teams were huge in the game, going a perfect 6 for 6 on the power play and adding a shorthanded goal from Boudens.

- The V-Reds scored 6 goals in the 2nd period to blow the game open and added two more in the 3rd.

- Forward Chris Caissy made his UNB debut after missing Monday's game against St. Thomas due to being away at the St. Louis Blues training camp.

- The announced attendance was 1600.

- Tyler Carroll left the game late in the first period after falling hard into the boards. He returned to the bench after the intermission and played in the 2nd period, but did not see any action in the 3rd. It appears he will be fine and was being held out for pre-cautionary reasons.

- Rob Mignardi received a 5 minute penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head late in the first period, not long after Cam Braes got a 2 minute penalty and a 10 minute misconduct for a similar violation.

- The Lakers had 32 players listed on their roster with 25 of them dressed for the game. The V-Reds, meanwhile, only had 19 out of their 21 players dressed as both Colin Suellentrop and R.D. Chisholm were out of the line-up. Gotta love the roster cap in the AUS.

- The 10 goal margin of victory was UNB's highest since defeating UPEI 10-0 in the 2009 home opener, and tied for the highest since a 14-1 victory over Mount Allison in 1991.

- This is the most goals UNB has scored in a game since a 11-1 win over Moncton in 2003. The last time they scored more was in a 12-2 win over Mount Allison in 1997.

- UNB continued their impressive performance against teams from the OUA, improving to 40-1-1 in their last 42 games against OUA competition dating back to the beginning of the 2003-2004 season. The only setbacks in that time were a 3-2 loss at the AU. C against the Western Mustangs in the CIS semi-finals on March 24, 2012 and a 5-4 shootout loss to the hometown Lakehead Thunderwolves in the Bell Cup on December 29th, 2004.

- The V-Reds and Papa John's will be involved in a pretty cool promotion this year called Shots and Saves. The highest number of shots or saves UNB amasses during either of their games on the weekend will be the online discount the following Tuesday, using promo code VREDS. If UNB wins by a shutout, the discount will increase by 10% with a maximum possible discount of 50%. 

- UNB is back in action next Friday night when they host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus at the AUC.

Statistics courtesy RedSea database

Monday, September 15, 2014

V-Reds Shutdown Tommies

UPDATE: The Brunswickan has posted their game recap while the UNB Athletics website has officially announced the addition of goaltender David Shantz.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds rode three first period goals to a solid 4-0 win over the St. Thomas Tommies tonight at the Grant*Harvey Centre. It was the first pre-season game for both teams.

- The V-Reds received first period goals from Philippe Halley (shorthanded from Matt Petgrave at 2:37), rookie defenceman Randy Gazzola (from Halley and Dylan Willick at 6:27), and Jordan Murray (from Petgrave and Matt Boudens at 13:06). Cam Braes netted the insurance goal at 16:19 of the 3rd period with the assists going to Halley and Willick.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 34-15 with period total of 16-5, 9-4, and 9-6.

- Halley, Willick, and Petgrave were named the game's three stars. Halley had a particularly eventful game as he collected a goal, dished out two assists, and both threw and received a couple of big hits.

- Perhaps most encouraging on the night was UNB's penalty killing. They killed off all eight of STU's power plays, scored a shorthanded goal, and had a number of other good chances while a man down.

- The V-Reds, by contrast, only had three power play opportunities, failing to score.

- UNB won 34 out of 52 face-offs with Dylan Willick (11 out of 12) and Taylor MacDougall (9 out of 13) leading the way.

- Attendance was 683.

- Tyler Carroll took Chris Culligan's spot as the 1st line centre playing between Halley and Philippe Maillet.

- Recently recruited goaltender David Shantz played the whole game and picked up the shut-out in his first game as a V-Red. Shantz only has one year of eligibility remaining after playing four seasons of professional hockey.

- Former St. FX X-Men defenceman - and previously unannounced recruit - RD Chisholm was in the line-up for UNB.

- Despite having Chisholm in the line-up UNB was still playing one skater short as rookies Chris Caissy and Colin Suellentrop are both attending professional training camps. The V-Reds currently have 19 skaters on the team, three fewer than the 22 skater roster cap.

- The numbers for the new players: G Chris Carrozzi (#1), G David Shantz (#31), D Randy Gazzola (#2), D R.D. Chisholm (#5), D Alex Wall (#42), D Colin Suellentrop (#44), F Peter Trainor (#12), F Chris Caissy (#15), F Rob Mignardi (#18), F Cameron Brace (#19), and F Matt Boudens (#27).

- Remarkably, 11 out of the 21 players listed on UNB's roster are rookies this year.

- Even more remarkably, 15 players who played for the V-Reds last season are no longer on the team. This includes G Charles Lavigne, G Joel Vienneau, D Ben Shutron, D Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, D Tim Priamo, D Keevin Cutting, F Chris Culligan, F Nick MacNeil, F Thomas Nesbitt, F Antoine Houde-Caron, F J.P. Labardo, F Shea Kewin, F Ben Duffy, F Mike Thomas, and F Cam Maclise.

- This is the first time since 2009 that UNB has played their first game of the season in Fredericton. They opened the pre-season in Cocagne, NB last year, Abram's Village, PEI in 2012, Port Hawkesbury, NS in 2011, and Calgary, Alberta in 2010.

- UNB's next action is this Friday night when they host the OUA's Nipissing Lakers at the AUC. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM in what will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Monday, September 8, 2014

V-Reds Begin Pre-Season Next Week

The longer-than-usual offseason for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will finally end next Monday night when they face off against the rival St. Thomas Tommies at 7PM at the Grant*Harvey Centre in Fredericton.

The V-Reds have yet to put out a press release announcing their exhibition schedule like they have done in recent years, but the following exhibition games have been posted on their website:

Monday, September 15th @ St. Thomas Tommies, 7PM
Friday, September 19th vs. Nipissing Lakers, 7PM
Friday, September 26th vs. Moncton Aigles Bleus, 7PM
Saturday, October 4th @ Boston College Eagles, 8PM
Sunday, October 5th @ Maine Black Bears, 7PM

Friday, January 2nd vs. Windsor Lancers, 7PM
Saturday, January 3rd vs. Windsor Lancers, 7PM