Tuesday, December 6, 2016

News And Notes: Top Ten, Pete Kelly Cup, Maillet, Murray, And More

After a 10 day vacation there is a lot of news to catch up on:

- The final U Sports men's hockey top ten rankings of the year were released today and once again the Varsity Reds are in the top spot. UNB received 12 out of 15 first place votes to take top billing for the 8th consecutive week. The Saskatchewan Huskies, fresh off a two game sweep of rival Alberta, received two first place votes to move up to 2nd. The Ryerson Rams picked up the other first place vote and are ranked 3rd, their highest ranking in program history. The Alberta Golden Bears and Mount Royal Cougars - up four spots - round out the top five. McGill, Acadia, Queen's, St. FX - down four spots - and UQTR make up the rest of the top ten.

- The York Lions of the OUA West division have been named as the opponent for the upcoming 13th annual Pete Kelly Cup. The Lions currently sit in 2nd place in their division with an 11-5-2 record and sport the 3rd best GAA in the country at 2.11. This should prove to be an intriguing match-up as the V-Reds have far and away the most explosive offense in the country, lighting the lamp 5.33 times per game.

The two game series is scheduled for Thursday, December 29th and Friday, December 30th at the AUC. Both games begin at 7PM.

UNB and York have played once previously. The two teams met in December of 2003 at the Lakehead Bell Cup with the V-Reds emerging with a 9-1 victory.

- It was quite a week for forward Philippe Maillet. Not only was the 4th year veteran awarded the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship prior to Saturday's game, but he has also been named both the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza Athlete of the Week and the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week. After going scoreless in back to back games the previous weekend, Maillet was back to his dominant self this past weekend as he registered 2 goals and an assist in Friday's 8-3 win over Saint Mary's and then added another 2 goals and 2 assists in UNB's 5-2 victory over Acadia the next night.

Maillet has put together yet another outstanding season thus far. He currently ranks 2nd in the AUS in goals (14), 3rd in assists (18), 2nd in point (32), 1st in +/- (+20),  1st in power play goals (9), and 3rd in shots on goal (70) while playing in all 18 games.

- The good news kept coming for Maillet as he, along with teammate Jordan Murray, have been named to the U Sports all-star team that will face the Team Canada Junior Team prospects. The two game series will take place in Blaineville-Boisbriand on Monday, December 12th at 7PM EST and Tuesday, December 13th at 1PM EST.

Murray, the reigning U Sports Defenseman of the Year, has elevated his game even further this year as he currently leads the country in scoring amongst defencemen with 9 goals and 19 assists in 18 games. His 29 points put him 5th overall in the country in scoring.

The 23 man roster consists of 11 players from the OUA and 6 each from Canada West and the AUS. Other players representing the AUS include goaltender Corbin Boes from Dalhousie, forwards Allain Saulnier from Moncton and Holden Cook from St. FX, and defenceman Geoff Schemitsch from Acadia.

Last season the teams split their two games. The U Sports all-start team won the first game 5-4 in a shootout before Team Canada rebounded with a 5-0 victory.

- Victor Findlay has posted his latest Tuesday Morning Skate.