Thursday, February 27, 2014

V-Reds Knot Series

Hockey is a funny game sometimes. A night after UNB dominated Saint Mary's only to lose in overtime the V-Reds and Huskies played a much more even game tonight at the AUC, only to have the Varsity Reds cruise to a relatively easy 5-2 victory. The best-of-5 semi-final series is now tied at one game apiece as the series shifts to Halifax for games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday night. 

The Varsity Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the 1st period thanks to 2 goals by Cam Braes (from MacNeil and Murray at 8:16 and then from MacNeil and Nesbitt at 18:25) sandwiched around a marker by Philippe Halley assisted by Desnoyers and Culligan at 10:57). Shots in the period were 9-5 for UNB.

The V-Reds made it a 4-0 game after Cameron Critchlow finished off a nice passing play with Desnoyers and Carroll at 6:01. The Huskies would get that one right back only 32 seconds later, but Nick MacNeil (Nesbitt, Cutting) restored the 4 goal lead at 16:26 as the teams headed into the 3rd period. Shots were 12-9 for UNB in the frame.

The final period was pretty uneventful for the most part as there were only 9 shots total (6 for Saint Mary's and 3 for UNB). Saint Mary's got what proved to be the final goal of the game on a power play at 8:44.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night with Shea Kewin and Cam MacLise remaining out.

- Charles Lavigne picked up the win between the pipes.

- Final shots were 24-20 for the V-Reds.

- UNB went 0 for 3 on the power play while Saint Mary's was 1 for 5, with all of their opportunities in the 3rd period.

- MacNeil, Braes, and Desnoyers were the game's three stars.

- A skirmish with 11 seconds remaining in the game led to 56 penalty minutes, including 5 10-minute misconducts.

- Attendance was 2133.

- In the other AUS semi-final the Acadia Axemen took a 2-0 series lead after a 6-5 double overtime win over Moncton tonight in Wolfville. It capped a remarkable comeback for the Axemen, who trailed 5-2 with just under 7 minutes remaining in the game.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

V-Reds Lose Heartbreaker

It was one of those games for the Varsity Reds tonight.

The Saint Mary's Huskies scored a power play goal early into the 2nd overtime period to defeat UNB tonight at the AUC in the opening game of their best-of-5 semi-final series. It was the Huskies 2nd power play opportunity in the extra session.

Shots in the game were 51-26 for the V-Reds.

Tyler Carroll returned to the line-up for UNB. The Huskies were playing with only 11 skaters, and were missing their top two defencemen, leading scorer, and head coach.

Game 2 goes tomorrow night.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Road To The University Cup

The 1st round of the CIS playoffs are now complete around the country and here is how things look as the University Cup approaches next month:.

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (1 berth at University Cup - AUS Champion)

QUARTER-FINALS (best-of-3)
Byes: #1 UNB, #2 Acadia
#3 Moncton defeated #6 St. FX (2 games to 0)
#5 Saint Mary's defeated #4 UPEI (2 games to 1)

SEMI-FINALS (best-of-5)
#1 UNB vs. #5 Saint Mary's (begins Wednesday)
#2 Acadia vs. #3 Moncton (begins Wednesday)

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (3 berths at University Cup - OUA East Champion + OUA West Champion + 3rd place team)

OUA EAST 

QUARTER-FINALS (best-of-3)
#1 Carleton defeated #8 Nipissing (2 games to 0)
#2 UQTR defeated #7 UOIT (2 games to 0)
#3 McGill defeated #6 Concordia (2 games to 0)
#5 Queen's defeated #4 Ottawa (2 games to 0)

SEMI-FINALS (best-of-3)
#1 Carleton vs. #5 Queen's (begins Wednesday)
#2 UQTR vs. #3 McGill (begins Wednesday)

OUA WEST 

QUARTER-FINALS (best-of-3)
#1 Western defeated #8 Guelph (2 games to 1)
#2 Lakehead defeated #7 York (2 games to 0)
#3 Ryerson defeated #6 Brock (2 games to 1)
#4 Windsor defeated #5 Toronto (2 games to 0)

SEMI-FINALS (best-of-3)
#1 Western vs. #4 Windsor (begins Thursday)
#2 Lakehead vs. #3 Ryerson (begins Wednesday)

CANADA WEST (2 berths at University Cup - Canada West Champion + host Saskatchewan Huskies)

QUARTER-FINALS (best-of-3)
Byes: #1 Alberta, #2 Calgary
#6 British Columbia defeated #3 Saskatchewan (2 games to 1)
#4 Manitoba defeated #4 Mount Royal (2 games to 1)

SEMI-FINALS (best-of-3)
#1 Alberta vs. #6 British Columbia (begins Friday)
#2 Calgary vs. #4 Manitoba (begins Friday)


V-Reds/Huskies: A Playoff History

The #1 seeded University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will finally be back in action when they host the #5 seeded Saint Mary's Huskies in game 1 of the best-of-5 AUS semi-finals Wednesday night at the AUC.

This will mark the 6th playoff meeting between the two teams since 1973-1974, with UNB winning 3 out of the previous 5 match-ups. The last 3 have taken place in the AUS Finals. Here is the complete breakdown:

1973-1974: SMU defeated UNB 1 game to 0 (7-0)
2002-2003: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 in quarter-finals (2-0, 3-1)
2007-2008: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 in AUS Finals (3-2 OT, 3-2 OT2)
2008-2009: SMU defeated UNB 2 games to 1 in AUS Finals (1-5, 3-2, 5-1)
2012-2013: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 1 in AUS Finals (1-0 OT2, 2-5, 2-0)

The full series schedule is as follows (all games scheduled for 7 PM):

Game 1: Wednesday, February 26th - SMU at UNB
Game 2: Thursday, February 27th - SMU at UNB
Game 3: Saturday, March 1st - UNB at SMU
Game 4: Sunday, March 2nd - UNB at SMU (if necessary)
Game 5: Tuesday, March 4th - SMU at UNB (if necessary)

The #2 seeded Acadia Axemen and #3 Moncton Aigles Bleus will play in the other semi-final, following the exact same schedule.

With help from the ReDSea database

Sunday, February 23, 2014

V-Reds To Face Huskies In Semi-Finals

The Varsity Reds now know their opponent for the AUS semi-finals, and it is a familiar foe. The #5 seeded Saint Mary's Huskies went on the road to defeat the #4 seeded UPEI Panthers 4-1 tonight in the deciding game of their best-of-3 quarter-final series to set-up a rematch of last year's AUS and CIS Championship between themselves and the V-Reds. The Panthers had taken game 1 by a 3-1 score on Wednesday night before the Huskies rebounded with a 4-1 home win on Friday. The first game of the best-of-5 series is scheduled for Wednesday night, with a 7PM puck drop.

The #3 seeded Moncton Aigles Bleus defeated St. FX in two straight games (6-1, 3-1) in the other quarter-final and will now move on to face the #2 seeded Acadia Axemen in the other semi-final.


2013-2014: By The Numbers

As we await the outcome of tonight's 3rd and deciding game between the UPEI Panthers and Saint Mary's Huskies, which will determine UNB's opponent in the AUS semi-finals, here is a look at some interesting stats from the regular season.

- UNB went 24-3-1 this year, tied with the 1997-1998 team for the 3rd best record in school history. Only the 2007-2008 (26-1-1) and 2009-2010 (27-1-0) teams were better.
- This was the 7th consecutive year UNB finished in first place in the AUS.
- It was also the 7th straight year they have achieved at least 20 wins. To put that in perspective, only 4 other teams (2006-2007 Moncton Aigles Bleus, 2007-2008 and 2008, 2009 Saint Mary's Huskies, and 2013-2014 Acadia Axemen) have reached that mark in the last 16 years.
- They are now 164-24-8 over the last 7 regular seasons.
- They went 12-1-1 at home this year, the 5th straight year with at least that many wins on home ice. Overall, they are 87-9-2 at the AUC since the 2007-2008 season.
- Their 12-2-0 road record was the best since going 14-0-0 in 2009-2010. They are now 77-15-6 as a visitor since 2007-2008.
- This was the 5th time in the last 7 years they reached double-digit wins both at home and on the road.
-  Their record of 11-2-1 in the 1st half of the season was tied with the 2011-2012 team for the best mark in 4 years. This gives them a record of 79-14-5 in the 1st half over the last 7 years.
- For the 3rd time in 5 years, and 4th time in 7 years, they won at least 13 games in the 2nd half as they went 13-1-0 this year. They are now 85-10-3 in the 2nd half over the last 7 seasons.
- It is also the 5th time in 7 years they won double-digit games in both the 1st and 2nd half of the season.
- Their 3 overtime wins were the most since winning 4 in 2009-2010.
- The V-Reds led the AUS with 119 goals scored this year. It is the 5th consecutive year they have led the league.
- Those 119 goals were the 2nd most they have scored over the last 4 seasons, just behind the 120 they put up in 2011-2012. However, it is still a far cry from the 136, 134, and 143 they put up in the 3 seasons between 2007 and 2010.   
- UNB allowed 69 goals this season, just behind Acadia for the fewest in the league. It is the 1st time since 2006-2007 they haven't led the league in fewest goals allowed.
- However, this is the 2nd most goals they have given up in the last 7 years, only ahead of the 71 they surrendered in 2011-2012.
- The 55 goals they scored at the AUC this year were the fewest in 7 years.
- However, the 59 road goals were the most since scoring 64 in 2009-2010.
- This year was the 1st since 2005-2006 they have given up more goals at home than on the road.
- Their 64 goals scored in the 2nd half was the highest since scoring 71 in the 2nd halfof the 2008-2009 season. 
- It was the 1st time in 5 years they have scored more goals in the 2nd half of the season than the 1st half as well as the 1st time in 7 years they gave up more goals in the 2nd half than the 1st half. 
- They scored 36 goals in the 1st period, 41 in the 2nd period, 39 in the 3rd, and 3 in overtime.
- This was their most balanced attack since 2007-2008 when they scored 44 goals in the 1st period, 47 in the 2nd period, and 43 in the 3rd period. 
- For the 5th time in 7 years the 2nd period was their most productive in terms of goals scored.
- They allowed 27 goals in the 1st period, 26 in the 2nd period, 15 in the 3rd period, and 1 in overtime.
- This was the 3rd straight year the 3rd period was their best period defensively.
- However, the 1st and 2nd periods rank as the two worst periods in terms of goals allowed over the previous 7 seasons. The previous worst was 24 goals allowed in 3rd periods during the 2009-2010 season.
- Their +50 goal differential was the 2nd worst in the last 7 years, just slightly ahead of the +49 the 2011-2012 team posted.
- They had a +9 goal differential in the 1st period, +15 in the 2nd period, + 24 in the 3rd period, and +2 in overtime.
- This was the 3rd time in 4 years the 3rd period was their best goal differential-wise.
- Conversely, it was the 3rd time in 5 years the 1st period has been the worst.
- UNB was the only team not to give up an empty-net goal this year.
- Their 34.9 shots/game were the fewest in the last 7 seasons.
- After leading the AUS in shots/game for 5 consecutive seasons they have now finished 3rd and 2nd the last two years.
- Although they led the league in fewest shots allowed/game for the 7th straight year, surrendering only 24.6, it is the most they have given up in 6 seasons.
- Their shooting percentage of 12.2 was the best in 4 years.
- UNB scored 28 power play goals and had 161 power play opportunities this year, the most in both categories in 3 years. However, their 17.4% success rate was the worst in 8 years. By comparison, they scored at least 31 power play goals every season from 2006-2007 until 2010-2011, including seasons of 48 (in 2007-2008, 29.1%) and 49 (in 2009-2010, 26.6%).
- On the other end of the spectrum, the 20 power play goals they surrendered this year were the fewest in 3 years and 3rd fewest in 8 years. This was despite being shorthanded 162 times, the most since 2007-2008. As a result, their penalty killing percentage of 87.7% was the nest in 3 years and 3rd best in 8 years, only behind the 91.5% and 90.5% marks they put up in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, respectively.
- This was the first time in three years they scored more power play goals than they allowed.
- Despite scoring 6 shorthanded goals this year, it only ranked ahead of the 4 they notched in 2008-2009 for the fewest over the last 8 years.
- Their 0.901 save percentage was the 3rd worst over the last 7 seasons. In fact, since posting a 0.930 mark in 2010-2011 they have had seasons of 0.892, 0.903, and now 0.901.
- The 4 shutouts they had this year were tied for the 2nd most since 1972-1973, only behind the 6 the 2010-2011 team had.
- This extends their streak of having at least 1 regular season shutout to 16 straight years. Interestingly, the last regular season they did not have a shutout was 1997-1998, when they went 24-3-1 and won the 1st National Championship in school history.
- Remarkably, the V-Reds have now gone 214 straight regular season games without being shutout, last being blanked 2-0 in Wolfville to Acadia on November 11th, 2005.
- Even more amazing, they are now up to 289 straight regular season games at the AUC without being shutout. The Axemen turned the trick back on November 7th, 1993 in a 6-0 win. 
- It should be noted that UNB has been shut-out a number of times since then, however. The last time they were shut-out was earlier this season on the road against Colorado College. The last time they were shut-out at home was against the NCAA's Providence College Friars on January 2nd, 2011 when they fell by a 1-0 score. The last time they were shut-out at home by a CIS team was 4-0 against St. FX on October 1st, 2005 in an exhibition game and before that it was February 18th, 1996 when they lost 1-0 to UPEI in the 3rd and deciding game of the AUS quarter-finals.
- The attendance this season was 2400/game, the lowest in 6 years.

With special thanks to Eric Drummie and the ReDSea Database

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lavigne Slams Door Again, V-Reds Clinch 1st

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds are definitely heading into the AUS playoffs on the right foot as they closed out the regular season with a 2-0 win over the Acadia Axemen tonight in Wolfville. With the victory - their 13th consecutive - the Varsity Reds finish atop the standings for the 7th straight year with a 24-3-1 record and will enjoy home-ice advantage throughout the AUS playoffs..

UNB received 2nd period goals from Adrian Robertson (from MacNeil and MacDougall at 8:29) and Chris Culligan (Murray, Maillet) while on a 5-on-3 power play at 14:48. Charles Lavigne did the rest, turning aside all 32 shots he faced for his 3rd straight shutout.

- The Varsity Reds iced their usual line-up with Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin both remaining out due to injuries.

- Shot in the game were 32-25 for Acadia, with period totals of 9-5, 7-14, and 16-6.

- UNB went 1 for 5 on the power play, converting on a two-man advantage. Their penalty killing was excellent, holding the Axemen scoreless on 5 attempts, including a 64 second 5-on-3. 

- The V-Reds had their worst game of the season in the face-off circle, only winning 27 out of 70 draws.

- Lavigne, Philippe Halley, and the Axemen's Geoff Schemitsch were the game's three stars.

- This was Lavigne's 4th shutout of the year.

- Lavigne's shutout streak now sits at 196:11, dating back to a 1st period goal he allowed against St. Thomas on January 24th. It is the longest stretch by a V-Reds goaltender since Travis Fullerton went 292:39 between goals allowed from January 10th-31st, 2009.

- The win snaps a 3 game losing streak for the Varsity Reds in Wolfville.

- The V-Reds 24-3-1 record this season is tied with the 1997-1998 team for the 3rd best in school history. Only the 2009-2010 (27-1-0) and 2007-2008 (26-1-1) squads were better.

- In other games around the AUS tonight Saint Mary's defeated St. Thomas 6-1 in Fredericton, Moncton easily handled Dalhousie 7-3 on the road, and UPEI got by St. FX 4-1 at home.

- The final AUS standings look like this:
1) UNB: 24-3-1
2) Acadia: 21-4-3
3) Moncton: 17-11-0
4) UPEI: 15-10-3
5) Saint Mary's: 14-14-0
6) St. FX: 12-13-3
7) St. Thomas: 6-20-2
8) Dalhousie: 3-24-1

- The AUS playoffs will get underway later this week with Moncton facing St. FX and UPEI taking on Saint Mary's in the best-of-3 quarter-finals.

- Both UNB and Acadia will enjoy a 1st round bye, with the V-Reds facing the lowest remaining seed in the best-of-5 semi-finals. The first two games are scheduled for February 26th and 27th at the AUC.



Friday, February 14, 2014

V-Reds Cruise, Set Up Battle For First Tomorrow

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds won their 12th consecutive game with a dominating 7-0 shutout of the Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the Halifax Forum. UNB improves to 23-3-1 on the season - 1 point better than last year - and maintain a 2 point advantage over the Acadia Axemen, whom they will face tomorrow in Wolfville in a game with first place on the line.

The V-Reds received first period goals from Thomas Nesbitt (Petgrave) at 5:11, Philippe Halley (Murray, Willick) while shorthanded at 12:32, and Jordan Murray (Maillet, Culligan). They added three more goals in the second period courtesy Philippe Maillet (on the power play from MacNeil) at 4:44, Dylan Willick (Shutron) at 5:32, and Chris Culligan (Maillet, Halley) at 12:47. Cameron MacLise (MacNeil, Shutron) rounded out the scoring with hist first career AUS goal at 16:38 of the 3rd.

Charles Lavigne picked up his 2nd straight shutout in goal.

- UNB went with their usual line-up as Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin both remained out. Mike Thomas was back in after serving a one-game suspension.

- Shots in the game were 36-23 for UNB, with period totals of 10-9, 18-8, and 8-6.

- UNB went 1 for 4 on the power play. The Tigers were 0 for 6 with the man advantage.

- The V-Reds won 36 out of 60 face-offs. Taylor MacDougall (12-8) and Dylan Willick (9-2) led the way.

- Maillet extended his point streak to 10 games. Culligan and Halley are both on 7 game runs.

- This is UNB's longest winning streak since winning their first 26 regular season games of the 2009-2010 season. They won their final 14 games of the 2007-2008 regular season, eventually extending it to 21 games (5-0 in the playoffs, 2-0 in University Cup) before losing to Alberta in the University Cup Final.

- In other games around the AUS tonight: Acadia defeated Moncton 5-2 at home, St. FX picked up a 5-3 road victory over St. Thomas, and Saint Mary's used a three goal 3rd period to get by UPEI 5-2 in Charlottetown.

- With one game remaining in the regular season the standings currently look like this: UNB - 47 points, Acadia - 45, Moncton - 32, UPEI - 31, St. FX - 27, Saint Mary's - 26, St. Thomas - 14, Dalhousie - 7. In other words, tonight's results did not settle anything in terms of playoff positioning. All we know is that UNB/Acadia will finish 1-2, Moncton/UPEI will finish 3-4, and St. FX/St. Mary's will end up 5-6.

- This is the 1st time since 2005-2006 that UNB has not locked up their playoff positioning prior to the final game of the season.

- The V-Reds wrap up the regular season tomorrow night when they travel to Wolfville to face the Acadia Axemen for their most important regular season game in a number of years. A win or OT/SO loss for UNB gives them first place, but an Acadia win in regulation gives them the top spot based on their head-to-head record against the V-Reds this year (currently 2 wins to 1). Game time is 7PM and can be viewed at AUStv.ca.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CIS Top Ten (#15): V-Reds Remain In 2nd

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears remain atop the CIS men’s hockey rankings heading into the final weekend of the 28-game regular season schedule.

The Bears (23-2-1) top the media poll for the second straight week and for the 10th time this season after receiving 16 of 17 first-place votes – one more than last week – and 169 points from the national panel.

The reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds (22-3-1) earned the remaining first-place nod and 152 points to stay confortable in second position. The Acadia Axemen (20-3-3) move up one spot to No. 3, while the Calgary Dinos (21-2-3) fall to No. 4, one week after dropping out of first place for the first time since early December.

Rounding out the 15th poll of the campaign are the No. 5 McGill Redmen (20-5-2 / up one position), No. 6 Carleton Ravens (20-5-1 / up one), No. 7 UQTR Patriotes (20-6 / down two), No. 8 Western Mustangs (19-6-1 / up one), No. 9 Saskatchewan Huskies (15-10-1 / up one) and No. 10 Moncton Aigles Bleus (16-10 / down two).

Alberta, UNB and Acadia all went 2-0 this past weekend, while Calgary suffered its third straight loss last Thursday before getting back in the win column on Friday.

The Bears swept Regina 5-0 and 5-2. The V-Reds dominated St. Thomas 6-1 and Moncton 4-0. The Axemen beat Saint Mary’s 5-2 and Dalhousie 6-1. The Dinos lost 4-3 in overtime against Mount Royal but won the rematch 5-2.

Heading into the last weekend of league play, only one team, No. 8 Western, has clinched first place in its division or conference. With two games remaining, the Mustangs hold a six-point lead over Lakehead in the OUA West.

The three other races could come down to the final day.

In Canada West, Alberta and Calgary battle head-to-head Friday in Edmonton and Saturday in Calgary, with the Bears entering the two-game set with a two-point cushion over their provincial rivals. The first two duels of the campaign – in November - ended with a 2-0 Dinos victory and a 3-2 Bears win in double overtime.

In the AUS, where UNB has a two-point advantage over Acadia, the V-Reds and Axemen are set to take on Dalhousie and Moncton, respectively, on Friday, before facing each other in their season finale Saturday in Wolfville, N.S. Acadia prevailed in two of the first three head-to-head matchups, including a shootout win.

In the OUA East, McGill currently has 42 points, Carleton 41 and UQTR 40 but the Redmen only have one game left compared to two apiece for the Ravens and Patriotes. On paper, Carleton seems well positioned to steal first place away from McGill as the Ravens end the schedule against RMC (3-20-3) and Laurentian (5-21), who occupy the last two positions in the ten-team division.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#15)

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 (23-2-1) / 169 points (16) / (1)
2. UNB (22-3-1) / 152 (1) / (2)
3. Acadia (20-3-3) / 129 / (4)
4. Calgary (21-2-3) / 127 / (3)
5. McGill (20-5-2) / 91 / (6)
6. Carleton (20-5-1) / 90 / (7)
7. UQTR (20-6-0) / 55 / (5) *
8. Western (19-6-1) / 55 / (9)
9. Saskatchewan (15-10-1) / 27 / (10)
10. Moncton (16-10-0) / 20 / (8)


* UQTR is ranked higher than Western based on number of higher-placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: UPEI (10), Queen’s (8), Lakehead (1), Ryerson (1).

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lavigne, V-Reds Ground Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds wrapped up the home portion of their regular season schedule tonight the same way they have the previous two seasons - with an entertaining win over the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. The V-Reds scored a pair of goals in each of the final two periods in a 4-0 victory that extends their winning streak to 11 games and moves them to 22-3-1 on the season. They maintain a 2 point advantage over the Acadia Axemen heading into the final weekend of the season.

- UNB's top line of Chris Culligan, Philippe Maillet, and Philippe Halley continue to be scorching hot as they combined for the game's first three goals. Halley (Culligan, Maillet) got the scoring started 12:40 into the 2nd period and Culligan would make it 2-0 on the power play at 16:58 from Maillet and Murray. Halley (from Maillet and Culligan at 7:27 of the 3rd period) and Nick MacNeil (on a 5-on-3 power play from Petgrave and Desnoyers at 12:19) rounded out the scoring.

- Charles Lavigne made his 1st start since January 24th and turned away all 18 shots for his 2nd shutout of the season.

- Shots favoured UNB 41-18, with period totals of 15-5, 9-8, and 17-5.

- The V-Reds played one man short as Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out of the line-up due to injuries, and Mike Thomas was serving an automatic one-game suspension after picking up his 3rd misconduct of the season in last night's game against St. Thomas.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play. Moncton was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- The V-Reds won 29 out of 57 face-offs.

- Culligan, Halley, and Lavigne were the game's three stars.

- The game was delayed for a few minutes at the beginning of the 2nd period due to issues with the scoreboard.

- Attendance was 2562.

- The Varsity Reds handed out a number of awards before the game. Ben Shutron and Thomas Nesbitt were named this year's recipients of the Ross "Punch" Walker Memorial Merit Award, Adrian Robertson won the Mike Cavanagh Memorial Merit Award, and Marc-Antoine Desnoyers was presented with the Don MacAdam Award.

- Cam Braes seen his point streak end at 11 games. Maillet extended his to 8 straight (8 goals, 10 assists) and 15 out of 16 games (14 goals, 17 assists). Chris Culligan is also on an 8 game run (3 goals, 13 assists).

- Halley continues to be a beast on the penalty kill as he generated a couple more scoring chances while a man down tonight. He had a few last night as well.

- It was definitely an encouraging weekend from a defensive perspective for the V-Reds, especially considering Moncton entered the game with the 3rd most goals scored in the conference.

- Chris Culligan had the quote of the night, when asked about playing with Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley (courtesy of UNB commentator David Kilfoil): "I feel like I am cheating on Herby (Tyler Carroll, his usual line-mate)".

- The V-Reds finish the season with a home record of 12 wins, 1 loss (against St. Thomas), and 1 shootout loss (against Acadia). This is the 5th straight year they have won at least 12 regular season home games, accumulating a record of 63-6-1 during that span. 

- In other games around the league tonight: Acadia kept pace with UNB with a 6-1 win on home ice over Dalhousie, Saint Mary's picked up a crucial 7-3 home victory over St. FX, and UPEI defeated St. Thomas 3-1 in Charlottetown.

- With each team having only two games remaining in the regular season the standings look like this: UNB - 47 points, Acadia - 45, Moncton - 32, UPEI - 31, St. FX - 25, Saint Mary's - 24, St. Thomas - 14, and Dalhousie - 7.

- Although all 6 playoff teams have been decided no team is locked into a position as 1st place (UNB and Acadia), 3rd place (Moncton and UPEI), and 5th place (St. FX and Saint Mary's) are all still up for grabs.

- The Varsity Reds conclude the regular season next weekend with a pair of road games in Nova Scotia. On Friday night they travel to Halifax to face the Dalhousie Tigers and then on Saturday night visit Wolfville for a game against Acadia that will likely determine 1st place. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7PM and will be broadcast on AUStv.ca.


Friday, February 7, 2014

V-Reds Top Tommies In Feisty Contest

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds extended their winning streak to double digits with a 6-1 win over the St. Thomas Tommies tonight at the Grant*Harvey Centre in a game that was marred by penalties. The V-Reds are now 21-3-1 on the season, 2 points ahead of 2nd place Acadia with 3 games remaining in the regular season.

UNB received goals from Philippe Maillet (on the power play at 4:44 of the 1st period from Halley and Braes), Philippe Halley (from Maillet and Murray at 4:01 of the 2nd), Nick MacNeil (shorthanded at 8:25 of the 2nd), Maillet again (from Culligan and Halley at 15:46 of the 2nd), Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (on the power play at 19:10 of the 2nd from Critchlow and Petgrave), and Cameron Critchlow (from Thomas and Petgrave at 7:53 of the 3rd period). Marc-Andre Levesque tallied for the Tommies with a power play goal at 15:26 of the 2st period that tied the game at 1.

- Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remained out of the line-up for UNB.

- Shots in the game were only 22-19 in favour of UNB, with period totals of 8-7, 11-4 and 3-8. It's hard to remember the last time UNB generated so few shots in a game (or period), especially against the Tommies. 

- Joel Vienneau got his 5th consecutive start between the pipes.

- The game featured 41 penalties and 189 penalty minutes (22 for 92 minutes for UNB and 19 for 97 for St. Thomas). This included 11 10-minute misconducts and 2 game misconducts (Sawyer Hannay for STU and Mike Thomas for UNB).

- UNB went 2 for 4 on the power play. St. Thomas connected once on 12 opportunities.

- Attendance was 1373.

- Maillet, Halley, and the Tommies Jonathan Bonneau were named the game's three stars.

- Cam Braes extended his point streak to 11 games (5 goals, 11 assists in that span) while Philippe Maillet now has points in 7 straight (8 goals, 7 assists) and 14 out of 15 (14 goals, 14 assists).

- UNB won 37 out of 63 face-offs.

- In other AUS action tonight: Moncton fell at home to UPEI 3-2, Acadia beat St. Mary's 5-2 in Halifax, and St. FX picked up a 3-2 win against Dalhousie on home ice.

- The Varsity Reds will play their final home game of the regular season tomorrow night when they host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus at the AUC. Game time is 7PM.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

CIS Top Ten (#14): V-Reds Move Up To 2nd

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Alberta Golden Bears are once again the team to beat in CIS men’s hockey.

The Bears (21-2-1), who topped the first eight weekly polls of the season before settling for second place behind provincial rival Calgary in each of the last five rankings, return to No. 1 after receiving 15 of 17 first-place votes and 168 points from the national media panel.

The reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds (20-3-1) also move up one position in the new poll thanks to a pair of first-place nods and 140 points, while the Dinos (20-2-2) drop to No. 3, with 136 points.

Rounding out the new Top 10 are the No. 4 Acadia Axemen (18-3-3 / no change), No. 5 UQTR Patriotes (20-4 / up one position), No. 6 McGill Redmen (19-5-2 / down one), No. 7 Carleton Ravens (18-5-1 / no change), No. 8 Moncton Aigles Bleus (16-8 / up two), No. 9 Western Mustangs (17-6-1 / down one), as well as the previously unranked Saskatchewan Huskies (14-9-1).

Calgary entered the last weekend as the only team in the country without a regulation loss in league play but, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The Dinos dropped the first end of their two-game series in Saskatoon 4-3 on Friday night and were dominated 10-2 by the Huskies in Saturday’s rematch.

With the two losses, the Dinos not only lost their No. 1 status, they also fell to second place in the Canada West standings, one point behind Alberta, with four games left on the regular schedule. While Calgary struggled against Saskatchewan, the Bears crushed Lethbridge 13-0 and 11-1 in Edmonton, marking the first time since November of 2001 that they scored 10 or more goals against the same opponent during a weekend series.

Alberta visits Regina for a pair this weekend, while Calgary plays a home-and-home set versus cross-town rival Mount Royal.

In the AUS conference, UNB registered a pair of one-goal wins, 3-2 in overtime against StFX and 6-5 over Saint Mary’s, to open up a two-point lead over Acadia in the standings with four matches remaining. The Axemen dropped two precious points last Friday in a 5-2 loss to UPEI but rebounded the next night with an 8-3 victory against St. Thomas.

The races are also tight in the OUA with two weekends to go before playoffs.

In the OUA East, UQTR and McGill are tied at the top with 40 points but the Patriotes have two games in hand. Carleton is only three points back and also has four contests remaining, compared to two for the Redmen.

UQTR visits Carleton in the nation’s capital on Friday night.

In the OUA West, Western has a two-point cushion over unranked Lakehead in first place. The two teams face off in London on Friday evening.

CIS MEN’S HOCKEY TOP 10 (#14)

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 (21-2-1) / 168 points (15) / (2)
2. UNB (20-3-1) / 140 (2) / (3)
3. Calgary (20-2-2) / 136 / (1)
4. Acadia (18-3-3) / 114 / (4)
5. UQTR (20-4-0) / 108 / (6)
6. McGill (19-5-2) / 85 / (5)
7. Carleton (18-5-1) / 62 / (7)
8. Moncton (16-8-0) / 38 / (10) *
9. Western (17-6-1) / 38 / (8)
10. Saskatchewan (14-9-1) / 37 / (NR)

* Moncton is ranked higher than Western based on number of higher-placed votes.

Other teams receiving votes: Lakehead (3), Queen’s (3), UPEI (2), Ryerson (1).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

V-Reds Take High-Scoring Affair

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds used a big 2nd period to get past the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies 6-5 in a wide-open game tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds 9th straight win not only improves their record to 20-3-1 on the season - the 7th consecutive year they have reached the 20 win plateau - but also clinches a first round bye in AUS playoffs. They maintain their 2 point advantage over the Acadia Axemen for top spot in the conference.

- UNB got out to a great start in this one, a stark contrast to the previous couple of games. Philippe Halley (Willick, Thomas) picked up where he left off from last night when he beat Huskies goalie Anthony Peters at 3:52 and then Matt Petgrave (Culligan, Maillet) jumped into the rush, streaked down the left side, and swiped a cross-ice pass into the net only 45 seconds later. However, instead of packing it in, the Huskies responded in a big way as they scored goals at 6:54 (Tanaka), 9:34 (Bloodoff), 10:48 (Grant), and 18:41 (D'Orazio). They would take a 4-2 lead into the break, having out-shot the home side 13-12 in the period.

- The V-Reds pulled back within a goal just 3:36 into the 2nd period when Nick MacNeil (Braes, Cutting) was able to poke-check a loose puck in while on a delayed penalty. They were able to draw even just over 6 minutes later when Philippe Maillet (Culligan, Halley) got a step on the defenceman, received a pass on the tape, and beat Peters 5-hole on a semi-breakaway. The Varsity Reds would then take the lead and add some insurance on two of the strangest plays you will ever see. First, Halley (Maillet, Culligan) deked around Peters and was just about to backhand the puck into a wide-open net when a SMU player deliberately knocked the net of its moorings before the puck crossed the line. The referee signaled goal on the play, giving UNB a 5-4 lead at 11:19. Then, at 13:56, Cameron Critchlow was hooked while on a breakaway and Taylor MacDougall was called for goaltender interference on the ensuing delayed penalty. The play resulted in a penalty shot for Critchlow and a power play for Saint Mary's and both would take advantage. Critchlow gave the V-Reds a 6-4 lead as he converted the penalty shot, only to see the Huskies respond just 53 seconds later on the man advantage. That would cap the scoring in a period in which UNB out-shot Saint Mary's 15-11.

- There was no scoring in the 3rd period despite each team having a number of good chances. UNB had one power play while Saint Mary's received three, including one with 21 seconds remaining in the game. The Huskies pulled their goalie to give them a 6-on-4 and won the ensuing face-off, but a diving block by Maillet off of a slap-shot from the point capped the victory. Shots favoured UNB 13-5 in the period and 40-29 in the game.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night with Tyler Carroll and Shea Kewin remaining out and Tim Priamo moving up from defence to play forward.

- UNB went 0 for 3 on the power play while Saint Mary's was 1 for 7.

- Joel Vienneau started, and won, his 3rd consecutive game.

-  Critchlow, Halley, and Cory Tanaka from Saint Mary's were named the game's three stars.

- UNB went 36 for 69 in the face-off circle. 

- Attendance was 2057.

- With his 2nd period assist Cam Braes has now picked up a point in 10 straight games. He has 5 goals and 10 assists during that stretch.

- Philippe Maillet now has points in 6 straight games (6 goals, 6 assist) and 13 out of his last 14 (12 goals, 13 assists).  

- UNB is the 3rd team in the country to reach 20 wins this season, joining Calgary (20-2-2) and Alberta (20-2-1). 

- This is the 5th consecutive season the Varsity Reds have had a winning streak of at least 9 games (regular season + playoff games only).

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight seen Acadia rebound with a 8-3 win over St. Thomas in Wolfville, Dalhouise shock UPEI 7-3 in Halifax, and Moncton remain hot with a 4-2 home win over St. FX.

- With each team having played 24 games this is how the AUS standings look heading into the final two weekends of the season: UNB - 41 points (20-3-1), Acadia - 39 (18-3-3), Moncton - 32 (16-8-0), UPEI - 27 (12-9-3), St. FX - 23 (10-11-3), Saint Mary's - 22 (11-13-0), Saint Thomas - 14 (6-16-2), and Dalhousie - 7 (3-20-1). So, Acadia has almost clinched the other first round bye, Moncton is looking in good shape to finish 3rd, as is UPEI for 4th, St. FX and Saint Mary's are probably going to come down to the wire to decide 5th and 6th, and St. Thomas and Dalhousie are (or almost are) eliminated from playoff contention.

- The Varsity Reds are back in action next Friday night when they travel up the hill to the Grant*Harvey Centre to face the St. Thomas Tommies. They play their final home game of the regular season on Saturday night against Moncton. Both games are scheduled for 7PM.