Sunday, March 19, 2017

UNB In The National Championship Game, vs. Saskatchewan

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds will look to win their 7th University Cup in school history as well as win back-to-back titles for the first time ever when they face the Saskatchewan Huskies in tomorrow's gold medal game at the AUC. Game time is scheduled for 1PM and will be broadcast live nationally on Sportsnet 360.

Overall, UNB will be making their 12th appearance in the National Championship game (3rd all-time), including their 8th in the last 11 years. It will be the 9th appearance since Gardiner MacDougall took the helm in 2000/2001.

Here is a breakdown of their previous 11 appearances:

1997: Lost to Guelph 4-3
1998: Defeated Acadia 6-3
2000: Lost to Alberta 5-2 in OT2
2004: Lost to St. FX 3-2 in OT
2007: Defeated Moncton 3-2 in OT
2008: Lost to Alberta 3-2
2009: Defeated Western Ontario 4-2
2011: Defeated McGill 4-0
2013: Defeated Saint Mary's 2-0
2015: Lost to Alberta 6-3
2016: Defeated St. FX 3-1

Conversely, the Huskies will move into 4th place all-time with their 7th title game appearance and will be trying to win the school's second championship.

Here is how they have fared in their previous 6 appearances:

1981: Lost to Moncton 4-2
1982: Lost to Moncton 3-2
1983: Defeated Concordia 6-2
1987: Lost to UQTR 6-3
2005: Lost to Alberta 4-3 in OT
2014: Lost to Alberta 3-1

A few notes of interest:

- UNB's 12 appearances rank behind only Alberta (20) and Toronto (13) all-time.

- Both teams have 5 losses, which is tied with Alberta and Saint Mary's for the most all-time.

- This is UNB's 3rd title game appearance in the 5 University Cup tournaments held in Fredericton. They lost 3-2 in OT to St. FX in 2004 and then defeated McGill 4-0 in 2011.

- Cam Braes will finish his UNB career by playing in his 4th gold medal game. He will match Josh Hepditch and Lachlan MacIntosh as the only V-Reds players to ever accomplish that feat. Cameron Critchlow, also a 5th year senior, was suspended for the 2013 tournament that UNB won in Saskatoon so if he suits up tomorrow it will only be his 3rd appearance.

- This is the second time the V-Reds will be appearing in three straight title games, having also accomplished the feat from 2007-2009.

- This proves to be a fitting match-up as UNB was the #1 ranked team virtually all season while the Huskies were ranked #2 more often than any other team this year.

- The Varsity Reds and Huskies have met four times previously, all at the University Cup and all ending with UNB victories. This will be the first time they have played each other in the championship game, however.

- UNB defeated Saskatchewan 5-4 in double overtime in Saskatoon in 2000, 2-1 in 2007 in Moncton, 4-0 in 2008 in Moncton, and 3-1 in 2013 in Saskatoon.

- The game will feature the Goaltender of the Year (Jordon Cooke), Defenceman of the Year (Jordan Murray), Player of the Year (Philippe Maillet), and Coach of the Year (Dave Adolph).