Sunday, October 30, 2016

V-Reds Stifle X-Men

The USports #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds played perhaps their most complete game of the season last night, limiting the #2 ranked St. FX X-Men to only 13 shots on goal in a convincing 6-0 home victory. UNB improves to 6-0-2 on the season and are now four points clear of a trio of teams - St. FX, Acadia, and UPEI - for top spot on the conference.

The V-Reds received 1st period goals from Matt Boudens (Halley, Petgrave) at 12:24 and Rob Mignardi (Murray, Brace), on the power play, at 16:18. They made it 5-0 after 40 minutes thanks to goals by Cam Braes (Murray, Maillet), while on the power play at 3:02, Marcus McIvor (Caissy, Critchlow) at 12:37, and Mignardi (Caissy, Petgrave), with his second of the night at 17:16. Cam Braes (Maillet, Anderson) rounded out the scoring with his second of the game at 15:52 of the 3rd period.

- Mike Thomas and Stephen Anderson both returned to the line-up. Christopher Clapperton (injured), Francis Beauvillier (suspended), Oliver Cooper, and Peter Trainor were all out.

- Shots in the game were 31-13 for UNB with period totals of 12-1, 12-6, and 7-6.

- Etienne Marcoux picked up his 2nd shutout of the season. He now has 5 career shutouts, tied for 4th most in school history behind only Travis Fullerton (21), Reg Bourcier (10), and Dan LaCosta (6).

- UNB was 2 for 8 on the power play. St. FX was 0 for 6.

- St. FX won 40 out of the 75 face-offs in the game.

- Attendance was 2158.

- The three stars of the game were Mignardi, Braes, and Petgrave.

- This was UNB's most lopsided victory over St. FX since a 9-3 win at the AUC on November 13th, 2009.

- This game also marked head coach Gardiner MacDougall's 400th career non-exhibition win while at UNB, the most ever by an AUS coach. This includes 321 league wins, 56 playoffs wins, and 23 University Cup wins. His overall record currently stands at 400-156-20 over 16+ seasons at the helm of the V-Reds.

- MacDougall also has a career record of 98-39-4 in exhibition games, leaving him just two wins shy of 500 total victories.

- With the Ryerson Rams losing 5-3 to Carleton on Friday night, UNB is the last remaining team without a loss in regulation.

- In other games around the AUS last night, UPEI defeated Dalhousie 1-0 at home despite holding a 49-15 shot advantage and Acadia got past Moncton 5-3 on the road.

- UNB is back at the AUC next weekend for another pair of tough games. On Friday night they face the Acadia Axemen and on Saturday night Saint Mary's is in town. Game time is 7PM for both contests.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Maillet Leads V-Reds To Improbable Win

Tonight was a perfect example why you should never leave a game early. Philippe Maillet scored a natural hat-trick in the last 8:39 of regulation - including two goals in the final 76 seconds - to tie the game before clinching it with another in a shootout to give the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds an unlikely 5-4 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers at the AUC. UNB remains in 1st place with a 5-0-2 record while the Tigers move into sole possession of 3rd at 3-1-3.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period with goals only 93 seconds apart. At 12:00 Colton Parsons was stationed at the side of the net on the power play and was able to jam the puck in as goaltender Alex Dubeau wasn't able to hold his leg against the post. Then, at 13:33 Kelly Bent appeared to surprise Dubeau when he quickly snapped a loose puck through traffic and past the V-Reds goalie. That would prove to be the end of the night for Dubeau as he was replaced in the crease with Etienne Marcoux. UNB cut into the lead at 18:41 on a 5-on-3 advantage when Jordan Murray (Maillet, Brace) ripped a slap shot into the top left corner just after the first penalty expired. That is how the period would end as UNB held a 10-8 shot advantage.

Things would go from bad to worse for the V-Reds in the 2nd period as the Tigers added a pair of power play goals to extend their lead. At 12:51 Myles McGurty took a nice cross-crease pass and put it upstairs to make it 3-1. Then at 14:07 frustrations started to boil over and led to Francis Beauvillier getting ejected. Beauvillier went down in obvious pain after taking a slash to the hand away from the play, but was called for diving. As he made his way into the penalty box Beauvillier expressed his displeasure by swinging his stick at the glass, causing the pane to shatter all over the ice. This prompted the ref to hand out another minor penalty and game misconduct, as well as delaying the game while the rink staff worked to clean up and replace the broken glass. It was starting to look like it just might not be the V-Reds night a few minutes later when they were assessed a delay of game penalty, giving the Tiger an extended 5-on-3 advantage. It only took 34 seconds for defenseman Jesse Lussier to convert, giving Dalhousie a 4-1 lead that they would take into the 3rd period. Shots were 15-9 for UNB in the period.

The V-Reds were given two power plays early in the 3rd but were unable to do anything with them and things were really starting to look bleak. Then Philippe Maillet took over. UNB received another power play opportunity at 10:00 and Maillet (Murray, Braes) made them pay when he fired a shot from the slot through traffic that found the back of the net. With Lussier off for a delay of game penalty - and Marcoux on the bench for an extra attacker - the same trio hooked up again at 18:44 when Maillet's wrist shot beat Tigers goalie Corbin Boes through the legs to make it a one goal game. Once again the V-Reds pulled Marcoux and Maillet completed the frantic comeback - and natural hat-trick - 39 seconds later when he unleashed another wrist shot, this time from the left face-off circle. The teams would head to an unlikely overtime after a period in which UNB out-shot the Tigers 17-6.

UNB had a golden opportunity to win the game in the 3-on-3 extra session as they were awarded two different power plays. Despite having the man advantage for 3:47 of the five minute overtime, and taking all five shots in the period, the V-Reds could not beat Boes and the two teams went to a shootout for the second consecutive weekend.

However, on this night the shootout was a little less dramatic than the one last Friday. After Cam Braes and Fabian Walsh both came up empty, Cameron Brace put one five-hole to get UNB on the board with what would prove to be the game winner. Marcoux then stopped Andrew Wiggington before Maillet capped off his heroic night by beating Boes for the 4th time, clinching the win in the process.

- Oliver Cooper was in the line-up for UNB as Christopher Clapperton, Mike Thomas, Stephen Anderson, and Peter Trainor were all out.

- UNB was 3 for 8 on the power play. The Tigers were 3 for 6.

- Dubeau gave up 2 goals on 8 shots while Marcoux stopped 13 out of 15 shots as well as both shootout attempts he faced..

- Shots in the game favoured UNB 47-23.

- UNB won 49 out of 83 face-offs.

- Maillet (3 goals, 1 assist), Brace (1 assist), and Murray (1 goal, 3 assists) were named the game's three stars.

- Maillet had a game-high 9 shots on goal.

- Philippe Halley was wearing an 'A' for the game.

- Attendance was 2054.

- Beauvillier will most likely be out for tomorrow night's game after picking up a game misconduct.

- UNB has now won 19 straight home games, as well as 19 straight games overall, against the Tigers.

- The V-Reds are 24-0-1 in their last 25 regular season home games.

- Elsewhere around the AUS tonight St. FX traveled to Charlottetown and escaped with a 2-1 win over UPEI and Acadia got past Saint Mary's 8-3 at home.

- Tomorrow night UNB welcomes the X-Men to town for a big match-up between the top two ranked teams in the country. The V-Reds will be looking to avenge the 5-4 overtime setback they suffered in Antigonish last Saturday. Game time is 7PM.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

News And Notes: USports, Ring Ceremony, Top 10, Halley, TMS

Some news of interest so far this week:

- Last Thursday the CIS announced it is rebranding and will now be known as USports. Opinions regarding the change seem to be mixed thus far.

- On Tuesday night the 2015-2016 National Champion Varsity Reds were presented with their championship rings during a special ceremony at Kingswood. A total of 42 rings were handed out to players and staff. The rings - created by Josten's with help from coach Rob Hennigar - feature the UNB logo across the University Cup on the top with one side showing the name and number of its owner and the other side paying homage to the history of the program with six championship banners located above the old Red Devils logo. Last season's 37-6-3 record is acknowledged just below.

- The latest USports Top 10 shows UNB maintaining their number one position, although the gap between them and the number two ranked St. FX X-Men closed some after Saturday night's X-Men overtime victory. Saskatchewan remains 3rd while Mount Royal, up four spots, and UOIT make up the rest of the top five. UPEI is the only other AUS team to make the rankings coming in at 8th, although Dalhousie also received votes.

- Philippe Halley has been named the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week. Halley notched a goal and two assists over the two games last weekend.

- In his weekly column Tuesday Morning Skate, Victor Findlay discusses the V-Reds goaltending situation as well as this Saturday's big rematch between St. FX and UNB at the AUC among many other topics from around the country.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cook's Big Night Gives X OT Win

Holden Cook scored four goals, including the overtime winner, as the St. FX X-Men defeated the visiting Varsity Reds tonight in Antigonish. UNB falls to 4-0-2 on the season while St. FX improves to 4-2-0.

It was a tightly contested game throughout, with neither team enjoying more than a one goal lead. Scoring for the V-Reds were Rob Mignardi and Philippe Halley in the 1st period and Marcus McIvor and Philippe Maillet in the 3rd period.

- Shots in the game favorited UNB 32-18.

- Etienne Marcoux suffered his first loss of the season in goal.

- Matt Petgrave was back in the line-up, replacing Mike Thomas. Christopher Clapperton, Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper all remained out.

- The Varsity Reds are back home next weekend when they battle the same two teams they did this weekend. The Dalhousie Tigers are in town on Friday night with the X-Men coming in the following night. Game time for both contests is 7PM.

V-Reds Put Away Pesky Tigers In Shootout

For the second time in three road games the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds were pushed to a shootout, but this time they emerged victorious, eking past the Dalhousie Tigers 5-4 in Halifax in a game they led on three separate occasions. UNB remains undefeated in regulation time at 4-0-1 while the surprising Tigers fall to 2-1-2.

After a scoreless opening period in which UNB out-shot the Tigers 17-7 things really opened up in the middle frame with both teams finding the back of the net three times each. The Varsity Reds got on the board first just 2:55 into the period after some nice puck movement. Mark Simpson took a pass from the blue line in the slot with his back to the net and fed Randy Gazzola, who skated in from his defense position and snapped the puck past goaltender Corbin Boes. A Tigers penalty just after the goal sent UNB to the power play and they were able to convert at 4:09 when a Stephen Anderson shot created a big rebound to the opposite side of the ice that Philippe Maillet jumped all over, doubling the V-Reds lead. However, as they did all night, Dalhousie fought back to tie the game. At 6:51 Colton Parsons one-timed a shot from the slot to bring the Tigers within a goal and then Tanner Williams redirected a point shot from the high-slot while on the power play to knot the game at 15:41. UNB didn't waste too much time to regain the lead though, as Francis Beauvillier (Gazzola, Braes) snapped home a power play goal from the right face-off circle at 17:53. The lead was short-lived as last season's top goal scorer Phil Gadoury responded with a power play goal of his own when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from from just below the left face-off circle that went through the legs of Alex Dubeau with only 18 seconds remaining in the period. The two teams would head to the locker room tied 3-3 after a period in which the Tigers held a 10-9 shot advantage.

The Varsity Reds took their third lead of the game at 7:46 of the final period with another power play goal - their third of the game. This time it was Rob Mignardi, who was stationed just outside the crease, deflecting a Jordan Murray point shot past Boes. Matt Murphy was awarded the secondary assist on the go-ahead goal. The Tigers tied the game for a third time at 12:09 when Andrew Wiggington made a nice toe-drag to get past a defender before snapping the puck in from the hash marks, Despite constant pressure from UNB the rest of the period the game would head to overtime tied 4-4. Shots were 15-4 for the V-Reds in the period.

UNB took 5 out of the 7 shots in the 3-on-3 overtime, but it was fairly uneventful overall and the teams went to a shootout.

The V-Reds went first in the shootout and Jordan Murray was stopped by Boes. Gadoury was first up for the Tigers and found the back of the net before Francis Beauvillier came up empty for UNB. At this point the next three shooters all had to go UNB's way and that is exactly what happened. Dubeau stopped Felix Page to give Cam Braes a chance. Braes, needing to score to extend it, came through with some nifty stickwork to tie it at 1-1. The Tigers had another chance to win it but Dubeau once again came up big, stopping Fabian Walsh. Phillip Maillet put the V-Reds on the cusp of victory with a goal but that was quickly answered by Andrew Wigginton. Finally, Cameron Brace snapped a shot in and Dubeau secured the win by stopping Alex Pawelczyk, giving UNB a 5-4 victory.

- UNB was without Christopher Clapperton, Matt Petgrave, Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper.

- Shots in the game ended up 46-23 in the V-Reds favour.

- Alex Dubeau made 19 saves to improve to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.

- UNB was 3 for 5 on the power play while the Tigers converted on 2 out of their 5 opportunities.

- The Tigers won 44 of of the 82 face-offs in the game.

- The three stars were Migardi, Wiggington, and Boes.

 - UNB has now won 18 consecutive games against the Tigers.

- This is the most goals Dalhousie has scored in 25 games against the V-Reds, going back to a 6-3 win on November 27th, 2010. UNB has registered 8 shutouts in that span.

- UNB had lost 7 of their last 8 games that had gone to a shootout since 2009.

- It was a night of surprises around the league as Moncton scored 3 unanswered goals in the 3rd period to stun Saint Mary's 5-4 at home and UPEI went into Antigonish and broke open a 3-3 3rd period deadlock with 4 straight goals to pull away from St. FX 7-3. Acadia was idle.

- UNB faces their toughest test of the young season tonight when they face the X-Men in an AUS and CIS Final rematch. Game time is 7PM.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

News And Notes: Top 10, Anderson, Tuesday Morning Skate

Some mid-week news to pass along:

- After a 2-0-0 week the Varsity Reds earned 14 out of a possible 15 first place votes in the latest CIS men's hockey top 10 rankings to move into the top spot for the first time this season. This is the 93rd time in school history UNB has held the #1 ranking, second all-time to Alberta's 207.

The St. FX X-Men, who will host UNB on Saturday night in a University Cup final rematch, received the other first place vote and fell to 2nd while Saskatchewan, Alberta, and UOIT round out the top five. Ryerson, UQTR, Mount Royal, UPEI, and Guelph hold down the 6th-10th spots.

- Stephen Anderson has been named both the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week as well as the Subway Atlantic University Sport male Athlete of the Week.

Anderson scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in UNB's 3-1 victory over UPEI on Wednesday night before adding two goals and an assist in Friday's 9-2 win over Moncton. The 2nd year forward is off to a strong start his season, ranking 3rd in the conference with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his first four games.

- Victor Findlay has posted his latest Tuesday Morning Skate in which he recaps the week that was in CIS men's hockey across the country. His thoughts and observations include naming Stephen Anderson one of his AUS stars of the week and calling the upcoming UNB/St. FX clash a "can't miss game", among other things.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

UNB Dominates Moncton...Again

Hockey can be a funny game. The visiting University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds held a 17-6 shot advantage after the 1st period of play last night against the University de Moncton Aigles Bleus, yet trailed 1-0. They then scored five unanswered goals in the 2nd period, despite being out-shot 12-9, to take control of the game on their way to a convincing 9-2 road victory. UNB is now 3-0-1 on the season while Moncton drops to 0-3-0.

The game got off to an inauspicious start for the V-Reds as Samuel Leblanc scored his first career AUS goal off of a rebound just 34 seconds into the game. UNB had constant pressure and numerous quality scoring chances - including a 37 second 5-on-3 - but were denied time and time again by Brandon Thibeau in the Aigles Bleus net.

Unfortunately for Moncton, the opening twenty minutes was as good as it would get on this night. The V-Reds exploded for five goals in the middle stanza to basically put the game away. Scoring were Cam Braes on the power play at 0:29, Francis Beauvillier less than a minute later at 1:21, Chris Caissy on the power play at 12:37, Philippe Maillet at 13:09, and Stephen Anderson at 14:29.

Moncton would pull within three goals with a power play goal 4:21 into the 3rd period, but UNB quickly regained the momentum with goals shortly after from Caissy at 5:43 and Jordan Murray, on the power play, at 6:44. The scoring was rounded out with Beauvillier and Anderson each getting their second goals of the night, at 11:43 and 15:53 respectively. Shots in the period were 21-6 for UNB.

- Shots in the game were 47-24.

- Francis Beauvillier replaced Oliver Cooper in the line-up, but otherwise UNB went with the same line-up as Wednesday with Christopher Clapperton, Cameron Brace, and Peter Trainor all remaining sidelined.

- Alex Dubeau picked up his first win of the season in goal.

- UNB went 3 for 8 on the power play while Moncton was 1 for 4. It was the first power play goal UNB has surrendered this season in 21 opportunities, becoming the last team in the AUS to be scored upon while shorthanded.

- Chris Caissy (2 goals, 1 assist) was the player of the game.

- UNB held a slight 42-40 advantage on face-offs.

- Attendance was 679.

- The 24 goals UNB has scored through their first four games are the most since 2009-2010 when they tallied 29.

- This is the 4th time in as many seasons UNB has scored 9 goals in a game against Moncton.

- Other games around the league last night saw Dalhousie score a last minute goal to force overtime only to fall to Acadia 3-2 in Wolfville and Saint Mary's handing St. FX their first loss of the season 4-1 in Halifax.

- The V-Reds are off tonight. They are back in action next weekend when they travel to Nova Scotia for games against Dalhousie on Friday night and St. FX on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

V-Reds Overcome Mahalak, Panthers

Although the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds dominated the final 55 minutes of play, it took a 3rd period rally to overcome a sensational performance by UPEI Panthers goaltender Matt Mahalak in a 3-1 victory tonight at the AUC. UNB avenges a shootout loss to the Panthers five days ago to improve to 2-0-1 on the young season.

The Panthers came out with lots of jump as they took the game's first six shots and jumped out to a 1-0 lead 5:39 into the contest when Gabe Guertler jumped on a loose puck just outside the crease and lifted it under the crossbar. This would prove to be the only goal through the first forty minutes despite UNB holding a 13-8 advantage in shots in the 1st period and a 13-3 edge in the 2nd period.

The Varsity Reds upped the pressure even further in the final frame and were finally rewarded at 3:29. Jordan Murray received the puck from Philippe Maillet and his wrist shot from the blue line was deftly deflected out of the air by Philippe Halley, who was stationed in the high slot, with the puck fluttering up and over an unsuspecting Mahalak. Just over five minutes later, at 8:51, UNB took their first lead of the night when Maillet gained control of a Cam Braes pass through the slot, patiently out-waited Mahalak long enough to draw him out of position, and threw the puck between the netminder and the post through the crease. Stephen Anderson crashed the net and was able to get his stick on the puck first, banging it into the open cage for what turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal. The V-Reds were forced to kill off two late penalties before Chris Caissy sealed the deal with an empty net goal just milliseconds before the final horn sounded. Shots favoured UNB 21-4 in the period and 47-14 in the game.

- UNB was without some of their key forwards as Christopher Clapperton (injury), Francis Beauvillier (serving a suspension due to fighting major last game), Cameron Brace (late scratch), and Peter Trainor (scratch) were all out.

- Etienne Marcoux picked up the win in goal. Although not tested often he made a couple big saves to keep UNB within a goal.

- The V-Reds penalty kill continued their strong start to the season as they held the Panthers scoreless on 7 opportunities. UNB was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

- The three stars were Anderson (GWG), Mahalak (44 saves on 46 shots), and Maillet (2 assists).

- UNB dominated on face-offs, winning 43 out of 70. Cam Braes (14 out of 20) and Chris Caissy (9 out of 14) were the standouts.

- The V-Reds have now won 9 straight home games versus UPEI.

- Attendance was 1924.

- UNB's next action will be Friday night when they travel to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus. As always, AUStv.ca will be streaming the game live. Game time is 7PM.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

News And Notes: Residence Night, Top 10, Murray, Commercial, Facebook, New Column

Some items of note as the V-Reds prepare to host the UPEI Panthers tomorrow night at 7PM:

- Tomorrow night is also Residence Night. The UNB residence with the highest percentage of people in attendance will earn a $500 donation to their house charity as well as the 2016 Residence Hockey Night title.

- The CIS has released their inaugural top ten rankings for men's hockey. The Varsity Reds garnered four first place votes and 107 points overall to begin the year ranked second behind the St. FX X-Men, who were awarded eight first place votes and 120 points. The rest of the top-five featured traditional powers in the Saskatchewan Huskies, Alberta Golden Bears, and UQTR Patriotes while teams ranked 6th to 10th featured some relatively new blood in the UPEI Panthers, Guelph Gryphons, Ryerson Rams, UOIT Ridgebacks, and Concordia Stingers. The Acadia Axemen and Saint Mary's Huskies were among eight other teams to receive votes.

- Defenceman Jordan Murray has been named the UNB Varsity Reds/Papa John's Pizza Athlete of the Week after scoring four goals and adding an assist in two games last weekend.

- Speaking of Murray, he was one of a handful of V-Reds to take part in an AUS commercial shoot today at a local Subway restaurant. The commercial will be airing on CTV in the near future. You can check out some "behind the scenes" pictures here.

- UNB Hockey now has their own dedicated Facebook page. To commemorate the occasion they are giving away a game-worn Mike Thomas jersey.

- Ryerson Rams commentator and CIS hockey writer Victor Findlay, who is quickly becoming the definitive source on all things CIS hockey, has started a new weekly series dubbed Tuesday Morning Skate. He will recap the week that was across all three conferences, which will include thoughts, standout performances, and key upcoming games.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

V-Reds Salvage Point

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds scored two power play goals in the late 10:03 of the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit, but ultimately fell 4-3 in a shootout to UPEI in the Panthers home opener tonight in Charlottetown.

Defenceman Jordan Murray continued his torrid start offensively by opening the scoring with an unassisted tally with just 2 seconds remaining in the first period. The 1-0 lead would stand until 5:36 into the second period when Nelson Armstrong scored the first of three successive goals for the Panthers. Marcus Power gave UPEI their first lead of the contest just under two minutes later and former St. Thomas Tommies forward J.C. Campagna made it a 3-1 game at 8:35 of the third. The V-Reds pulled back within a goal when Murray (Maillet, Braes) struck again - his 4th goal in two games - just 82 seconds, setting the stage for some last minute heroics. UNB was awarded a power play with 1:21 remaining in the game and then pulled their goalie shortly after. After a scramble in front of the Panthers net Stephen Anderson (Braes) found the puck and batted it in with only 32 seconds left in regulation. The teams would skate through a fairly uneventful 3-on-3 overtime before heading to a shootout. Campagna was the first shooter up and found the back of the net and that proved to be the game winner as the next five shooters were all denied.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night with Christopher Clapperton, Chris Caissy, Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper all out.

- Shots favoured the Panthers by a 33-31 margin.

- Alex Dubeau took the loss in goal.

- UNB was 2 for 7 on the power play while UPEI was 0 for 4.

- This is the first time in four seasons UNB hasn't started 2-0.

- This game was a sharp contrast to the 7-0 drubbing UNB laid on the Panthers in their pre-season opener last month, a game in which the Panthers were missing a number of key players.

-  In other action around the league tonight, Dalhousie beat Saint Mary's 3-1 and St. FX got past Acadia 4-1.

- The V-Reds won't have to wait long to try and gain a measure of revenge as they welcome the Panthers to the AUC on Wednesday night. Game time is 7PM.




Friday, October 7, 2016

UNB Raises Banner, Routs Aigles Bleus

(Photo Credit: UNB Varsity Reds on Facebook)

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds hung their 6th National Championship banner from the rafters and then went to work on defending it. The early returns are promising. The Varsity Reds scored on their first shot of the season and never let up, demolishing the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 9-0 tonight at the AUC to extend their impressive streak to 28 straight home opening victories.

Reigning CIS defenceman of the year Jordan Murray (Simpson, Thomas), fresh off of a stint at Tampa Bays training camp, got the V-Reds off an running 2:31 into the contest when he beat netminder Brandon Thibeau with a shot from the top of the left face-off circle. Murray (Maillet, Beauvillier) would strike again at 6:46 when he took a pass just inside the offensive zone and was allowed to skate straight to the net without any resistance before flipping the puck over Thibeau's shoulder. UNB was then given a two man advantage and with the way they were playing on this night the result was unsurprising. Francis Beauvillier (Gazzola, Anderson) took a cross-slot pass and hammered it into the open net at 14:49, just seconds after the first penalty expired. The V-Reds would take the 3-0 lead into intermission, out-shooting Moncton 15-5 in the period.

UNB would extend their lead to 5-0 in the second period. Cam Braes (Murphy, Thomas) got his first of the year at 8:35 after taking a stretch pass and skating in all alone before making a nice move to put the puck in. Mike Thomas (Beauvillier, Anderson) notched the V-Reds second power play goal of the night at 11:25 after he received the puck at the top of the crease with his back to the goal. Thomas fooled Thibeau after faking to his left before spinning around to his right and sliding the puck past the out of position goalie. UNB held a shot advantage of 17-5 in the period.

The Aigles Bleus replaced Thibeau to begin the third period, summoning Alexi Thibaudeau to the crease. However, nothing would stop UNB on this night as they scored four more to close out the game with Randy Gazzola (Willick, Murphy), Philippe Halley (Gazzola, Murphy), Philippe Maillet (Murray, Anderson), and Marcus McIver (Willick, Thomas) - with his first as a V-Red - doing the honours. Shots were 13-4 in the period and 45-14 in the game for UNB.

- Christopher Clapperton (injured), Chris Caissy (personal), Peter Trainor, and Oliver Cooper were all out of the line-up for UNB.

- Etienne Marcoux got the start in net and was only challenged on a couple of occasions in picking up the shutout. It was UNB's 3rd straight shutout versus CIS competition to begin the year. They blanked UPEI and McGill 7-0 and 1-0, respectively, in pre-season play.

- UNB was 2 for 3 on the power play. Moncton was 0 for 5.

- UNB won 36 out of 63 face-offs in the game. Mark Simpson led the way by going 16 out of 23.

- Mike Thomas (1 goal, 3 assists, +6) was the player of the game and first star. Jordan Murray (2 goals, 1 assist) was the second star and Matt Murphy (3 assists) was the third star.

- Attendance was 2060.

- Dylan Willick is a new alternate captain this season to go along with holdovers Rob Mignardi and Cam Braes. Cameron Critchlow, of course, will be the team captain for a 3rd straight season.

- The V-Reds were sporting brand new white jerseys. The new threads are similar to the old ones with perhaps the most noticeable difference being the inclusion of red and black stripes just above and below the elbows. This is a similar design to their black jerseys. The old jerseys had one large red stripe and one large black stripe.

- This is UNB's 6th straight season opening win as well as their 9th straight home victory over Moncton.

- Elsewhere in the AUS tonight Acadia got past Saint Mary's 4-1 in Wolfville and St. FX beat up on Dalhousie 5-0 in Halifax.

- The Varsity Reds are back at it tomorrow night when they travel to Charlottetown to face the UPEI Panthers in their home opener. Game time is 7PM and once again all games this season can be streamed live at www.AUStv.ca.



Sunday, October 2, 2016

V-Reds Lose Again

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds dropped their second consecutive game south of the border, falling 3-1 to the NCAA's University of New Hampshire Wildcats this afternoon in Durham. UNB wraps up their pre-season schedule with a 2-2 record.

After a scoreless opening period the Wildcats struck for a pair of power play goals in the second and another with a two man advantage early in the third. Randy Gazzola (Braes, Maillet) got the V-Reds lone goal on a 5-on-3 power play with 11:27 remaining, but that would prove to be the final goal of the game.

- The Wildcats held a 34-25 shot advantage.

- Alex Dubeau played the entire game in goal, making 31 saves.

- UNB was 1 for 7 on the power play while UNH was 3 for 11.

- The V-Reds won 25 out of the 43 face-offs in the game.

- UNB was without the services of Francis Beauvillier and Jordan Murray due to their game misconducts last night against Merrimack. Christopher Clapperton, Matt Murphy, and Matt Petgrave were also out for unknown reasons.

- With the pre-season over, the attention now turns to Friday night when UNB will host the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in their home - and season - opener. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM. Of course, the Varsity Reds will raise their 6th National Championship banner to the rafters before the contest.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Rally Falls Short For V-Reds

UPDATE: Merrimack doesn't sound too pleased with how the game unfolded.

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds fell behind 4-0 after the first period, got within a goal after two periods, but ultimately fell 5-3 against the NCAA's Merrimack College Warriors tonight in a game that was marred by 172 minutes in penalties.

- Scoring for UNB were Jordan Murray, with a pair, and Randy Gazzola.

- Shots were 39-38 in favour of the Warriors.

- UNB was assessed 107 minutes in penalties on 25 infractions. Philippe Halley, Philippe Maillet, Marcus McIvor, and Oliver Cooper all received 10-minute misconducts. Francis Beauvillier (hitting from behind) and Murray (contact to the head) took game misconducts while Etienne Marcoux (slashing) had a 5-minute major penalty. All three will most likely have to sit out tomorrow's game due to NCAA rules.

- Marcoux went the distance in goal, surrendering 5 goals on 39 shots.

- UNB was 2 for 10 on the power play while Merrimack was 2 for 13.

- Neither Chris Clapperton nor Matt Murphy played.

- The V-Reds continue their road trip tomorrow when they face the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at 5PM AST.