Monday, February 29, 2016

UNB Books Ticket To University Cup

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored four goals in the first 21:18 and Etienne Marcoux took care of the rest as the V-Reds swept aside the UPEI Panthers with a 4-0 victory tonight in Charlottetown to take the series 3 games to none. UNB now moves on to the best 2-of-3 AUS Final and, more importantly, have clinched a berth in the University Cup next month in Halifax.

The Varsity Reds got out to a dream start in this one as they took the game's first 11 shots, resulting in a pair of power play goals. At 2:10 Philippe Halley (Gazzola, Trainor) picked up a rebound at the left side of the net and backhanded past Panthers netminder Mavric Parks. They doubled their lead 4:40 when Stephen Anderson (Maillet, Braes) positioned himself just outside the crease, took a pass from below the goal line, and deposited a wrist shot. UNB wasn't done though, and Halley (McIvor, Carroll) made it 3-0 at 15:21 when he picked up the puck after he was hit with a point shot in the slot and turned around and fired it past Parks. This would cause the Panthers to pull Parks in favour of back-up Matt Mahalak. Mahalak would hold the fort for the rest of the period, but UNB would take a 3-0 into the locker room after out-shooting the Panthers 14-4 in the period.

The V-Reds didn't take much time to extend their lead in the 2nd period. At 1:18 Tyler Carroll picked off a pass in the neutral zone, skated over the blue line, and sniped a shot into the top corner over Mahalak's left shoulder to make it 4-0. The Panthers did hold a 15-7 advantage on the shot clock in the period, but Etienne Marcoux was up to the task, stopping everything directed his way as the V-Reds took the four goal lead into the final period.

There was no scoring in the 3rd period despite 5 power plays being handed out. UNB out-shot UPEI 11-6 in wrapping up the victory.

- Final shots were 32-25 for UNB.

- The V-Reds went with a different line-up tonight as Randy Gazzola, Peter Trainor, and Stephen Anderson all played their first game of the playoffs. Matt Boudens moved back up to forward after playing a number of games on the back end. Cameron Brace (suspension), Rob Mignardi, Francis Beauvillier, and Chris Caissy were all out.

- UNB was 2 for 5 on the power play and their penalty killing had another outstanding game, killing off all 6 UPEI chances.

- Attendance was 1327 at a packed MacLauchlan Arena.

- UNB was 44 for 77 on face-offs with Philippe Halley (9 for 11) leading the way.

- This was UNB's largest margin of victory in a road playoff game since a 5-1 win over UPEI on February 26th, 2013.

- Tonight marked the first playoff shut-out recorded by the V-Reds since Dan LaCosta blanked Saint Mary's 2-0 in the 3rd and deciding game of the 2013 AUS Finals.

- It was also their first road shut-out since Travis Fullerton shut-out Moncton 4-0 in game 3 of the 2012 AUS Finals.

- The Varsity Reds advance to the AUS Finals for the 2nd consecutive season, and 5th time in 6 years. It is the 10th time since Gardiner MacDougall took over as coach in 2000-2001 they have made it this far.

- UNB will have to wait at least two more days to find out who they will face in the Finals as St. Mary's staved off elimination with a 4-0 home win over St. FX tonight. The X-Men still lead the series 2 games to 1 and will try to advance on Wednesday night when the two teams tangle for game 4 in Halifax.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

CIS Playoff Update

The Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies became the first two teams to earn their way to the University Cup while the OUA and AUS are both down to their final four. Here is the updated playoff picture from around the country:

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)


Semi-finals (best 3-of-5) - Resumes Monday
#1 UNB leads #6 UPEI 2 games to 0
#2 St. FX leads #4 Saint Mary's 2 games to 0

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA) - East Division

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3)
#1 UQTR defeated #4 UOIT 2 games to 0
#3 Carleton defeated #2 McGill 2 games to 0

Finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Wednesday
#1 UQTR vs. #3 Carleton

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA) - West Division

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3)
#2 Western defeated #7 Toronto 2 games to 1
#4 Guelph defeated #6 Ryerson 2 games to 1

Finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Thursday
#2 Western vs. #4 Guelph

CANADA WEST (CW)

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3)
#1 Saskatchewan defeated #5 Calgary 2 games to 0
#2 Alberta defeated #3 Mount Royal 2 games to 0

Finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Friday
#1 Saskatchewan vs. #2 Alberta

Friday, February 26, 2016

V-Reds Overcome Panthers, Refs

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds surrendered a goal on the first shot they faced in the game and were assessed the last 10 penalties of the game (8 of which resulted in a power play), but it didn't matter as they persevered and defeated the visiting UPEI Panthers 5-2 tonight in an intense, physical, chippy game at the AUC. They now hold a 2-0 series lead and will look to wrap it up Monday night in Charlottetown.

UNB came out strong and were awarded a power play 3:40 into the game for their efforts. However, a turnover at the blue line led to Craig Maclauchlan getting a breakaway and beating Etienne Marcoux with a quick, perfectly placed snap shot over Marcoux's left shoulder 32 seconds into the man advantage. The V-Reds weren't fazed and kept the pressure on, but their numerous scoring chances were denied by Panthers goalie Mavric Parks. They finally broke through at 10:18 of the period when Mike Thomas (Petgrave, Critchlow) fired a hard shot along the ice from near the Panthers bench that eluded Parks. UNB was awarded their second power play of the night less than two minutes later and this time they converted. Jordan Murray worked his way to the middle of the blue line and his shot deflected off of a Panther defender, throwing off Park's timing just enough to allow the puck to sneak between his legs. Cam Braes and Philippe Maillet picked up the assists on the go-ahead goal, which was scored at 12:33. The V-Reds got into trouble under a minute later when two of their defencemen were sent to the penalty box 8 seconds apart, which was a sign of things to come. Things became even more dire when Murray broke his stick during the penalty kill, however Marcoux made a number of big saves to kill off the penalties and preserve the lead. UNB was given their 3rd - and last, as it turned out - power play opportunity of the game when Parks took his second penalty of the series at 19:09. UNB took that power play into the 2nd period after out-shooting UPEI 19-10 in the opening frame.

It only took 18 seconds of the 2nd period for the V-Reds to convert on the man advantage as Chris Clapperton (Murray, Braes) one-timed a shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle past Parks. That was when the fun began. UNB successfully killed off another 5-on-3 when they took penalties at 4:01 and 5:05. The parade to the penalty box continued and they went down two men for the third time of the night at 12:03, just 12 seconds after taking the first penalty. The third time wasn't a charm though, as Marcus Power banged in a rebound from in close to make it a 3-2 game at 12:52. Things became even more frustrating at 14:22 when Dylan Willick was given a 10-minute misconduct after expressing his displeasure about getting roughed up moments earlier with no call. Amid all of the penalties the V-Reds re-gained their two goal lead at 16:18 when a battle at the Panthers blue-line led to a 2-on-1 for UNB. Cameron Brace threw a saucer pass across the slot to Rob Mignardi and he stretched just enough to chip the puck over a sliding Parks and into the top of the net. The V-Reds took another penalty at 17:29 but killed it off and went to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead. Shots in the period favoured UNB 13-7.

The Panthers were gifted three more power plays in the 3rd period but were unable to convert on any of them. After Tyler Carroll took a roughing penalty at 16:32 UPEI pulled Parks to make it a 6-on-4, but Matt Boudens (Willick) fired a shot from his own zone that found the empty net for a shorthanded goal at 18:20. That rounded out the scoring in what was an eventful game. Shots in the period were 10-9 for UNB.

- The V-Reds went with the same line-up as last night with Gazzola, Caissy, Trainor, and Anderson all out.

- Shots in the game were 42-26 for UNB.

- Marcoux had another strong game in net, making a number of key saves throughout the night, most of which came on the penalty kill.

- UPEI was 1 for 10 on the power play. UNB was 2 for 3.

- The V-Reds were given 50 minutes in penalties to the Panthers 6. Francis Beauvillier and Dylan Willick each picked up 10-minute misconducts while Cam Brace was given a game misconduct in the 3rd period for, presumably, saying something the referees didn't agree with.

- As a result, Brace will most likely be suspended for Monday's game 3.

- Attendance was a raucous 3174.

- There were a whopping 90 face-offs in the game - a season-high - with the V-Reds only winning 42 of them. Willick was strong per usual (13 out of 21), but both Philippe Halley (1 for 8) and Taylor MacDougall (15 out of 34) had off-nights.

- MacDougall left the game briefly in the 1st period after taking a clearing attempt to his upper body. He only missed a few minutes before returning.

- Murray had an interesting night with his equipment. In addition to losing his stick while trying to kill off a 5-on-3in the 1st period, he also lost a skate blade while killing a penalty in the 2nd period.

- This is UNB's 7th straight home playoff win, their longest streak since at least 1967-1968, which is as far back as the records go.

- It is also their 5th straight playoff win overall, dating back to a game 4 loss to St. FX in last year's semi-finals.

- The other semi-final series between St. FX and Saint Mary's resumes tomorrow night in Antigonish. The X-Men currently lead the series 1-0 after a 2-0 win last night.

- The Varsity Reds will look to advance to the AUS Final, and clinch a berth in the University Cup, on Monday night when they travel to Charlottetown for game 3 of the series. Game time is 7PM. The game will be streamed live at AUStv.ca.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

V-Reds Draw First Blood

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Red did not show much sign of rust in their first game in almost two weeks as they downed the visiting UPEI Panthers 4-1 tonight in game 1 of their best 3-of-5 semi-final series at the AUC.

UNB got on the board first at 6:02 of the opening period when Francis Beauvillier raced in all alone on a breakaway. His original shot was blocked aside by goaltender Mavric Parks, but Beauvillier collected the rebound and found Philippe Halley with a pass. Halley pushed the puck back to Matt Petgrave at the top of the face-off circle for a shot that was kicked out in the opposite direction by Parks. However, the rebound came right to the stick of Cameron Brace, who was waiting at the side of the net and wasted little time in sliding it in. The Panthers responded just over 3 and a half minutes later as Sam Aulie cleaned up a loose puck from just outside the crease to tie the game on what was just UPEI's second shot of the period up to that point. The teams would head to the dressing room tied with UNB holding a 17-7 shot advantage in the period.

The Varsity Reds got the only goal of the 2nd period at 8:51 as they converted just 26 seconds into their first power play opportunity of the game. The puck was worked around the offensive zone until it made its way to Philippe Maillet (Clapperton, Murray), who was all alone in the slot. Maillet unleashed a snap shot that Parks was able to get a piece of, but not enough of to prevent it from going in and giving the V-Reds a 2-1 lead. That proved to be the only scoring of the period even though UNB fired 19 shots on goal to the Panthers 6.

UNB was finally able to gain some breathing room 3:17 into the 3rd period. Francis Beauvillier (Murray, Brace) skated down the right side and used his speed to beat a defender wide in the offensive zone before cutting back towards the net and sliding the puck under Parks. A potential turning point occurred at 5:58 when captain Cam Critchlow was assessed a four minute penalty for spearing, giving the Panthers a golden opportunity to get back in the game. The V-Reds penalty killers responded in a big way, killing the first 2:33 of the penalty without so much letting the Panthers get set-up in the offensive zone. An interference penalty on goalie Parks negated the remaining 87 seconds and allowed UNB to escape unscathed. With just under three minutes remaining the Panthers took a penalty which basically put a nail in their coffin. They killed it off, but Beauvillier (Migardi) put the finishing touches on the victory with an empty net goal with 24 seconds remaining. Shots in the period were 8 apiece.

- Randy Gazzola, Chris Caissy, Peter Trainor, and Stephen Anderson were all out of the line-up tonight.

- Final shots on goal were 44-21 for UNB. The V-Reds had a fantastic game defensively, only getting pinned in their own zone for an extended period on a couple of occasions. Besides that, the Panthers weren't able to generate much.

- Etienne Marcoux got the start in goal and was stellar in his play-off debut.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play while the Panthers were scoreless on four chances.

- The V-Reds dominated in the face-off circle, winning 41 out of 67 draws. Dylan Willick had his usual strong game, going 13 for 16.

- Attendance was 2838.

- There was a stretch between the 2nd and 3rd period where UNB had 15 consecutive shots.

- Beauvillier and Parks were named the player of the game for their respective team's.

- Dylan Willick had a great chance late in the 2nd period when he went in all alone on Parks. His shot hit the crossbar and, although the red light originally came on, it was determined that the puck stayed out.

- UNB is now 32-0-1 in their last 33 home games.

- The V-Reds have won 6 straight home playoff games, tied for their longest streak under Gardiner MacDougall.

- The other AUS semi-final got underway tonight in Antigonish. Drew Owsley and the St. FX X-Men blanked the Saint Mary's Huskies 2-0 to take game 1 on home ice.

- UNB will look to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the series when the series resumes tomorrow night at the AUC. Game time is 7PM. If you can't make it to the rink you can catch the action live at AUStv.ca.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

AUS Award Winners, All-Stars Announced

The AUS has released their 2015-2016 major award winners and all-stars today. The Varsity Reds were shut out of the major awards, but did have a trio of players recognized on the all-star teams. The complete list of honorees is below.

AWARD WINNERS

Most Valuable Player (Kelly Trophy): Eric Locke, St. FX
Rookie Of The Year (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Phil Gadoury, Dalhouie
Coach Of The Year (Bob Boucher Trophy): Brad Peddle, St. FX
Most Sportsmanlike Player (Don Wells Trophy): Ben Duffy, Saint Mary's
Student-Athlete Community Service Award (The Godfrey Award): Nathan Chiarlitti, St. FX

FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS

Goaltender: Corbin Boes, Dalhousie
Defence: Jordan Murray, UNB
Defence: Matthew Pufahl, Acadia
Forward: Eric Locke, St. FX
Forward: Alex Saulnier, Moncton
Forward: Philippe Maillet, UNB

SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS

Goaltender: Drew Owsley, St. FX
Defence: Geoff Schemitsch, Acadia
Defence: Nathan Chiarlitti, St. FX
Forward: Stephen MacAulay, Saint Mary's
Forward: Mike Cazzola, Acadia
Forward: Allain Saulnier, Moncton

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM 

Goaltender: Alex Dubeau, UNB
Defence: Ryan MacKinnon, UPEI
Defence: Austyn Hardie, Saint Mary's
Forward: Phil Gadoury, Dalhousie 
Forward: Holden Cook, St. FX
Forward: Kyle Farrell, Acadia
 

CIS Top Ten (#16): UNB Near-Unanimous #1

The CIS released the men's hockey top ten rankings yesterday and the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds received 1st place votes from all but one of the 16-member media panel to remain the number one ranked team in the country for a 3rd consecutive week.

The V-Reds had a total of 157 points (which means someone ranked them 4th for some reason), comfortably ahead of the UQTR Patriotes, who picked up the other 1st place vote and 139 points to remain in the 2nd spot.

The Saskatchewan Huskies, Alberta Golden Bears, and St. FX X-Men rounded out the top five.

Other AUS teams to receive votes were the Saint Mary's Huskies (9th), Acadia Axemen (10th), and UPEI Panthers (13th).

The V-Reds will finally be back in action tomorrow night when they open their best 3-of-5 semi-final series against the UPEI Panthers. Game time is 7PM at the AUC.

Monday, February 22, 2016

CIS Playoff Update

The 1st round of the playoffs wrapped up around the country last night and, as a result, there are 16 teams remaining in contention for the University Cup. Here is how things currently stand across the CIS:

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)

Quarter-finals (best 2-of-3)
#6 UPEI defeated #3 Acadia 2 games to 0
#4 Saint Mary's defeated #5 Moncton 2 games to 0

Semi-finals (best 3-of-5) - Begins Thursday
#1 UNB vs. #6 UPEI
#2 St. FX vs #4 Saint Mary's

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA) - East Division

Quarter-finals (best 2-of-3)
#1 UQTR defeated #8 Laurentian 2 games to 0
#2 McGill defeated #7 Concordia 2 games to 0
#3 Carleton defeated #6 Nipissing 2 games to 0
#4 UOIT defeated #5 Queen's 2 games to 1

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Wednesday
#1 UQTR vs. #4 UOIT
#2 McGill vs. #3 Carleton

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA) - West Division

Quarter-finals (best 2-of-3) 
#8 Toronto defeated #1 York 2 games to 1
#2 Western defeated #7 Laurier 2 games to 0
#6 Ryerson defeated #3 Waterloo 2 games 0
#4 Guelph defeated #5 Windsor 2 games to 1

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Wednesday
#2 Western vs. #7 Toronto
#4 Guelph vs. #6 Ryerson

CANADA WEST (CW)
Quarter-finals (best 2-of-3)
#3 Mount Royal defeated #6 UBC 2 games to 0
#5 Calgary defeated #4 Manitoba 2 games to 1

Semi-finals (best 2-of-3) - Begins Friday
#1 Saskatchewan vs. #5 Calgary
#2 Alberta vs. #3 Mount Royal

Sunday, February 21, 2016

UNB vs. UPEI - Preview, Prediction, Poll

Although many probably predicted that the #1 University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds would have a date with the #4 Saint Mary's Huskies in the best 3-of-5 AUS semi-finals, the #6 UPEI Panthers shocking upset of the #3 Acadia Axemen means that it will be the V-Reds and Panthers tangling with a berth at the University Cup on the line.

The Huskies will face the #2 St. FX X-Men in the other series. Since the AUS will once again have three teams at the University Cup, and the Huskies are guaranteed a spot due to being the host, if the X-Men emerge victorious they will also receive an automatic berth at the University Cup. If the Huskies come out on top then the X-Men will face the loser of the UNB/UPEI series for the 3rd, and final, berth.

The AUS released the semi-final schedule yesterday. It looks like this:

Thursday, February 25th - UPEI @ UNB
Friday, February 26th - UPEI @ UNB
Monday, February 29th - UNB @ UPEI
Tuesday, March 1st - UNB @ UPEI (if necessary)
Friday, March 4th - UPEI @ UNB (if necessary)

The X-Men/Huskies series will follow a Thursday - Saturday - Monday - Wednesday (if necessary) - Friday (if necessary) schedule, with St. FX hosting games 1, 2, and 5.

All games are scheduled for a 7PMpuck drop and can be streamed live at AUStv.ca.

This will mark the 10th time since 1989/1990 that the V-Reds and Panthers will tangle in a playoff series, with UNB winning 6 of the previous 9 encounters. Here is the breakdown:

1989/1990 - UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 1
1991/1992 - UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 0
1992/1993 - UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 0
1993/1994 - UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 0
1995/1996 - UPEI defeated UNB 2 games to 1
1997/1998 - UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 1
2001/2002 - UNB defeated UPEI 2 games to 0
2011/2012 - UNB defeated UPEI 3 games to 0
2012/2013 - UNB defeated UPEI 3 games to 1 

Although the Varsity Reds defeated the Panthers in all four of their match-ups this season, all except for the first game was close. In the home opener on October 10th UNB received 3 points from Philippe Halley and Philippe Maillet as they rolled to an 8-2 victory. On November 7th the V-Reds scored three goals in the 3rd period to rally for a 4-2 win on the island. Back at the AUC on January 29th UNB squeezed out a 2-1 win despite firing a season-high 55 shots on goal. Finally, in the regular season finale in Charlottetown on February 12th the Varsity Reds, playing without several key players, skated to a tidy 4-1 win.

The Panthers offense relies heavily on their top line of Marcus Power (32 points, 5th in the AUS), Brent Andrews (13 goals, 25 points), and Mason Wilgosh (20 points). They combined for 9 points in their 2 game sweep of Acadia, including the series-winning goal by Power, as the Axemen didn't have an answer for them in the offensive zone. Defenseman Nelson Armstrong (20 points) was their only other player with more than 15 points. By comparison UNB features 12 players who had at least 15 points this season as they scored 52 more goals than the Panthers this year.

The Panthers will also have to count on their goaltending to have a big series if they want to pull off the upset. Although Matt Mahalak (2.77 GAA, 0.914 save percentage) had the better regular season numbers, 5th year netminder Mavric Parks (3.70, 0.885) took back the number one role after he came back from a lengthy injury that basically kept him out from November 21st until February 10th. Parks played the final two regular season games and then got the call in both games against Acadia in the quarter-finals, so it appears he is their go-to-guy right now. Parks posted a 2.89 GAA and 0.915 save percentage in the series against the Axemen.

One area where the Panthers might have the advantage over the V-Reds, although ever so slightly, is on special teams. UPEI had the 2nd best penalty killing in the league (and 5th best in the country) at 86.2% while UNB sat 5th in the AUS and 11th in the CIS at 84.8%. The two teams were fairly evenly matched on the power play this year with UNB holding a slight advantage (17.1% to 16.2%).

At the end of the day, the Panthers, with their trademark hard-working, team-oriented approach, have already pulled off one massive upset so the Varsity Reds can't take them lightly, and it is bound to be a tough, hard-fought series. However, the Varsity Reds appear to have the advantage at every level - their forward group is deeper and more potent, they allow fewer scoring chances, and their goaltenders posted better numbers. Of course, we have seen the Varsity Reds come up short a couple times in recent years after being huge favourites, but given the way UNB has played since Christmas it would not be surprising to see them sweep the Panthers in 3 straight games. UPEI might be able to grab a game at home as playing on the island is never easy, but UNB's depth and skill should prove to be too much for the Panthers to contain over the course of a playoff series.

PREDICTION - UNB in 3

 

Your Prediction?

UNB in 3
UNB in 4
UNB in 5
UPEI in 3
UPEI in 4
UPEI in 5
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Saturday, February 20, 2016

AUS Semi-Finals Set

Both of the best 2-of-3 AUS quarter-finals wrapped up last night with sweeps, with one series producing the expected result and the other resulting in a massive upset.

The #4 ranked Saint Mary's Huskies, fresh off of a 3-2 home victory in game 1 on Wednesday night, went into Moncton and routed the #5 Aigles Bleus 9-2 to advance. This wasn't much of a surprise given how hot the Huskies have been since getting many of their injured players back after Christmas.

In the other series the #6 UPEI Panthers pulled off a shocking upset of the #3 ranked Acadia Axemen with a 4-3 overtime victory in Charlottetown. This followed a 6-3 win in Wolfville on Wednesday night. Although the Panthers played the Axemen tough all year, this is arguably the biggest upset in the AUS since the 27-1-0 UNB Varsity Reds were swept in 3 games by St. FX in 2010. The Axemen were 19-7-2 this year and the #1 ranked team in the country as recently as January 19th while UPEI finished 11-14-3 and were never ranked in the top ten.

What these results mean for UNB is that the #1 ranked Varsity Reds will face the Panthers in the best 3-of-5 semi-finals beginning Thursday night as the AUC. The Huskies will face the #2 ranked St. FX X-Men in the other series.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2015-2016 By The Numbers

With another highly successful regular season in the books, here is how this year's edition of the Varsity Reds matches up with the rest of the CIS and previous V-Reds teams:

- With a 23-3-2 record this season UNB had the 2nd best record in the country (UQTR - 24-3-1) and eclipsed the 20 win mark for the 9th straight year. They are a CIS-best 209-31-12 in that span, good for a 0.853 point percentage.

- The V-Reds posted a 13-0-1 record on home ice, pushing their mark at the AUC to 112-10-4 (0.905 point percentage) over the last 9 seasons. It was their best home record since going 14-0-0 in 2010-2011.

- Although they only went 9-3-2 in the 1st half - the first time since 2006-2007 they failed to win at least 10 games - the V-Reds once again upped their game in the 2nd half by going 14-0-0 for the first time since 2007-2008.

- This has become a bit of a trend for UNB. Over the last 9 seasons UNB has gone 98-19-9 in the 1st half and then 111-12-3 in the 2nd half.

- UNB led the AUS in goals scored for the 7th straight year with 130. It was the most they have scored since potting 143 during the 2009-2010 season.

- UQTR, with 140, was the only CIS team to score more goals than UNB this season.

- The Varsity Reds allowed 63 goals this year, the 2nd straight year and 8th time in 9 years they have led the AUS in that category.

- Only Carleton (61 goals allowed) was better in the CIS this year.

- The V-Reds outscored the opposition 75-27 at the AUC this season, the most goals they have scored as well as their best goal differential at home since 2009-2010 (79-26).

- Coincidentally, they only outscored teams 55-36 on the road. The last time they scored fewer goals away from home was in 2010-2011 (54). It is also the most goals they have allowed since 2011-2012 (44). As a result, it was their worst goal differential on the road since 2011-2012 (+14).

- UNB outscored teams 66-40 in the 1st half. The last time they scored more than that was in 2009-2010 (82), but it was also tied for the most goals they have allowed since surrendering 44 in 2006-2007.

- The V-Reds outscored the opposition 64-23 in the 2nd half. The last time they scored more goals than that was in 2008-2009 (71 goals). The 23 goals allowed were the fewest since giving up only 16 in 2010-2011. The +41 goal differential was the best since 2010-2011 when they were also at +41.

- This marked the 7th time in 8 years UNB has allowed fewer goals in the 2nd half than in the 1st half, which probably helps explain why they have had more success overall in the 2nd half over that stretch.

- UNB outscored teams 38-18 in the 1st period this season, 55-25 in the 2nd, and 35-18 in the 3rd. They were even (2-2) in overtime.

- The 55 2nd period goals marked UNB's most productive period since scoring 61 2nd period goals in 2009-2010. Their +30 goal differential in 2nd periods was their best since posting a +32 mark in 3rd periods in 2010-2011.

- Although we hear that UNB tends to get stronger as the game goes along, the +17 3rd period goal differential this season was their worst 3rd period mark since a +3 in 2006-2007.

- This season was the 5th straight year they won multiple overtime games.

- Considering they ranked 2nd in the CIS in goals scored, it is probably not much surprise they also ranked 2nd in assists with 224. UQTR had 247.

- UNB led the AUS in goal differential (+67) for the 9th straight year. It was their best showing since being +71 in 2010-2011. Again, only UQTR was better this season (+75).

- For the 7th time in 9 years UNB led the AUS in shots (38.0/game). It was the most they have fired since averaging 39.5/game in 2008-2009. However, this only ranked 5th in the CIS behind Alberta, McGill, Carleton, and Windsor.

- Although they surrendered 25.6 shots/game - their most since giving up 25.7/game in 2007-2008 - the V-Reds led the AUS in fewest shots against for the 9th straight year. Only Alberta (22.8 shots/game) gave up fewer in the country.

- UNB's 12.2 shooting percentage this season.tied the 2012-2013 team for their best mark in the last 6 seasons.

- UNB won 53.3% of their face-offs this year. In the 7 years that we have data this is their 2nd worst performance, only better than the 52.9% they posted in 2013-2014.

- While playing even strength this season the Varsity Reds scored 99 goals and only gave up 38. This is the most goals they have scored and their best goal differential (+61) during even strength play in at least the last 10 seasons.

- As a result, UNB players had a cumulative +/- rating of +333 this year. This is far and away better than their next best season over the last 10 years, which was +278 in 2008-2009.

- UNB ranked 3rd in the AUS with 25 power play goals, the 6th straight year they have failed to crack the top-2 in the conference.

- 25 power play goals ranked the V-Reds 10th in the CIS. McGill led the country with 48 man-advantage goals, lapping the next best team (UQTR with 35).

- UNB tied for the 4th most power play opportunities in the AUS with 146. This is the 8th time in 10 years they have failed to finish in the top-2 in the conference

- Despite having the 4th most power play opportunities in the conference, they ranked 5th in the country. McGill led the CIS with 159.

- Interestingly, all 8 AUS teams ranked in the top 13 in the country in terms of power play opportunities. I am sure most AUS fans would not be surprised, given how many penalties we have seen called this season.

- The V-Reds had a 17.1% success rate on the power play this year. Although it ranked them 4th in the AUS (and 20th in the CIS) it was their worst conversion rate in at least the last 10 seasons. Alberta (30.5%) and McGill (30.2%) were the best in the country.

- UNB only gave up 1 shorthanded goal this year, fewest in the AUS. It is the 5th time in 9 years they have led the league in this category.

- The V-Reds gave up 24 power play goals this year, tied for the 2nd most in the AUS and 24th most in the CIS. It is the most they have allowed in the last 3 years. Queen's only allowed 12 to lead the CIS.

- UNB was shorthanded 158 times this year, which was 3rd most in the AUS and CIS. It is the 2nd most times they have been shorthanded over the last 8 seasons, only better than 2013-2014 when they had to kill 162 penalties.

- Again, it seems as if the AUS is called tighter than the other two leagues as 4 teams ranked in the top 5, 7 in the top 13, and all 8 in the top 20 in terms of most time being shorthanded in the entire country.

- Every AUS team was shorthanded at least 116 times this year. By comparison, Manitoba was shorthanded only 76 times this year, best in the CIS.


 - UNB was 5th in the AUS, successfully killing off 84.8% of their penalties. This is just the 2nd time in the last 7 years they haven't ranked in the top-3 in the conference. However, this is a bit misleading as they actually had a better percentage than last year (84.3%), which ranked them 2nd in the conference.


- Although they only ranked 5th in the AUS in penalty killing, UNB ranked 11th in the CIS. Acadia led the way with a 88.8% success rate.

- While the AUS gets called for many more penalties than the other conferences, it also appears they are better penalty killers with 7 AUS teams ranking in the top 18 in terms of penalty killing percentage.

- Further, the V-Reds had the dubious distinction of being the most penalized team in the entire country in terms of penalty minutes, and it wasn't particularly close. UNB was assessed 720 minutes in penalties this season with the Windsor Lancers being the next closest with 614 penalty minutes. 

- For the 1st time in 4 years the V-Reds led the AUS in shorthanded goals with 6. This tied them with three other teams for 2nd in the CIS, only behind Saskatchewan who had 7.

- UNB finished 2nd in the AUS behind Dalhousie with a 0.914 save percentage. It is their best result since putting up a 0.930 mark in 2010-2011. Queen's led the CIS with a sparkling 0.938 percentage while the V-Reds were 9th nationally. 
 
- UNB led the AUS in shutouts with 4. It is the 3rd straight year - and 9th time in 10 years - UNB has held at least a share of the lead in that category.

- The Varsity Reds led the CIS in attendance with an average of 2303 fans per game. This is up slightly from the 2298 they averaged last year, but still the 3rd lowest mark in the last 10 seasons.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Quarterfinal Schedule Released

The AUS has released the schedule for the 1st round of the playoffs and, as expected, the best 2-of-3 quarterfinals will begin on Wednesday, February 17th with #3 Acadia hosting #6 UPEI and #4 Saint Mary's hosting #5 Moncton. Both series' will change venues for game 2, which go Friday, February 19th, before returning to Acadia and Saint Mary's, if necessary, for game 3 on Sunday, February 21st. All games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop and can be viewed at AUStv.ca.

The #1 Varsity Reds and #2 St. FX X-Men will both enjoy a 1st round bye and await the quarterfinal winners. UNB will face the lowest ranked surviving team while St. FX will face the highest ranked remaining team.

Friday, February 12, 2016

V-Reds End Season On High Note

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds wrapped up the regular season with their 14th straight victory as they defeated the UPEI Panthers 4-1 tonight in the season finale in Charlottetown. The V-Reds finish the campaign with a 23-3-2 record and will now enjoy a 1st round play-off bye.

The Varsity Reds built a 3-0 lead on goals from Francis Beauvillier (Maillet, Petgrave) on the power play 7:16 into the game, Cam Braes (Wall, Thomas) at 15:19 of the 1st period, and Braes again (Clapperton, McIvor) at 4:17 of the 2nd. The Panthers got on the board at 7:19 of the 2nd period to make it 3-1, but an Alex Wall empty net goal with 1:37 remaining in the game sealed the deal.

- UNB went with the same line-up as they did against St. Thomas earlier in the week, meaning Randy Gazzola, Dylan Willick, Rob Mignardi, Chris Caissy, and Cameron Critchlow (suspension) were all out.

- Etienne Marcoux stopped all 9 shots he saw in the 1st period before giving away to Alex Dubeau, who made 16 saves on 17 shots over the final 40 minutes.

- Shots in the game were 28-26 for UNB with period totals of 17-9, 7-6, and 4-11.

- UNB was 1 for 5 on the power play while UPEI went scoreless on 6 opportunities.

- Cam Braes was named the player of the game.

- The V-Reds won 37 out of 69 face-offs with Taylor MacDougall (17 out of 27) enjoying the most success.

- Attendance was 642 on Panthers Senior Night.

- Only the UQTR Patriotes (24-3-1) will finish with a better regular season record than UNB. They are also the only team that scored more goals than UNB this season (142 to UNB's 130).

- This marked UNB's 10th victory on the road this year. It is the 4th straight year they have achieved this feat.

- It is also the first time since the 2007-2008 season the V-Reds went undefeated in the 2nd half.

- This is the longest winning streak UNB has had since they reeled off 26 in a row to begin the 2009-2010 season.

- In other AUS action St. FX clinched 2nd place and the 1st round bye that goes with it by gaining a point in a 3-2 OT loss to Dalhousie at home, Acadia picked up a 3-2 OT win at home over Saint Mary's, and Moncton outlasted St. Thomas 8-7 in a wild game in Fredericton.

- The final AUS standings look like this:

UNB: 23-3-2 = 48 points
St. FX: 18-6-4 = 40 points
Acadia: 19-7-2 = 40 points
Saint Mary's: 17-8-3 = 37 points
Moncton: 13-13-2 = 28 points
UPEI: 11-14-3 = 25 points
Dalhousie: 9-15-4 = 22 points
St. Thomas: 2-25-1 = 5 points

- St. FX finishes ahead of Acadia due to defeating the Axemen in 3 out of their 4 match-ups this season.

- The best 2-of-3 1st round of the AUS playoffs begin this week with Acadia facing UPEI and Saint Mary's taking on Moncton. The schedule has yet to be finalized.

- UNB will face the lowest remaining team in a best 3-of-5 semi-final series starting no earlier than February 25th.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

V-Reds Take Batlle Of The Hill

Three players had multi-point games and Alex Dubeau stopped all 26 shots he faced to pick-up his 3rd shut-out of the season as the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated the St. Thomas Tommies 4-0 in the final installment of the Battle of the Hill tonight at the Grant Harvey*Centre. UNB, who were without five regulars in the line-up, improves to 22-3-2 on the season.

The V-Reds received a 1st period goal from Philippe Halley (Beauvillier) at 6:55, 2nd period goals by Stephen Anderson (MacDougall) at 5:09 and Tyler Carroll (MacDougall, Anderson), and a 3rd period marker from Francis Beauvillier (Murray, Brace) at 8:08.

- Randy Gazzola, Chris Caissy, Dylan Willick, Rob Mignardi, and Cameron Critchlow were all out of the line-up for UNB. It was the first game Gazzola, Willick, and Mignardi have missed this season.

- Defenceman Marcus McIvor, who has been injured for the better part of the last four months, made his return to the line-up.

- The Tommies had 7 of the game's first 9 shots, but UNB ended up with a 34-26 advantage in the game with period totals of 8-8, 16-11, and 10-7.

- UNB was 0 for 6 on the power play while St. Thomas was scoreless on 9 attempts.

- The V-Reds won 33 out of 59 face-offs.

- Attendance was 807.

- Philippe Maillet had a game-high 6 shots on goal.

- Anderson, Colin Suellentrop, and Matt Boudens were all +3 in the game.

- Anderson, Dubeau, and Tommie Brendan Childerly were the game's three stars.

- UNB has now won 22 straight road games against the Tommies, and 13 straight overall. 

- In other AUS action tonight Saint Mary's hammered Dalhousie 9-3, Moncton beat UPEI 3-1 at home, and St. FX defeated Acadia 4-1 in Antigonish to take over 2nd place in the conference.

- With only one game remaining in the regular season there is still lots to be decided. The current standings look like this: UNB (46 points), St. FX (39), Acadia (38), Saint Mary's (36), Moncton (26), UPEI (25), Dalhousie (20), St. Thomas (5). The only teams locked into their position are UNB, Dalhousie, and St. Thomas.

- The Varsity Reds wrap up the regular season on Friday night when they travel to Charlottetown for a date with the UPEI Panthers. The marquee match-up of the night goes in Wolfville where Acadia hosts Saint Mary's. The other games are Moncton at St. Thomas and Dalhousie at St. FX. Puck drop for all games is scheduled for 7PM.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CIS Top Ten (#14): UNB Back In 1st

As expected, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds have regained the #1 ranking in the latest CIS men's hockey national rankings released earlier today. Following impressive victories over the Saint Mary`s Huskies and Acadia Axemen, the V-Reds earned 14 out of a possible 15 first place nods -  and 149 points total - to move into the top spot for the first time since November 10th.

The UQTR Patriotes earned the other 1st place vote to move up to 2nd, ahead of the Saskatchewan Huskies, Acadia Axemen, and Alberta Golden Bears.

St. FX (8th) and Saint Mary`s (10th) were the only other AUS teams to make the rankings.

UNB closes out the regular season with a pair of road games this week. They visit St. Thomas on Wednesday night before traveling to PEI to face the Panthers in the season finale on Friday night. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM puck drop and can be seen live at www.AUStv.ca.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Varsity Reds Wrap Up Top Spot

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds clinched 1st place in the AUS for the 9th consecutive season after a 7-4 victory over the visiting Acadia Axemen in an exciting, physical, penalty-filled, playoff-like home finale tonight at the AUC. With the win - UNB's 12th straight - the V-Reds are 21-3-2 on the season and will be ensured home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

In a complete turnaround from a night ago when UNB and Saint Mary's skated through a scoreless opening period, the two teams combined for 5 goals in the 1st period tonight. The Axemen got on the board first 1:09 into the game when goaltender Etienne Marcoux couldn't control a bouncing puck off the end boards and Mike Cazzola took advantage, snapping the loose puck into the net. The V-Reds tied it while on the power play at 7:02 courtesy a Cameron Brace (Murray, Maillet) laser beam over Brandon Glover's shoulder and into the top left corner. The Axemen caught a bit of a break to regain the lead just 58 seconds later. Brett Thompson's dump-in hit Matt Petgrave up high, stunning the V-Reds defenceman and taking him out of the play. The puck came right back to Thompson and he found Boston Leier coming down the left side with a cross-ice pass. Leier wasted no time in firing the puck past a diving Marcoux. The goals kept coming with the Varsity Reds responding - again on the power play - 1:48 later. This time it was Chris Clapperton (Maillet, Murray) breaking free from the defense in the Axemen corner and driving towards the net, where he redirected a pass from the opposite side of the ice into the open side of the net. UNB took their first lead of the night at 12:35 on a broken play when a point shot was partially deflected, but came right to Rob Mignardi (Suellentrop, Petgrave) who was waiting at the side of the net to pounce on the loose puck and give UNB a 3-2 lead. Shots in the period favoured the V-Reds 14-7.

After scoring early in the 1st period the Axemen duplicated the feat with a power play goal at 1:29 of the 2nd period to tie the game once again. Marcoux thought he had the puck frozen between his pad and the post but Sam Fioretti had a couple whacks at it and eventually pushed it into the net to make it 3-3. The Varsity Reds took a 4-3 lead at 4:23 when Jordan Murray found Clapperton with a beautiful, long stretch pass through the center of the ice for a breakaway. Clapperton made no mistake in beating Glover blocker side for his 2nd goal of the evening - and 7th in 11 games since joining the team at Christmas. Matt Petgrave picked up his 2nd assist of the night on the goal. The V-Reds would make it 5-3 before the end of the period when Stephen Anderson took an innocent looking shot from near the blue line and along the boards. However, the rebound was kicked out right to Tyler Carroll, who was driving to the net. Carroll made no mistake to give UNB a two goal cushion at 15:07. Shots in the period were 12-7 for UNB.

The Varsity Reds would add another goal at 3:32 when Francis Beauvillier found Brace in front of the net for a quick snap shot past Glover to make it 6-3. It was Brace's 2nd goal of the night and 15th of the season, good for 2nd in the AUS. Brett Thompson's power play goal at 15:34 cut the deficit to 6-4 and gave the Axemen a flicker of hope, but any chance they had of a miracle comeback were extinguished with a Taylor MacDougall (Braes) empty net goal at 19:24 to cap the night's scoring. Acadia out-shot the V-Reds 12-9 in the period.

- Shots in the game were 35-26 for the Varsity Reds.

- Cameron Critchlow (suspended), Peter Trainor, Marcus McIvor, and Mike Thomas were all out of the line-up.

- As mentioned, it was a penalty-filled game with the two teams accounting for 31 infractions - including 5 10-minute misconducts - and 102 penalty minutes. UNB was 2 for 8 on the power play while Acadia was 2 for 7.

- UNB's 44 penalty minutes tonight gives them a CIS-leading 678 on the season (84 more than the next closest team).

- It appeared the Axemen were getting more and more frustrated as the game wore on. However, if there is one thing the V-Reds may need to get better at it, it is their discipline. There were a couple of occasions tonight where UNB took a retaliatory penalty that wiped out a potential power play.

- Brace, Murray, and Clapperton were the game's three stars.

- UNB dominated in the face-off circle, winning 42 out of 65 draws. Taylor MacDougall (14 out of 18) and Dylan Willick (10 out of 14) led the way.

- Brace had a game-high 8 shots on goal. No one else had more than 4.

- Axemen defenceman Stephen Woodworth will probably want to erase this game from his memory. He was -5 on the night.

- Attendance was 3127 on Home Depot Night. This pushed UNB's total home attendance to 32 237on the season, once again leading the CIS.

- Before the game a trio of players were honoured. 5th year defenceman Alex Wall was awarded the Don MacAdam Scholarship for performance and leadership. Meanwhile, 3rd year forward Dylan Willick and 5th year forward Taylor MacDougall were named recipients of the Punchy Walker Scholarship, given to the two senior players who have made significant contributions to the team's success.

- The V-Reds finished their home schedule with a 13-0-1 record, the 7th straight season they have won at least 12 home games. They are a ridiculous 88-7-3 in conference home games during that span.

- Interestingly, despite that gaudy record, they have had only one season (2010-2011) during this stretch in which they went a perfect 14-0-0.

- UNB improves to 23-0-3 in their last 26 home games against Acadia. The last time the Axemen beat UNB in regulation at the AUC was a 5-3 victory in game 3 of the AUS Finals on March 7th, 2006, which completed a three game sweep.

- Having said that, UNB has not beaten Acadia more than than twice in the last four regular seasons. They are only 7-4-5 in that span. 

- With Saskatchewan losing both of their games this weekend it would be shocking if the V-Reds weren't the new #1 team in the country when the latest top ten ranking are released on Tuesday.

- The UQTR Patriotes (22-3-1) are the only team in the country with a better record than UNB (21-3-2). Saskatchewan (21-5-0) and McGill (21-5-1) are the only other teams with more than 20 victories thus far.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight Moncton blanked Dalhousie 2-0 in Halifax to clinch the final playoff berth, St. FX hammered St. Thomas 7-1 at home to pull within a point of Acadia and set-up a huge game between the two teams Wednesday night in Antigonish, and Saint Mary's picked up a 6-2 road victory over UPEI.

- With two games remaining for each team the current AUS standings look like this: UNB (44 points), Acadia (38), St. FX (37), Saint Mary's (34), UPEI (25), Moncton (24), Dalhousie (20), and St. Thomas (5).

- UNB is back in action on Wednesday night when they travel up the hill to face St. Thomas at the Grant*Harvey Centre. Game time is 7PM.


Friday, February 5, 2016

UNB Pulls Away From SMU

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored three goals in the 3rd period en route to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies on Military Appreciation Night tonight at the AUC. The Varsity Reds 11th straight win now has them at 20-3-2 on the season. They maintain a four point lead over the 2nd place Acadia Axemen with their final head-to-head match-up of the season looming tomorrow evening.

Although the two teams played through a tight, defensive-minded 1st period that featured only 13 total shots on goal (7 for UNB, 6 for SMU), the Huskies had a great chance to take control of the game when Varsity Reds captain Cam Critchlow was assessed a 5 minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind at 14:19. Not only did the V-Reds kill off the power play, they only surrendered a single shot and carried that momentum into the middle frame.

The V-Reds got on the board first 5:37 into the 2nd period after Cam Braes won a offensive zone face-off back to Jordan Murray, who slid down the side boards and found Chris Clapperton in front of the net. Cole Cheveldave made the original save, but Clapperton got another whack at the puck and was able to get the puck past Cheveldave's outstretched glove. UNB extended their lead to 2-0 at 10:09 after Francis Beauvillier tracked down a Rob Mignardi pass near the right face-off circle in the Huskies zone. Beauvillier drove to the net and was hauled down, drawing a penalty in the process. However, as he went tumbling into the net the puck went with him and referee declared a good goal. The Huskies would respond just under four and a half minutes later on the power play. A Stephen MacAulay face-off win went back to Kyle Pereira at the point and he quickly passed the puck over to fellow defenceman Jamie Doornbosh, who had time and space to skate in a few steps and blast a slap shot shot past Etienne Marcoux. The goal came just 6 seconds into the man advantage and got Saint Mary's right back into the game at 2-1. The momentum would be short-lived though as UNB would restore their two goal lead at 17:03 after some beautiful passing by the top line. Philippe Maillet gathered the puck behind the Huskies goal and he found Clapperton at the bottom of the face-off circle. Clapperton quickly slid the puck over to Cam Braes, who was all alone at the side of the cage, for the easy tap-in. The V-Reds would take a 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes after out-shooting Saint Mary's 16-7 in the period.

After UNB came out of the gate with a few quality chances to open the 3rd period it was the Huskies who got the next goal with a power play marker by Bradley Greene at 3:58, cutting the lead to one once again. The V-Reds would once again respond to regain the two goal cushion. At 10:32 Philippe Halley (Willick, Suellentrop) broke out of his own zone on a 3-on-1 and used his teammates as a decoy before snapping a shot through Cheveldave's legs for a 4-2 lead. UNB added a pair of goals 25 seconds apart late in the period to put this one away. After 6 straight Husky power plays the Varsity Reds found themselves on a 5-on-3 advantage at 14:36. UNB failed to convert on the two man advantage despite a few good chances, but they scored on the 5-on-4 portion to make it 5-2 at 16:01. Maillet found Clapperton on the goal line and he quickly passed it out to Cam Braes, who was all alone in the slot - perhaps those camouflage jerseys are an even better idea than originally thought. Braes wasted no time in snapping the puck off the post an into the net for his 2nd goal of the game. Taylor MacDougall (Thomas, Suellentrop) put the icing on this one just 25 seconds later when a bouncing puck came right to him as he was standing just outside of the crease. MacDougall had an easy tap-in to make it 6-2, which is how this one would end. Shots in the period were 18-8 for UNB.
- Shots in the game were 41-21 for UNB.

- Matt Petgrave (suspended), Marcus McIvor, Peter Trainor, and Stephen Anderson were all out of the line-up.

- Cam Critchlow will be suspended for at least one game due to his game misconduct tonight.

- Saint Mary's was 2 for 6 on the power play to increase their league-leading percentage to 20.9%. UNB was 1 for 3.
- Etienne Marcoux was solid when needed in turning aside 19 out of 21 shots fired his way. He improves to 14-2-0 on the season and is now tied for the conference lead in wins while leading the circuit in GAA (2.04) and save percentage (.902).

- Cam Braes was named the player of the game and was awarded the first Fallen Soldier Memorial Award for leadership and tenacity in the game. Colin Suellentrop and Chris Clapperton were the other stars of the game.

- Attendance was 2529, a good turnout given the winter storm that hammered Fredericton all day.

- It took the Huskies more than 6 hours to make the trek from Halifax due to the weather and the long day may have showed. Saint Mary's didn't register their first shot on goal until more than 10 minutes into the game and seemed to wear down as the game moved along.

- The V-Reds have clinched a 1st round bye for the 10th consecutive year.

- This is the 9th straight season UNB has collected at least 20 victories, which is far and away the longest current streak in the country. The next longest streak belongs to McGill, who has now done it 3 straight years (including this year). Alberta's 4 year run will end this season as they have 16 wins with only 3 games to play.

- In other AUS action tonight the Acadia Axemen defeated UPEI 2-1 in a shootout in Charlottetown to keep pace with UNB, St. FX notched a 4-2 home win over Moncton, and Dalhousie got within two points of the Aigles Bleus for the 6th and final playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over St. Thomas in Halifax.

- The Varsity Reds play their final home game of the regular season tomorrow night when they host the 2nd place Acadia Axemen. It is the biggest game of the season thus far as they attempt to clinch 1st place for a 9th straight year. UNB currently sits four points up on Acadia with 3 games left to play so a win (either in regulation or OT/SO) will wrap up the top spot. We hope everyone can make it out to the AUC to cheer on the V-Reds, but if you can't make it the game will be streamed live at AUStv.ca. Game time is 7PM.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Military Appreciation Night

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will be holding their 2nd annual Military Appreciation Night tomorrow evening when they host the Saint Mary's Huskies at 7PM at the AUC.

Some of the highlights of the evening will include equipment displays, a special pre-game ceremony featuring a military colour guard, and custom-designed jerseys created by V-Reds broadcaster David Kilfoil and historian Eric Drummie. There will be one jersey raffled off at the game and another put up for auction on eBay. A select number of jerseys will be available to purchase at following home games.

We encourage everyone to come out to the AUC to not only recognize the sacrifices these people make for our country, but also cheer on the red-hot 1st place V-Reds as they look to extend their winning streak to 11 games and get one step closer to clinching top spot in the AUS.

In other news, Bruce Hallihan has confirmed (subscription required) defenceman Matt Petgrave has been suspended one game due to his game misconduct last Saturday night against Moncton. Marcus McIvor, who has been rehabbing an injured ankle, is close to returning and may be back in the line-up. If not, the V-Reds will be forced to play with only 5 defencemen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beauvillier Named Athlete Of The Month

On the heels of being recognized as the UNB Varsity Reds/Dominos Pizza male Athlete of the Week, as well as the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week, forward Francis Beauvillier has been named the UNB Varsity Reds/Valley Graphics male Athlete of the Month for January.

The Varsity Reds posted a perfect 9-0 conference record in January and Beauvillier played a big part in that success. Although he only played in 7 of those games, the 2nd year forward posted 4 goals and 5 points. He also had a goal and two assists in a pair of exhibition victories over Concordia at the beginning of the month.

For the season Beauvillier has amassed 12 goals (7th in the AUS), 21 points (18th), a +15 rating (6th). 2 game-winning goals (3rd), and 72 shots on goal (8th) in 22 games.

CIS Top Ten (#13): UNB Still 2nd

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds remain the 2nd ranked team in the country according to the latest men's hockey rankings released yesterday. The V-Reds received one first place vote and 142 points from the 16-member media panel, only behind the Saskatchewan Huskies who earned 14 first place votes and 158 points. The Huskies have won 9 straight games to improve to 21-3-0 on the season and have clinched 1st place in Canada West.

Rounding out the top five are the UQTR Patriotes, Acadia Axemen, and McGill Redmen.

The defending University Cup champion Alberta Golden Bears have slipped to 7th - their lowest ranking since the 2011/2012 season - after dropping a pair of games last weekend. The Bears have slipped to 3rd in Canada West with a 15-7-2 record.

St. FX (9th) and Saint Mary's (10th) were the other AUS teams to make the top ten.



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Maillet Named Athlete Of The Week

Varsity Reds forward Philippe Maillet has been named the UNB Varsity Reds/Dominos Pizza male Athlete of the Week after posting 8 points in a trio of wins last week.

On Wednesday night Maillet posted 2 goals, 3 assists, and a +4 rating in a convincing 8-2 victory over St. Thomas in the annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. Although he was held scoreless in UNB's 2-1 win over UPEI on Friday night Maillet had a game-high 7 shots on goal. He capped his week with 3 assists in the V-Reds 4-3 comeback victory in Moncton on Saturday night.

As has been mentioned multiple times recently, the 3rd year business student - and reigning AUS MVP - has been on fire since returning from an injury that kept him sidelined for the better part of 10 weeks. In five games since returning to the line-up Maillet has 4 goals and 9 assists as the V-Reds have won each of those games. In fact, UNB is 12-0-1 in games in which Maillet has played this year compared to 7-3-1 when he is out of the line-up.

For the season the native of Terebonne, Quebec has 7 goals, 19 assists (4th in the AUS), 26 points (7th), and a +16 rating (5th) in just 13 games played. It isn't a stretch to think that he would be running away with a 2nd consecutive scoring title if not for getting injured.

UNB will need Maillet to continue his fantastic play this weekend when they host the red-hot Saint Mary's Huskies (8-1-0 since Christmas) and 2nd place Acadia Axemen on Friday night and Saturday night, respectively. Game time is 7PM. The V-Reds will be looking to wrap up 1st place in the AUS for an incredible 9th straight year.