Saturday, September 29, 2018

Last Second Goal Lifts Reds

Mark Simpson’s second goal of the game came with 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation, capping a 3rd period comeback from a 4-2 deficit and giving the University of New Brunswick Reds a thrilling 5-4 victory tonight in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus.

Once again, the Reds got on the board early in the game when Simpson (Anderson, McIvor) scored his first goal of the contest at 4:21, finding a loose puck in front of the net and flipping it over Alexi Thibaudeau's glove hand. The Aigles Bleus would recover and grab the lead before the end of the period. At 11:02 Moncton came in on a 3-on-1 rush with Rylan Parenteau making the original save, but he wasn't able to hold on to the puck as it dropped out of his glove and Carl Marois was right there to bang it into an open net. Robbie Graham then gave the home side their first lead of the night at 18:29 when he found an opening from a sharp angle at the side of the net. Moncton would take a 2-1 lead into the intermission despite getting out-shot 14-7.

The 2nd period was more of the same as UNB held a 20-7 advantage in shots, yet saw the deficit grow to 4-2. All three goals in the period came within 53 second span. At 4:10 Matt Boudens (Cooper, LeBlanc) tied the game, converting a bouncing puck at the side of the net, however it did not last long with Moncton answering right back with a pair. Just 18 seconds later Marois forced a turnover in the slot and fired a wrist shot into the top right corner for his second of the night to make it 3-2 and then, at 5:03, Vincent Deslauriers received the pass on an odd man rush and put the puck off the far post and in to give the Aigles Bleus a two goal lead. The goal prompted a goaltending change with Alex Dubeau coming in for his first action of the young season. UNB had a chance to cut into the lead minutes later when Moncton took penalties 38 seconds apart, but once again the Reds power play sputtered and the deficit remained two heading into the final period.

To make matters worse, Samuel Dove-McFalls took a roughing penalty as time expired, putting Moncton on the power play to begin the 3rd. UNB successfully killed off the penalty and just shortly afterwards Matthew Boucher's pass from behind the net found Tyler Boland cruising into the slot for a quick snap shot into the top right of the cage. Tristan Pomerleau received credit for the secondary assist on the goal. A Cameron Brace penalty mid-way through the period stalled the momentum briefly - although Dove-McFalls had a shorthanded breakaway - but UNB survived and were able to tie it with just over four minutes remaining. After barely keeping the puck in at the Moncton blue line, Simpson found Boudens all alone in the high slot for a one-timer that he pounded past Thibaudeau. Mark Rassell also picked up an assist on the tying goal. This set the stage for an exciting finish, one that was made possible by an ill-advised icing by the Aigles Bleus with 16.4 seconds remaining. A scramble off of the ensuing offensive zone face-off saw the puck find the stick of an Aigles Bleus player, however his clearing attempt was knocked down by Matt Murphy at the blue line, who then worked it down to Simpson (Boudens, Murphy) in front of the net. The 3rd year centre was able to get just enough on his shot to slide the puck just inside the far post for the game winning goal. Shots in the period were 12-8 for UNB.

- The Reds went with the same line-up as Friday night with Randy Gazzola, Patrick Watling, and James McEwan all scratched.

- Shots in the game were 46-20 for UNB.

- Both teams were 0 for 4 on the power play.

- UNB dominated the face-off circle, winning 49 out of 79 draws. Simpson (17 out of 27) and Dove-McFalls (14 out of 23) did much of the heavy lifting with Boland (9 out of 13) also having a solid night.

- Parenteau surrendered 4 goals on 11 shots in 25:03 before Dubeau came on in relief and stopped all 9 shots directed his way over the final 34:57.

- Moncton was without their starting goalie Etienne Monpetit after he left Wednesday's season-opening win over UPEI with an apparent injury.

- This is UNB's 7th straight win in Moncton and their 13th straight against the Aigles Bleus overall.

- There was only one other AUS game last night and it also featured a big road comeback. Saint Mary's spotted St. FX a 4-1 3rd period lead only to come roaring back for a 5-4 shoot-out victory.

- The Huskies and Reds are the only two teams to win both of their opening week games.

- Next weekend is a bit of an odd one in the conference. Saint Mary's/Dalhousie and St. FX/Moncton play league games on Friday night while the other three teams - UNB, UPEI, Acadia - travel to the US for exhibition games against NCAA foes. The Reds will be in Boston for a match-up versus the Boston College Eagles on Saturday night. Game time is 8PM AST.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Reds Hang On To Post Opening Night Win

The University of New Brunswick Reds won their 8th straight season opener and 30th straight home opener, but not before having to weather a last minute flurry from the UPEI Panthers to eke out a 4-3 victory tonight at the AUC.

The Reds got off to a quick 2-0 lead and looked to be well on their way to cruising to an opening night win. Kris Bennett (Clapperton, Boland) got the first goal of the season 2:15 into the contest after a Clapperton pass from the corner found him all alone in front of the net. Bennett made a nice deke before lifting the puck past rookie goaltender Simon Hofley. Just over a minute later UNB struck again with Cameron Brace (Simpson, Cooper) doing the honours to double the lead and force the visitors into calling a time-out. The move paid immediate dividends. Despite the Reds controlling play and dominating the shot clock the Panthers fought back and got on the board at 5:40 when Cody Payne went in all alone, made a move to get Rylan Parenteau moving side to side, and slipped a backhanded shot along the ice five-hole to cut the deficit to a goal. UPEI was much better in the latter part of the period but there would be no more scoring in the frame. Shots in the period were 13-10 for UNB.

The Reds were able to restore the two goal advantage at the six minute mark. After holding the puck in the offensive zone it was worked down to Stephen Anderson (Boucher, LeBlanc) at the right face-off dot and his snap shot found the top right corner. Once again, the Panthers responded. At 9:53 Kameron Kielly was able to shake Olivier LeBlanc at the UNB blue line and went in on a breakaway, beating Parenteau with a backhanded shot. The visitors then squared the game 3-3 at 17:48 while on the power play when Kielly found Gabe Guertler at the side of the net for the equalizer. Shots favoured UNB 13-8 in the period.

UNB were given a great chance to re-take the lead early in the 3rd period after the Panthers took a pair of penalties within 49 seconds in the period's opening minutes. However, the Reds couldn't convert on the lengthy two man advantage. Another UPEI penalty at 4:49 gave UNB another chance and this time they made it count. With the power play winding down Joe Gatenby (Brace, Boucher) sifted a shot from the blue line through traffic that caught the inside of the post and went in. It was Gatenby's first career AUS goal and would ultimately prove to be the game winner, but not before some last minute drama. With just 1:02 remaining in the game Alexandre Goulet took a slashing penalty which allowed the Panthers to operate a 6-on-4 power play after pulling their goalie. They maintained offensive zone pressure for the majority of the final 62 seconds, but the defence and Parenteau stood tall to preserve the 4-3 win. UNB had an 11-4 shot advantage in the period.

- Randy Gazzola (injured), James McEwan, and Patrick Watling were all out of the line-up for UNB. Alex Dubeau was dressed as the back-up tonight after missing the pre-season due to a minor injury.

- The Reds announced yesterday that 4th year defenceman Marcus McIvor will serve as the team captain this season. Mark Simpson, Matt Boudens, Christopher Clapperton, and Randy Gazzola will serve as the alternates

- Shots in the game were 37-22 for UNB.

- UNB was 1 for 7 on the power play. UPEI was 1 for 5.

- The Reds won 41 out of 74 face-offs. Boland had the best night with 15 wins in 23 chances.

- Gatenby, Guertler, and Brace were named the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 2388.

- This is how UNB lined up, at least at the beginning of the game:

Bennett - Boland - Clapperton
Rassell - Boucher - Anderson
Cooper - Simpson - Brace
Goulet - Dove-McFalls - Boudens

Carroll - McIvor
Gatenby - Pomerleau
LeBlanc - Murphy


- Before the game a moment of silence was held for the victims of the Fredericton shootings on August 10th as well as the for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on April 6th. Former Bronco - and current Panther - Nick Shumlanski was also acknowledged and he received the longest ovation of the night.

- In other AUS action tonight, Acadia rebounded from a 5-1 loss to Dalhousie on Wednesday to beat St. FX 2-1 in overtime in Wolfville and Saint Mary's defeated Dalhousie 6-1 in the Huskies home opener.

- Tomorrow night UNB is in Moncton for the Aigles Bleus home opener. Both teams will look to move to 2-0-0 on the young season after Moncton beat UPEI 5-3 in Charlottetown on Wednesday. Game time is 7PM.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

AUS Season Begins Tonight

The 2018-2019 AUS regular season kicks off with a pair of games tonight - Moncton at UPEI and Acadia at Dalhousie - and there are a number of season previews to get you ready for all of the action.

- Bruce Hallihan of the Daily Gleaner (subscription required) is back with his 27th annual AUS Preview, which continues to be the most comprehensive and in-depth preview of all seven teams. As usual, it is an absolute must-read and an indispensable resource for any fan of the league.

- Glenn MacDonald of the The Chronicle Herald looks at the four Nova Scotia-based squads.

- Jason Malloy from The Guardian previews the UPEI Panthers.

- The crew from runs down the new-look Axemen.

UNB opens their season at home on Friday night when they welcome the UPEI Panthers to the AUC for a 7PM puck drop. If that alone isn’t enough to get you to the rink, the 50/50 pot for the game will start at $2386 due to an unclaimed prize from a University Cup game.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pre-Season Ends With Loss

The Ryerson Rams achieved something that no other OUA team has in over six years - defeat the UNB Reds.

Going off of the little information that we have about the game, the Rams built a 1-0 lead after the 1st period, extended it to 4-1 early in the 3rd period, and hung on for a 4-3 win this afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

The loss ends a lengthy streak for UNB as their last loss to an OUA team was a 3-2 setback to the Western Mustangs at the 2012 University Cup in Fredericton. The Reds had won 27 straight games against OUA teams before today. 

UNB finishes the pre-season with a 3-1-0 record and will now set their sights on Friday night when they host the UPEI Panthers for their home - and season - opener. Game time is 7PM at the AUC.

Of note, the Washington Capitals announced today that Mark Simpson has been released from his try-out agreement so it appears more reinforcements are on the way in time for the AUS regular season.

Friday, September 21, 2018

UNB Stifle Rams

UPDATE: According to Ryerson, this afternoon’s game will not be broadcast.

Goaltender Rylan Parenteau stopped all 22 shots he faced and the University of New Brunswick Reds receivedod in goals from three different players in a 3-0 win over the Ryerson Rams tonight in Toronto. The win came in front of a large crowd at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) and spoiled Ryerson's heavily promoted ‘Back To School Bash'.

After a scoreless 1st period in which UNB held a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal, the Reds finally broke through with a pair of "dirty" goals in the middle stanza. Alexandre Goulet got a stick on a loose puck in the crease for his third goal in as many pre-season games to give the visitors a 1-0 lead and then Mark Rassell, playing in his first game as a Red after arriving from Los Angeles earlier in the day, had four whacks at the puck at the side of the net before finally finding the back of the cage. Shots in the period were 16-9 for UNB.

The Reds put the game in ice in the 3rd period when Stephen Anderson converted a Christopher Clapperton centring pass, beating Taylor Dupuis with a shot from the slot that the Rams goalie may have been screened on. Parenteau and the UNB defence did the rest, limiting Ryerson's time and space all night and giving up minimal quality scoring chances. Shots favoured UNB 12-9 in the period 12-9 and 38-22 in the game.

- Mark Rassell and Matthew Boucher both played their first game of the season. They played on a line with fellow rookie Samuel Dove-McFalls and they were buzzing all night as UNB's best trio of the night. 

- The Rams broadcast did mention some bad news for UNB, revealing defenseman Randy Gazzola has a broken hand. 

- Alex Dubeau also remained out with Luke-Lee Knight once again serving as the back-up.

- Of course Mark Simpson was also scratched due to his participation at Washington’s training camp.

- If not for Dupuis this game could have been much more lopsided. The Rams netminder stood on his head all night, making a number of sparkling saves on dangerous UNB chances. 

- UNB did not have a power play in the game, but their penalty kill was outstanding all night. They did not give up a shot on Ryerson's four power play opportunities. This included a 32 second 5-on-3 advantage in the 1st period when the game was still scoreless.

- The two teams are back at it tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:15PM local time. It is unknown if the game will be web-cast.

Rassell, Boucher Join Reds In TO

The Reds will get a boost this weekend as it has been announced forwards Mark Rassell and Matthew Boucher have met up with the team in Toronto after spending the week at Los Angeles' and Colorado's NHL training camp, respectively. Fans will get their first look at the two new recruits tonight as both are expected to be in the line-up against Ryerson. 

Their arrival leaves Mark Simpson as the only member of the team still away after the 3rd year centre survived the first round of cuts at Washington's camp.

Stream Available For Tonight's Game

The Reds are in Toronto this weekend for a pair of games against the Ryerson Rams and for awhile it looked like there wouldn't be a webcast available for those unable to make it to the rink. However, according to the UNB Twitter account there are now plans by the Rams to live stream the game. It will not be broadcast at like previously thought, but through the Rams Facebook page at Hopefully everything goes off without a hitch and we get to watch some pre-season hockey tonight. For those of you who are in Toronto, admission to the game is free for everyone so get out and support the Reds. Game time is 8:15PM AST.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Reds Rally For Shootout Win

The University of New Brunswick Reds fell behind 2-0 but battled back for a 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting McGill Redmen this afternoon at the Aitken Centre. With their second straight one goal win UNB completes a two game sweep against the defending Queen's Cup champions in their first action of the season.

In a reversal of Friday night's contest, it was the visitors getting out to a two goal cushion in this one thanks to a pair of power play goals that were both the result of a fortunate deflection. The Redmen opened the scoring with just six seconds remaining in the opening frame after Antoine Dufour-Plante slid the puck along the ice and in from in tight. Shots in the period were 12-7 for UNB.

Aaron Armstrong doubled McGill's lead 5:39 into the 2nd period after his shot from the left wing half boards hit a skate or stick in front and went past a helpless Rylan Parenteau. However, the Reds didn't take long to respond as Tyler Boland (Pomerleau, Anderson) curled off the boards and picked the top right corner from the face-off circle at 6:21. The Redmen would hold on to the one goal lead for the rest of the period despite some good bursts of pressure from the Reds. The shots were once again 12-7 in favour of UNB.

Trailing 2-1 the Reds had a pair of power play chances in the 3rd period to try and tie the game. After failing on their first opportunity early in the period, Redmen's star defenseman Nikolas Brouillard was called for a delay of game penalty at 15:47. While they didn't convert with the man advantage, it was just three seconds after the penalty expired when Alexandre Goulet (Cooper, Watling) got possession of the puck in the slot after some nice passing and fired a shot that cleanly beat goaltender Antoine Samuel to knot the game at 2, which is how it would stay until the end of regulation. UNB out-shot McGill 12-5 in the period.

The two teams would skate through a scoreless five minute, 3-on-3 overtime period with the Redmen holding the edge in play, taking four out of the five shots on goal in the extra session. The game then went to a three round shoot-out. After each team exchanged misses, Goulet cut across the crease and out-waited Samuel before shooting the puck into a wide open top of the net. The move was very reminiscent to the one he used to give UNB a big win at St. FX late last season. Harlan Orr would respond for the Redmen to tie the shoot-out at 1 after two skaters each. Tyler Boland was next up and made a deke before snapping a shot that found an opening to give the Reds the advantage, leaving it up to Aaron Armstrong. Armstrong tried "The Forsberg", but Parenteau was able to just get his toe on the puck to give UNB the victory.

 - UNB went with the same line-up as Friday night as Mark Simpson, Mark Rassell, and Matthew Boucher remain away at NHL training camps. Alex Dubeau is nursing a minor injury so 3rd goaltender Luke-Lee Knight once again served as the back-up.

- Bruce Hallihan of the Daily Gleaner confirmed that Peter Trainor has decided not to return for his 5th season as he only has half a term of school to complete. This means UNB enters the season with only 21 skaters - one below the maximum - leaving the possibility open to potentially add another player, most likely over the Christmas break.

- Shots in the game were 37-23 for UNB.

- McGill was 2 for 5 on the power play. The Reds went 0 for 6, which included a 91 second two-man advantage in the 1st period.

- UNB controlled the face-off dot, winning 42 out of 71 draws. Samuel Dove-McFalls (16-8) and Boland (14-7) led the way.

- Cameron Brace, Kris Bennett, and Christopher Clapperton each had a game-high five shots on goal.

- Attendance was 1321.

- UNB improves to 69-3-1 against non-AUS USports teams (ie/ OUA and Canada West) since the beginning of the 2004 season. The three regulation losses have come in the University Cup against Alberta (2008 Final and 2015 Final) and Western (2012 Semi-Final).

- They are 49-0-1 in exhibition games against those two conferences in that time frame, including a current 47 game winning streak. The last time an OUA/CW team beat UNB in an exhibition game was December 29th, 2004 when Lakehead won 5-4 in a shootout.

- In other pre-season action this weekend, Moncton picked up a 3-1 road win over UPEI and Saint Mary's crushed Dalhousie 8-1.

- Although we have gotten used to watching UNB cruise to easy exhibition victories in the past, it must be kept in mind that McGill is one of the top teams in the country and it would not be a surprise to see them at the University Cup again in March.

- Overall, it was a good challenge to begin the season for UNB. While they will undoubtedly be pleased with the two wins against a very good opponent, we are sure there are plenty of things the coaching staff and players will look to improve on moving forward.

- The Reds make their first road trip of the new season next weekend when they travel to Toronto for a pair of games against the Ryerson Rams. The first game goes Friday night at 8:15 AST with the rematch taking place on Saturday at 5:15 AST. This will mark UNB's first appearance in Toronto since claiming a silver medal at the 1997 University Cup.

- It is unknown at this time if the games will be webcast, but if they are they will be found here. The Rams produce arguably the best webcast in the country so hopefully there will be coverage provided.

Reds Open With OT Win

There has been something about 5-4 overtime games at the AUC lately. After ending the University Cup in March with a pair, the University of New Brunswick Reds opened their exhibition schedule with another, with this one being a victory over the visiting McGill Redmen thanks to a Kris Bennett goal late in the extra frame.

The first 60 minutes were what you would expect from two teams playing their first game of the season as it featured sloppy and choppy play at times and defensive breakdowns, but it was also quite entertaining. UNB struck for a pair of quick goals in the latter part of the first period with Cameron Brace (Watling, Cooper) at 12:45 and Alexandre Goulet (Dove-McFalls, Bennett) at 13:16 lighting the lamp. The home side would take a 2-0 into the dressing room after a period in which the shots were 6 apiece.

The 2nd period was probably the best of the night from the Redmen. They out-shot UNB 12-7, had sustained stretches of offensive zone pressure, and scored the only goal as Keanu Yamamoto finished off a 2-on-1 rush at 7:33.

The 3rd period would prove to be the wildest of the night as there were a combined 5 goals scored. Patrick Watling (Brace, Bennett) restored the two goal lead at 2:07 only to have Michael Cramarossa get it back a mere 8 seconds later. Tyler Boland (Anderson, LeBlanc) then made it 4-2 just 1:32 after that. However, McGill battled back with Nikolas Brouillard netting goals at 7:03 and 16:33, the latter being a batted puck out of mid-air, to tie the game 4-4. The Reds couldn't do anything with a late power play and the game would head to overtime. Shots in the period were 16-10 for UNB.

The two teams played a five minute, 3-on-3 overtime period and it featured plenty of good chances from each side, none better than this one that Rylan Parenteau made an absolute larcenous save on:

The Reds made that save of the year candidate even more meaningful when, just moments later, Kris Bennett (Watling, LeBlanc) got the puck at the lip of the crease and made a nifty forehand to backhand move to beat goaltender Louis Guindon for the game winning goal with 1:03 left in the extra session. Each team had one shot each in the period.

- Shots in the game were 30-29 for UNB.

- Forwards Mark Simpson, Mark Rassell, and Matthew Boucher and goaltender Alex Dubeau were scratched. Luke Lee-Knight served as Rylan Parenteau's back-up. Interestingly, Peter Trainor was not listed on the roster sheet so it appears that he is no longer with the team.

- Both teams were scoreless on the power play. McGill had five opportunities while UNB had seven.

- Kris Bennett and Stephen Anderson each had a penalty shot in the game but were both denied.

- UNB held a slight 34-32 advantage on face-offs. Tyler Boland had the best night with 13 wins against 8 losses.

- Bennett was named the player of the game. Watling and Brouillard were the 2nd and 3rd stars respectively.

- Cameron Brace had a game-high 5 shots on goal.

- Given that it was a 28 degree Friday evening during the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the announced attendance of 1651 was pretty decent.

- The jersey numbers for the new recruits are as follows: Patrick Watling (#9), Samuel Dove-McFalls (#15), Joe Gatenby (#37), Noah Carroll (#40), James McEwan (#71), Mark Rassell (#72), and Matthew Boucher (#86).

- This is UNB's 9th consecutive win versus McGill. It is the first time overtime was needed.

- The win also extends one of our favourite and most impressive streaks. UNB has now won 25 straight games - and are on a 56-1-1 run over the last 17 seasons - against OUA teams.

- The Reds will look to make it two in a row against the Redmen tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is set for 3PM.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Reds Open Season Tomorrow

After 179 days the offseason will finally draw to a close tomorrow night when the University of New Brunswick Reds hit the Aitken Centre ice for a real life game of hockey. The 2018-2019 campaign officially gets underway at 7PM as UNB welcomes the perennial national contender McGill Redmen to the AUC for the first of a pair of games this weekend.

This should prove to be a strong test right out of the gate for UNB as the Redmen are coming off of a  terrific season in which they went 22-4-2 and won the OUA Championship. They would eventually fall 4-1 to Saskatchewan in the opening round of the University Cup.

For UNB, while this will be our first chance to see this year's team in action, it appears they will be shorthanded to begin the season as veteran centre Mark Simpson (Washington) as well as forward recruits Mark Rassell (LA) and Matthew Boucher (Colorado) are away at NHL training camps.

However, hockey is back! Get excited!