Monday, February 19, 2018

V-Reds To Open Playoffs Against Huskies

The #4 ranked Saint Mary's Huskies' 5-2 victory over the visiting #5 ranked UPEI Panthers last night in the 3rd and deciding game of their quarter-final series has set up a rematch from last year with the #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. The best 3-of-5 semi final series is set to begin this Thursday night at the AUC.

The full schedule is as follows:

Game 1 - Thursday, February 22nd at UNB
Game 2 - Friday, February 23rd at UNB
Game 3 - Monday, February 26th at SMU
Game 4 - Tuesday, February 27th at SMU (if necessary)
Game 5 - Thursday, March 1st at UNB (if necessary)

*All games will be broadcast live at www.AUStv.ca*

Some additional notes:

- This marks the 7th time these two teams have met in the playoffs since Gardiner MacDougall became head coach. UNB has won 4 out of the previous 6 encounters. Here are the details -

2003: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 (2-0, 3-1) in quarter-finals
2008: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 0 (3-2 OT, 3-2 OT2) in finals
2009: SMU defeated UNB 2 games to 1 (1-5, 3-2, 5-1) in finals
2013: UNB defeated SMU 2 games to 1 (1-0 OT, 2-5, 2-0) in finals
2014: SMU defeated UNB 3 games to 1 (2-1 OT2, 2-5, 2-1 OT2, 1-0) in semi-finals
2017: UNB defeated SMU 3 games to 1 (5-1, 7-3, 2-3, 2-1) in semi-finals

- The Varsity Reds have won 11 out of 18 games including 8 out of 10 at the AUC. They are just 3-5 in games played at the Halifax Forum.

- Despite both programs featuring high powered offenses during most of those years, there have only been 81 combined goals scored in the 18 games. UNB have scored 47 times (or 2.6 per game) and the Huskies 34 times (1.9 per game).

- The two teams met five times in the regular season with the V-Reds taking four of them. They won 4-2 in Halifax on October 21st and 5-1 at home a week later before the Huskies clawed out a 5-4 shootout win on December 1st. UNB took a pair of one goal games after Christmas - 3-2 at the AUC on January 19th and a 5-4 road decision on February 2nd.

- In another rematch from last year, the #2 St. FX X-Men battle the #3 Acadia Axemen in the other semi-final series. It will follow the same schedule as the UNB/SMU series with St. FX hosting games 1, 2 and 5 (if necessary).

- Since the AUS has three berths at the University Cup - and UNB is guaranteed one as host - if the Huskies win this series they will punch their ticket to the tournament along with the winner of the X-Men/Axemen series. If Saint Mary's loses then they will face the other semi-final loser in a best
2-of-3 consolation series for the 3rd and final berth.

- The OUA also has three berths while Canada West will have two representatives.

- Prediction time. Who do you got?

Who wins the best 3-of-5 semi-final?
UNB in 3
UNB in 4
UNB in 5
SMU in 3
SMU in 4
SMU in 5
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