Sunday, August 23, 2015

Are Dubeau And Marcoux The Newest V-Reds Goaltenders?

After Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall confirmed last week that 5th year goaltender Chris Carrozzi would not be returning this season it meant UNB would be searching for two new goaltenders for the 3rd consecutive year. However, although nothing has been officially announced yet it is likely the two newest V-Reds goaltenders will be former Moncton Wildcat Alex Dubeau and Etienne Marcoux, who briefly played in the ECHL last year following three seasons with the Blaineville-Boisbriand Armada.

The rumours had surrounded Dubeau, who has spent the last three years with the Wildcats after starting his QMJHL career with Shawinigan  (where he helped the Cataracts win a Memorial Cup in 2012), all summer long so it was not overly surprising when he made his commitment official on Thursday with the following tweet:

The 21 year old Dubeau, a 5'11", 174 pound native of Mascouche, Quebec, completed a strong 5 year junior career this past season. After posting a 2.56 GAA and .904 save percentage in 40 games with the Cataracts in 2011-2012 he strung together three very similar seasons with the Wildcats - a 2.74 GAA and .899 save percentage in 50 games in 2012-2013, a 2.89 GAA and .909 save percentage in 59 games in 2013-2014, and a 2.99 GAA and .900 save percentage in 58 games in 2014-2015.

The potential recruitment of the 6', 167 pound Marcoux, who is also 21 years old and comes from Laval, Quebec, is a little less official and more of a strong rumour at this point. A quick glance at his Twitter profile shows his current status as "Varsity Reds #93 UNB" with his current location listed as Fredericton, NB. He has also been spotted around campus over the past week so it appears that there is a very good probability that he will be suiting up for the V-Reds for the upcoming season.

Marcoux also put together a strong QMJHL career, playing sparingly his first two seasons with the Montreal Juniors before seeing the bulk of the playing time his last three years once moving on to the Armada. His best season came in 2012-2013 when he led the league in GAA (2.14) and save percentage (.913) while being named a 2nd Team All-Star.

This past season Marcoux played 9 games between two different organizations in the ECHL, posting a 3.43 GAA and .901 save percentage in 5 games with Utah and then a 2.90 GAA and .923 save percentage in 4 games with Rapid City. Despite this professional experience Marcoux should be eligible to join the Varsity Reds right away without having to sit out for any amount of time.

After a number of years in which the Varsity Reds have opted to bring in goaltenders in their final season or two of eligibility - with mixed results - it is nice to see them target two younger players who could potentially play for 4-5 seasons each. The last time they entered the season with two young goaltenders was in 2008-2009 when the tandem of Derek Yeomans (2nd year) and Travis Fullerton (1st year) began a very successful three season stretch manning the V-Reds crease.

A potential duo of Dubeau and Marcoux is arguably the strongest the Varsity Reds have had, at least on paper, since 2013 when Dan LaCosta and Fullerton backstopped UNB to a National Championship. Most importantly, after a couple of seasons in which goaltending has perhaps been their biggest weakness, the V-Reds should now be able to match-up with anyone in the AUS - or the country for that matter, between the pipes.