Saturday, January 31, 2015

Undermanned V-Reds Hold Off Tigers

Despite playing much of the game with only 15 skaters - and more than 10 minutes with only 13, including 3 defencemen - the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were able to pull out a 4-2 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds are now 21-3-2 on the year and 5 points clear of the Acadia Axemen, who had their game tonight in Moncton postponed.

The Varsity Reds seemed well on their way to a comfortable win as they built a 3-0 lead late in the 2nd period. Colin Suellentrop with his 1st of the season (from Beauvillier, Robertson at 7:43 of the 1st period) just 5 seconds after UNB failed to score on a 5 minute power play (which included a two minute 5-on-3), Dana Fraser (on the power play from Maillet, Brace at 8:58 of the 1st), and Cameron Brace (Trainor, Gazzola at 13:56 of the 2nd period) all lit the lamp for the V-Reds. However, UNB ran into penalty trouble late in the 2nd period when a scrum after the whistle led to three penalties (and two 10-minute misconducts) for the V-Reds and only one penalty for Dalhousie. UNB almost killed off the two man disadvantage, but the Tigers got on the board with 5 seconds left in the power play, cutting the lead to 3-1 at 18:09. They continued pushing and stunned the crowd when they scored again with only 8 seconds left in the period. All of a sudden what looked like an easy UNB win was going to come down to the wire.

Both teams had some good chances in the final period, including a Tigers power play in the early going. It wasn't until 16:51 when UNB and their fans could breathe a little easier thanks to Philippe Halley's (Robertson), who fired a shot from the top of the face-off circle, through traffic, and into the top right corner to give the V-Reds a 4-2 lead. The Tigers pulled their goalie late to no avail.

- Tyler Carroll, Taylor MacDougall, and R.D. Chisholm all remained out of the line-up. Matt Petgrave and Jordan Murray were both out as well. Cam Braes left the game early in the 1st period after being checked from behind into the boards (which gave UNB the 5-minute power play) and never returned. To make matters even worse, Adrian Robertson and Philippe Maillet were both given 10-minute misconducts during the late 2nd period scrum. This meant that UNB started the game with 12 forwards and only 4 defencemen, played most of the game with 11 forwards and 4 defenceman due to the Braes injury, and played a 10 minute stretch between the 2nd and 3rd periods with only 10 forwards and 3 defenceman due to the misconducts.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 34-17 with period totals of 12-4, 13-9, and 9-4.

- Chris Carrozzi got the start in net for UNB and improved his record to 4-0-0.

- Suellentrop, Halley, and Tigers goalie Corbin Boes were the game's three stars.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play. Dalhousie was 1 for 5.

- The V-Reds won 32 out of the 49 face-offs in the game. Dylan Willick (10 out of 14) and Dana Fraser (13 out of 21) were the two standouts.

- The announced attendance was 3530 on Home Depot Night and North Side Elementary School Night. The actual attendance was much lower as many people no doubt stayed home due to the bad weather and road conditions.

- UNB has won 16 straight home games and 12 straight overall versus the Tigers.

- With their victory last night the V-Reds secured a 1st round playoff bye for the 9th straight year.

- UNB is 11-1-1 at home so far this year, the 8th straight year they have had at least that many wins on home ice.

- In other action around the AUS tonight Saint Mary's beat St. Thomas 7-1 in Halifax and UPEI picked up a big 4-1 road victory over St. FX. The Acadia/Moncton game was postponed until tomorrow afternoon due to the weather. A Moncton win in regulation would clinch 1st place for the V-Reds.

- The V-Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus in their final regular season home game of the year. Game time is 7PM.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Gazzola Lifts V-Reds In OT

Defenceman Randy Gazzola played the role of hero tonight at the AUC as his goal 1:58 into overtime gave the conference-leading V-Reds a thrilling 2-1 victory over the 2nd place Acadia Axemen. The win was a small measure of revenge for the Varsity Reds as they had lost their first three contests of the year against the Axemen, including two in extra time. UNB improves to 20-3-2 on the year and now sit three points up on Acadia with three games remaining.

The game did not have much flow to it for the first 40 minutes as it was marred by a number of penalties - 15 in all. Amazingly, neither team could take advantage of the numerous opportunities, which included 5 straight minutes of power play time in the 1st period for Acadia, a full minute of 5-on-3 play for UNB shortly afterwards, and a 5 minute major penalty to the Axemen in the early stages of the 2nd period. In many instances the shorthanded team was able to generate the better chances.

The teams did trade goals in the first two periods though, with defenceman Jordan Murray (unassisted) staking UNB to a 1-0 lead at 15:01 of the 1st period after he deftly stickhandled around an Axemen defender at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone and threw what seemed to be a harmless looking wrist shot towards the net that caught Axemen goalie Brandon Glover off guard. The V-Reds took the lead into the intermission, despite being out-shot 9-8.

Acadia managed to tie the game just 1:28 into the 2nd period when forward Mike Cazzola swooped into the slot to pick up a loose puck and quickly snapped it by David Shantz in the UNB net. The V-Reds held a 12-5 shot advantage in the period but the teams remained tied 1-1 after two.

UNB controlled play for the most part in the 3rd period, out-shooting Acadia 9-2, but were unable to find the go-ahead goal. Again, both teams failed to take advantage of their power play opportunities - the V-Reds with 9 minutes left, the Axemen with 5:11 left, and UNB again with 1:34 left that carried over into overtime.

Acadia managed to kill off the remaining 26 seconds of shorthanded time to begin the extra session and both teams began to open things up. The V-Reds were finally able to end the game on a bit of a scrambly play at 1:58 when Gazzola (Halley, Critchlow) stepped into a puck that had squirted out towards the blue line. His slap shot just made it past a sprawling Glover, who was trying to recover after being taken out of position from a play in front of the net moments earlier. Shots favoured Acadia 2-1 in the overtime, but UNB held a 30-18 advantage in overall.

- Alex Wall returned to the line-up, replacing R.D. Chisholm on defence. Tyler Carroll and Taylor MacDougall remained out due to upper body injuries.

- Gazzola, Murray, and Cazzola were the game's three stars.

- UNB was 0 for 8 on the powerplay while Acadia was 0 for 7.

- Matt Petgrave (arguing with a referee) and the Axemen's Remy Giftopoulos (contact to the head) received game misconducts.

- UNB only won 25 out of 55 face-offs in the game.

- Attendance was a solid 2538.

- The victory allowed UNB to avoid being swept in a season series for the first time since Saint Mary's did it during the 2004-2005 season.

- Tonight's win was the V-Reds 20th of the season. This is the 8th straight year they have reached that milestone.

- Philippe Maillet seen his 17 game scoring streak come to an end. He still owns a two point lead in the conference scoring race.

- In other games around the league tonight all of the home teams emerged victorious - Moncton beat Dalhousie 4-2, St. FX blanked St. Thomas 4-0, and Saint Mary's rolled over UPEI 5-1.

- Tomorrow night the V-Reds are back in action when they host the Dalhousie Tigers at the AUC. It is Home Depot Night as well as North Side Elementary School Night. Game time is the usual 7PM.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

UNB Moves Back Into 1st Place

In a game that was similar to last Friday's tilt against Dalhousie, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds gave up an early goal and then proceeded to dominate the rest of the game as they beat the visiting St. Thomas Tommies 6-1 tonight at the AUC in the 23rd Annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. The V-Reds are now 19-3-2 on the season and sit two points ahead of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen.

Despite controlling play to begin the game it was UNB falling behind just 2:34 into the contest when the Tommies converted on just their 2nd shot of the night. However, it was all UNB after that. At 6:05 Philippe Halley (Maillet, Fraser) broke free from the defense at the Tommies blue line and went in all alone for a breakaway goal and then at 14:22, while on the power play, Peter Trainor's cross-crease pass attempt hit a defender in front and deflected in. Rob Mignardi and Adrian Robertson received the helpers on the play. That was it for scoring in the 1st period as UNB out-shot the Tommies 9-5.

The 2nd period was the most lopsided of the game with UNB firing 18 out of the 21 shots in the period and scoring two more goals. Just 43 seconds into the period Dana Fraser (Beavillier, Gazzola) drove to the left post and converted a nice cross-ice pass from Randy Gazzola. The V-Reds were finally able to make it 4-1 at 18:00 after Tommies goalie Philippe Trudeau stood on his head on back-to-back UNB power plays. This time it was Maillet (Halley, Fraser) taking a pass from Halley while streaking through the neutral zone, beat a defender wide, cut in front of the net, and deposited a backhanded shot past Trudeau.

The 3rd period seen a constant parade of Tommies to the penalty box and their frustration became increasingly evident as the period moved along. The V-Reds received 5 straight power plays in the period, scoring on two of them. At 9:51 Fraser was camped out down low to the left of the Tommies goal and took a nice slap-pass from the blue line from Jordan Murray. Fraser had enough time and space to come out front and put a backhander in the top right corner, giving UNB a 5-1 advantage. Cameron Brace picked up the secondary assist on the goal. Cam Braes (Petgrave, Suellentrop) rounded out the scoring at 14:15 when he tipped a low point shot from Matt Petgrave off the post and in. Shots favoured UNB 10-7 in the period and 37-15 in the game.

- Tyler Carroll, Taylor MacDougall, and Alex Wall all remained out due to injury.

- Before the game David Shantz and Tyler Carroll were name co-winners of the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship.

- Shantz stopped 14 out 15 shots in the game as he picked up his conference-leading 16th win of the season. He has only allowed 7 goals in 6 games since the Christmas break.

- The top line of Fraser, Maillet, and Halley were named the game's three stars.

- Attendance was a rather disappointing 1818.

- Maillet extended his scoring streak to 17 conference games (19 games overall). He has amassed 10 goals and 22 assists in that time and now holds a 3 point lead in the scoring race. His 13 goals and 23 assists rank 3rd and 1st in the conference, respectively.

- Fraser has 9 goals and 3 assists in his first 8 games as a V-Red.

- UNB dominated in the face-off circle, winning 37 out of 56 draws. Dylan Willick (10 out of 14) once again led the way.

- UNB was 3 for 9 on the power play while STU was 0 for 2.

- The Tommies accumulated 82 out of the 100 penalty minutes in the game.

- The V-Reds have won 12 straight Mark Jeffrey Memorial Games.

- UNB swept the season series against St. Thomas for the 7th time in 8 years. They out-scored the Tommies 25-11 in the four match-ups this season.

- Moncton defeated UPEI 4-2 on home ice in the only other game this evening.

- Next up for the V-Reds is the biggest game of the season, and arguably one of their biggest regular season home games in quite some time. The 2nd place Acadia Axemen, who are only two points behind the V-Reds and hold the tie-breaker, come into town for a 1st place battle. Puck drop is 7PM.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Winning Streak Ends

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds had their 10 game winning streak snapped tonight as they fell 4-1 to the Acadia Axemen tonight in Wolfville. The V-Reds are now 18-3-2 on the season and tied with Acadia for 1st place in the conference, although they have a game in hand. The Axemen have beaten UNB all three times the two teams have met this year, meaning they hold the tie-breaker should there be a tie.

The V-Reds had a good first period as they out-shot the Axemen 8-5 and scored the lone goal (Cam Braes from Maillet and Brace on the power play at 5:30), but they were completely shutdown and outplayed for the final two periods. Acadia scored twice in the 2nd period and twice more late in the 3rd (including an empty netter) while holding a 20-11 shot advantage over the final 40 minutes. UNB had a difficult time generating much in terms of offense, and if not for some big saves by David Shantz the score could have been much worse.

UNB has now lost 5 out of their last 7 games in Wolfville and 7 out of their last 11 games overall against Acadia.

The V-Reds will make up their game in hand on the Axemen when they face St. Thomas on Wednesday night at the AUC, the beginning of 4 straight home games in 8 days for UNB. Game time is 7PM.


Friday, January 23, 2015

V-Reds Take Care Of Business

The Dalhousie Tigers scored the first and final goals of the game, but it was all UNB in between as the Varsity Reds cruised to a 7-2 road victory tonight in Halifax. The V-Reds 10th straight win improves their record to 18-2-2 on the season and ensures a two point lead over the 2nd place Acadia Axemen heading into their showdown tomorrow evening in Wolfville.

The game did not start well for the V-Reds as they found themselves shorthanded only 36 seconds into the game and behind 1-0 just 9 seconds after that. After that they managed to get some nice chances, but Tigers goalie Corbin Boes, who entered the game with one of the best save percentages in the AUS, turned them away and it quickly began to look like it was going to be one of those patented UNB games where the opposition goalie stands on his head to steal the game. However, at 6:28 Dana Fraser (Suellentrop) tied the game and the V-Reds didn't take their foot off the gas until the 3rd period. They stretched the lead to 3-1 by the end of the period thanks to markers by Cam Braes (from Boudens at 9:15) and Philippe Maillet (from Halley at 14:56). Shots in the period were 16-7 for UNB.

The Varsity Reds quickly put the game away in the middle period, scoring four unanswered goals in the first 12:46 of the frame and outshooting the Tigers 18-4. The goal came from Alex Wall (at 1:14 assisted Critchlow and Suellentrop), Maillet (from Murray and Boudens at 4:41), Fraser (Maillet and Halley at 6:55), and Peter Trainor (Robertson and Wall at 12:46).

The Tigers rounded out the scoring in the 3rd period with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 12:06. Shots favoured UNB 12-9 in the period and 46-20 in the game.

- Matt Boudens returned to the line-up while Tyler Carroll (upper body injury), Taylor MacDougall (upper body injury), and Matt Petgrave were out.

- Chris Carrozzi stopped 18 out of 20 shots in picking up his 3rd win of the season. He had recorded shutouts in each of his previous two games.

- UNB won 41 out of 64 face-offs. Dylan Willick, Fraser, and Braes were all over 68% in the game.

- If there was one negative from the game it was the V-Reds special teams. They went 0 for 3 on the power play and are now scoreless in their last 18 opportunities and just 1 for their last 24. They also surrendered 2 power play goals on 5 chances. Perhaps more concerning, though, is that they were forced to kill off a 5-on-3 disadvantage for the 5th time in their last 6 games.

- Attendance was 110.

- Every skater had a + rating, except for Francis Beauvillier who was even.

- UNB has outscored the opposition 27-5 in 6 games since the Christmas break.

- This is the 2nd straight year, and 5th year in the last 8, that the V-Reds have had a winning streak of at least 10 games. They won 13 in a row last year, 10 in a row in 2010/11, 26 in a row in 2009/10, and had streaks of 11 and 14 in a row in 2007/08.

- UNB has had at least one winning streak of 7 games in each season since 2007/08.

- Maillet has scored 9 points in his last 3 games and now has 9 goals and 19 assists and is a +22 during his 15 game point streak. He is tied with Acadia's Brett Thompson for the conference scoring lead.

- Fraser has 7 goals in his first 6 games as a V-Red.

- In other AUS action St. FX topped UPEI 5-1 in Charlottetown, Acadia kept pace with a 6-4 home victory over Moncton, and in Fredericton St. Thomas pushed Saint Mary's to a shootout before eventually falling 6-5.

- The V-Reds travel to Wolfville tonight to face the 2nd place Acadia Axemen in their biggest game of the season thus far. Game time is 7PM and you can watch online at www.AUStv.ca.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Accolades Continue For Shantz

The recognition keeps coming in for Varsity Reds goaltender David Shantz. After being named the UNB male Athlete of the Week earlier this week Shantz has been named both the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week as well as the CIS male Athlete of the Week.

Shantz had a stellar week for the V-Reds, going 3-0-0 with a 0.67 GAA and 0.973 save percentage as UNB strengthened their hold on 1st place.

As far as we can tell this is the first time a Varsity Red hockey player has been honoured as the CIS male Athlete of the Week since Hunter Tremblay took home the honours in the fall of 2009.

CIS Top Ten (#13): Top Three Unchanged

For the 4th consecutive week the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds are ranked 2nd in the country, according to the latest CIS men's hockey rankings released yesterday.

Despite going 3-0-0 this past week, including quality wins over Saint Mary's and St. FX, the V-Reds did not gain any ground on the defending champion Alberta Golden Bears, who are ranked number one for the 13th time in as many polls this year. Alberta once again received all 16 first place votes with UNB garnering all 16 2nd place nods. 

Acadia (#3) and Saint Mary's (#7) were the other AUS teams to make the rankings, with St. FX also receiving votes.

UNB and Acadia, who fell 4-3 in OT to Saint Mary's this evening, will clash in a big match-up on Saturday night in Wolfville. The V-Reds currently own a two point lead over the Axemen in the race for the top spot in the conference.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shantz Named UNB Player Of The Week

Goaltender David Shantz is the latest recipient of the UNB Varsity Reds and Dominoes Pizza male Athlete of the Week.

The native of Hamilton, Ontario had an exceptional week in leading the V-Reds to crucial wins over the St. Thomas Tommies, St. FX X-Men, and Saint Mary's Huskies, stopping 72 out of 74 shots in the process.

For the season Shantz has an AUS-leading 13 victories to go along with a 2.56 GAA and .891 save percentage.

Congratulations David!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

News And Notes: Top 10, Fraser, UQTR

A few note-worthy stories from this past week:

- The Varsity Reds received all 16 2nd place votes in the latest CIS Top 10 to remain the 2nd ranked team in the country, behind the top-ranked University of Alberta. The other AUS teams to make the cut were Acadia (#3) and Saint Mary's (#6). St. FX also received a few votes to place 12th.

- The CIS has punished UQTR and their head coach Marc-Etienne Hubert for their accusations that UNB cheated when it came to the recruitment of Francis Beauvillier. On December 17th the CIS decided to fine the school $2000. place Hubert and the school on 24 months probation, and have UQTR issue a letter of apology to UNB and the CIS. David Kilfoil has more on the situation here.  You can also read the official CIS document by following this link.

- Ryan Cooke of the Truro Daily News has a pair of articles about the newest V-Red, Dana Fraser. He talks to Fraser about his time at UPEI, his stint with Evansville of the ECHL, and the decision to join UNB. He also writes that while Fraser, who was a favourite among many Panthers fans, might not be the most popular guy at UPEI right now, you can't fault someone for deciding to pursue "a top-ranked master's degree while playing for a top-ranked hockey team."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

V-Reds Push Streak 9

For the 2nd straight night it was the top line of Dana Fraser, Philippe Halley, and Philippe Maillet doing much of the heavy lifting as the trio accounted for all of the goals in a 3-1 victory for the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds 9th consecutive win pushes their season record to 17-2-2. They maintain their 3 point lead over 2nd place Acadia, but perhaps more importantly they are now 7 points clear of Saint Mary's in the race for a 1st round playoff bye.

- After an exciting 1st period in which UNB carried an edge in play Philippe Maillet (Willick, Robertson) finally got the V-Reds on the board at 19:32 when he picked up a rebound in front of the goal, pulled the puck back and around Huskies goalie Anthony Peters, and slid it into the net. UNB out-shot SMU 14-5 in the period.

- In the 2nd period the script was flipped as it was Saint Mary's who was the better team. They held a 15-9 advantage in shots and tied the game at 8:31 while on the power play when Matt Tipoff's shot from in close squeezed through the legs of V-Reds goaltender David Shantz's. The teams would head to the 3rd tied at 1.

- The 3rd period was once again time for UNB to reassert themselves in this back and forth game, and it ultimately proved to be the difference. Just 1:25 into the period it was Philippe Halley who was the benefactor of a beautiful no-look behind the back pass from Dana Fraser at the side of the net. Fraser took the puck from Maillet at the side of the net and found Halley all alone on the opposite side for the easy tap-in. Shantz made sure the lead stood up as he made a couple big saves in a period in which the V-Reds out-shot Saint Mary's 14-8. Fraser (Maillet, Gazzola) salted the game away with a shot from centre ice that found the empty net with just 1.1 seconds left.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 37-28.

- Colin Suellentrop replaced Tyler Carroll in the line-up with R.D. Chisholm moving up to play forward. Taylor MacDougall and Matt Boudens both remained out. Francis Beauvillier also played, despite being assessed a game misconduct on Friday night that usually results in a suspension.

- SMU was 1 for 4 on the power play. UNB's recent struggles with the man advantage continued as they were scoreless on 3 opportunities. They are now 0 for 15 over their last 4 games and just 1 for 20 in 5 games since the Christmas break.

- Shantz made 27 saves in his 4th straight strong performance. UNB has only allowed 3 goals in their last 5 games.

- Maillet, Halley, and Shantz were named the game's three stars.

- Maillet had a hand in all 6 goals UNB scored this weekend with 1 goal and 5 assists. He now leads the AUS in scoring with 29 points, 1 point ahead of Acadia forward Brett Thompson.

- Fraser now has 5 goals in his first 5 games as a V-Red.

- UNB won 41 out of 71 face-offs in the game with Cam Braes (14 out of 20) and Dylan Willick (13 out of 20) leading the way.

- Attendance was 3028 on Military Appreciation Night. The V-Reds wore specially designed red and black camouflage jerseys for the occasion.

- UNB and SMU split their season series. The Huskies won 2-0 on October 25th and 4-3 at the AUC on November 14th before the V-Reds walked away with a 5-2 road win on November 21st.

- Elsewhere tonight: Acadia defeated UPEI 4-2 in Wolfville to keep pace with UNB, St. FX bounced back with a 3-2 win in Moncton, and St. Thomas dealt Dalhousie's playoff hopes a huge blow with a 6-2 win in Halifax.

- The V-Reds are on the road next weekend when they travel to Nova Scotia for the final time this regular season. On Friday night they visit Dalhousie and then on Saturday night they face Acadia in a game that could go a long way in determining 1st place. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop.

UNB Blanks X-Men

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds won their 8th consecutive game with a 3-0 victory over the visiting St. FX X-Men in a feisty and physical contest last evening at the AUC. UNB is now 16-2-2 on the season and maintain a 3 point lead over 2nd place Acadia atop the AUS standings.

- Dana Fraser opened the scoring for the 3rd time in his 4 games as a V-Red at 2:43 of the 2nd period when Philippe Maillet sent him in for a short breakaway. Philippe Halley picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

- Shortly afterwards, at 6:14 of the 2nd, the same line connected again, only this time it was Halley (Maillet, Robertson) who was in the right place at the right time when the puck bounced right to him while he was all alone at the left side of the net. He mad no mistake in firing the puck into the empty net.

- The V-Reds stretched their lead at 8:57 when Cam Braes (Maillet, Wall) took the puck down the right side, circled behind the net, and backhanded the puck through the traffic in front as well as X-Men goalie Drew Owsley.

- Shots in the game were 38-20 for the V-Reds with period totals of 9-3, 15-10, and 14-7.

- UNB used the same line-up as they did on Wednesday against St. Thomas with Colin Suellentrop, Taylor MacDougall, and Matt Boudens all sitting out.

- The V-Reds line-up might look a little different tonight though as Tyler Carroll left the game in the 2nd period and never returned, and Francis Beauvillier received a 5 minute major penalty for cross-checking an X-Men player in the face late in the 3rd period.

- Tempers boiled over late in the 3rd period as the teams combined for 5 10-minute misconducts as well as Beavillier's game misconduct. There were a total of 77 penalty minutes handed out in the last 6 minutes of the game. After everything settled down UNB played the final few minutes of the game down 4 players. 

- UNB went 0 for 3 on the power play. St. FX went 0 for 6, including a 70 second two man advantage in the 3rd period as well as spending the final 3:49 of the game on the power play due to Beauvillier's 5 minute major.

- David Shantz picked up his 1st career shutout and league-leading 13th victory of the season. UNB continues to play stingy defence as they have only allowed 2 goals in the first 4 games of teh 2nd half.

- Maillet, Shantz, and Fraser were the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 1976.

- After a slow start to his season (3 goals, 1 assist in his first 7 games), Philippe Maillet has worked his way to the top of the AUS scoring race thanks to a 13 game scoring streak (6 goals, 16 assists). 

- UNB swept the season series against St. FX. They previously won 5-2 on October 18th, 3-2 on October 31st, and 3-2 on November 22nd. It was their 5th straight win overall and 9th straight at the AUC against the X-Men.

- The V-Reds are back on the ice tonight when they host the 3rd place Saint Mary's Huskies on Military Appreciate Night. To commemorate the occasion UNB will be wearing a special red and black camouflage jersey. Game time is 7PM.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

V-Reds Pull Away From Tommies

For 40 minutes the St. Thomas Tommies gave the visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds all they could handle, but the V-Reds scored 3 goals in the final period en route to a convincing 6-1 win over their cross-campus rivals in the 188th edition of the Battle of the Hill tonight at the Grant*Harvey Centre. UNB's 7th straight win improves their record to 15-2-2 on the season, 3 points ahead of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen.

The game got off to a bit of an odd start for the V-Reds as they were assessed a delay of game penalty before the game had even begun after they took too long, in the referee's mind, getting lined up for the opening face-off. They killed off the penalty but it may have contributed to a sluggish start as they only had 4 shots on net in the first 15 minutes of the period and were having a difficult time gaining the Tommies zone. They finally broke through at 15:11 when Rob Mignardi fired a pass from behind the STU net to Dana Fraser, who was streaking down the slot unnoticed. Fraser wasted no time in snapping the puck past recently recruited Tommies goaltender Philippe Trudeau. Philippe Halley was credited with the secondary assist on the goal. The Tommies quickly responded, however, as they converted on a 2-on-1 only 40 seconds later to tie the game. UNB re-took the lead at 18:41 after Randy Gazzola took a cross-ice pass at the blue line from fellow d-man Matt Petgrave and threw a shot through traffic and onto the goal. Mignardi collected the rebound just outside the crease and took his time gaining control of the puck before sliding it softly into the net before Trudeau could get back in position. The shots in the period were 9-7 for UNB.

The early part of the 2nd period brought a scary moment for the V-Reds and their fans as Tyler Carroll got checked hard from behind and into the boards. He left the ice in visible pain and holding his arm, but he would return to for the beginning of the 3rd period. Philippe Halley also got banged up after being on the receiving end of a big hit. However, he quickly recovered. The game remained 2-1 for much of the 2nd period with the play and shots fairly even. The V-Reds were finally able to stretch their lead at 16:04 when Cam Critchlow (Maillet, Caissy) got the puck in close. His original shot was stopped, but he stayed with the rebound and fluttered a shot up and over Trudeau. That was the only goal of the period as UNB out-shot STU 12-11.

The 3rd period was all Varsity Reds as they never gave the Tommies any hope for a potential comeback, out-shooting St. Thomas 13-1 at one point on their way to a 20-8 advantage in the period. UNB received goals from Peter Trainor (assisted Wall 2:40), a shorthanded goal by Fraser (his 2nd of the night at 12:24), and Cameron Brace (at 15:47 after a pretty passing play with Carroll and Cam Braes from in tight).

- Shots in the game were 41-26.

- Taylor MacDougall and Matt Boudens remained out of the line-up with injuries. Colin Suellentrop was serving a 1 game suspension after his 5 minute major and game misconduct for checking to the head in Sunday's game.

- David Shantz was back in goal for UNB and had his 2nd straight solid game, making 25 saves to improve to 13-2-2 on the season.

- Shantz, Fraser, and Mignardi were named the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 941.

- Both teams were unsuccessful on the power play. UNB had 4 opportunities while STU had 5.

- The V-Reds won 51 out of 82 face-offs. Dylan Willick (19 out of 26) and Fraser (15 out of 22) were outstanding all evening.

- Critchlow and Adrian Robertson were both +3 in the game.

- Brace had a game-high 7 shots on goal.
 
- UNB hot 3 posts in the game. St. Thomas also hit the iron once.

- With their win against Moncton on Sunday afternoon UNB clinched a playoff berth.

- UNB is now 120-44-8 in the regular season and 12-4 in the playoffs against St. Thomas.

- In the only other AUS game tonight, the UPEI Panthers defeated Moncton 3-1 in Charlottetown.

- With each team now having played 19 games, the AUS standings currently look like this: UNB (32 points), Acadia (29), Saint Mary's (27), St. FX (25), UPEI (20), Moncton (16), Dalhousie (11), St. Thomas (5).

- Up next for the Varsity Reds is arguably their most important weekend of the regular season. They host St. FX on Friday night before welcoming St. Mary's to the AUC on Saturday night, which will also be Military Appreciation Night. Game time for both contests is scheduled for 7PM.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Carrozzi, V-Reds Shut Down Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick moved back atop the AUS standings thanks to a 5-0 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus this afternoon. The V-Reds 6th straight win improves their record to 14-2-2 on the year, one point ahead of the Acadia Axemen with one game in hand.

- UNB struck for two goals in each of the game's first two periods and a single in the final frame. Scoring for UNB were Cam Braes (from Brace and Carroll 1:36 into the game), Philippe Halley (from Braes and Brace at 11:14 of the 1st period), Alex Wall with his 1st as a V-Red (from Halley and Fraser 8:15 into the 2nd period), Francis Beauvillier (assisted by Critchlow at 13:27 of the 2nd) and Critchlow (assisted by Wall and Trainor at 14:53 of the 3rd).

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 42-32, with period totals of 12-20, 20-3, and 10-9.

- Perhaps the turning point in the game came with 5:16 remaining in the 1st period and UNB leading 2-0. V-Reds defenceman Colin Suellentrop was assessed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for checking to the head. Just over two minutes later Critchlow took a penalty, so not only did Moncton have a 5 minute power play, but two of those minutes were spent with a 5-on-3 advantage. The V-Reds penalty kill, and goaltender Chris Carrozzi especially, came up huge in killing it off despite Moncton generating 8 or 9 shots over the 5 minutes.

- Matt Petgrave returned to the line-up for UNB after sitting out Friday night due to a game misconduct he received in the final game of the 1st half against Moncton. Chris Caissy was also back in the line-up to replace Taylor MacDougall, who left Friday night's game in the 1st period and did not return. Matt Boudens and R.D. Chisholm were also out this afternoon.

- UNB was 0 for 4 on the power play while Moncton was 0 for 7.

- As mentioned, Chris Carrozzi received the start for the V-Reds today and turned in another good game. He has recorded a shut-out in both conference games he has played thus far this season.

- UNB has now given up 2 goals in their last 3 games (1 against Windsor last Sunday, 1 against UPEI on Friday, 0 today).

- Moncton won 40 out of the 77 face-offs in the game.

- Suellentrop will most likely be suspended for Wednesday's game against STU due to his game misconduct today.

- UNB continues their recent domination of the Aigles Bleus, now having won 11 straight game against their provincial rivals. They have won the three games this year by a combined score of 21-4.

- This was the only AUS game on the schedule today. Last night seen St. FX rally from a 2-0 3rd period deficit to stun Acadia 4-2 in Antigonish, Saint Mary's defeat Dalhousie 5-1 in the Battle of Halifax, and UPEI pick up a road victory by taking care of St. Thomas 6-1.

- UNB's next game will be this upcoming Wednesday night when they take on St. Thomas at the Grant*Harvey Centre in the latest installment of the Battle of the Hill. Game time is 7PM.

Friday, January 9, 2015

V-Reds Prevail In Tight Contest

UPEI Panthers goaltender Mavric Parks did all he could to steal two points for his team, but despite a number of great saves it was the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds prevailing 3-1 in what was a tight-checking game tonight at the AUC. The V-Reds 5th straight win moves them to 13-2-2 on the season, one point behind the first place Acadia Axemen, but with one game in hand.

- It didn't take long for former Panther - and new V-Red - Dana Fraser to make an impact and haunt his former team as he got the scoring started 11:46 into the game. Fraser was able to find the puck during a scramble in front of the net and slide the puck along the ice into the far side of the net. Philippe Maillet and Philippe Halley got the assists on the play as Fraser took Tyler Carroll's place on the top line, with Carroll sliding down to the 2nd line with Cam Braes and Cam Brace. That was the only goal of the period as UNB out-shot UPEI 12-6.

- It would take until late in the 2nd period for the Varsity Reds to extend their lead, even though they had some glorious chances. UNB went on a 5-on-3 power play and were able to capitalize at 16:21 when a Jordan Murray shot was deflected in front of the net by Carroll. Maillet picked up his 2nd assist of the night on the goal. However, the ensuing 5-on-4 was cut short when Fraser took a penalty, and after some 4-on-4 play the Panthers were able to cut the lead in half at 18:31 with just 1 second left on their abbreviated power play. The teams headed to the intermission with UNB holding a 2-1 lead and out-shooting UPEI 15-6 in the frame.

- The 3rd period was tense with UNB failing to convert on back to back power plays in the first half of the period and the Panthers coming up empty on a man advantage shortly afterwards. It wasn't until there were only 11 seconds left in the game, and an empty net, before the V-Reds put this one away. Maillet got the puck from Halley and fired a shot from just inside the red line and into the gaping cage for the insurance marker. The shots favoured UNB 8-7 in the period and 35-19 in the game.

- Matt Boudens, Chris Caissy, and Matt Petgrave were all scratched tonight. Taylor MacDougall left the game early in the first period and never did return, which caused the line combinations to be in a constant flux all night.

- David Shantz once again got the start in net for UNB and turned in a solid game, turning away 18 out of the 19 shots directed his way. 

- Panthers goaltender Mavric Parks, Shantz, and Maillet were named the game's three stars.

- Parks currently leads the AUS in both GAA (2.06) and save percentage (0.933).

- Attendance was 2003 as the V-Reds held their annual "Pink in the Rink" night. The face-off circles were coloured pink and the players wore pink socks for the occasion.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play. UPEI was 1 for 4.

- Fraser was wearing #27, previously worn by Tim Priamo.

- UNB dominated in the face-off circle, winning 46 out of 68 draws. Philippe Maillet was 13 for 15. Interestingly, Cam Braes, who is usually one of the team leaders in face-offs taken (along with Dylan Willick and Taylor MacDougall) only took two tonight, winning both.

- The V-Reds penalty kill came up huge early in the 2nd period when they took two penalties within 12 seconds of one another while still holding a 1-0 lead. Not only did they not give up a shot while two men down, but Dylan Willick had a breakaway and almost scored. 

- The Panthers did the crossbar twice early in the game. The V-Reds also hit a post in the 3rd period.

- Francis Beauvillier picked up a 10-minute misconduct with 7 minutes remaining in the game.

- In other action around the league tonight: Acadia scored with 1:03 remaining and held on to defeat Saint Mary's 5-4 in Wolfville, Dalhousie upset St. FX 3-2 at home despite being out-shot 40-17, and Moncton disposed of St. Thomas by a 6-3 score on home ice.

- The Varsity Reds will have tomorrow night off before traveling to Moncton for a rare Sunday afternoon game. Puck drop is scheduled for 2PM.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

AUS Veteran Fraser Joins V-Reds

In today's Daily Gleaner Bruce Hallihan confirms that former UPEI Panthers centre Dana Fraser has joined the Varsity Reds and is expected to be in the line-up for Friday night's game against his former team.

Fraser, a 5'11'', 185 pound native of Truro, Nova Scotia signed with Evansville of the ECHL over the summer after a four year stint at UPEI, but never suited up for the team due to a high ankle sprain. He decided to continue pursuing his education and will be enrolled in grad studies while using up his 5th, and final, year of eligibility.

During his four years as a Panther Fraser had 68 points (26 goals, 42 assists) in 95 games, including 48 points in 49 games over the last two seasons.

Obviously adding a proven point per game player like Fraser will only help, but it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff will fit him into the line-up, especially given how well all four lines were playing during the latter part of the first half and the two games against Windsor. Every trio (Maillet/Halley/Carroll, Braes/Boudens/Brace, Trainor/Critchlow/Willick, MacDougall/Beauvillier/Mignardi) has been very productive recently, not to mention the fact that Chris Caissy is healthy again after missing a large part of the first half and looked good in the two exhibition games. Of course, injuries usually have a way of making everything work out and both Cam Braes and Matt Boudens did sit out the 2nd game against Windsor, so perhaps they are a bit banged up and need some extra time to heal.

Although the AUS roster cap has prevented the V-Reds from carrying as many forwards as we have seen in past years, one could argue that this year's crop is the best they have had top to bottom, with any forward being capable of scoring at any time. The addition of Fraser only strengthens that depth and should help make for a great finish to the season with UNB, Acadia, and Saint Mary's all battling for the top spot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bid On Game Worn Travis Fullerton Jersey

UNB Hockey supporter and www.vredshockey.com owner, Eric Drummie, has an auction on his eBay account as a fundraiser for UNB Hockey – an authentic, game worn Travis Fullerton jersey from the 2010-2011 National Championship season.

Fullerton is undoubtedly the greatest goaltender in school history, and his 2010-2011 season was arguably one of the best any CIS goaltender has put together in recent memory. He compiled a record of 15-4-0 with a single season record 1.60 GAA, a 0.928 save percentage, and a school-record 5 shutouts during a regular season in which the V-Reds only allowed 43 goals in 28 games. He followed that up with a 6-3 record, 2.06 GAA, 0.909 save percentage, and two more shutouts in leading UNB to an AUS Championship. Finally, he capped a memorable season with a 3-0 record, 0.33 GAA, and shutouts in both the national semi-final against Western Ontario and National Championship game against McGill, backstopping the V-Reds to a gold medal on home ice - the 2nd of 3 total he won in his career.

You can view the auction and bid on the jersey here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

V-Reds Attack Too Much For Lancers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds' relentless forecheck and constant pressure was too much for the visiting Windsor Lancers to handle as the V-Reds cruised to a 7-1 victory this afternoon at the AUC. With the win UNB won the 10th annual Pete Kelly Cup Challenge for the 9th time.

- UNB held period leads of 2-0 and 5-1.

- Scoring in the game were Philippe Halley (from Maillet and Carroll 1:34 into the 1st period), Colin Suellentrop (Beauvillier, MacDougall at 2:20 of the 1st), Chris Caissy (from Gazzola and Chisholm just after a UNB penalty expired at 5:05 of the 2nd period), Cameron Critchlow (on the power play from Murray, Maillet at 10:09 of the 2nd), Taylor MacDougall (Gazzola, Beauvillier at 14:35 of the 2nd), MacDougall with his 2nd of the game (unassisted 44 seconds into the 3rd period), and Philippe Maillet (unassisted at 9:31 of the 3rd).

- The Lancers cut the score to 3-1 with a Matt Beaudoin goal at 7:21 of the 2nd period. The V-Reds were 12 seconds away from killing off a two minute 5-on-3 before Beaudoin broke in all alone to beat UNB goaltender Chris Carrozzi.

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 38-29, with period totals of 10-7, 11-15, and 17-7.

- Tyler Carroll was back in the line-up after leaving last night's game early. Cam Braes and Matt Boudens were both out though.

- Chris Carrozzi was solid in the V-Reds net, making 28 saves in a rare start.

- Chris Caissy and Lancers defenceman Julian Luciani seemed to have something going all game as they were sent off with matching penalties two different times.

- Windsor held a slight 31-28 edge in the face-off circle.

- UNB was 1 for 4 on the power play. Windsor was1 for 5.

- Attendance was 1710 as Fredericton was digging out from an overnight winter storm.

- Players of the game were Taylor MacDougall and Matt Beaudoin.

- The tournament MVP was Philippe Maillet.

- Joining Maillet on the tournament all-star team were G-Carrozzi, D-Gazzola, F-Willick, Lancers forward Spencer Pommells, and Lancers defenceman Scott Prier.

- The V-Reds are back on home ice this Friday night when they host the UPEI Panthers as the 2nd half of the conference schedule gets underway. Game time is scheduled for 7PM.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

V-Reds Nip Lancers

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds received all they could handle from the 14-2-1 Windsor Lancers out of the OUA, but a late goal allowed UNB to escape with a 6-5 win on a chilly Saturday evening at the AUC. This was the first game of the two game Pete Kelly Cup Challenge, which is in its 10th year. 

- The V-Reds trailed 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 before going up 5-3 in the 3rd period. Windsor scored two goals to even things up at 5 before the late tally to secure the win.

- Scoring for UNB were Adrian Robertson (from Caissy and Beauvillier at 10:12 of the 1st period), Tyler Carroll (on the power play from Braes and Maillet at 19:50 of the 1st), Cam Braes (on the power play from Maillet and Carroll at 13:45 of the 2nd), Cameron Brace (from Halley and Braes at 15:48 of the 2nd), Braes with his 2nd of the game (from Gazzola and Maillet early in the 3rd), and Colin Suellentrop with the game winner (from Murray with just 2:28 remaining).

- Braes was the player of the game for UNB. Lancers forward Spencer Pommells, who leads the CIS in scoring, was the player of the game for Windsor after registering 2 goals and an assist in the contest.

- Alex Wall, R.D. Chisholm, and Chris Caissy all returned to the line-up for UNB, making it the first time in a long time the V-Reds had a completely healthy roster. Of course, like usual, that didn't last very long as Tyler Carroll left the game after assisting on UNB's 3rd goal in the 2nd period and did not return to the game. Also, it did not appear Matt Boudens played the last part of the game either.

- David Shantz got the start in net.

- Shots in the game were 34-18 in favour of UNB with period total of 10-4, 12-9, and 12-5.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play while Windsor was 1 for 6.

- UNB held a slight 31-30 advantage in the face-off circle.

- The V-Reds have now won 10 straight and 37 out of their last 38 games against OUA opponents. Head coach Gardiner MacDougall is 43-2-1 all-time against teams from the OUA.

- Attendance was 1987.

- There were two conference games played tonight as Acadia doubled up Dalhousie 4-2 in Halifax and St. FX picked up a big 2-1 home win over Saint Mary's.

- The Varsity Reds and Lancers conclude their two game series tomorrow afternoon with puck drop scheduled for 2PM.