Friday, January 31, 2020

Reds Clinch Pennant

The University of New Brunswick Reds clinched first place for the 13th consecutive year after a big 3rd period propelled the team to a hard-fought 4-2 comeback victory over the 2nd place Acadia Axemen tonight in Wolfville. UNB's 11th win in a row moves their record to 23-4-0 while the Axemen fall to 18-8-1.

The Reds entered the game having dropped both previous games in Wolfville this season and this one got off to an ominous start. Operating with an early man advantage, a turnover in the high slot of the Axemen zone led to a 2-on-1 the other way. Rodney Southam got the puck over to Johnny Corneil just inside the Reds blue line and when Corneil attempted to return the favour with a cross-ice pass in tight, the puck deflected off of the UNB defenceman and between the legs of Samuel Harvey. The goal came 2:45 into the contest and would be the only marker of the period as UNB out-shot the Axemen 13-10.

It's not very often a four minute penalty kill proves to be a turning point in a game, but that may have been the case tonight. A double-minor to Ben Hawerchuk early in the 2nd period gave the Axemen an excellent opportunity to create some cushion on the scoreboard, however they couldn't generate much offensively against the Reds aggressive penalty kill and the game remained 1-0. Although there was no scoring in the period - thanks in large part to a pair of massive glove saves by Logan Flodell on Tyler Boland - the ice tilted significantly in UNB's favour for the remainder of the game. The Axemen escaped the period with their lead intact despite being out-shot 16-7.

Needing a big final twenty minutes, the Reds stepped up. An early power play for Acadia looked like it would stall the comeback attempt momentarily, but it was UNB striking for a shorthanded goal of their own. Mark Simpson forced a turnover in the Axemen corner and got the puck out front to Kris Bennett. While stretching out to get a handle on the puck, Bennett was not only able to gain control of it while keeping his balance, but also negotiate it around Flodell's right leg to tie the game 1-1 at 1:41 of the period. UNB would then take their first lead of the night at 7:48 when a big rebound came out in the slot to Samuel Dove-McFalls (Hawerchuk, Murphy), who was able to one-time the bouncing puck over Flodell's shoulder. The Reds kept the pressure up and it was their power play coming through to increase their lead at the 11:09 mark. Brady Gilmour (Boucher, Simpson) took a feed at the top of the left face-off circle, skated in, and sniped a shot into the top corner, making it 3-1. It looked like UNB would have no trouble finishing out the victory as they were seemingly in complete control of the game with a two goal lead. However, a misplay by Harvey gave the Axemen some life. Ross MacDougall put a harmless backhanded shot from the neutral zone on Harvey that the Reds netminder bobbled. MacDougall raced in after his own shot and collected the loose puck, roofing the puck from in tight to cut the lead to 3-2 with six minutes remaining. Acadia was unable to do much with the momentum gained from the goal though, even with the extra attacker, as UNB locked it down the rest of the way, salting it away when Bennett's (Dove-McFall, Hall) backhander from the centre-ice boards found an empty net with 41 seconds remaining. Shots over the final twenty minutes favoured the visitors by a 16-5 count.

- UNB mixed up their line-up quite a bit tonight, largely due to the one game suspensions earned by Alexandre Goulet and Tristan Pomerleau from last weekends game against St. FX. In addition to those two, Marcus McIvor remained sidelined and Oliver Cooper was out for the first time this season. Everyone else was in the line-up with Mark Simpson returning after missing four games and Dylan Seitz dressing for the first time, though he did not see much, if any, ice time.

- Shots were 45-22 for the Reds.

- UNB went 1 for 4 on the power play. The Axemen were scoreless on five chances.

- The Reds won 43 out of 71 face-offs. With Goulet out that meant Simpson (20 out of 30) and Dove-McFalls (13 out of 24) were leaned on more heavily than usual. Those two, along with Tyler Boland (9 out of 14), took all but three face-offs in the game.

- Bennett was named player of the game. Flodell and Dove-McFalls were the other two stars.

- Harvey improves to 13-2-0 on the season with a league-leading 1.86 GAA and 0.912 save percentage, which is second in the conference.

- Attendance was a sold-out 2100.

- With the win, UNB takes the season series against the Axemen for a 5th straight season. They went 3-2-0 record against Acadia, with one of those wins coming in a shootout. The Reds out-scored the Axemen 16-15 (4-6, 4-3, 2-3, 2-1 SO, 4-2).

- In a rare occurrence, both of the other games tonight took place in Halifax. The Saint Mary's Huskies took a big step towards clinching 3rd place with a 5-1 home victory over Moncton. SMU is now four points up on the Aigles Bleus with both teams having three games remaining. In the other contest, the UPEI Panthers clinched the 6th and final playoff berth with a 4-3 overtime win against the Dalhousie Tigers.

- Tomorrow night the Reds are in Halifax themselves for a match-up against the Saint Mary's Huskies. Game time is 7PM and all the action can be viewed at AUStv.ca.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

U Sports Top Ten (#15): Reds Retain Top Spot

For a 7th straight week, the University of New Brunswick Reds are the top ranked men's hockey team in the country.

The 22-4-0 Reds ran their winning streak to ten games after convincing home wins over the Dalhousie Tigers and St. FX X-Men last weekend. Their 1876.80 ELO points places them comfortably ahead of the Saskatchewan Huskies (1783.25) - who are riding a seven game winning streak themselves and are up one spot to 2nd - and the Carleton Ravens (1750.71), who are back in their familiar spot of 3rd, where they have spent much of the season.

The biggest shock of the weekend may have been the #4 Alberta Golden Bears (1701.09) dropping both games versus the Calgary Dinos (1665.16), who move back into the rankings at the 7th spot. This is the lowest the Golden Bears have been ranked in two years.

Rounding out the rankings are the #5 Toronto Varsity Blues (1681.35), #6 UQTR Patriotes (1672.83), #8 Ryerson Rams (1662.36), #9 Guelph Gryphons (1632.72), and #10 Acadia Axemen (1619.71).

The Ottawa Gee-Gees fall out of this week's rankings.

Here are the notable games across the country this week as the playoff push heats up:

THURSDAY
#7 Calgary at Mount Royal (Crowchild Classic at Calgary Saddledome)

FRIDAY
#1 UNB at #10 Acadia
Mount Royal at #7 Calgary
#6 UQTR at #3 Carleton
Windsor at #9 Guelph

SATURDAY
#1 UNB at Saint Mary's
Moncton at #10 Acadia
Windsor at #5 Toronto

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Winning Streak Hits Double Digits

If last weekend's thrilling shootout victory over the Acadia Axemen was a showcase for U Sports hockey, tonight's 6-2 win over the rival St. FX X-Men in the 28th annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game was quite the opposite. The game featured a rash of whistles and stoppages thanks to 31 penalties, 108 penalty minutes, and four fights - most of which game late in the game with the outcome no longer in doubt. Nonetheless, the University of New Brunswick Reds extended their winning streak to ten games and strengthened their grip on 1st place in the conference, moving to 22-4-0 on the season and seven points ahead of the 2nd place Axemen with four games remaining in the regular season.

The Reds got on the board 6:19 into the contest when Brady Gilmour (Bennett, Murphy) elected to keep the puck on a short 2-on-1 break, cut across the crease, and slipped a backhanded shot along the ice between Joseph Raaymakers legs. As the period moved along, UNB began to take over the game. They were finally rewarded with 20 seconds left in the period when Stephen Anderson forced a turnover in the X-Men zone, skated the puck down to the goal-line, put on the brakes to turn away from a defender, and found Tyler Boland at the bottom of the left face-off circle, who proceeded to put a dart into the top right corner. The Reds took the 2-0 lead into the intermission after out-shooting the X-Men 18-6.

Like last night, the 2nd period proved to be UNB's best of the game as they fired 23 shots on net to only eight for the X-Men. Four of those shots found the back of the goal. The first four goals of the period all came on the power play with Alexandre Goulet (Rassell, Boucher) depositing his own rebound in close at 7:47 and Tyler Boland (Anderson, Bennett) wristing a shot past a down and out Raaymakers at 11:09 to double the Reds lead. After Regan Spears put a shot just under the cross-bar to cut the deficit to 4-1 at 13:00, Matthew Boucher (Rassell, Gilmour) hammered in a nice cross-ice, backhanded feed from Mark Rassell at the back-door to restore the four goal lead 69 seconds later. Matt Murphy (Rassell, Dove-McFalls) cleaned up some garbage during a goal-mouth scramble at 18:11 to push the lead to 6-1. Although the X-Men had a 5-on-3 power play for the final 1:15 of the period, the score would remain 6-1 after 40 minutes.

The 3rd period was wide open as each team had 15 shots on goal, but the only goal came off the stick of William Bower, who scored on the PP with only 11 seconds remaining in the game. This came after a big dust-up at at 19:16 that saw Connor Hall and Lane Cormier as well as Alexandre Goulet and Anthony Difruscia square off. Although it appeared Hall was actively trying not to engage in a fight (and didn’t actually throw any punches), knowing the potential consequences, all four players were given five minute majors and game misconducts, which will no doubt affect each player's status games this upcoming week.

- UNB went with the same line-up as last night as Mark Simpson, Marcus McIvor, Noah Carroll, and Dylan Seitz were all scratched.

- Shots in the game were 56-29 for UNB. On the bright side for the X-Men, this represents their highest shot total in their last 13 games against the Reds.

- Rylan Parenteau continued his recent run of strong play, making 27 saves for his 10th win of the year. He has allowed only five goals in his last four starts.

- The Reds won 46 out of 81 face-offs in the game. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the best night, per usual, with 16 wins on 27 draws.

- UNB went 3 for 8 on the power play while St. FX was 2 for 10.

- Boland, Murphy, and Parenteau were the game's three stars.

- Attendance was 2218.

- Prior to the game, forward Mark Simpson was presented with the Mark Jeffrey Memorial Scholarship.

- With both captain Marcus McIvor and alternate captain Mark Simpson out, Patrick Watling wore an ‘A’ this weekend.

- The Reds are now 17-1-1 in the last 19 Mark Jeffrey Memorial games.

- UNB won four out of the five games between the two teams this season, out-scoring St. FX 28-11 in those games. The Reds have scored 5+ goals in 8 of their last 9 games against the X-Men.

- Elsewhere around the conference tonight, it was the Moncton Aigles Bleus routing the Dalhousie Tigers 6-1 on home-ice and the Saint Mary's Huskies getting a big 5-4 overtime victory in Charlottetown against the UPEI Panthers.

- The Reds are on the road next weekend for two tough games. They face the Acadia Axemen on Friday night before heading to Halifax to face Saint Mary's the next evening. Both games are slated for a 7PM start.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Sophomores Step Up

On a night where their top line was held off the score-sheet, the University of New Brunswick Reds' second year stars supplied all of the offense in a 5-1 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the Aitken Centre. UNB's 9th win in a row gives them a 21-4-0 record on the season, five points ahead of the Acadia Axemen with a game in hand.

Samuel Dove-McFalls (Boucher, Bennett) put the Reds on the board before much of the large crowd - many of whom were there for Southside/Oromocto elementary School night - were in their seats when he backhanded the puck past Connor Hicks just 43 seconds into the game. The Tigers replied at at 5:06 after Michael Dill redirected a point shot past Samuel Harvey to tie the game. However, shortly after the goal UNB was awarded consecutive power plays, the second of which they converted. Mark Rassell (Gilmour, Goulet) got the puck in tight and made a quick pivot from his backhand to his forehand and put the puck in the far side of the net. The goal came at 9:40 and gave the Reds a 2-1 lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the period. A late Dalhousie power play generated a number of shots and chances, but to no avail. Shots in the period ended up 12-10 for the Reds.

UNB began the 2nd period the same as the opening period - with a goal. Matthew Boucher (Dove-McFalls, Bennett) got the puck in a prime shooting area and picked the short side top corner to give the Reds a 3-1 lead 35 seconds into the frame. He would add his second, this one on the power play from Gilmour and Rassell, at 8:49 when he pounced on a loose puck in the crease. He was able to push the puck into the net, just before a Tigers defender shoved him into the goal. The power play then struck for a third time on the night in the dying seconds of the period. Boucher fed the puck to Olivier LeBlanc at the blue line and the defenceman's point shot was deflected in front by Rassell. The goal at 19:55 of the period concluded a dominant period for UNB as they increased their lead to 5-1 while out-shooting the Tigers 24-6.

Despite the Reds having two more power play opportunities in the 3rd period, there was no more scoring on the night. UNB held a 12-3 shot advantage over the final twenty minutes.

- Olivier LeBlanc was back in the line-up after missing five games. Marcus McIvor and Mark Simpson remained out while Noah Carroll and Dylan Seitz were scratched.

- Shots in the game were 48-19 for the Reds. It was a rare occurrence where UNB didn't pepper Tigers goalie Connor Hicks with 50+ shots.

- LeBlanc's return paid immediate dividends for the Reds power play. With the blue-liner back helping run the man advantage, UNB went 3 for 7 on the evening. The Tigers were scoreless on their only two chances.

- Samuel Harvey started his 3rd straight game in the Reds net and turned in another solid performance to pick up his 12th win of the season.

- Boucher's four point night earned him player of the game. Rassell and LeBlanc were the other two stars.

- The Reds won 45 out of 68 face-offs. Dove-McFalls (14 out of 18) and Alexandre Goulet (13 out of 18) shouldered most of the load.

- Patrick Watling left the game in the 3rd period and never returned after being on the receiving end of a high hit, which was penalized.

- UNB swept the season series from the Tigers, out-scoring Dalhousie 30-6 in the five games.

- UNB's current nine game winning streak is their longest regular season run since winning their last nine games of the 2016/17 season.

- In other AUS action tonight, the Acadia Axemen recovered from blowing a 5-1 lead to pick up an 8-5 road win over the UPEI Panthers. The win snapped the Axemen's four game losing streak. In Moncton, the St. FX X-Men jumped out to a 2-0 lead 94 seconds into the game and doubled the Aigles Bleus 4-2.

- The Reds are back at the AUC tomorrow night when they host the St. FX X-Men in the 28th annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Game. Game time is 7PM.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Harvey Named Athlete Of The Week

UPDATE: Harvey has also been named the Subway AUS male Athlete of the Week.

For the first time in his career, goaltender Samuel Harvey has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week.

Starting on consecutive days for the first time this season, the rookie netminder played arguably the best hockey of his young UNB career this past weekend in a pair of crucial wins. In Friday night's much anticipated showdown with the 2nd place Acadia Axemen he stopped 25 out of 26 shots, including a highlight-reel save late in overtime, and then stoned the final two shootout attempts in a 2-1 victory. He got the start the following afternoon against the 3rd place Saint Mary's Huskies and turned aside 23 out of 24 shots in a 4-1 win.

After a bit of a slow start, Harvey is showing why he was arguably the most sought after goaltending recruit in the country last summer. For the season he is 11-2 with a 1.91 GAA (t-1st in the AUS) and 0.909 save percentage (2nd) on the season.

Harvey will look to keep up his strong play this weekend when the Reds host the Dalhousie Tigers and St. FX X-Men on Friday and Saturday night, respectively.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Reds Extend Winning Streak

The University of New Brunswick Reds wrapped up a highly successful week with a solid 4-1 victory over the visiting Saint Mary's Huskies in an afternoon matinee today at the AUC. UNB's 3rd win in five days - and 8th straight overall - gives them a 20-4-0 record on the season. They are now five points up on the second place Acadia Axemen with six games remaining in the regular season.

Much like Friday night, the Reds came out strong in this one as they out-shot the Huskies 13-2 in the first twelve minutes and 18-7 in the period. They were rewarded only 1:26 in to the game when Stephen Anderson (Watling, Boland) converted a one-timer in the slot, putting it past Huskies goaltender Erik Brassard's glove and into the top right corner. That would be the only goal of the period as Brassard made a number of key saves to keep the Huskies in the game.

The Reds once again struck early in the 2nd period, and once again it was the top line connecting. Anderson got the puck to Tyler Boland deep in the offensive zone and Boland made a quick curl at the bottom of the left face-off circle before feeding a pass to a wide-open Patrick Watling, who was rushing into the zone and was able to skate into a slap shot and hammer the puck past Brassard. The goal came at 1:03 and made it 2-0. The rest of the period was fairly even as the Huskies started to push back. They out-shot UNB 10-9 in the frame thanks to a couple of late power plays, but Samuel Harvey was up to the task to keep Saint Mary's scoreless through 40 minutes.

The Huskies received their third straight man advantage early in the 3rd period and this time they made it count. Connor McGlynn was able to get around Connor Hall to jump on a loose puck for a short break and he slid a backhanded shot just inside the far post to make it a one goal game at 3:10. A bad giveaway by the Reds in the ensuing minutes led to two point-blank chances for the Huskies, but Harvey was there to snuff them out to maintain the lead. At 6:56 UNB got that goal back as Alexandre Goulet (Watling, Gilmour) finished off a 3-on-1 rush with a shot that appeared to deflect off Huskies defenceman Nick Welsh, who trying to block the shot, and into the net. The Reds would add an insurance goal at 17:10 when Samuel Dove-McFalls (Pomerleau, Cooper) skated down the left wing and sniped a wrist shot into the top corner on the short side, popping the water bottle in the process. That would be the final goal of the game as Reds out-shot the Huskies 16-7 in the period.

- Benjamin Gagne was in the line-up, replacing Marcus McIvor. Olivier LeBlanc, Mark Simpson, and Dylan Seitz were also scratched.

- Shots ended up 43-24 for UNB.

- Saint Mary's went 1 for 7 on the power play. UNB went scoreless on three opportunities and went 0 for the weekend. It is only the second time this season the Reds failed to score a power play goal in back to back games. Coincidentally, the other time was when they hosted Acadia and Saint Mary's on November 8th and 9th.

- UNB won 46 out of 75 face-offs with Dove-McFalls (18 out of 25) shouldering the majority of the load.

- Watling was named player of the game. Harvey and McGlynn were the other two stars.

- Attendance was 2327.

- Prior to the game Oliver Cooper and Rylan Parenteau were named as this year's recipients of the "Punchy" Walker Award while Matt Murphy was awarded the Don MacAdam Scholarship.

- Stephen Anderson's goal was his 50th career regular season marker.

- UNB has reached the 20 win plateau for a 13th consecutive season. The Carleton Ravens (20-3-1) are the only other team in the country to hit that mark thus far, although both Toronto and Alberta have 19 wins in only 22 games.

- With the win, the Reds have clinched a 1st round playoff bye for the 14th straight year.

- UNB is now 3-1-0 against Saint Mary's this season, the 5th straight year they have taken the season series.

- Elsewhere around the league Saturday night, St. FX went on the road and doubled up the UPEI Panthers 4-2 and Moncton scored goals 27 seconds apart in the 1st period and held on for a 2-1 home win over the Acadia Axemen.

- The Reds are back at home for another doubleheader next weekend. They host the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday night and the St. FX X-Men the next evening. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Reds Down Axemen In Thriller

Tonight's game at the AUC between two of the top teams in the country certainly lived up to the hype as the #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds emerged with a 2-1 shootout victory over the #6 Acadia Axemen in a highly entertaining affair that featured a playoff-like atmosphere. UNB improves to 19-4-0 with their 7th win in a row, moving them three points clear of the 17-5-1 Axemen.

The Reds were buzzing in the early going, but a couple key saves by Axemen goalie Logan Flodell kept the game scoreless. After weathering the early storm, Acadia opened the scoring at 4:14 when Jordy Stallard shoveled the puck from just outside the crease and past Samuel Harvey. It was the first time in five games the Reds surrendered the first goal of the game. The Axemen had a chance to build on their lead halfway through the period when they were awarded the first power play of the night, however it was UNB knotting the game. After some aggressive forechecking by Oliver Cooper the puck came back to Joe Gatenby. His long shot was stopped but he tracked down his own rebound and fed it to Samuel Dove-McFalls, who got in behind a defender and slid the puck between the post and Flodell's left leg. The shorthanded marker came at 11:04 and would prove to be the last goal either team would score until the shootout.

After UNB out-shot Acadia 16-7 in the opening period the two teams were pretty evenly matched the rest of the way with the Reds holding a slight 23-19 advantage. Each team had their opportunities over the next 45 minutes, perhaps none bigger than the Axemen receiving a power play with 1:14 remaining in the 3-on-3 overtime period after UNB took a too many men on ice penalty. The penalty killers stepped up with some big blocks and Harvey made the save of the game when he slid to his right to deny what looked a sure goal with a right pad save, sending the game to a shootout.

In the shootout Alexandre Goulet was up first for the Reds. He was able get Flodell down, but was unable to lift the puck over the netminder's right pad as his patented move failed for possibly the first time in his tenure at UNB. Stephen Harper gave Acadia a 1-0 lead when his snap shot beat Harvey only to have Tyler Boland reply with shot through Flodell's five-hole. Mason McCarthy answered back for the Axemen. With UNB's back to the wall the next four outcomes all went their way. First, Matthew Boucher kept the game alive, beating Flodell with a well placed wrist shot just inside the right post and then, needing a goal to win, Acadia's Jordy Stallard was denied by Harvey. Kris Bennett was up next for UNB and he used Goulet's strategy, out-waiting Flodell to get him down before putting the puck in the vacated upper half of the net. With the pressure now shifted to Acadia, Harvey once again came up big, turning aside Maurizio Colella to give the Reds the dramatic victory.

- Mark Simpson was out of the line-up tonight as James McEwan drew in. Olivier LeBlanc, Benjamin Gagne, and Dylan Seitz all remained sidelined.

- With LeBlanc already out, the defence was stretched even thinner when Marcus McIvor left the game in the 1st period and never returned. The remaining five 'D' - Murphy, Gatenby, Hall, Pomerleau, and Carroll - all stepped up in a huge way, logging big minutes and keeping the Axemen off the scoreboard for the last 60+ minutes of the game. 

- Shots in the game were 39-26 for UNB.

- Both teams went scoreless on four power play opportunities.

- Even without Simpson, the Reds dominated the face-off circle as they won 40 out of 59 draws. Tyler Boland (13 out of 15) had the best night while Dove-McFalls (11 out of 17) and Goulet (9 out of 15) also had strong showings.

- Kris Bennett was named the player of the game. Dove-McFalls and Harvey were named 2nd and 3rd stars, respectively.

- Harvey was rock solid all night in improving to 10-2-0 on the season with a 1.99 GAA and 0.905 save percentage. He avenged a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Axemen in his season debut back on September 28th.

- Attendance was 2885.

- There was only one other game in the AUS tonight and it saw the Saint Mary's Huskies go on the road and defeat the Moncton Aigles Bleus 3-2 in overtime. The scheduled Dalhousie at UPEI game was postponed due to high winds restricting travel on the Confederation Bridge.

- It is a quick turnaround for the Reds as they are back on the ice at 4PM tomorrow afternoon to face the Huskies.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Reds Edge Panthers

Coming off of an 11-0 loss to the University of New Brunswick Reds on Friday night, the UPEI Panthers put forth a much better effort tonight at home, but ultimately it still wasn't enough as the Reds skated to a 3-1 victory in a hard-hitting physical affair in Charlottetown. UNB improves to 18-4-0 on the season, two points clear of the 2nd place Acadia Axemen. The Panthers are now 8-11-3 and tied for 5th place with St. FX.

- The opening ten minutes looked like more of the same as UNB jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Mark Rassell (Dove-McFalls, Pomerleau) struck for the game's first goal at 2:09 when he cleaned up a rebound in front of Simon Hofley. At 10:12 it was Kris Bennett (Gilmour, Pomerleau) jamming the puck in at the side of the net to double the visitors advantage. 

- The two teams played through a scoreless 2nd period, thanks in large part to the Panthers penalty killing. Darian Pilon's high, hard hit on Tyler Boland at the 10:57 mark not only knocked the Reds star temporarily out for the rest of the period, but put UNB on a five minute power play that they could not cash in on. Then, at 18:44, Troy Lajeeunesse was assessed a double minor for high-sticking that UPEI also killed off. 

- The Panthers got an opportunity with the man advantage early in the 3rd period and they were able to convert with Filip Rydstrom's shot getting through a screen in front and past Rylan Parenteau who, otherwise, was excellent on the night. 

- With UPEI back within a goal and gaining momentum the Reds power play finally came through with a big insurance tally courtesy Matthew Boucher (Rassell, Goulet) at 9:26.

- Just after the Boucher goal UNB took two quick penalties, which gave the Panthers a 53 second 5-on-3. The Reds were up to the task and killed it off. 

- The Panthers pulled Hofley with 2:09 remaining in search of the necessary offense, however neither team was able to score.

- Shots in the game were 34-25 for UNB with period totals of 12-8, 15-9, and 7-8.

- Olivier LeBlanc, Benjamin Gagne, James McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- UNB went 1 for 4 on the power play. The Panthers went 1 for 5.

- UPEI's power play goal snapped the Reds streak of 29 consecutive successful penalty kills dating back to November 29th (7 games ago).

- Parenteau picked up his 8th win of the season. He turned aside 46 out of 47 shots in his last two games - both against the Panthers. 

- Rassell was named the player of the game.

- The Reds only won 37 out of 78 face-offs in the game. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the best night with 14 wins on 26 draws.

- Boucher had a game-high eight shots on goal.

- As mentioned above, Tyler Boland left the game in the 2nd period after being on the receiving end of a high hit into the glass. Fortunately, he returned at the beginning of the 3rd period. 

- Attendance was 615.

- UNB is at home this weekend for two big games. On Friday night (7PM) they face the Acadia Axemen. They turn around and take on the Saint Mary's Huskies at 4PM on Saturday afternoon. 

Seitz Joins Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds have officially announced the addition of forward Dylan Seitz, a move that had been rumoured for quite some time now

The 6'2", 185 pound native of Eden, New York played one season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, putting up 8 goals and 10 assists in 60 games. He then moved on to the Moncton Wildcats for two full seasons, posting 17 goals and 14 assists in 57 games in 2017-2018 and 16 goals and 17 assists in 64 games last season. He played in six games earlier this year with the Wildcats but, like current Reds forward Brady Gilmour, found himself as the odd man out in a crowded overage situation and decided to pursue his education instead. Overall, Seitz tallied 41 goals and 41 assists to go along with 281 PIM in 187 CHL games.

Seitz has previously played for the USA's U18 team at the 2016 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he captured a silver medal, and attended the New Jersey Devils rookie camp in 2018.

With Seitz now in the fold UNB has reached the roster cap of 22 skaters for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.

Boland Takes UNB/AUS Weekly Honours

Reds forward Tyler Boland's big weekend on the scoresheet has resulted in him being named both the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week and the Subway AUS male athlete of the week.

In Friday night's 11-0 shellacking of the UPEI Panthers Boland registered a hat-trick and two assists. He followed that up with two more goals - his first of the night being his 100th career AUS point - and an assist in Saturday's 7-3 road victory over Moncton. He was named the player of the game in both contests.

The 3rd year forward has been on an offensive tear as of late with 11 points in his last three games. This has vaulted him to not only the top of the conference scoring lead, but also the nation's scoring lead, with 16 goals and 21 assists in 21 games thus far. Additionally, his +21 rating is good for 3rd in the league and his three game-winning goals lead the circuit.

Boland will look to keep up his recent hot streak this week when UNB plays three games, starting Tuesday night in Charlottetown versus the UPEI Panthers.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Offensive Explosion Continues

The University of New Brunswick Reds' torrid offensive pace continued tonight as they built a 6-0 lead halfway through the game and cruised to a 7-3 road victory over the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. The Reds fifth straight win gives them a 17-4-0 record and pulls them into a 1st place tie with the idle Acadia Axemen with a game in hand. Moncton falls to 4th place with a 9-8-5 mark.

The Reds quick strike offense was on full display in the 1st period as they pumped in four goals in under five minutes to build a commanding lead. Rookie Brady Gilmour (Bennett, Hall) opened the scoring at 8:46 when he received a pass as he rushed down the right side and snapped the puck past Etienne Montpetit's blocker into the far corner. A turnover in Moncton's end 1:59 later resulted in Oliver Cooper (Rassell, Dove-McFalls) jumping on a big rebound in the slot and depositing it in to double the lead. The top line hooked up to make it 3-0 at 13:27 with Patrick Watling drifting a long, high wrist shot towards the net that Tyler Boland was able get a stick on and tip in. The outburst was capped off 14 seconds later by Matthew Boucher (Hawerchuk, McIvor), who fired a wrist shot over Monpetit's glove and into the top corner off the the rush for what would end up being the game-winning goal. This prompted the Aigles Bleus to take a timeout as the shots were 14-2 for the Reds. They would end up 16-8 in the period but the game would remain 4-0 after one period of play.

The rest of the game was fairly even with UNB holding a 22-19 advantage in shots and both sides connecting for three goals. Boland's (Watling, Boucher) second of the night, on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle, pushed the lead to 5-0 at 5:29. The power play then went to work with Stephen Anderson (Bennett, Boland) putting the puck between Monpetit's right arm and the post from the bottom of the left face-off circle. This spelled the end of the night for the Aigle Bleus netminder as Alexi Thibaudeau came on in relief. The move seemed to spark Moncton a bit as Maxime St-Cyr's redirection off of a nice 3-on-2 rush got the Aigles Bleus on the board at 14:23 and Vincent Deslauriers got behind the defense to cut the deficit to 6-2 1:11 later.

The two teams traded goals over the final twenty minutes of play with Justin Guenette (at 5:28) and Mark Simpson (from Bennett and Murphy) at 13:28 finding the back of the net. 

- Benjamin Gagne replaced Noah Carroll in the line-up on the back end. Olivier LeBlanc and James McEwan were also both out.

- Shots in the game were 38-27 for the Reds.

- Both sides had four power play opportunities with UNB scoring the only goal.

- Face-offs were 38-26 for the Reds. Samuel Dove-McFalls (15 for 21) had his usual strong night at the dot while Tyler Boland won 11 out of 14.

- Boland was named the player of the game for the second time on the weekend.

- Samuel Harvey picked up his 9th win of the season in net.

- It was a night of milestones for a pair of 3rd year Reds forwards. Boland's first goal of the night was his 100th career AUS point. Kris Bennett matched him with his assist on Anderson's 2nd period goal.

- The only other game in the conference saw Saint Mary's defeat St. FX by a 5-1 score in Halifax.

- The Reds are back at it on Tuesday night when they travel to Charlottetown to face the UPEI Panthers. This makes up the November 16th game that had to be postponed due to high winds restricting travel on the Confederation Bridge. Game time is 7PM.

- That is the beginning of an important week for UNB as they are back at home next weekend for two crucial games. They host the Acadia Axemen at 7PM on Friday night in a battle for first place and then welcome the Saint Mary's Huskies to the AUC on Saturday for a 4PM start.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Panthers Mauled

The visiting UPEI Panthers ran into an absolute buzz-saw tonight at the Aitken Centre as the University of New Brunswick Reds' skill was firing all cylinders in an dominant 11-0 victory. UNB's fourth straight win improves their record to 16-4-0 on the season and clinches a playoff spot in the process. Meanwhile, the Panthers fall to 8-10-3.

The Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the 1st period and, unfortunately for the Panthers, they were just getting warmed up on the night. Tyler Boland (Anderson, Gatenby) opened the scoring on the power play with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Panthers goalie Simon Hofley at 4:28 and then duplicated the feat - this time with a wrist shot from the slot from Anderson and Watling - at 10:08. Alexandre Goulet (Bennett, Gilmour) also used a wrist shot to extend the lead to 3-0 at 12:56. Shots in the period were 18-8 for UNB.

The Reds added four more goals in the 2nd period. At 4:07 Brady Gilmour's shot hit Hofley in the shoulder, but the puck dropped right on to Kris Bennett's stick at the side of the net that he easily deposited. Just 52 seconds later Mark Rassell had the puck in the slot and got tied up with a Panthers defender. Stephen Anderson swooped in, grabbed the loose puck, and beat Hofley with a deke in tight. Matt Murphy also picked up an assist on UNB's fifth goal of the night. Anderson also figured into the game's 6th goal at 13:28 when he and Boland combined to set up Patrick Watling with a centring pass that Watling banged into the far side of the cage. The Reds power play struck for the third time on the evening to make it 7-0 at 18:24. Marcus McIvor got the puck to Boland, who spotted Tristan Pomerleau creeping down from the point and he connected with the defenceman at the backdoor for a tap-in. The Reds held a 16-7 shots on goal advantage in the period.

For the Panthers, the opening minutes of the 3rd period perfectly encapsulated how things went for them on this night. The Reds took a penalty at 19:07 of the 2nd period and then took two more at the 20:00 mark, which gave the Panthers four consecutive minutes of power play time - including a 3:07 two man advantage - to begin the 3rd period. Not only did UNB kill it off, they scored a shorthanded goal at 2:09 when Matt Murphy sprung Connor Hall for a breakaway just as he stepped out of the penalty box and the newest Red snapped a shot past Hofley. The Reds avalanche would continue as Boland (Bennett) completed his hat-trick at 3:40 and Gilmour (Watling) scored off the ensuing face-off nine seconds later to get the Reds into double-digits. Mark Rassell (Cooper, Dove-McFalls) concluded the onslaught at 15:34. UNB out-shot the Panthers 11-7 over the final twenty minutes.

- Olivier LeBlanc was out of the line-up, which was no doubt due to the hit to the head he took from St. FX's Marcus Cuomo last weekend. Cuomo received a one game suspension for the cheap shot.

- Benjamin Gagne and James McEwan were also scratched.

- Shots favoured UNB 45-22 on the night.

- UNB went 3 for 8 with the man advantage. The Panthers were 0 for 8.

- Lost in all the offensive fireworks was Rylan Parenteau picking up his 8th career shutout.

- The Reds also dominated in the face-off circle with Dove-McFalls (19 out of 23), Mark Simpson (14 out of 21), and Goulet (9 out of 11) helping UNB to a 57-23 advantage in the game.

- Attendance was 2361.

- Tyler Boland (2 goals, 3 assists) was named the player of the game. Anderson (goal, 3 assists) and Gilmour (goal, 2 assists) were named the other two stars.

- It was a rough night for Panthers netminder Simon Hofley (obviously), but you have to give him credit for taking one for the team tonight. UPEI has been without their regular back-up goalie Matthew Mancina all season due to an injury and it was clear that their coaching staff wasn't willing to put in their untested and inexperienced third goaltender even with Hofley struggling.

- Connor Hall is quickly becoming well known among AUS opponents. He was involved in a number of scuffles all night, something that has been a common occurrence during his first three conference games.

- After scoring only three goals in 115 OHL games, Hall has now scored twice in his first three AUS games. Even more remarkable? Both goals have been shorthanded.

- Prior to the game 5th year senior Stephen Anderson was awarded the Brian and Denise Johnson Hockey Scholarship.

- This is the most lopsided shutout by UNB since at least 1967.

- The 11 goals scored are tied for the most in the Gardiner MacDougall era.

- The 11 goal margin of victory is the highest since a 14-1 victory over Mount Allison in 1991.

- UNB have now hit double digit goals in two games this season (10-0 victory over Dalhousie on November 22nd). It is the first time since the 2010-2011 season they have accomplished that feat.

- The Reds have won their last four home games by a combined 33-1 score.

- The Reds got some help from their good friends from Antigonish tonight as Matt Needham's goal with 1:09 remaining in regulation lifted the St. FX X-Men to a 2-1 home win over the 1st place Acadia Axemen. Saint Mary's blanked Dalhousie 5-0 in the night's other contest.

- Tonight's results pull UNB within two points of the 17-5-0 Axemen with two games in hand.

- The Reds will make up one of those games tomorrow night when they hit the road to take on the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus. For those who can't make it down the highway the game will be broadcast live at AUStv.ca. Game time is 7PM.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

U Sports Top Ten (#12): Reds Open 2020 On Top

The University of New Brunswick Reds retained their first place position in the first men's hockey rankings of 2020, which were released earlier this week.

UNB (1812.32 ELO points) held on to the top spot after a 2-0-0 weekend. This outpaced the Alberta Golden Bears (1756.19), who suffered a 5-0 loss to the #4 Saskatchewan Huskies (1719.06) on Saturday night. The Toronto Varsity Blues (1738.24) continued their rise up the leader board by moving up to 3rd spot.

The Acadia Axemen (1700.23) moved up a spot to 5th while the Carleton Ravens (1688.83) dropped three positions to 6th.

The rest of the top ten is made up of the McGill Redmen (1640.54), Calgary Dinos (1632.75), Ryerson Rams (1625.69), and Ottawa Gee Gees (1624.28). The Redmen and Rams are back in the rankings while Mount Royal and Windsor have dropped out since the last poll.

Here are some notable games on tap this week:

THURSDAY
#9 Ryerson at #3 Toronto

FRIDAY
#5 Acadia at St. FX
#2 Alberta at Mount Royal

SATURDAY
UQTR at #10 Ottawa
#6 Carleton at Concordia
#1 UNB at Moncton
Mount Royal at #2 Alberta

SUNDAY
UQTR at #10 Ottawa

Bennett Is Athlete Of The Week

Reds forward Kris Bennett has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week after helping his team to a pair of road wins this past weekend.

In Friday night's 5-2 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers, Bennett capped UNB's rally from a two goal deficit with an empty net goal. The next night against the St. FX X-Men the he tied a  season high with two goals and two assists. He was named the player of the game for his efforts.

After posting 38 and 35 point seasons in his first two seasons, Bennett once again finds himself among the league's leading scorers. He currently sits 12th in the conference with 22 points in 18 games.

Bennett and the Reds are back in action on Friday night when they host the UPEI Panthers. They travel to Moncton for a game versus the Aigles Bleus on Saturday night.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Reds Blast X-Men

A night after scoring the game's last five goals in a win over the Dalhousie Tigers, the University of New Brunswick Reds struck for the first six goals en route to a 6-2 victory in Antigonish over the St. FX X-Men. The Reds are now 15-4-0 on the season, keeping pace with the 1st place Acadia Axemen (16-4-0). The X-Men fall to 7-10-3 after a 3rd consecutive defeat.

The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Matthew Boucher (Goulet, Rassell) opened the scoring with a power play goal at 12:10. After X-Men goaltender Joseph Raaymakers stoned Boucher with a pair of pad saves at the side of the net, Boucher got the puck back moments later and put it in from a sharp angle near the goal line. Marcus McIvor (Simpson, Bennett) doubled the lead at 16:35 with another goal Raaymakers would undoubtedly like to have back. The Reds broke in on a 3-on-2 with McIvor the trailer. The puck came back to the Reds captain and he had his original shot stopped. However, he tracked down his own rebound near the boards and threw the puck towards the net, squeaking it between the post and Raaymakers left arm. The period would end with UNB holding a 2-0 lead and out-shooting the home team 22-9.

The 2nd period was all UNB with the Reds taking the first 17 shots of the period and scoring four times to take complete control of the game. At 4:09 Alexandre Goulet (Bennett, Gilmour) got positioning on a defender at the side of the net and took a centering pass for a tap-in to extend the lead to 3-0. Kris Bennett then struck for two goals in just over two minutes to make it 5-0. At 7:25, after the X-Men had a couple good opportunities while shorthanded, the 3rd year forward collected the puck in tight and beat Raaymakers low stick-side. Stephen Anderson and Tyler Boland collected assists on UNB's second power play goal of the evening. The same trio hooked up again at 9:51 with Anderson collecting a loose puck and backhanding it over to Bennett, who was all alone at the top of the crease where he roofed it. Things started to get chippy late in the period after Marcus Cuomo, who was reckless all period and had just came out of the box after serving a double minor, took a run at Connor Hall before landing a blatant hit to the head of Olivier LeBlanc. This should have sent Cuomo, who has a whopping 0 points in 15 games this season, to the showers for the night, except all four officials somehow missed the hit. Hall received a 10 minute misconduct for standing up for his teammate while Cuomo was not penalized. Once things settled down and the two teams got back to playing hockey it only took 39 seconds for Boland (Gatenby, Anderson) to deposit a rebound to push the lead to 6-0. The X-Men didn't get their first shot of the period until there were 18 seconds remaining, but they made it count as Jeremiah Addison took a cross-ice pass at the side of the net and one-timed it past Samuel Harvey, who had no chance on the play.

With the game well in hand for the Reds, the 3rd period was played without incident. Although UNB out-shot the X-Men 9-6, it was Matthew Graham scoring the lone goal of the frame at 14:57. This made it 6-2, which is how it would end.

- Matt Murphy was back in the line-up for UNB. Benjamin Gagne, Noah Carroll, and James McEwan were the scratches.

- The Reds out-shot St. FX 48-16 in the game.

- Bennett, Boland, and Goulet were named the game's three stars.

- Face-offs were fairly even with UNB winning 36 out of 70. 

- Attendance was 624.

- The Reds were 2 for 7 on the power play. The X-Men were scoreless on two attempts.

- Every player had at least one shot on goal with the exception of Brady Gilmour. Boland had a game-high six.

- Elsewhere around the league tonight, the Dalhousie Tigers secured an important two points with a 3-2 shootout win one home ice against Moncton. In Charlottetown, the Acadia Axemen earned their 6th straight win with a 5-3 decision over the UPEI Panthers.

- The Reds are back in action next Friday night when they host the Panthers. They travel to Moncton the following night for a date with the Aigles Bleus. Both games are scheduled for a 7PM start.



Friday, January 3, 2020

Reds Survive Scare

The University of New Brunswick Reds found themselves trailing 2-0 late in the 2nd period, but exploded for five unanswered goals over the final 21:17 to defeat the Dalhousie Tigers 5-2 tonight in Halifax. UNB improves to 14-4-0 on the season while the last place Tigers fall to 4-13-2.

- Dalhousie opened the scoring early in this one after blown defensive coverage in the UNB zone left Brett Crosley all alone in the slot for a one timer that Rylan Parenteau didn't have much of a chance on. The goal came at 2:58 and would be the only marker of the period as UNB out-shot the Tigers 18-8.

- It was a similar story in the 2nd period as shots were 18-5 for the Reds, but a lucky bounce gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. A potential clearing attempt hit an official along the boards and the puck bounced behind and out of the reach of a Reds player who was skating out of the zone. The Tigers quickly took advantage, pouncing on the loose puck. After a scramble in front of Parenteau, Colton Heffley was able to get to a rebound and knife the puck past Parenteau at 13:32.

- Things looked dire for UNB as Tigers goalie Connor Hicks, who has had a number of sensational efforts versus the Reds, was once again on top of his game and stopping everything thrown his way.

- The 2-0 lead held up until late in the period when UNB was finally able to get on the board on their 36th shot of the night. Some strong work in the offensive zone led to the puck popping out to Tristan Pomerleau (Hawerchuk, Simpson), who beat a screened Hicks with a wrist shot at 18:43 to cut the lead to 2-1 and give the Reds some momentum heading into the final twenty minutes.

- The two teams traded power play opportunities in the opening half of the 3rd period to no avail. UNB was finally able to tie it up at the 12:10 mark. Olivier LeBlanc rushed the puck up the right side, cut towards the net, and threw the puck into the crease. Matthew Boucher was able to get a stick on it to redirect it in for the tying goal.

- It only took 27 seconds for the Reds to take their first lead of the night. A harmless looking shot from a sharp angle from Pomerleau was tipped in front by Oliver Cooper for the eventual game winning goal.

- The Tigers had their chances to tie the game as they were awarded back to back power plays at 15:25 and 17:17. However, not only did UNB kill both penalties off, they struck for a pair of empty net goals. At 18:36 Connor Hall (McIvor) hit the open cage from his own end for his first career AUS goal. The Tigers pulled Hicks again after the ensuing face-off and Kris Bennett (Gatenby, Dove-McFalls) capped the scoring 14 seconds later. Shots in the period were 16-3 for UNB.

- Matt Murphy, Noah Carroll, and James McEwan were the scratches tonight.

- UNB out-shot the Tigers 52-16.

- Both sides went 0 for 4 on the power play.

- This game was a perfect example why UNB's goaltending stats can sometimes be deceiving. Although he only stopped 14 out of 16 shots, Rylan Parenteau made no less than a handful of five star stops, all with the Reds trailing, to keep them within striking distance. This was highlighted by a huge glove save early in the 3rd period, diving across the net to rob a Tigers player of a sure goal that would have made it 3-1.

- UNB won 44 out of 78 face-offs. Mark Simpson (14 out of 20) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (12 out of 18) led the way.

- Pomerleau and Crossley were named the player of the game for their respective teams.

- Attendance was 200.

- The Reds have won 37 straight games against Dalhousie, including all four this season by a combined score of 25-5.

- By comparison, UNB's lengthy winning streak over St. Thomas ended at 36 games.

- The second half of the AUS schedule began last night with UPEI's 7-5 road victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies.

- It was a full slate of games across the conference tonight. In Wolfville, the Acadia Axemen maintained their two point advantage over UNB with a tidy 5-2 win over the Huskies. Meanwhile, in Antigonish, Moncton scored two late goals to force overtime against St. FX before emerging victorious in a shootout by a 4-3 score.

- The Reds remain on the road to face the St. FX X-Men tomorrow evening. Game time is 7PM.