Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maillet Named Athlete Of The Week

3rd year Varsity Reds forward Philippe Maillet is the most recent recipient of the UNB Varsity Reds/Domino's Pizza male Athlete of the Week.

Maillet, the reigning AUS scoring champion, picked up 2 goals and 4 assists in an 8-3 victory over St. Thomas last Monday before adding another 2 assists in the V-Reds 6-2 win over Dalhousie on Saturday afternoon.

The Varsity Reds will be back in action tomorrow night when they travel down to Maine to face the AHL's Portland Pirates. The game will be held at the OA Sports Center in Saco, Maine with puck drop scheduled for 8PM.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

UNB Picks Up Another Victory

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds shook off some early rust and then went on to a 6-2 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers this afternoon in Truro, Nova Scotia.

The lack of video and Live Stats for the game means all we have to go by is Twitter updates. The V-Reds received goals from 6 different players - Philippe Halley, Peter Trainor, Stephen Anderson (shorthanded), Matt Boudens, Dylan Willick, and Cameron Brace while Etienne Marcoux played the entire game in goal.

- UNB out-shot the Tigers 19-6 in the opening period, 9-4 in the 2nd, and 20-3 in the 3rd for a game total of 48-13.

- Tyler Carroll and Taylor MacDougall were both out of the line-up.

- This marks UNB's 13th straight victory over Dalhousie. They are 19-0-1 in their last 20 meetings.

- The Varsity Reds see their next game action on Thursday when they travel to Portland, Maine for a game against the AHL's Portland Pirates. They will then continue on to play the NCAA's Boston College Eagles and UMass-Lowell River Hawks on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

That time of year again

V-Reds hockey is back at the AUC in two weeks, here's a taste of things to come...

Monday, September 21, 2015

V-Reds Ride Big 1st Period To Victory

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first 17:29 of play en route to an eventual 8-3 win over their cross-campus rivals from St. Thomas tonight at the AUC.

Scoring for UNB were Philippe Maillet (from Trainor at 2:29 of 1st period), Alex Wall (Beauvillier, 3:40 of 1st), Peter Trainor on the power play (Maillet and Halley, 9:39 of 1st), Cameron Brace on the power play (Maillet and Halley, 10:50 of 1st), Philippe Halley on the power play (Maillet and Wall, 17:29 of the 1st), Brace with his 2nd of the night while shorthanded (unassisted at 14:53 of the 2nd period), Matt Boudens (Maillet and Suellentrop, 14:04 of the 3rd period), and Maillet with his 2nd goal and 6th point of the game while on the power play (Brace and Suellentrop, 17:05 of the 3rd).

- Shots in the game were 39-23 for UNB.

- Alex Dubeau went the distance in goal, making 20 saves to earn the win.

- Tyler Carroll (injury), Mike Thomas (eligibility), and Jordan Murray (suspension due to game misconduct on Friday) were all out of the line-up. As a result UNB only dressed 17 skaters.

- Colin Suellentrop was a assessed a misconduct for checking form behind late in the 2nd period. This put UNB down to 4 defenceman for 10 minutes.

- UNB was 4 for 9 on the power play. STU was 2 for 7.

- UNB won 40 out of the 63 face-offs.

- 6 V-Reds had multi-point efforts tonight - Maillet (6 points), Brace (3), Halley (3), Wall (2), Trainor (2), and Suellentrop (2).

- Brace led the way with 6 shots on goal.

- Attendance was 1557.

- The Tommies had a goal waved off at the end of the 1st period as the puck crossed the line just moments after the period ended.

- UNB is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Truro, Nova Scotia for a rare afternoon game against the Dalhousie Tigers. Game time is 2PM.

Friday, September 18, 2015

V-Reds Continue Dominance Over Redmen

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds got their season off to a strong start with a 6-3 victory over the OUA's McGill Redmen tonight at the AUC. UNB improves to 9-1 all-time against McGill, including a 7-0 mark under head coach Gardiner MacDougall.

The game got off to a good start for the V-Reds as they struck for a shorthanded goal just 3:13 into the contest when Dylan Willick found Rob Mignardi for a tip-in while crashing the net. Just under 10 minutes later the special teams came through again, this time on the power play, when Peter Trainor (Murray, Maillet) fired a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Redmen goaltender Karel St. Laurent. McGill would cut the deficit back to one at 15:40 with a goal just 4 seconds into a two man advantage. The period would end with UNB holding a 2-1 lead and out-shooting McGill 10-9.

The 2nd period proved to be the most eventful of the evening. Philippe Halley (Maillet, Suellentrop) restored the two goal lead at 11:37 when his shot fluttered over the glove of St. Laurent and just 78 seconds later Chris Caissy (Mignardi, Suellentrop) sniped a shot into the top corner for a 4-1 lead. The Redmen were able to gain some momentum after Jordan Murray was assessed a 5 minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head at 13:17, converting at 14:44 to make it a 4-2 game. However, the momentum was short-lived as a penalty wiped out the remaining 1:15 of the major and just 24 seconds into the 4-on-4 Alex Wall (Gazzola, MacDougall) made it 5-2 with a goal off the rush. The Varsity Reds would take a 5-2 lead into the final period after out-shooting McGill 13-8 in the frame.

The 3rd period was UNB's best of the night as they held a 14-5 advantage in shots on goal and controlled the majority of play. Despite this it was the Redmen who scored at 4:55 of the period to make it a 5-3 game. That score would hold up until there were only 12 seconds remaining in the game. While on the power play Randy Gazzola found Taylor MacDougall skating through the slot with a pass that the 5th year veteran tipped into the top corner. Rookie Stephen Anderson picked up his first career point on the play with the secondary assist. The shots in the game favoured UNB 37-22.

- Etienne Marcoux played the first half of the game and surrendered one goal. Alex Dubeau allowed two goals during his half of play.

- The jersey numbers for the rookies who player were: Marcoux (#93), Dubeau (#31), Anderson (#10), and Marcus MacIvor (#79).

- Tyler Carroll did not dress tonight as he is still recovering from shoulder surgery in May. Mike Thomas is not eligible to play until after Christmas.

- McGill dressed 21 skaters while UNB played 18. Among those 21 players that played for the Redmen were two that would be familiar to AUS fans - former Acadia Axemen Liam Heelis and former St. Thomas Tommie Jonathan Bonneau.

- Peter Trainor seemed to get the first crack at replacing Dana Fraser on the top line playing with Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley. That combination began the game and seen plenty of time together.

- Whether by coincidence or not it seemed the Redmen found themselves in a number of scrums with UNB's francophone players - most notably Maillet and Francis Beauvillier.

- This is UNB's 15th straight exhibition victory over a CIS team.

- It is their 30th consecutive exhibition win against OUA competition.

- It is also their 36th straight home exhibition win over CIS competition.

- Attendance was 1405 on what is a busy night in Fredericton with all three high school football teams playing home games, game 5 of the senior baseball finals, and Harvest Jazz and Blues all taking place this evening.

- In other AUS action tonight St. Mary's beat Dalhousie 6-1 and Moncton defeated St. FX 5-1.

- The Varsity Reds are back in action on Monday night for their 2nd, and final, home exhibition game when they host the St. Thomas Tommies. Game time is 7PM.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hockey Is Back!

The off-season will officially come to an end tomorrow night when the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds host the OUA's McGill Redmen at the AUC. Puck drop is scheduled for the usual 7PM.

This will be the first time since 2006 the V-Reds have opened their exhibition schedule at home and they will be welcoming a familiar out of conference opponent in the Redmen. It will mark the 10th meeting all-time between the two storied programs - and 6th since 2009 - with UNB winning 8 out of the first 9 match-ups, including the last 6 in a row, and out-scoring McGill 51-22 in the process.

The last time these two played was in pre-season play in 2012 when UNB traveled to Montreal and knocked off the Redmen by a 7-2 score. Of course, the Varsity Reds claimed their 4th University Cup with a 4-0 victory over McGill at the AUC in 2011.

McGill is coming off of another outstanding year as they went 21-5-0 last year, scored twice as many goals as they allowed (102-51), and were ranked in the CIS top ten for the majority of the season. Their season came to a disappointing end, however, as they were swept 2 games to 0 against UQTR in the OUA East Finals and then lost 2-1 in OT to Windsor in the OUA bronze medal game, denying them a 2nd consecutive trip to the University Cup.

UNB has had remarkable success in recent years against CIS teams in exhibition play, especially at home. Here are some numbers:

- The V-Reds have won 38 straight exhibition games as the home team against CIS competition. 35 of these have come at the AUC with 3 games played at a neutral site. Their last loss was a 4-3 shootout loss to Saint Mary's on December 31st, 2005.

- They have currently won 14 straight exhibition games against CIS competition.

The Varsity Reds have also fared quite well against teams from the OUA:

- UNB has won 12 straight games overall (exhibition + nationals) against OUA competition, dating back to a 3-2 loss to Western at the 2012 University Cup.

- They have won 29 straight exhibition games against OUA teams, dating back to a 5-4 shootout loss to Lakehead in 2004.

- The V-Reds have won 27 straight exhibition games at home against OUA teams, dating to 1995.

- They have rattled off 23 straight wins overall against OUA East teams since losing 3-2 to UQTR in the 2003 University Cup in Fredericton.

With information from the indispensable RedSea Database

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Toronto Also Bids For University Cup

It will be a showdown between the Varsity Reds and Varsity Blues for the right to host the 2017 and 2018 University Cups.

The CIS announced today the schools that bid on a number of future national championships and, perhaps surprisingly, only two schools bid for the 2017 and 2018 men's hockey championships - UNB, which was confirmed yesterday by AD John Richard, and the University of Toronto.

This will be an interesting decision by the CIS. Two of the biggest factors the committee takes into consideration when awarding this championship is the ability to attract large crowds as well as field a competitive team. Based on that criteria the decision would seem to be a no-brainer as the Varsity Reds are annually among the top teams in the country both on the ice and at the box office. The CIS will also undoubtedly take into consideration the fact UNB has hosted 4 highly successful University Cup tournaments since 2003. By contrast, the Varsity Blues are coming off of a fairly typical year based on their recent history as they skated to a 13-13-1 record and 5th place finish in the OUA West division. They played in front of an average of only 386 fans per game last year.

However, what will make this interesting is what the CIS prioritizes. Will they award the tournament to a "sure bet" in UNB, even though they just hosted in 2011 and 2012. They know that placing the tournament in Fredericton is guaranteed to draw huge crowds, which will look good on television, but it would also mean an AUS team would host for four consecutive years with Halifax doing the honours last year and this year so perhaps they might think that is a bit unfair.

We also know the CIS is always looking to grow the game which might make the Varsity Blues bid an intriguing option. Would they take a chance on hosting one of their premier events in Toronto in an effort to give CIS hockey some exposure in the country's biggest market? Toronto hasn't hosted the tournament since finishing up a 10 year run in 1997 so they are certainly more "due" to host it than UNB, but traditionally CIS hockey doesn't receive the support in that part of the country like it does in the Maritimes. Additionally, the Varsity Blues haven't been a national contender in quite some time. There is no doubt Toronto would be a much riskier option for the CIS.

The selection committee will review the bids and the winner will be announced by mid-October. In the meantime, let the debate begin.

Monday, September 14, 2015

UNB Bids For 2017 and 2018 University Cup

The Daily Gleaner's Bill Hunt has revealed (subscription required) that UNB has submitted a bid to host both the 2017 and 2018 University Cups.

According to athletics director John Richard the V-Reds weren't 100% sure they were going to bid this time around. However, while at the CIS annual general meeting Richard said "the two things I heard were at the top of the agenda were full buildings and competitive host teams." Obviously UNB can stack up against any school with regards to those two criteria as they are an annual championship contender while also being near the top of the CIS in average attendance every year. In fact, in each of the four previous University Cups UNB has hosted (2003-2004, 2011-2012) they have never had to sell single game tickets, selling out each tournament just from tournament packages alone.

The tournament is expected to continue under the new 8 team, single elimination format.

The winning bid is expected to be announced in early October.

The 2016 University Cup will once again be held in Halifax, taking place from March 17th to 20th.

Fraser Signs ECHL Contract

The Adirondack Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, have signed former Varsity Red centre Dana Fraser the team has reported.

Fraser had a short, yet productive, stint with the Varsity Reds. After playing his first four years at UPEI Fraser joined UNB for the 2nd half of last season and made an immediate impact, helping stabilizing the first line playing between Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley. He put up 10 goals and 4 assists in only 12 regular season games before adding another 7 points in 7 playoff games.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hockey Is Back In One Week

The Varsity Reds will hit the ice for the first time this season next Friday night when they host the McGill Redmen at the AUC.

Get excited folks, hockey is almost here...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pirates Officially Announce Game Against UNB

Although it had been speculated, the AHL's Portland Pirates officially announced the addition of an exhibition game against the Varsity Reds to their schedule in a press release yesterday. The game is slated to be played on Thursday, October 1st at the OA Sports Center in Saco, Maine. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM and admission is free.

This is the 3rd time in 4 years, and 4th time overall, the V-Reds and Pirates will play. While UNB has more than held their own against Portland in their previous match-ups, they have never emerged victorious, losing 4-2 in 2009, 2-1 in a shootout in 2012, and 4-0 in 2013.

The Pirates are entering their first season as the top affiliate of the NHL's Florida Panthers.