Sunday, June 14, 2015

AUS Schedule Announced

The AUS announced the 2015-2016 conference schedule earlier this week. This is what it looks like for the Varsity Reds:

Saturday, October 10th vs. UPEI
Friday, October 16th vs. St. FX
Saturday, October 17th vs. Dalhousie
Wednesday, October 21st at St. Thomas
Friday, October 30th vs. Acadia
Saturday, October 31st vs. Saint Mary's
Wednesday, November 4th vs. St. Thomas
Friday, November 6th vs. Moncton
Saturday, November 7th at UPEI
Friday, November 13th at Acadia
Saturday, November 14th at Saint Mary's
Friday, November 20th at St. FX
Saturday, November 21st at Dalhousie
Wednesday, November 25th at Moncton
Friday, November 27th vs. Moncton

Friday, January 8th vs. Dalhousie
Saturday, January 9th vs. St. FX
Friday, January 15th at Dalhousie
Saturday, January 16th at St.FX
Friday, January 22nd at Saint Mary's
Saturday, January 23rd at Acadia
Wednesday, January 27th vs. St. Thomas
Friday, January 29th vs. UPEI
Saturday, January 30th at Moncton
Friday, February 5th vs. Saint Mary's
Saturday, February 6th vs. Acadia
Wednesday, February 10th at St. Thomas
Friday, February 12th at UPEI

A few interesting notes about this year's schedule:

- For the 2nd consecutive season St. Thomas and Moncton will kick off the AUS season when they play on Thursday, October 8th in Moncton. The remaining 6 teams see their first action two days later.

- UNB plays their first 3 games, and 7 out of their first 8, at the AUC.

- Overall, the V-Reds play 15 games in the 1st half (8 home/7 away) and 13 in the 2nd half (6 home/7 away).

- For the 2nd straight season, and 6th time in 9 years, UNB plays UPEI in their season opener. Last year they won 3-2 in Charlottetown on a Cameron Critchlow OT goal.

- This is only the 2nd time in those 6 meetings in which the game will be at the AUC. UNB defeated the Panthers 10-0 to open the 2009-2019 season.

- UNB has won 4 straight season openers. Their last loss was 4-2 at UPEI to open the 2010-2011 season.

- The V-Reds have also won an amazing 26 straight home openers dating back to a 6-5 loss to Saint Mary's to kick off the 1988-1989 season.

- October 10th is tied for the earliest they have began a season since 2000. They beat UPEI 4-3 in the season opener on October 10th, 2007.

- Head coach Gardiner MacDougall is 15-0-0 all-time in home openers and 10-3-1-1 all-time in season openers.

- The V-Reds host St. FX on October 16th in their 2nd home game of the season. This will be the first meeting since UNB defeated the X-Men 6-3 in the 5th and deciding game of the AUS-semi-finals last February.

- UNB will look to extend their current 12 game home winning streak against St. FX.

- The next night they host the Dalhousie Tigers. UNB has currently won 12 straight games overall - and 16 straight at home - versus the Tigers.

- UNB's first road game is against the St. Thomas Tommies on Wednesday, October 21st. The Varsity Reds are on a 20 game winning streak on the road against the Tommies dating back to 2006.

- The other three 'Battle of the Hill' games are also on Wednesdays this year - November 4th and January 27th at the AUC and february 10th at the Grant*Harvey Centre.

- After playing STU on October 21st the V-Reds will enjoy a rare weekend off from conference play. However, they will be in action as they are scheduled to face the University of Maine in Orono on Friday, October 23rd.

- UNB will then play 4 straight home games. This means that they won't have to leave Fredericton for an AUS game until November 7th.

- The first game in that home stretch will come against the Acadia Axemen on October 30th in a rematch of last year's AUS Finals. Other games against Acadia include November 13th and January 23rd in Wolfville and February 6th at the AUC.

- The V-Reds then play the Saint Mary's Huskies the next night, on Halloween. This will be the first time UNB has played at home on Halloween night since 2003.

- UNB starts a stretch of 6 straight road games on November 7th, which is their longest "road trip" since playing 7 in a row away from the AUC between December 5th, 1982 and January 22nd, 1983.

- The first four games will represent arguably the toughest stretch of the season. They play at UPEI on November 7th, at Acadia on November 13th, at Saint Mary's on November 14th, and at St. FX.

- The V-Reds have lost 5 out of their last 7 and 8 out of their last 13 in Wolfville against the Axemen, never winning more than 2 games in a row. Further, they are only 1-5 in the last 3 seasons in conference play on the road against Acadia.

- They have also lost 8 out of their last 13 and 11 out of their last 17 on the road against Saint Mary's.

- Besides the four games against St. Thomas, the only other non-weekend game on the schedule is a game in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus on Wednesday, November 25th. UNB currently has a 13 game winning streak against Moncton.

- The V-Reds wrap up the first half with a 2nd straight game against Moncton on Friday, November 27th at the AUC. With the way these two teams usually play one another there are bound to be some fireworks in this one.

- This will be the first time UNB has played the same team in back-to-back games since doing it against Saint Mary's in October of 2103.

- It is the 2nd straight year they have closed the 1st half against Moncton. UNB won 9-2 last year.

- November 27th is the earliest end date to the 1st half since the 2005-2006 season (November 26th).

- The 2nd half of the schedule begins on January 8th when they host Dalhousie. It is the 2nd straight year and 7th time in 8 years they open the 2nd half at home.

- The V-Reds will endure another tough road stretch when they play at St. FX on January 16th, at Saint Mary's on the 22nd, and at Acadia on the 23rd.

- That is followed by 3 games in 4 days - against St. Thomas on January 27th and UPEI on January 29th at the AUC and then at Moncton on January 30th.

- The last two home games of the season - against Saint Mary's on February 5th and Acadia on February 6th - will undoubtedly go a very long way in determining playoff positioning.

- UNB has won 6 straight home finales.

- MacDougall is 12-3-0 all-time in home finales.

- The game at St. Thomas on February 10th is the latest regular season match-up between the two teams since they played on February 16th, 2007.

- The season finale is February 12th at UPEI. It is the 3rd straight year they have ended the season on the road.

- It is the 2nd straight year and 6th time in the last 13 years they have ended the season against the Panthers. UPEI beat the V-Reds 4-2 in Charlottetown in the season finale last year.

- MacDougall is 11-3-1 all-time in season finales.

- The AUS playoffs will once again feature a pair of best-of-3 quarter-finals, followed by best-of-5 semi-finals, and a best-of-3 final.

- The 2016 University Cup will be back in in Halifax. It is hosted by Saint Mary's and will run from March 16th to 20th. The AUS will have 3 berths in the tournament.

With information from the RedSea databse

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

MacDougall To Receive Prestigious Award

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall will be awarded the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence award at a ceremony tonight in Ottawa. The honour is bestowed upon those who have "made an outstanding contribution to university sport as demonstrated by long-term commitment and leadership as a coach at the local, provincial, national and/or international levels." He is the first UNB coach to be recognized since the awards inception in 2007.

In 15 seasons behind the bench at UNB MacDougall has guided the V-Reds to 6 AUS Championships, 9 University Cup Appearances, 7 CIS Championship game appearances, and 4 CIS titles. Further, he is the all-time AUS leader in regular season and playoff victories. His overall record at UNB currently stands at an impressive 448-181-20.

Long-time sports information director Jack Neumann and television reporter Marc Durand will also be honoured by the CIS Wednesday evening.