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 OUA.tv like previously thought, but through the Rams Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ryersonrams. 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!


via GIPHY