Monday, February 24, 2020

Reds Book UCup Ticket

The top seeded University of New Brunswick Reds earned a berth in next month’s University Cup in Halifax after completing a three game sweep of the #4 Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus with a 4-1 victory tonight in Moncton. The Reds now await the winner of the other semi-final series between University Cup host #2 Acadia and #3 Saint Mary’s to see who they play in the best 2-of-3 AUS Final. Meanwhile, the Aigles Bleus will hope to play in a consolation series against Saint Mary’s to determine the AUS’ third berth at Nationals.

More to come tomorrow...


Saturday, February 22, 2020

UNB Takes Game 2

It was a better effort for the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus in game two of their best 3-of-5 AUS semi-final series, but the result was the same as the University of New Brunswick Reds offense continued to roll in a 7-3 victory tonight at the AUC. UNB held serve on home ice, taking a commanding 2-0 series lead with the scene now shifting to Moncton.

It was a similar start to the previous night as neither side had much in the way of scoring chances, with the exception of a nice toe save by Rylan Parenteau in the opening minutes. The game would remain scoreless until the 16:00 mark when Tyler Boland (Watling, Anderson) picked up the puck during a scramble in front of Aigles Bleus goaltender Etienne Montpetit and put it home. The opening goal opened the floodgates for the Reds as they scored two more goals in the next 32 seconds. At 16:11 Alexandre Goulet (Gatenby, Pomerleau) spun around a defender at the Moncton bench to race in all alone on Montpetit. Goulet's nifty stickhandling opened up the goaltender's legs and he slid the puck five-hole. Just 21 seconds later it was Goulet (Hawerchuk, Murphy) again. This time he split the defence before going forehand to backhand to put the puck between Montpetit's legs, making it 3-0 with his 5th goal in four playoff periods. The wild flurry would be the only scoring in the period as UNB out-shot Moncton 13-7.

The Reds held a 21-4 shot advantage in the second period, but it was the visitors scoring the lone goal. Defenceman Olivier Desjardins sneaked in from the point and tapped the puck in at the backdoor at 14:31 to draw Moncton back within two.

After being held scoreless in the second period despite peppering Montpetit with 21 shots, UNB converted their first shot of the 3rd period. Beginning the period with a power play, Stephen Anderson (Boland, Bennett) put a shot from the hash marks into the top right corner to make it 4-1 36 seconds into the frame. The Aigles Bleus answered just over two minutes later with a power play marker of their own, although it appeared the referees missed an offside call moments prior to Vincent Deslauriers goal. The Reds quickly put the non-call behind them as Kris Bennett (Simpson, Boucher) bulldozed around Montpetit to swipe a loose puck sitting in the crease into the open net. The goal came at 3:29, restoring UNB's three goal lead only 40 seconds after Moncton had made it 4-2. The goals kept coming as Connor Hall (Watling, Anderson) put a long wrist shot past a screened Montpetit for his first career AUS playoff goal at 6:46, which pushed the lead to 6-2. A Bennett (Gatenby, Boland) power play goal at 12:03 and Deslaurier's second of the night at 14:04 rounded out the scoring on the night. Shots in the period were 10-9 for the Reds.

- UNB went with their usual line-up, meaning Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, James McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- Shots were 44-20 for the Reds.

- Each team had three power play opportunities. UNB scored twice while Moncton connected once with the man advantage.

- The Reds won 38 out of 57 face-offs. Samuel Dove-McFalls was the busiest of all Reds players, taking 21 draws and winning 14 of them.

- Rylan Parenteau saw the first playoff action of his UNB career. He kicked out 17 out of the 20 shots sent his way to earn the victory.

- Bennett and Deslauriers were named the players of the game for their respective teams.

- Attendance was 2652.

- This was UNB's 17th consecutive victory.

- After scoring 12 goals in their first three games against Moncton this season, the Reds have hit the back of the net 29 times in their last four meetings.

- This is the first time UNB has scored at least seven goals in back to back playoff games since doing it three times in a row in the 1997 playoffs.

- The Reds will look to wrap up the series on Monday night in Moncton. Game time is 7PM.

- The other semi-final series between Acadia and Saint Mary's resumes tomorrow night in Wolfville with the Axemen looking to go up 2-0. Puck drop is scheduled for 7PM. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Goulet Leads Reds In Series Opener

Alexandre Goulet fired a hat-trick and the top seeded University of New Brunswick Reds opened their playoffs with a convimcing 7-2 victory over the visiting Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus tonight at the AUC. UNB takes a 1-0 lead in the best 3-of-5 semi-final series.

It was a slow opening few minutes with only a couple of shots on net combined and no really good scoring chances. The Reds then broke through 5:10 into the game on their first quality opportunity. A series of short passes in the Moncton zone led to the puck finding its way to Matthew Boucher (Simpson, Bennet), who was all alone at the hash marks. Boucher buried a wrist shot short side on Aigle Bleus goaltender Etienne Montpetit to open the scoring. The 1-0 advantage would hold until the 12:53 mark when Patrick Watling (Boland, Murphy) slid a shot along the ice from the high slot that eluded traffic in front of the net and found an opening, giving UNB a 2-0. That's how the 1st period would end up as the Reds out-shot Moncton 12-5.

The Reds turned it up a notch in the 2nd period as they held an 18-56 shots advantage and scored four times to blow the game wide open. At 1:18 Matt Murphy (Dove-McFalls) joined the rush and got the puck in the left face-off circle, picking the top left corner to extend the lead to 3-0. The special teams then went to work to make it 4-0, except it was the penalty kill and not the power play getting the job done. Samuel Dove McFalls forced a turnover at the UNB blue-line and went in on a 2-on-1 rush with Goulet. Dove-McFalls lofted a soft area pass into the slot that Goulet was able to skate into and the 3rd year forward made no mistake snapping a shot past Montpetit's blocker. Marcus McIvor also picked up an assist on the shorthanded tally. Goulet (Hall, Gilmour) got his second of the night - and period - at 10:53 when he banged in a rebound at the side of the net. This would spell the end of the night for Montpetit, who surrendered five goals on 22 shots on the night. It only took 30 seconds for UNB to get their first against Alexi Thibaudeau with Dove-McFalls (Rassell, Cooper) doing the honours at 11:23 to make it a 6-0 game, which is how it would stand after 40 minutes.

The Aigles Bleus scored both early - Vincent Deslauriers finishing off a nice passing play at 0:48 to break Samuel Harvey's shut-out bid - and late - Maxime Sy-Cyr with a two man advantage at 18:41 - in the 3rd period. This was sandwiched around Goulet's third of the night, a 5-on-3 marker at 4:28. Shots in the period were 11-7 for UNB.

- Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, Jame McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- Shots on goal ended up 41-18.

- UNB went 1 for 3 on the power play. Moncton was 1 for 6.

- The Reds won 42 out of 68 face-offs on the night with Dove-McFalls (15 out of 22) doing his usual excellent work. Goulet (8 out of 11) also had a good night.

- Samuel Harvey made 16 saves in his AUS playoff debut.

- Goulet and Moncton's Joey Richard were named the player of the game for their respective teams 

- Attendance was 2297.

- This is UNB's 11th straight playoff win.

- Acadia got past Saint Mary's by a 4-1 score in the opening game of their series. Game 2 of that series goes Saturday night.

- Meanwhile, these two teams are back at it at the AUC tomorrow night for a 7PM start.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

UNB vs. Moncton: Preview, Prediction, Poll

The #1 ranked University of New Brunswick Reds begin defence of their back-to-back AUS Championships tomorrow night when they welcome the 4th place Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus to the AUC for game one of their best 3-of-5 semi-final series. Game two goes Friday night in Fredericton before the series shifts to Moncton for game three on Monday and game four, if necessary, on Tuesday. A potential game five would take place next Thursday back at the Aitken Centre. All games are scheduled for a 7PM start with the winner earning a berth at next month's University Cup in Halifax.

The Reds and Aigles Bleus are meeting in the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 AUS Final. By comparison, UNB has faced St. FX five times, Saint Mary's four times, UPEI three times, and Acadia once since last facing Moncton. Overall, this will only be the third time since Gardiner MacDougall became head coach the two teams will face off in postseason play. In 2006 UNB swept a semi-final series with 5-3 and 4-1 wins. Moncton returned the favour the next season in the AUS Final with a 4-2 win at home before clinching the title with a 3-2 overtime win at the AUC. Of course the Reds would get the last laugh that season when they defeated the Aigles Bleus 3-2 in overtime in the National Championship game in Moncton. In their last playoff meeting UNB swept the 2012 AUS Final with 8-3, 4-2, and 4-0 victories. 

Of course, none of those previous results have any bearing on this season. Moncton is riding high after following up a 13-11-6 regular season with their first playoff victory since 2013-2014 when they swept the St. FX X-Men in two straight close games. Although they have had a successful season thus far, they have struggled mightily against UNB in recent years. The Aigles Bleus lost all five games against the Reds this season - 4-0, 4-2, 4-1, 7-3, and 8-2 - and only have one shootout victory against UNB in their last 22 meetings. They have dropped their last 17 games at the AUC.

While the Aigles Bleus only found the back of the net 92 times this season - the second fewest in the league - and generated only 29.2 shots/game (also the second fewest in the league), they have one of the most dangerous lines in the conference, consisting of first team all-star Maxime St-Cyr (t-1st with 20 goals and t-4th with 40 points), 5th year veteran Robbie Graham (12 goals, 27 points, team-high +11) and Vincent Deslauriers (24 points in 28 games). They also received solid contributions from forwards Alexis Roy (20 points) and Joey Richard (17 points). On the back end they are led offensively by Danick Crete, who had 6 goals and 10 assists this season. However, they will be in tough to generate offense against a UNB team that once again led the conference in goals against average (1.86), shots allowed per game (20.7), and penalty killing (86.8%). The Reds also ranked 2nd in save percentage (0.910).

Without a doubt the strength of this Moncton team stands between the pipes where 2nd team all-star Etienne Monpetit played a league-high 29 games and 1698 minutes. Despite the work load, Monpetit had a 0.907 save percentage, which was good for 3rd in the conference, and the 4th best goals against average at 3.04. As a team the Aigles Bleus surrendered 98 goals this season, the 3rd fewest goals in the league. Monpetit will need to stand on his head to keep a UNB team that led the league in goals per game (5.33), shots per game (41.7), and power play percentage (30.5%) at bay. Unlike Moncton, who rely on a handful of players to generate the majority of their offense, you can't take a break against the Reds as they feature seven players who potted 10+ goals and 11 players who put up 20+ points.

At the end of the day it is hard to envision a scenario in which the Reds don't emerge victorious in this series. UNB have been on a roll for almost three months and while Monpetit may be able to steal a game for the Aigles Bleus, the Reds offensive depth, sound defensive play, solid goaltending - whether it be Samuel Harvey or Rylan Parenteau who get the nod - and home-ice advantage should prove to be too much for a Moncton team that, while on the upswing in recent years, aren't quite there yet.

PREDICTION: UNB in 3, booking their spot at the University Cup.

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AUS Awards Announced

The AUS announced its major award winners and all-stars earlier today and six Reds players were recognized for their outstanding seasons.

Although they were shut out of the major awards, Reds forward Tyler Boland was named a first team all-star, forward Kris Bennett and defenceman Matt Murphy were named to the second all-star squad, and goaltender Samuel Harvey, forward Brady Gilmour, and defenceman Connor Hall were part of the all-rookie team.

Here is the complete list of honourees:

Most Valuable Player (Kelly Trophy): G Logan Flodell, Acadia
Rookie of the Year (A.J. MacAdam Trophy): Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary's
Most Sportsmanlike Player (Don Wells Trophy): Vincent Deslauriers, Moncton
Student-Athlete Community Service Award (The Godfrey Award): Liam Maaskant, Acadia
Coach of the Year (Bob Boucher Trophy): Darren Burns, Acadia

First Team All-Stars
G - Logan Flodell, Acadia
D - Nicholas Welsh, Saint Mary's
D - Owen Headrick, UPEI
F - Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary's
F - Tyler Boland, UNB
F - Maxime St-Cyr, Moncton

Second Team All-Stars
G - Etienne Monpetit, Moncton
D - Matt Murphy, UNB
D - Garrett McFadden, Acadia
F - Kris Bennett, UNB
F - Kameron Kielly, UPEI
F - Stephen Johnson, Saint Mary's

All-Rookie Team
G - Samuel Harvey, UNB
D - Francis Thibeault, Moncton
D - Connor Hall, UNB
F - Mitchell Balmas, Saint Mary's
F - Kyle Maksimovich, UPEI
F - Brady Gilmour, UNB

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

U Sports Top Ten (#18): Idle Reds Remain #1

Despite not playing a game last week, the University of New Brunswick Reds maintained their comfortable lead atop the latest men's hockey rankings, which were released earlier today.

The Reds (1914.51 ELO points), who open their playoffs on Thursday night after enjoying a first round bye, remained in the number one position while Saskatchewan (1799.32), Carleton (1783.11), and Alberta (1732.61) all held firm as well.

The first change came in the number five spot with Guelph (1698.60) flip-flopping with Ryerson 1682.80). Another OUA team - the UQTR Patriotes (1663.69) - came in at seven, two spots up from last week.

The Calgary Dinos (1634.71) jumped from 10th to 8th while Saint Mary's (1621.62) and Ottawa 1592.06) are back in the rankings for the first time since November 19th and January 21st, respectively.

Playoff action resumes across the country tomorrow night with three OUA match-ups. The two AUS series get underway on Thursday while both Canada West series begin Friday.

U Sports 2nd Round Schedules

The schedule for all of the second round playoff match-ups have been announced. They are as follows:

NOTE: AUS is best 3-of-5, OUA and Canada West are best 2-of-3

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT
- Three berths at University Cup (Acadia + Champion + Runner-Up or Acadia + Finalist + Bronze Medal Winner)

#1 UNB Reds (26-4-0) vs. #4 Moncton Aigles Bleus (13-11-6)
Game 1 - Thursday, February 20th at UNB
Game 2 - Friday, February 21st at UNB
Game 3 - Monday, February 24th at Moncton
Game 4 - Tuesday, February 25th at Moncton (if necessary)
Game 5 - Thursday, February 28th at UNB (if necessary)

#2 Acadia Axemen (19-9-2) vs. #3 Saint Mary's Huskies (17-12-1)
Game 1 - Thursday, February 20th at Acadia
Game 2 - Saturday, February 22nd at Acadia
Game 3 - Monday, February 24th at Saint Mary's
Game 4 - Tuesday, February 26th at Saint Mary's (if necessary)
Game 5 - Thursday, February 28th at Acadia (if necessary)

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
- Three berths at University Cup (OUA East Winner + OUA West Winner + Bronze Medal Winner)

OUA EAST

#1 Carleton Ravens (24-3-1) vs. #5 Concordia Stingers (13-10-5)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 19th at Carleton
Game 2 - Saturday, February 22nd at Concordia
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at Carleton (if necessary)

#2 UQTR Patriotes (19-6-3) vs. #3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (17-7-4)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 19th at UQTR
Game 2 - Friday, February 21st at Ottawa
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at UQTR (if necessary)

OUA WEST

#2 Ryerson Rams (20-5-3) vs. #8 Western Mustangs (11-15-2)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 19th at Ryerson
Game 2 - Saturday, February 22nd at Western
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at Ryerson (if necessary)

#3 Guelph Gryphons (17-6-5) vs. #5 Brock Badgers (14-12-2)
Game 1 - Thursday, February 20th at Guelph
Game 2 - Friday, February 21st at Brock
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at Guelph (if necessary)

CANADA WEST
- Two berths at University Cup (Champion + Runner-Up)

#1 Alberta Golden Bears (23-5-0) vs. #5 UBC Thunderbirds (9-14-5)
Game 1 - Friday, February 21st at Alberta
Game 2 - Saturday, February 22nd at Alberta
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at Alberta (if necessary)

#2 Saskatchewan Huskies (22-4-2) vs. #3 Calgary Dinos (18-7-3)
Game 1 - Friday, February 21st at Saskatchewan
Game 2 - Saturday, February 22nd at Saskatchewan
Game 3 - Sunday, February 23rd at Saskatchewan (if necessary)

U Sports Playoff Update

All three conferences finished up their first round playoff series' this past weekend, which means 12 more teams - including Toronto, McGill, and Mount Royal - have been eliminated from University Cup contention. Here are the results:


ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT
- Three berths at University Cup (Acadia + Champion + Runner-Up or Acadia + Finalist + Bronze Medal Winner)
- Byes: #1 UNB Reds (26-4-0), #2 Acadia Axemen (19-9-2)

#3 Saint Mary's Huskies (17-12-1) defeated #6 UPEI Panthers (10-15-5) 2 games to 0 (5-4, 4-3 2OT)

#4 Moncton Aigles Bleus (13-11-6) defeated #5 St. FX X-Men (12-13-5) 2 games to 0 (3-2, 4-2)

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
- Three berths at University Cup (OUA East Winner + OUA West Winner + Bronze Medal Winner)

OUA EAST

#1 Carleton Ravens (24-3-1) defeated #8 RMC Paladins (9-18-1) 2 games to 0 (7-3, 5-4)

#2 UQTR Patriotes (19-6-3) defeated #7 Queen's Golden Gaels (12-13-3) 2 games to 0 (3-1, 4-3)

#3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (17-7-4) defeated #6 Ontario Tech Ridgebacks (13-12-3) 2 games to 1 (2-1 OT, 3-5, 5-0)

#5 Concordia Stingers (13-10-5) defeated #4 McGill Redmen (16-10-2) 2 games to 1 (1-2, 5-4 OT, 2-1)

OUA WEST

#8 Western Mustangs (11-15-2) defeated #1 Toronto Varsity Blues (21-5-2) 2 games to 1 (2-6, 3-1, 3-1)

#2 Ryerson Rams (20-5-3) defeated #7 Lakehead Thunderwolves (13-12-3) 2 games to 0 (4-1, 2-1 OT)

#3 Guelph Gryphons (17-6-5) defeated #6 Laurier Golden Hawks (13-12-2) 2 games 1 (1-3, 6-3, 4-2)

#5 Brock Badgers (14-12-2) defeated #4 Windsor Lancers (15-10-3) 2 games to 0 (6-3, 5-4)

CANADA WEST
- Two berths at University Cup (Champion + Runner-Up)
- Byes: #1 Alberta Golden Bears (23-5-0), #2 Saskatchewan Huskies (22-4-2)

#3 Calgary Dinos (18-7-3) defeated #6 Manitoba Bisons (9-15-4) 2 games to 0 (6-2, 2-1)

#5 UBC Thunderbirds (9-14-5) defeated #4 Mount Royal Cougars (18-8-2) 2 games to 1 (4-2, 3-5, 5-4 OT)


Friday, February 14, 2020

Semi-Final Matchups Set

The University of New Brunswick Reds will open the AUS playoffs against the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus as both quarter-final series’ concluded tonight. Moncton knocked off St. FX 4-2 to complete a two game sweep of the X-Men, but it wasn’t until the Saint Mary’s Huskies got past the UPEI Panthers 4-3 in double overtime that the semi-final pairings were finalized.

Game 1 of the best 3-of-5 UNB/Moncton series goes this Thursday night with game 2 the next night. Both games are at the AUC and are scheduled for a 7PM start.

Acadia takes on Saint Mary’s in the other series.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

U Sports Top Ten (#17): Regular Season Concludes

The final top ten rankings of the regular season were released yesterday and, once again, the University of New Brunswick Reds hold down the top spot.

The Reds received 1914.51 ELO points to lock down the number one ranking for the 9th consecutive week. The rest of the top four remained unchanged as well with Saskatchewan (1899.32), Carleton (1774.88), and Alberta (1732.61) maintaining their positions.

There was plenty of movement in the lower half of the rankings. Ryerson (1658.91) moved up one spot to 5th, Guelph (1657.57) went from 8th to 6th, and Toronto (1652.32) fell two spots to 7th.

UQTR (1633.32) and Calgary (1616.56) both re-entered the rankings after a one week absence, coming in at 8th and 10th, respectively. The 13-12-3 Laurier Golden Hawks (1625.03) somehow remained in the rankings at 9th.

While the Reds enjoy a first round playoff bye, postseason action gets underway across the country beginning tonight.



Monday, February 10, 2020

Playoff Schedules Set

The schedule for all of the first round playoff match-ups from across the country have been announced. They are as follows:

*NOTE: All series are a best 2-of-3*

ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT
- Three berths at University Cup (Acadia + Champion + Runner-Up or Acadia + Finalist + Bronze Medal Winner)
- Byes: #1 UNB Reds (26-4-0), #2 Acadia Axemen (19-9-2)

#3 Saint Mary's Huskies (17-12-1) vs. #6 UPEI Panthers (10-15-5)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Saint Mary's
Game 2 - Friday, February 14th at UPEI
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Saint Mary's (if necessary)

#4 Moncton Aigles Bleus (13-11-6) vs. #5 St. FX X-Men (12-13-5)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Moncton
Game 2 - Friday, February 14th at St. FX
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Moncton (if necessary)

ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
- Three berths at University Cup (OUA East Winner + OUA West Winner + Bronze Medal Winner)

OUA EAST

#1 Carleton Ravens (24-3-1) vs. #8 RMC Paladins (9-18-1)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Carleton
Game 2 - Thursday, February 13th at RMC
Game 3 - Saturday, February 15th at Carleton (if necessary)

#2 UQTR Patriotes (19-6-3) vs. #7 Queen's Golden Gaels (12-13-3)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Queen's
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at UQTR
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at UQTR (if necessary)

#3 Ottawa Gee-Gees (17-7-4) vs. #6 Ontario Tech Ridgebacks (13-12-3)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Ontario Tech
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Ottawa
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Ottawa (if necessary)

#4 McGill Redmen (16-10-2) vs. #5 Concordia Stingers (13-10-5)
Game 1 - Thursday, February 13th at McGill
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Concordia
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at McGill (if necessary)

OUA WEST

#1 Toronto Varsity Blues (21-5-2) vs. #8 Western Mustangs (11-15-2)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Toronto
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Western
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Toronto (if necessary)

#2 Ryerson Rams (20-5-3) vs. #7 Lakehead Thunderwolves (13-12-3)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Lakehead
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Ryerson
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Ryerson (if necessary)

#3 Guelph Gryphons (17-6-5) vs. #6 Laurier Golden Hawks (13-12-2)
Game 1 - Thursday, February 13th at Guelph
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Laurier
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Guelph (if necessary)

#4 Windsor Lancers (15-10-3) vs. #5 Brock Badgers (14-12-2)
Game 1 - Wednesday, February 12th at Windsor
Game 2 - Friday, February 14th at Brock
Game 3 - Saturday, February 15th at Windsor (if necessary)

CANADA WEST
- Two berths at University Cup (Champion + Runner-Up)
- Byes: #1 Alberta Golden Bears (23-5-0), #2 Saskatchewan Huskies (22-4-2)

#3 Calgary Dinos (18-7-3) vs. #6 Manitoba Bisons (9-15-4)
Game 1 - Friday, February 14th at Calgary
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Calgary
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Calgary (if necessary)

#4 Mount Royal Cougars (18-8-2) vs. #5 UBC Thunderbirds (9-14-5)
Game 1 - Friday, February 14th at Mount Royal
Game 2 - Saturday, February 15th at Mount Royal
Game 3 - Sunday, February 16th at Mount Royal (if necessary)


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Reds Turn It On In Finale

The University of New Brunswick Reds shook off a sluggish start, exploding for seven unanswered goals over the final forty minutes in an 8-2 victory tonight over the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus in the final regular season game for each team. UNB concludes the season with a 26-4-0 record while Moncton ends up in 4th place with a 13-11-6 record.

The Aigles Bleus had been off since Wednesday and UNB had played the night before and it showed in the early going. It was a lackluster opening period for the Reds as they fell behind 2-1 and were out-played. Gabriel Vanier opened the scoring 5:53 into the game after he rushed the puck down the right side and crashed the crease. The puck bounced up and over Rylan Parenteau on the ensuing scramble to give the Aigles Bleus the early 1-0 lead. The Reds got that one back on the power play at 11:38. Kris Bennett (Boland, Gatenby) got position in front of Moncton goalie Alexi Thibaudeau and managed to somehow sneak the puck in along the ice. The game would remain tied until the final minute when Moncton would answer with a power play goal of their own. A failed clearing attempt proved costly as the puck made its way to Maxime St-Cyr and the sniper made no mistake, putting the puck into the top right corner with 16 seconds remaining in the period. To make matters worse, the Reds were assessed a penalty at the end of the period, giving the Aigles Bleus a power play to open the 2nd period. Shots over the opening twenty minutes were 12-7 in favour of Moncton.

Whatever was said in the dressing room between periods not only seemed to work, but it paid immediate dividends. UNB forced an early Moncton penalty, which wiped out their power play, and then went to work on offense, blitzing the Aigles Bleus with three goals in the first 4:55 to seize control of the game. Tyler Boland (Bennett, Gatenby) tied the game 2-2 with a power play goal at 2:48 when he got in behind the defence, had his initial shot stopped, but was able to dig the rebound off of Thibaudeau's right pad and jam the puck in. Brady Gilmour (Dove-McFalls, McIvor) then gave the Reds their first lead of the night at the four minute mark when his wrist shot from the left face-off circle found the far corner. The onslaught was capped off 55 seconds later by Mark Simpson (Bennett, Boucher), who found the back of the net with a wrist shot from the slot. The Reds weren't done in the period quite yet though as Gilmour (Boucher, Goulet) snuck a shot through short side for his second of the night. The power play goal came at 15:00. UNB out-shot Moncton 14-5 in the period.

The Reds added three more goals in the 3rd period. The power play got another one at 2:57 when Bennett (Watling, Boland) skated into a drop-pass at the top of the left face-off circle and blasted a slap shot in. The penalty killers went to work next as Simpson (Watling) used his stick to knock the puck down in the neutral zone, which sprung him on a breakaway. The 4th year centre snapped the puck past Thibaudeau's glove and into the top right corner for the shorthanded tally at 4:38. Finally, Alexandre Goulet (Gilmour, Rassell) put a bow on the regular season with a re-direction at the lip of the crease with eight seconds remaining to make it 8-2. The shots were 12-4 for UNB in the period.

- The Reds went with the same line-up as Friday night as Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, James McEwan, and Dylan Seitz all sat.

- UNB out-shot Moncton 33-21 on the night.

- The Reds were 4 for 7 on the power play. Moncton converted once on five chances.

- The Aigles Bleus held a slight 35-34 advantage in the face-off circle. Tyler Boland (9 out of 11) had the best night among Reds players. UNB only lost the face-off battle in four games this season and two of those were versus Moncton.

- Bennett was named the player of the game after putting up four points.

- Rylan Parenteau picked up his 12th win of the season in goal. He finishes the season with a 12-2-0 record, 1.78 GAA (2nd in AUS), and 0.909 save percentage (3rd). He is now 32-3-1 in his UNB career.

- Attendance was 780.

- UNB went 5-0-0 against Moncton this year (out-scoring the Aigles Bleus 27-8) and are now 33-1-1 in their last 35 meetings.

- Tyler Boland's three points give him 48 on the season (20 goals, 28 assists). Not only does he finish the season as the AUS scoring champion, but he also led the nation in scoring.

- The Reds end the season on a 14 game winning streak, matching the 2015-2016 team that also won their final 14 regular season games. UNB was swept in the AUS Final that year, but the season still turned out alright.

- UNB finishes the regular season with an absurd +103 goal differential on the strength of 160 goals scored and only 57 surrendered. This tops their previous high of +99 set in the 1997-1998 season, although that was only a 28 game schedule.

- UNB went 12-3-0 on the road this season with a goal differential of 76-33.

- The Reds 26 regular season wins are tied with the 2007-2008 team (26-1-1) for their second most ever. Only the 2009-2010 team that went 27-1-0 won more.

- The final night of the season saw two other games that had no bearing on the standings or play-off picture. St. FX picked up a 5-2 home win over Acadia and Dalhousie upset Saint Mary's 4-3 in overtime.

- The final standings look like this:

UNB: 26-4-0 = 52 points
ACA: 19-9-2 = 40
SMU: 17-12-1 = 35
UdeM: 13-11-6 = 32
St. FX: 12-13-5 = 29
UPEI: 10-15-5 = 25

- The schedule has yet to be announced for the best 2-of-3 quarter-final series' between Saint Mary's/UPEI and Moncton/St. FX. However, in years past it has primarily been a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday schedule.

- Next up for UNB is a first round play-off bye. All we know is that they will open the best 3-of-5 semi-final series with home games on Thursday, February 20th and Friday, February 21st against the lowest remaining seed.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Reds Wrap Up Home Schedule With Rout

The University of New Brunswick Reds gave all of those who braved the nasty weather lots to cheer for tonight as they pounded the the UPEI Panthers 9-2 on Military Appreciation Night tonight at the AUC. UNB are now 25-4-0 on the season after their 13th straight win while the Panthers wrap up their regular season schedule with a 10-15-5 mark.

The Reds got on the board 3:17 into the contest when Mark Rassell (McIvor, Murphy) tipped a long pass from the far boards just inside the post as he skated across the front of the net. Stephen Anderson (Bennett, Watling) jumped on a loose puck in the slot for a power play goal that doubled the lead at 10:11, however the Panthers responded just 43 seconds later when Kameron Kielly got a step on the defence and went in on a breakaway, snapping the puck over the glove of Samuel Harvey. The two goal cushion was restored at 13:05 when Anderson fed Tyler Boland on a perfectly executed two-on-one rush. Patrick Watling added his second assist of the night on the goal. The 1st period would end with UNB holding a 3-1 lead and out-shooting the visitors 20-8.

The penalty killers added to the offensive fireworks 4:16 into the middle period when Alexandre Goulet forced a turnover at the Panthers blue line, springing him and Matthew Boucher on a two-on-none rush. Goulet slid the puck over to Boucher, who made no mistake rifling home a one-timer. A Riley Whittingham deflection at the top of the crease made it 4-2 at 8:26, but the Reds added three more goals before the end of the period. Watling (Anderson, Boland) made it 5-1 at 9:38 and this spelled the end of the night in goal for Matthew Mancina, who was seeing his first action of the season after battling injuries all year. Simon Hofley, who had played every minute in goal for the Panthers up until tonight, came on and surrendered a pair of goals before the end of the period. At 12:06 Goulet (Hawerchuk, Hall) skated through the neutral zone and down the right side before powering towards the net and essentially pushing the puck in as he went hard into the goal. He added another one, from Boucher and Rassell, at 15:57 to give the Reds a 7-2 lead after forty minutes. Shots in the period were 19-9 for UNB.

Although each team had eight shots on goal in the 3rd period it was UNB scoring both goals. Anderson (Watling, Boland) put a one-timer under the cross-bar from in tight for his second power play goal of the game at 6:35 and Oliver Cooper (Dove-McFalls) wrapped up the scoring with his 5th of the year on a two-on-one break at 18:42.

- Both Marcus McIvor and Oliver Cooper were back in the line-up tonight after missing the previous five and two games, respectively. Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, James McEwan, and Dylan Seitz were the scratches.

- The Panthers were playing with only 15 skaters as they have battled a number of injuries recently.

- Shots on goal ended up 47-25 for the Reds.

- UNB was 2 for 3 on the power play. The Panthers were 0 for 5.

- Anderson, Watling, and Goulet were the game's three stars. Anderson was awarded the Fallen Soldier Award for being named the player of the game.

- UNB held a slight 38-34 advantage on face-offs. Samuel Dove-McFalls was the only Red to win over 50% of his opportunities, going 17 for 20 in the dot.

- Attendance was 2286 on what was the worst night weather-wise for any game this season.

- The Panthers have been out-scored 20-2 in their last two visits to the AUC.

- UNB went 5-0 versus UPEI for a second straight season, out-scoring the Panthers 32-8 in the process.

- The Reds are 46-3-1 in their last 50 games against the Panthers dating back to their final regular season meeting in the 2011-2012 season.

- UNB is 6-0-0 all-time in Military Appreciation games, out-scoring the opposition 38-10.

- This is the 3rd time in four seasons UNB have won 25 regular season games. They have eclipsed the 50 point mark for the 4th straight year.

- UNB went 14-1-0 at home this season with a goal differential of 84-24.

- It has been a week of blowouts around the conference. On Wednesday night the Moncton Aigles Bleus defeated UPEI 7-1 and then tonight Saint Mary's blasted St. FX 9-3 at home and Acadia beat Dalhousie 7-2 in Wolfville.

- With one night left in the regular season the final standings are set. UNB and Acadia are locked into the first two spots - and the 1st round bye that comes with it. Meanwhile, Saint Mary's has clinched 3rd place as they are two points up on Moncton, but hold the head-to-head tie-breaker. St. FX is locked into 5th place as they are five points behind the Aigles Bleus and two points up on UPEI, who have completed their schedule.

- The Reds finish out their regular season tomorrow night in Moncton when they face the Aigle Bleus at 7PM.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

U Sports Top Ten (#16): Reds Widen Gap

The University of New Brunswick Reds picked up a season-high 1901.25 ELO points to remain the number one ranked team in the country as the latest top ten rankings were released earlier today.

The rest of the top five were unchanged heading into the final weekend of regular season play across the country with Saskatchewan (1788.00), Carleton (1772.45), Alberta (1720.29), and Toronto (1708.88) all holding their position.

The bottom half of the rankings is where things begin to get confusing. The Ryerson Rams (1639.74) moved up two spots despite losing their only game of the week while the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (1639.17) - who are just 12-11-3 on the season - somehow entered the rankings at 7th. It is the Hawks first appearance in the rankings since the 2009-2010 season. The Guelph Gryphons (1633.28) are up one spot to 8th after a 1-1 week while both the Mount Royal Cougars (1616.15) and McGill Redmen (1611.11) re-enter the rankings.

Most notable about this week's rankings is the fact that there are no other AUS teams represented besides UNB. This is despite the fact Acadia (18-8-2) and Saint Mary's (16-12-0) both having comparable or better records than a handful of the teams in the rankings all the while playing in arguably the tougher conference. This certainly calls into question the legitimacy of the ELO system and whether it is truly the most accurate way to rank teams.

Nonetheless, here are the key games on tap this week:

FRIDAY

UQTR at #10 McGill
#6 Ryerson at Windsor
#5 Toronto at #8 Guelph
Manitoba at #4 Alberta
St. FX at Saint Mary's

SATURDAY

#5 Toronto at #8 Guelph
Manitoba at #4 Alberta
#1 UNB at Moncton
Acadia at St. FX

Dove-McFalls Recognized

Centre Samuel Dove-McFalls has been named the UNB Reds/Papa John's Pizza male Athlete of the Week after helping the Reds to a pair of big road victories last weekend that clinched first place.

In Friday night's 4-2 win over the second place Acadia Axemen Dove-McFalls scored the go ahead goal in the 3rd period and added an assist on the insurance goal. He followed that performance up with an assist in Saturday's 5-1 win against the third place Saint Mary's Huskies. In addition to his three point weekend, the sophomore also won 26 out of 45 face-offs on the weekend.

Dove-McFalls has quickly established himself as one of the best two-way centres in the league. Not only is he is heavily relied on to win key face-offs, which he routinely does over 60% of the time, but he has also chipped in 9 goals, 15 assists, and a +14 rating in 28 games. He has been especially strong down the stretch with points in his last nine games.

The Reds close out their regular season schedule this weekend with games against UPEI at the AUC and Moncton on the road.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Another Win

The University of New Brunswick Reds ran their winning streak to 12 straight games with a 5-1 victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies tonight in Halifax. They are now 24-4-0 on the season heading into the final week of the season.

Unfortunately there aren't many details available for this one as the web-cast was unwatchable all evening.

The game was scoreless until the back half of the 2nd period when the Reds struck for three goals. Ben Hawerchuk broke the ice at 11:13 with an unassisted tally for his first AUS goal. UNB then connected twice in the final minutes - first by Mark Simpson (Goulet, Hawerchuk) at 18:23 and then by Mark Rassell (Boucher, Dove-McFalls) 41 seconds later - to give the visitors a comfortable 3-0 lead through two periods.

A Keith Getson power play goal 4:02 into the 3rd period gave the Huskies a bit of life, but that was quickly snuffed out 1:05 later when Matt Murphy (Hawerchuk, Goulet) restored the three goal lead. Alexandre Goulet (Boland, Pomerleau) rounded out the scoring at the 13:00 mark.

- With Goulet and Tristan Pomerleau back in the line-up after serving their one game suspensions, Benjamin Gagne and Dylan Seitz were out. Marcus McIvor and Oliver Cooper remained sidelined.

- The Huskies were missing star rookie Mitchell Balmas. The conference's leading scorer is expected to miss four weeks due to a knee injury suffered Friday night against Moncton.

- Shots in the game were 34-15 for UNB. The period totals were 9-6, 13-6, and 12-3.

- There were only three power plays in the game. UNB was 0 for 1. SMU was 1 for 2.

- The Reds won 44 out of 71 face-offs. Tyler Boland (14 out of 23) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (13 out of 22) saw the most action.

- Attendance was 807.

- Hawerchuk was named the game's first star. Goulet and Getson were the second and third star, respectively.

- Rylan Parenteau had a fairly light net in goal, turning aside 14 out of 15 shots to improve his record to 11-2-0 on the season. His 1.85 GAA ranks 1st in the conference while his 0.907 save percentage is 3rd.

- UNB went 4-1-0 versus Saint Mary's this season, out-scoring the Huskies 27-9 (9-3, 1-3, 8-1, 4-1, 5-1).

- SMU haven't won a season series against UNB since the 2008-2009 season.

- Both of the other games in the AUS tonight went to a shoot-out. The Moncton Aigles Bleus beat the Acadia Axemen for the 4th time this season with a 4-3 win while UPEI rallied from a two goal 3rd period deficit to upend St. FX 6-5.

- Despite their loss, the Axemen clinched 2nd place and the other 1st round bye by virtue of the Huskies loss.

- With two games left in the regular season, playoff positioning is far from settled. Here is how the standings look:

UNB: 24-4-0 = 48 points
ACA: 18-8-2 = 38
SMU: 16-12-0 = 32
UdeM: 12-10-6 = 30
SFX: 11-12-5 = 27
UPEI: 10-13-5 = 25
DAL: 7-18-3 = 17

- It's hard to believe, but next weekend represents the final games of the regular season. UNB is home to the UPEI Panthers on Friday night for Military Appreciation Night before heading down the highway to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus on Saturday evening. Both games are set for 7PM starts.