Sunday, December 29, 2019

Reds Retain Pete Kelly Cup

Samuel Harvey turned aside all 26 shots he faced and UNB opened up a close game with three 3rd period goals to defeat the visiting Windsor Lancers 4-0 in the 15th annual Pete Kelly Cup this afternoon at the AUC.

- After a scoreless opening period that saw UNB out-shoot the Lancers 17-7, the Reds got on the board with a power play goal 4:35 into the 2nd period. Mark Rassell got the puck to Brady Gilmour, who then found Matthew Boucher with a cross-slot pass at the back door for a tap-in. This would be the only goal through the first 40 minutes as Lancers goalie Jonathan Reinhart showed why he is one of the country's best goalies, making 29 saves in the process.

- UNB was able to add a much-needed insurance goal early in the 3rd period when Rassell (Cooper, Dove-McFalls), with a defender all over him, took a pass from behind the net and somehow beat Reinhart with a shot along the ice.

- The Reds extended their advantage at 10:48. A turnover just outside the Lancers blueline led to a two-on-one break with Tyler Boland finding Stephen Anderson, who finished the play with a nice deke to make it 3-0. Patrick Watling also picked up an assist on the goal.

- The Lancers pulled Reinhart with just under two minutes remaining, but it didn't take long for Matt Murphy (Watling) to dance through the defense and find the empty net. The goal came at 18:25 and capped a successful day for the defending champions. 

- UNB dressed their entire line-up, including newcomers Ben Hawerchuk (wearing #12) and Connor Hall (#77).

- Both additions came as advertised. Hawerchuk showed flashes of his grit and skill while Hall brought a big, physical presence on the back-end.

- Shots in the game ended up 49-26 for the Reds with period totals of 17-7, 14-10, and 18-9.

- UNB went 1 for 5 on the power play. The Lancers came up empty on two chances.

- Samuel Harvey continued his run of strong play and earned the game's first star for his efforts. Rassell and the Lancers Sean Olson were the other two stars of the game.

- Windsor held a slight 37-36 advantage in the face-off department. Samuel Dove-McFalls (12 out of 18) had the most success on the afternoon for the Reds.

- Attendance was 2318.

- UNB has now captured the last 14 Pete Kelly Cups.

- The Reds finish their 2019-2020 exhibition schedule with a 3-1 record. They also had another game (versus York) cancelled after a period of play due to ice issues.

- Since losing to UQTR on home ice at the 2003 University Cup, UNB is 39-1-0 against OUA teams at the AUC. The lone loss was a 3-2 setback to Western at the 2012 University Cup.

- They have won 38 straight exhibition games against OUA competition on home ice, dating back to an 11-2 loss to UQTR in 1995.

- The regular season resumes on Friday night when UNB travels to Nova Scotia. They face Dalhousie on Friday night and then St. FX the next evening. Game time is 7PM for both contests.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Pete Kelly Cup Preview

The holiday break for the University of New Brunswick Reds officially comes to an end tomorrow afternoon when they host the OUA's Windsor Lancers in the 15th annual Pete Kelly Cup. Game time is scheduled for 4PM at the AUC.

- This will be the 7th meeting all-time between the two schools with UNB winning all six previous match-ups, including two at the University Cup (3-2 in overtime in 1998 and 6-2 in 2015). They swept a pair of exhibition games in the fall of 2013 (5-0, 5-4) and as part of the 10th Pete Kelly Cup in January 2015 (6-5, 7-1).

- After dropping the inaugural Pete Kelly Cup in 2005, UNB has won each of the last 13.

- UNB has an all-time record of 25-2-1 at the event. Both losses were to NCAA teams - 1-0 to Providence in 2010-2011 and 4-2 to Boston College in 2008-2009.

- The tournament has been played under a number of different formats over the years. This is the second straight year it will be a one game winner-take-all affair. They defeated the Lethbridge Pronghorns 8-3 last season.

- The Lancers are off to a great start to their season. They currently sit second on the OUA West division with a 12-4-1 record, three points behind the University of Toronto.

- However, despite their record, Windsor has only made one appearance in the top ten rankings this season, placing 10th in the November 26th poll.

- The Lancers rely on their defense to win games. They have only scored 52 goals in 17 games (3.06 goals per game) thus far, but have the best goals against average (2.33) and save percentage (.934) in the OUA. Not surprisingly, their power play has struggled this year (14.3%) while their penalty kill has been strong (85.5%). However, despite their overall success, they have been outshot this season by an average of 35.7 to 33.9 per game.

- Individually, the Lancers are led offensively by Ethan Skinner (25th in the OUA with 17 points in 17 games), rookie Anthony Salinitri (15 in 17), and defenceman Kody Gagnon (14 in 17).

- Goaltender Jonathan Reinhart has arguably been the best in the country thus far this season. He has played in 16 out of their 17 games, amassing an 11-4-0 record with a 2.03 GAA (5th in the country) and 0.942 save percentage (1st in the country).

- Windsor was scheduled to face the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in Edmunston today, but the game was cancelled due to travel issues stemming from yesterday's storm.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Hawerchuk To Join Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds added another piece to their roster today, announcing the addition of Ben Hawerchuk in time for the second half of the season. The name should sound familiar to hockey fans as Ben's father is hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk.

Hawechuck posted 67 goals, 69 assists, and 344 PIM in 290 OHL games over five seasons, all with the Barrie Colts, where he was coached by his father. His best season game last year with 27 goals and 23 assists in 62 contests.

The 5'11, 185 pound product of King City, Ontario began his professional career in the fall. He originally joined a team in the Czech Republic, but made his way back to North America before playing a game to join the ECHL's Brampton Beast. While with the Beast Hawerchuck scored two goals and added an assist in 14 games.

Hawerchuck is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday when the Reds face the Windsor Lancers in the annual Pete Kelly Cup. Game time is 4PM.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Reds Add Former NHL Draft Pick

The defending University Cup champion University of New Brunswick Reds have bolstered their blueline for the stretch run as it was announced today that defenceman Connor Hall - a 2016 3rd round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins - will join the team ahead of the second half of the season.

Although he has never been a big point producer (3 goals and 20 assists during parts of five OHL seasons, all with the Kitchener Rangers) and has battled shoulder issues throughout his career, which limited him to only 115 regular season games in his junior career, including just four last season, the Cambridge, Ontario native will be a welcome addition as he brings some much-needed size (6'2", 203 pounds) and snarl to the Reds and will be looked upon to provide solid defensive play and penalty killing.

According to his 2016 NHL Draft Profile, Hall "likes to use his size and strength to play a nasty, physical game...he punishes forwards, especially along the boards...he makes life difficult for the opposition" and he "excels as a shutdown defender that is especially strong one-on-one. He maintains good gaps, and has a strong, active stick. He's got an excellent poke check".

The addition of Hall brings the Reds roster to twenty skaters, which still leaves them plenty of flexibility with regards to the 22 skater limit should more opportunities present themselves in the coming weeks.

Fans will get their first chance to see Hall on Sunday, December 29th when the Reds welcome the OUA's Windsor Lancers to the AUC for the 15th annual Pete Kelly Cup. Game time is 4PM.

Friday, December 13, 2019

U Sports, Team Canada Split Series

The U Sports all-stars - coached by Gardiner MacDougall - and Team Canada junior prospects played a two game series on Wednesday and Thursday in Oakville, Ontario and each side emerged with a one goal victory.

On Wednesday afternoon it was Team Canada picking up a 4-3 win, despite being out-shot 27-21 by the U Sports team. Mount Royal's Ryley Lindgren opened the scoring 48 seconds into the contest - with Tristan Pomerleau picking up an assist on the goal - but that would be the only lead of the night for U Sports. Kris Bennett tied the game 2-2 with a power play goal 3:16 into the 2nd and Saint Mary's Huskies forward Stephen Johnson, from Bennett and Tyler Boland, equalized the game at 5:53 of the 3rd period. However, Bowen Bryam responded just under a minute later for Team Canada with what would prove to be the game winning goal. Team Canada hopefuls Hunter Jones and Olivier Rodrigue shared the crease for U Sports. After the 60 minute regulation game the two teams played a five minute 4-on-4 overtime period, which saw Team Canada score the only goal, and then held a five round shootout that U Sports won 2-1.

In the rematch on Thursday it was the U Sports all-stars stifling Team Canada for a 2-1 win in which the shots in the game favoured the university stars 22-12. All of the scoring game in the first 11 minutes of the game with Ryerson Rams forward Matthew Santos connecting for a power play goal from Boland and McGill's Nikolas Brouillard at 6:45 and Alberta's Trevor Cox making it 2-0 at 10:34. Alex Newhook of the Boston College Eagles replied for Team Canada at 11:15 to cut the lead in half, but there would be no scoring over the final 48+ minutes. The two teams switched goalies for the game with Canada's Nico Daws and Joel Hofer playing for U Sports. Once again there was a five minute overtime period - 3-on-3 this time - and shootout held afterwards and the U Sports team swept both.

Overall, it was another strong showing for the U Sports all-stars against some of the best junior players in the world. This event continues to be an outstanding showcase for U Sports hockey and shows just how strong university hockey is in this country.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Boland Nabs Monthly Honour

Reds forward Tyler Boland has been named the UNB Reds/Valley Graphics male Athlete of the Month for November.

In eight games the 3rd year forward collected six goals - including a dramatic, last minute game winning goal against Acadia - and seven assists, helping the Reds to a 6-2 record.

Coming off of 27 and 38 point seasons, Boland is well on his way to setting a new career high this year. He currently ranks 3rd in the conference with 10 goals and 16 assists in 17 games. He is also 2nd in the league with a +14 rating.

It's been a good couple of days for the Newfoundland native. In addition to being named the athlete of the month, Boland has also been selected to the U Sports all-star team that will face Hockey Canada's National Junior Team prospects in a pair of games next week in Oakville, Ontario.

MacDougall To Coach All-Stars, Including 5 Reds

Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall will serve as the head coach of the U Sports all-stars when they face Hockey Canada's National Junior Team prospects in a two game series next week in Oakville, Ontario.

Five Reds players will be joining MacDougall with defencemen Tristan Pomerleau and Matt Murphy, and forwards Mark Simpson, Kris Bennett, and Tyler Boland being named to the 22 player roster. This will be Pomerleau and Boland's first appearance at the event.

The Alberta Golden Bears lead the way with six selections while three other AUS players have been invited - Saint Mary's defenceman Nick Welsh and forward Stephen Johnson, and St. FX forward Bryson Cianfrone.

Joining MacDougall on the coaching staff are Brett Gibson (Queen's), Todd Johnson (Regina), and Clarke Singer (Western).

The games are scheduled for 6PM AST on Wednesday, December 11th and 3PM AST Thursday, December 12th.

The U Sports all-stars have gone 5-3-1 in the previous four incarnations of the series, which helps prepare the Canadian team for the IIHF World Junior Championship. This year's tournament will be held in the Czech Republic later this month.

Harvey Named Athlete of the Week

Goaltender Samuel Harvey has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week after guiding the Reds to an 8-1 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies on Saturday night.

The rookie netminder turned aside 14 out of 15 shots to pick up his 7th win of the season.

After a tough AUS debut in which he allowed six goals, the former Memorial Cup champion has been lights out. He currently ranks 3rd in the league in wins, 2nd in winning percentage (0.777), 1st in goals against average (2.00), and 3rd in save percentage (0.902).