Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Reds Clip Aigles Bleus

The University of New Brunswick Reds never trailed as they played a solid puck possession and puck pressure game in a 4-2 victory tonight in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus. UNB moves to 7-2-0 on the season.

The two teams traded goals in a 1st period that was dominated by the Reds. UNB had the first eight shots of the game and opened the scoring on the power play when Stephen Anderson (Watling, Boland) banged the puck in during a scramble in front of goaltender Etienne Montpetit at 6:13. The Aigles Bleus quickly struck back with Joey Richard depositing a rebound past Samuel Harvey on Moncton's first chance of the game 83 seconds later. However, the UNB power play once again came through to restore the lead. At 17:32 Patrick Watling (Bennett, Anderson) stepped into a loose puck in the slot and wired a shot into the top corner. Penalties were the story of the period as UNB was given four power play opportunities to Moncton's one chance. Shots were 17-4 for the Reds.

UNB extended their lead at 9:45 of the 2nd period with Oliver Cooper and Mark Rassell executing a flawless two-on-one. Cooper carried the puck down the right side and the veteran fed the sophomore with a nice pass that was promptly one-timed past a helpless Montpetit. With the game seemingly under control a late Marcus McIvor penalty would prove costly. Maxime St-Cyr. - arguably the league's most dangerous sniper - took a pass from behind the net and found himself all alone in front. He made no mistake, beating Harvey glove side to make it 3-2 with 42 seconds left in the period. UNB out-shot Moncton 13-6 in the frame.

The final twenty minutes may have been the least exciting of the night with only 11 shots combined - six for Moncton and five for UNB - and the Reds easing some of the tension with an insurance goal 37 seconds into the period. It was a bit of a strange goal. The play was around the Moncton net when, all of a sudden, the Reds players on the ice put their hands in the air and started celebrating. Confusion ensued as it didn't appear anyone else knew where the puck was, but after some investigating it was found lodged inside the net. A quick conference amongst the four officials determined it was indeed a good goal with Rassell (Cooper, Dove-McFalls) getting credit for his second of the game. Trailing by two Moncton pulled their goalie with three minutes remaining, but neither team was able to generate much, making the final 4-2.

- UNB went with their usual line-up, meaning Benjamin Gagne was the lone scratch.

- Shots were 35-16 for the Reds.

- UNB went 2 for 5 with the man advantage. All of their chance came within the first 22 minutes of the game.

- Moncton was 1 for 4 on the power play as they had the last three opportunities in the game, including both chances in the 3rd period.

- Samual Harvey out-dueled Etienne Montpetit in a battle of the two best goaltenders to come out of the QMJHL in recent years.

- It was a rough night in the face-off circle for the Reds, losing 34 out of 66 draws.

- Rassell was named the player of the game.

- Attendance was 523.

- With the win UNB (7-2-0) moves to within two points of the 1st place Acadia Axemen (8-1-0).

- Saint Mary's and St. FX also played tonight, making up a game that was canceled earlier this month. Stephen Johnson netted a hat-trick as the Huskies blanked the X-Men 4-0 in Antigonish.

- UNB is now off until Saturday night when they welcome the UPEI Panthers to the AUC for a 7PM start.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Reds Rebound

Coming off of a loss the night before, the University of New Brunswick Reds needed a big effort to salvage a weekend split and they responded, skating to a dominant 6-0 win over the Dalhousie Tigers tonight in Halifax.

Since the webcast was down for the entire 1st period all we know is UNB jumped out to a 2-0 lead  thanks to a goal from Matt Murphy (Simpson) at 4:29 and a power play marker off the stick of Mark Rassell (Murphy, Goulet) at 5:51. Shots in the period were 22-5.

It wasn't until late in the 2nd period that the Reds would strike again as Tigers goaltender Connor Hicks once again did his best to keep his team in the game. At 18:15 a shot up high on Hicks rattled the Tigers netminder, sending him to the ice in pain. Kris Bennett (Boland, Anderson) was right there to take advantage, tapping a loose puck into the empty net for the power play goal to make it 3-0. It proved to be the most evenly played period of the game with the shots favouring the visitors by a 15-10 margin.

The Reds closed out the game with a trio of goals in a physical and chippy 3rd period. At 9:49 Mark Simpson (Boucher, Watling) jammed the puck in during a scramble at the side of the net to push the lead to 4-0. Tyler Boland then forced a turnover behind the Tigers net, finding Brady Gilmour in front who slid the puck under Hicks for his first career U Sports goal at 16:44. A Marcus McIvor (Carroll, Dove-McFalls) slap shot through a screen with two minutes remaining capped the scoring. Shots were 21-3 in the period.

- Kris Bennett was back in the line-up after missing last night's game. Benjamin Gagne was out.

- Shots in the game were 58-18.

- Samuel Harvey picked up his first career shutout.

- UNB also dominated in the face-off circle, winning 55 out of 79 draws. Dove-McFalls saw the most action, winning 16 out of his 22 draws. Alexandre Goulet (13 out of 18) and Simpson (12 out of 18) also had standout performances.

- The Reds were 3 for 5 on the power play. Dalhousie came up empty on their five opportunities.

- Matt Murphy was named the player of the game. 

- Attendance was 160.

- There was only one other game in the conference tonight. The Acadia Axemen pushed their winning streak to eight games, scoring three unanswered goals in the 3rd period to stun UPEI 3-2 in Charlottetown.

- The 8-1-0 Axemen continue to lead the conference with UNB (6-2-0) and St. FX (4-2-1) in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

- The Reds are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Moncton for a mid-week date with the Aigles Bleus. Game time is 7PM.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Reds Drop A Close One

The St. FX X-Men scored two quick goals early in the 3rd period to build a 3-1 lead and then held on for a 3-2 victory over the University of New Brunswick Reds tonight in Antigonish.

Alexandre Goulet and Tyler Boland scored power play goals for UNB, who travel to Halifax for a date with the Dalhousie Tigers tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

U Sports Top Ten (#4): Back On Top

For the 132nd time in school history, the University of New Brunswick Reds are the top ranked men's hockey team in the nation.

In the latest rankings released on Tuesday, UNB - coming off of a 2-0-0 weekend - gained 1825.12 ELO points. This out-distanced the former #1 ranked Alberta Golden Bears (1779.69) after the Bears suffered their first loss of the season, a 7-3 home loss to the Mount Royal Cougars on Friday night.

The 5-1-0 Carleton Ravens (1648.30) jumped two spots to 3rd, which pushed Ottawa (1643.10) down a spot to 4th. Guleph (1626.48) also gained two positions, coming in at 5th this week to edge Calgary (1619.21). The 5-0-1 Dinos are the only team in the country without a regulation loss.

Rounding out the top ten are Acadia (1592.89), Saskatchewan (1589.48), St. FX (1585.24), who drop five positions to 9th, and Mount Royal (1582.24).

Here is a look at some notable games for the week ahead:

FRIDAY
#1 UNB at #9 St. FX
Saint Mary's at #7 Acadia
McGill at #4 Ottawa
#6 Calgary at #8 Saskatchewan

SATURDAY
#6 Calgary at #8 Saskatchewan

Goulet Named AotW (Again)

For the second time already this young season, forward Alexandre Goulet has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male athlete of the week. A day later he was named the Subway AUS male athlete of the week.

The 3rd year forward had a big weekend to help the Reds to two crucial wins. On Friday night he was named the player of the game in a 6-3 victory over St. FX. He scored what would stand as the game winning goal and also had an assist. The next night against Dalhousie he had two assists in regulation time before scoring the game winning goal in the shootout in a 4-3 win over the Tigers.

Goulet is currently third in the conference with 10 points, including five goals, in six games.

UNB will face the same two teams this weekend - X-Men on Friday and Dalhousie on Saturday - but this time on the road. Game time is scheduled for 7PM for both tilts.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Reds Survive Scare

The visiting Dalhousie Tigers played the defending National Champion University of New Brunswick Reds even through 65 minutes of play, but the home side ultimately prevailed with a 4-3 shootout victory tonight at the Aitken Centre. UNB moves to 5-1-0 after their first trip through the league this season. The Tigers fall to 2-4-2, picking up an important point in a game they weren't expected to.

The two teams traded goals in each of the three periods with UNB holding three one goal leads only to see Dalhousie tie it up each time. Mark Simpson (McIvor, Goulet) opened the scoring at 9:27 when he got the puck in the right face-off circle with his back to the net, spun around, and beat Connor Hicks on the near side. The Tigers responded at 16:32 with a lucky one. Dillon Boucher's shot was kicked out by Samuel Harvey, but the puck hit the skates of the UNB defenceman coming back towards the net and deflected in. The score would remain 1-1 after twenty minutes of playw ith teh Reds holding a 14-7 advantage in shots.

UNB regained the lead at 6:25 of the 2nd period. Alexandre Goulet dug the puck out from behind the Tigers goal and made a short pass to Mark Rassell at the side of the net. Rassell managed to roof the puck from a sharp angle in tight to make it 2-1. Tristan Pomerleau picked up the other assist on the goal. Dalhousie evened the game once again, this time with a power play goal at 15:42. After UNB had a good chance shorthanded, the Tigers turned the puck back up the ice with Andrew Shewfelt finishing off a nice rush to knot the game at 2, which is how things would stay for the remainder of the period. Shots in the period were 16-7 for the Reds.

Dalhousie had an incredible chance to take the lead in the 3rd period when they picked off an errant clearing pass up the middle of the Reds zone, giving them a 2-on-0 down low. Somehow Harvey kept the puck out with a couple of big stops in quick succession. UNB would grab their third lead of the game with a power play strike at 14:04. After Olivier LeBlanc's point shot went wide Kris Bennett tried to jam the puck in at the side of the net. Hicke denied him, but Patrick Watling was right there to jump on a loose puck at the lip of the crease, giving UNB a 3-2 lead. Clinging on to the lead the Reds would surrender the tying goal with 47 seconds left in regulation and Hicks on the bench for an extra attacker. Shewfelt was all alone in front of the net when he received a pass out of the corner and made no mistake in putting it off the iron and in for his second of the night, this one tying the game 3-3. Shots favoured UNB 13-4 in the period.

The 3-on-3 overtime period was dominated by the Reds, who out-shot the Tigers 10-2 and had numerous glorious chances to end the game over the five minutes. However, Hicks held the fort to send the game to a shootout. In the shootout Goulet was up first and he used his patented move - coming in wide, cutting across the top of the crease, and patiently waiting until the goalie goes down before putting the puck under the cross bar - to get UNB on the board. After Connor Welsh came up empty on the Tigers first attempt Matthew Boucher put the pressure on when he beat Hicks with a quick snap shot. Needing a goal to stay alive Aiden Jamieson's deke attempt was easily snuffed out by Harvey to give UNB a tougher-than-expected 4-3 win.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night as Benjamin Gagne was the lone scratch.

- Shots in the game were 53-20 for the Reds.

- UNB was 1 for 6 on the power play. Dalhousie was 1 for 5.

- The Reds dominated the face-off dot, winning 46 out of 77 face-offs. Mark Simpson had a big night, going 19 out of 25.

- Attendance was 1984.

- The game's three stars were 1) Alexandre Goulet 2) Connor Hicks 3) Matthew Boucher.

- Before the game Kris Bennett was awarded the annual Rod Pike Memorial Scholarship, which is given to the player "who has special leadership abilities, a high compete level, and goes the extra mile for the team and his teammates."

- In his last four games against UNB, Hicks has faced a whopping 231 shots. He has turned aside 219 of them for a sparkling 0.948 save percentage.

- This is UNB's 34th straight win over Dalhousie. However, this is only the third game in that span to go beyond regulation.

- It is their 27th consecutive victory over the Tigers at the AUC.

- In other AUS action tonight, the first place Acadia Axemen maintained their two point lead over UNB (albeit having played one extra game) with a 4-3 home victory over the UPEI Panthers. Meanwhile, in Moncton the Aigles Bleus handed the St. FX X-Men their second loss of the weekend with a 6-3 decision.

- The Reds are on the road next weekend for rematches against this weekend's opponents. They are in Antigonish on Friday night to face St. FX and then travel to Halifax to take on Dalhousie the next evening. Game time for both is slated for 7PM.


Friday, October 18, 2019

Big 1st Period Propels Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds scored four times in a dominant opening period on their way to a 6-3 victory over their rival St. FX X-Men before a large crowd tonight at the AUC. UNB improves to 4-1-0 on the season while the X-Men suffer their first loss in regulation, dropping to 3-1-1.

The Reds got off to a quick start, taking advantage of a couple of fortunate bounces to build a 2-0 lead just over five minutes into the game. Kris Bennett got the scoring started at 3:12 when Joe Gatenby skied the puck from his own end, over the X-Men defencemen, and had it land in the slot. Instead of the puck hitting the ice and rolling harmlessly toward the net, it had some english on it and spun back towards the blue line where Bennett almost overskated it, but was able to corral it and go in all alone on Joseph Raaymakers, beating the freshman goalie with a quick deke to make it 1-0. The lead was extended at 5:23 thanks to another fortuitous bounce after Matt Murphy (LeBlanc) let a wrist shot go from along the boards just inside the blue line. Raaymakers attempted to blocker the puck into the corner, but instead he sent it straight up in the air, eventually landing behind him in his crease and rolling into the net. Murphy was also involved in UNB's third goal at 13:45. Oliver Cooper picked up the rebound off of a Murphy point shot and tried a wrap around. While his shot was stopped, Raaymakers wasn't able to hold the post with his left leg and James McEwan pounced on the loose puck, jamming it in. Less than a minute later St. FX did what they tend to do when getting blown out, resorting to physical play and cheap shots. In this case it was Lane Cormier hitting Patrick Watling late and from behind in front of the UNB bench. It was the beginning of a rough night for Watling, who was also the victim of a hit to the head later in the game. In the ensuing skirmish Reagan Spears lived up to his name, spearing Joe Gatenby and earning a four minute double minor penalty. The extended power play meant UNB had a golden chance to put the game away early, but it was St. FX getting on the board. Two X-Men forced a turnover at their own blue line, which sent Matthew Graham away on a shorthanded breakaway. Graham snapped a shot past Rylan Parenteau's blocker to cut the lead to 3-1 at 15:32. The momentum proved to be short-lived, however. Later in the power play some nice passing got the puck to Matthew Boucher (Rassell, Goulet) in the left face-off circle and he put the puck in the far corner at 17:31 to restore UNB's three goal lead. The Reds would take a 4-1 lead into the intermission, out-shooting the X-Men 19-3 in the process.

The 2nd period saw St. FX use a couple lucky bounces of their own to get back in the game. At 3:41, while on the power play, an uncovered Bryson Cianfrone had the puck ping-pong off of some traffic in the slot right to him at the left of the net. He didn't miss a wide open cage, cutting the lead to 4-2. UNB got that one back at 7:02 thanks to a full two minute 5-on-3 advantage. After failing on their first two attempts at setting up Alexandre Goulet for a one timer the third time proved to be the charm as Goulet (Boland, Anderson) ripped a shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle into the top corner. As is often the case, the X-Men would not go away and at 16:10 they once again made it a two goal game. The goal was similar to Murphy's in that the puck got knocked up into the air and came down near Parenteau's crease. A scramble ensued around the blue paint and it was Anthony Difruscia getting the last touch on the X-Men's third goal of the night, which once again cut the deficit to two. The shots in the period were 10-5 for UNB.

Although the X-Men did not generate much offense in the 3rd period - they were out-shot 9-2 - it wasn't until Matthew Boucher's second power play goal of the night at 13:38 that UNB finally got some breathing room. Boucher got the puck in almost the exact same spot as is first goal, but instead of going far side he put the puck off the near post and in to make it 6-3. An X-Men power play a few minutes later proved to be uneventful and the two teams skated out the UNB victory without any further incidents.

- Mark Simpson was back in the line-up. Benjamin Gagne was the lone scratch.

- The X-Men were missing their two best rookies as both Jeremiah Addison and and Declan Smith were out.

- Shots in the game were 38-10.

- Although two of the goals he allowed were the result of some unfortunate puck luck, Rylan Parenteau seemed to be fighting the puck most of the game. Nonetheless, he improves to 3-0-0 om the young season.

- On the other hand, Joseph Raaymakers - who was rumoured to be a target of UNB's this past summer - settled down nicely after the rough 1st period. The Reds had a number of great chances that he was able to turn aside to keep his team in it.

- UNB was 3 for 7 on the power play, but also gave up a shorthanded goal. The X-Men were 1 for 5.

- The Reds won 39 out of 66 face-offs with Boland (11 of 17) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (9 of 12) leading the way on this night.

- The box score can be found here, but it is full of errors. For example, it has St. FX scoring to tie the game 1-1. In reality they were already down 3-0 when they scored. Hopefully it gets updated/fixed shortly.

- Attendance was 3074, which is exceptional for a game this early in the season. For comparison, they drew 2435 in their second home game last season.

- UNB have out-scored St. FX 35-8 in winning the last five meetings between the two.

- St. FX hasn't had more than 20 shots on goal in any of their last nine games against UNB. They have averaged only 15.1 shots per game in that span.

- It was the second straight game where the Reds blitzed the X-Men right out of the gate. In last year's national semi-final UNB had a 4-0 lead and out-shot St. FX 24-8 in the opening period.

- Elsewhere around the league tonight, Nick Welsh had six assists in Saint Mary's 8-2 road win over the UPEI Panthers and Dalhousie scored a 3-2 overtime decision in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus.

- The Reds are back on home ice tomorrow night when they host the Dalhousie Tigers in the annual Rod Pike Memorial Game. Puck drop is 7PM.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

U Sports Top Ten (#3): Reds Remain 2nd

The Alberta Golden Bears and University of New Brunswick Reds continue to lead the way in the latest men's hockey top ten rankings.

Alberta improved to 4-0-0 on the season with two wins over Saskatchewan in Edmonton so it comes as no shock they stay in the top spot with 1822.19 ELO points. UNB has 1800.64 after two weekend wins of their own.

After the clear-cut top two, there are two clusters of four teams that make up the rest of the top ten.

Ottawa (1686.68) leapfrogged St. FX (1664.62) to move up to third while Carleton (1657.78) and Calgary (1639.38) stayed put at 5th and 6th, respectively.

The rankings are rounded out by Guelph (1594.44), Queen's (1564.39), Ryerson (1561.97), and Saint Mary's (1556.95), who are making their first appearance of the season.

Interestingly, the Acadia Axemen, who lead the conference with a 4-1-0 record and have victories over both UNB and St. FX, are nowhere to be seen while Queen's (2-2-0) and Ryerson (1-1-0) are both ranked.

The Reds and X-Men face each other Friday night at the AUC in the marquee game of the weekend. UNB then hosts Dalhousie the next night. Game time for both is 7PM.

Watling Nabs Weekly Awards

Reds forward Patrick Watling was named both the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week and Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week for his efforts in a pair of victories this past weekend.

Watling earned first star honours in UNB's home opening 4-0 win over Moncton on Friday night as he had two goals, including a shorthanded marker, and an assist. He was held off the score sheet, but was a +1, in Saturday's 3-2 road win against UPEI.

The former AHLer is off to a strong start in his 5th year of eligibility, racking up five points through four games.

UNB is at home this weekend for games against St. FX on Friday and Dalhousie on Saturday. It should be noted that the 50/50 pot for Friday night will be starting at $2579 due to a previously unclaimed prize.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Reds Pick Up Tough Win

For the second straight night the University of New Brunswick Reds found themselves in a tight game into the 3rd period. Once again they emerged victorious, hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers in a physical affair tonight in Charlottetown.

The visitors opened the scoring on the power play 7:57 into the game. Mark Rassell's attempted wrap around rolled off the end of his stick, but Tyler Boland was right there to pick up the puck at the opposite side of the net and fire it past Simon Hofley. Brady Gilmour was credited with the other assist on the goal. The Panthers didn't take long to respond. At 10:04 Samuel Harvey kicked a juicy rebound out in to the slot to Darian Pilon, who hammered a one timer into the net to knot the game at one. It was the first goal UNB had surrendered in over seven periods of hockey, going back to the 2nd period last Saturday against Boston College. The game would remain tied as UNB held a slight 10-9 shot advantage in the opening period.

After a fairly uneventful 2nd period in which UNB out-shot the Panthers 15-6 and each team came up empty on a power play opportunity, the game headed to the final frame still deadlocked 1-1.

The Reds would finally break through again 8:58 into the 3rd period. Samuel Dove-McFalls won an offensive zone face-off back to a defenceman, who put a shot off the end boards. The puck bounced hard off the boards and towards the side of the net where Oliver Cooper was camped out. Cooper pounced on the loose puck and jammed it in, giving UNB the lead with his first goal of the season. Although Marcus McIvor was given credit for the primary assist, on the webcast it looked to be Noah Carroll who made the play. At 11:16 the Reds made it a two goal game. Matt Murphy carried the puck down the left side and deep into Panthers territory before sending a sharp angle shot towards the net, where Tyler Boland was able to deflect the puck past Hofley before the goaltender was able to glove it down. However, the breathing room evaporated at 15:22 when Jesse Sutton tipped the puck from just outside the crease and into the far corner late in a Panthers power play to pull the home side back within a goal. UPEI applied all kinds of pressure late in a desperate attempt to tie the score, but Harvey and the Reds held on during a last second scramble in front of the net to preserve the victory. Shots in the period were 9-7 for the Panthers.

- The Reds dressed a full complement of players with Mark Rassell back in the line-up after serving a one game suspension. Mark Simpson remained out with an injury while Tristan Pomerleau left in the 2nd period favouring his right leg and never returned.

- UNB out-shot the Panthers 32-24 overall.

- Each team scored a power play goal with UNB going 1 for 3 and UPEI 1 for 4.

- Face-offs were almost even with UNB holding a slim 35-34 advantage. Boland (10 for 17) and Alexandre Goulet (10 for 18) were the best on the night for the Reds.

- Attendance was 733.

- Boland was named the player of the game. Cooper and Hofley were the game's other two stars.

- UNB has now won nine straight games over the Panthers and are on a 26-1-1 run against UPEI since the beginning of the 2015-2016 season.

- In other conference play tonight Saint Mary's posted a convincing 6-2 road win over Dalhousie and Acadia recovered from allowing two late goals - including the tying one with 8 seconds remaining in regulation - to beat St. FX 5-4 at home on a Stephen Harper penalty shot goal in overtime.

- Next weekend UNB is at home for a pair of games for the first time this season. They host the St. FX X-Men on Friday night and then the Dalhousie Tigers are in town the next night. Game time is 7PM for both match-ups.

Anderson's Goal

In case you missed it, here is Stephen Anderson's beauty from last night:


Friday, October 11, 2019

Watling, Anderson Lead Reds In Opener

The University of New Brunswick Reds celebrated their 2019 University Cup victory one last time by raising their 8th National Championship banner to the Aitken Centre rafters and then went out and won their 31st straight home opener, shutting out the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 4-0.

Before the game began the 2019-2020 Reds were introduced, along with representatives from each of UNB's previous seven championship teams. The last two members announced were 5th year forward Stephen Anderson, who brought out the AUS trophy, and 5th year defenceman - and team captain - Marcus McIvor, who skated out with the University Cup. After placing the trophies on a table at centre ice that had the AUS and U Sports championship banners draped over it, McIvor helped pull down a black curtain that unveiled the 2019 National Championship banner hanging from the rafters.

Once the ceremony was over it was business as usual. The two teams skated through a scoreless opening twenty minutes, despite UNB out-shooting Moncton 15-3.

The Reds finally broke through early in the 2nd period while shorthanded. Tristan Pomerleau worked the puck up to Tyler Boland, who was joined by Patrick Watling on a two-on-one break. Boland patiently waited for the defender to commit to going down before sending a saucer pass over to Watling, who one-timed the puck past reigning U Sports rookie of the year Etienne Montpetit. It would be the only goal of the period as UNB took a a slim 1-0 lead into the final frame. Shots in the period were 11-3 for the Reds.

UNB got some breathing room in the early parts of the 3rd period, connecting for a pair of goals. At 3:53 Watling got his second of the night on an almost carbon-copy of his first goal, only it was Alexandre Goulet finding him on the two-on-one rush. Matthew Boucher also picked up an assist on the goal. Less than two minutes later it was Stephen Anderson (Watling, Gatenby) picking up a loose puck during a scramble in the slot and snapping it in, extending the lead to 3-0 at 5:32. Anderson added another at 13:26, joining Kris Bennett's goal last weekend against Boston College as an early contender for goal of the year. The PEI product out-muscled three defenders just inside the Aigles Bleus blue-line to go in all alone on Montpetit, turning the netminder inside out with a backhand-to-forehand deke to make it 4-0. The highlight reel goal would prove to be the final one of the night as UNB out-shot Moncton 10-6 in the period.

- The Reds were playing with a short bench tonight. Mark Rassell was serving a one game suspension stemming from an ejection late in last Saturday's game against Acadia. Mark Simpson was not originally listed as a scratch, but didn't play as he continues to nurse an injury.

- Moncton was also playing shorthanded as they only had 16 skaters dressed. Justin Guenette is serving a four game suspension for an incident last weekend against St. FX.

- UNB out-shot Moncton 36-12 on the night.

- Neither team was particularly great on the power play, going scoreless on five opportunities each.

- Rylan Parenteau picked up his 6th career shut-out. His five shut-outs in league play only trail Travis Fullerton (14), Reg Bourcier (7), and Alex Dubeau (6) in UNB history.

- The Reds won 35 out of 59 face-offs. Alexandre Goulet (13 out of 18) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (10 out of 16) led the way.

- Tristan Pomerleau was +4 on the night.

- Kris Bennett is a newly appointed alternate captain this season.

- Attendance was 2766, a solid number considering it was a Friday heading into a long weekend.

- UNB unveiled new white jerseys for the game, featuring black shoulders and black numbers, a red nameplate on the back, and a New Brunswick flag on the left shoulder. They are a definite step up from last season's look.

- Patrick Watling had one goal and three assists in 14 games last year. Playing on the top line alongside Tyler Boland and Stephen Anderson so far this year, the 5th year forward already has two goals and three assists in three games. He was undoubtedly the best player on the ice tonight for either team, creating a number of chances throughout the game.

- The Reds have now won 16 straight home games versus Moncton.

- UNB hasn't dropped a home opener since a 6-5 overtime loss to Saint Mary's on November 5th, 1988.

- In the only other AUS game tonight it was Acadia going on the road and beating Dalhousie 4-1.

- The Reds are back at it tomorrow night with a game in Charlottetown against the UPEI Panthers. Game time is 7PM and it can be viewed at AUStv.ca.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

U Sports Top Ten (#2): Leaders Unchanged

The top four teams stayed put in the latest U Sports men's hockey top ten rankings released earlier today.

The Alberta Golden Bears, fresh off a win over the NCAA #1 ranked Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, remained in the pole position with 1799.88 ELO points. UNB (1786.64), St. FX (1693.88), and Ottawa (1660.21) also held onto their position.

Meanwhile, teams five through ten all saw movement. Carleton (5th) and Calgary (6th) swapped spots. Ryerson (7th) jumped two spots and Saskatchewan re-entered the ranking at #8 despite not playing a game last weekend. Rounding out the top ten were Queen's (down one spot to 9th) and McGill (down three to 10th).

UNB resume their AUS schedule this weekend with their home opener and banner raising ceremony Friday night against Moncton at the AUC. They then head to Charlottetown for a Saturday night tilt against the UPEI Panthers.

Bennett's Filthy Goal

In case you haven't saw it yet, here is Kris Bennett's ridiculous between-the-legs goal against Boston College on Saturday.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reds Bury Bears

The University of New Brunswick Reds received goals from five different players and Samuel Harvey turned aside everything directed his way in an impressive 5-0 victory over the University of Maine Black Bears this afternoon in Orono.

- UNB got the scoring started 5:36 into the contest when Mark Rassell found Matthew Boucher with a cross-ice pass at the back door for a power play marker. Brady Gilmour received the secondary assist on the goal.

- Black Bears goaltender Stephen Mundinger stood on his head for the first half of the game. He was replaced by 2018 Vancouver draft pick and freshman Matthew Thiessen just past the midway mark of the 2nd period.

- The Reds gave Thiessen a rude welcoming. Moments after coming into the game Alexandre Goulet's attempted pass to a driving Kris Bennett hit a stick of a Maine defender and deflected in to the net. After originally waving the goal off due to the puck being kicked in, the refs went to video review and quickly corrected the call when it was clear it hit a stick instead. The goal came at 10:48 and made it 2-0.

- UNB extended the lead on the power play 36 seconds later with Olivier LeBlanc (Boland, Bennett) unleashing a blast from the point.

- Just over two minutes later the Reds got their prettiest goal of the night. Bennett got the puck to Alexandre Goulet in the slot and Goulet quickly spotted Patrick Watling to his left who had gotten in behind the defence. Goulet found the streaking Watling, who chipped the puck past Thiessen for a 4-0 advantage.

- The Reds lethal power play added another goal 48 seconds into the 3rd period. Tyler Boland (Watling, Bennett) had time and space at the left face-off circle and beat Thiessen clean with a wrist shot on the short side.

- With the outcome no longer in doubt the game featured some rough stuff in the final half of the period. Marcus McIvor and Maine's Brady Gaudette were both given five-minute majors plus a 10-minute misconduct for facemasking, a strange penalty that is enforced in NCAA that we don't see in U Sports.

- Mark Simpson was out of the line-up for UNB. Instead of going with 11 forwards and seven defenceman, Gardiner MacDougall instead chose to play defenceman Benjamin Gagne up front.

- Shots in the game were 32-14 for UNB with period totals of 12-5, 13-5, and 7-4.

- While the Reds had a number of high quality chances they didn't convert, the Black Bears offense was stymied all night as they were unable to generate much in the way of dangerous opportunities.

- Special teams play is usually a big advantage for NCAA teams during these games, however UNB had a great weekend in that regard. After going 2/4 on the power play and 3/3 on the penalty kill against Boston College yesterday afternoon, the Reds went 3/5 with the man advantage and 3/3 on the PK today.

- UNB won 39 out of 62 face-offs.

- The Reds have now won their last two meetings with Maine. They won 5-1 in the fall of 2015. They improve to 7-19-2 all-time versus the Black Bears, but are 4-5-1 in the last ten meetings.

- This is the first shutout UNB has recorded against an NCAA team since extensive game by game records have been kept (starting in 1967).

- Oddly, UNB was the only AUS team to travel to the US this weekend. Usually Acadia, St. FX, and UPEI make annual treks south of the border as well, but they all decided against it this season.

- Perhaps the biggest headline of the weekend has been the Alberta Golden Bears defeating the two-time reigning NCAA champions - and current #1 ranked - University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 5-3 last night.

- As a result, there were a pair of conference games last night. St. FX handled Moncton 6-1 in Antigonish and Saint Mary's held off Dalhousie by a 4-3 score on home ice.

- Up next for UNB is (finally) a game at the AUC. They will raise their 2019 National Championship banner prior to the home opener on Friday against Moncton. Game time in 7PM.

UNB/Maine Webcast

For those of you who can't make it to Orono this afternoon for the exhibition game between the Black Bears and Reds, it appears the game will be streamed here. Game time is 5PM AST.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Eagles Double Up Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds headed south of the border this weekend for their annual trip against NCAA competition. Up first for UNB was a date with the Boston College Eagles, who enter the season as Hockey East favourites. Despite being heavily out-shot it was the Eagles coming away with a 4-2 victory.

- Kris Bennett (Boland) opened the scoring with a nifty between-the-legs power play goal from in tight 13:54 into the game, beating the highly-touted Spencer Knight in the Eagles net.

- BC would grab the lead before the end of the 1st period with two late goals - from David Cotton at 17:53 and then by Jack McBain at 19:22.

- The Eagles added another two goals in the 2nd period, getting goals from Matt Boldy at 4:53 and Mike Hardman at 13:18.

- An Olivier LeBlanc (Anderson, Boland) power play goal 3:59 into the 3rd period rounded out the scoring.

- Shots were 37-21 in favour of the visitors with period totals of 12-8, 9-9, and 16-4.

- Rylan Parenteau went the distance in goal.

- UNB went 2 for 6 on the power play while doing a nice job on the penalty kill, snuffing out all three BC man advantages.

- The Reds won 32 out of 59 face-offs.

- The Eagles line-up features three 2019 1st round NHL draft picks in F Matt Boldy (12th overall, Minnesota), G Spencer Knight (13th overall, Florida), and Newfoundland native F Alex Newhook (16th, Colorado).

- UNB drops to 2-8-1 all-time versus the Eagles. Their last win came in 2015 (5-2).

- The Reds travel north to face the Maine Black Bears tomorrow afternoon. The Black Bears, who are pegged to finish 8th in the 11 team Hockey East conference, were blasted 7-0 by Providence College today. Puck drop is 5PM AST.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

U Sports Top Ten (#1): Defending Champs Ranked Second

The Alberta Golden Bears topped the inaugural men's hockey top ten rankings which were released earlier today. Meanwhile, the team that defeated them in the University Cup final - the UNB Reds - were close behind in second place.

This season the rankings will be determined exclusively by the ELO Rating System, instead of the 50/50 split between the ELO system and media members from across the country like last year.

In the initial poll the Golden Bears received 1799.88 points while UNB had 1786.64. The only other AUS team to make the rankings was St. FX, who came in 3rd with 1675.86 points.

The rest of the top ten includes Ottawa, Calgary, Carleton, McGill, Queen's, Guelph, and Ryerson.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of these rankings is the omission of the Saskatchewan Huskies, who opened the regular season with a pair of losses last weekend. Not only are they out of the rankings for the first time since the end of the 2014-2015 season, but their streak of 77 straight weeks in the top-five had been the longest in the country.

Goulet Named UNB Athlete Of The Week

With the departure of high scoring forwards Christopher Clapperton and Cameron Brace, UNB will be relying on a number of returning players to help offset that offense. Third year forward Alexandre Goulet is one of those players and after two games he has more than done his part thus far, which earned him UNB/Papa John's Pizza male athlete of the week honours.

In a season opening 9-3 win over Saint Mary's on Friday night, Goulet paced the offense with a hat-trick and an assist. He added another goal on Saturday - with less than a second left in the 2nd period that tied the game - in an eventual 6-4 loss to Acadia.

Goulet and the Reds are back on the road this weekend for exhibition games against Boston College and Maine.