Monday, April 18, 2016

Next Year

In his latest column, Bruce Hallihan of the Daily Gleaner (subscription required) talks to Gardiner MacDougall and the V-Reds head coach offers some insight into next season's roster.

The highlights:

- Forwards Tyler Carroll and Taylor MacDougall and defenceman Alex Wall have all used up their full five years of eligibility and will not be returning.

- 4th year forward Cam Braes will be returning for his 5th season.

- Forward Rob Mignardi has graduated but hopes to get accepted into UNB's law program. If he is successful he will also be back.

- Cam Critchlow plans to be back for his final season. "I'd say 90 percent. We're hosting Nationals and he's our captain. Do the math", said MacDougall.

- It sounds unlikely any former St. Thomas Tommies will be playing for UNB. MacDougall says they will be focusing on bringing in first-year players rather than a transfer student, "unless there's some significant veteran we could add to our team."

Murray Finalist For BLG Award

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defenceman Jordan Murray has been named as the AUS male nominee for the CIS BLG Award, which honours the best student-athlete in the country. The 24th annual BLG Awards will take place on May 2nd in Calgary.

One male and one female athlete from each of the four conferences that make up the CIS are up for the award. The other male nominees for the Doug Mitchell award include UQTR Patriotes hockey player Guillaume Asselin, McMaster volleyball player Stephen Maar, and Calgary football player Andrew Buckley.

It has already been a banner year for the 3rd year native of Riverview. In addition to helping UNB win the University Cup last month and being named to the all-tournament team, Murray has also been named an AUS first team all-star and CIS first team all-Canadian as well as being named the AUS top defenceman,  CIS defenceman of the year, UNB male athlete of the year, and UNB Pete Violette top defenceman.

Current V-Reds assistant coach Rob Hennigar won the award in 2008, becoming the first male hockey player to ever be honoured as well as the first UNB hockey player to be nominated. Hunter Tremblay was nominated in 2010.

You can vote for Murray here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Senior Night This Weekend

The Varsity Reds men's hockey team will be hosting their annual Senior Recognition Night and Awards Ceremony this Sunday, April 17th and 4PM at the Kingswood Lodge. UNB fans of all ages are invited to attend.

CIS Getting Pro Interest

In an article for Yahoo! Sports, Ryerson Rams commentator Victor Findlay looks at five CIS players who are getting interest from NHL teams and could potentially make the leap to the next level. Topping his list is a player that is very familiar to Varsity Reds fans. You can check out the full story here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

St. Thomas Cancels Men's Hockey Program

It's a sad day for the AUS, and more specifically the city of Fredericton, as St. Thomas University has made the tough decision to cancel their men's hockey program, the school announced earlier today. Senior administration cited the cost of running the team and the increasing competitiveness of the AUS conference as the primary reasons for their decision. The school is facing a projected operating deficit of 1.3 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and this will save them approximately $245 000 annually.

The Tommies have been part of the AUS for 29 seasons, compiling an overall record of 197-338-31-31.

How this will affect the upcoming season and schedule, which was supposed to change to a two division format and feature a 30 game regular season, is not yet known at this time.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Wall, MacDougall Turn Pro

A pair of graduating 5th year seniors signed professional contracts earlier this week as both defenseman Alex Wall and forward Taylor MacDougall inked deals with ECHL teams.

The smooth skating Wall, coming off the best offensive season of his CIS career with 5 goals an 12 assists in 27 games, has agreed to a contract with the Adirondack Thunder, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames.

Meanwhile, MacDougall has signed with Montreal's ECHL affiliate, the Brampton Beast. The hard-working centre known more for his face-off and penalty killing proficiency also posted his best numbers this past year with 7 goals and 6 assists in 27 games.

Interestingly, the Thunder and Beast are scheduled to play a pair of games against one another this weekend.