Saturday, September 25, 2021

Reds Pull Away Late Against Tigers

The University of New Brunswick Reds remained perfect in the pre-season, exploding for five goals in the 3rd period to break open a close game in a 7-0 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers tonight at the AUC. It is UNB's third straight shutout to begin the season.

- For the second time this weekend the Reds got on the board in the opening minute. Joe Gatenby fed the puck down low to Austen Keating, who deftly stickhandled the puck around Tigers goalie Reilly Pickard. Samuel Dove-McFalls picked up the secondary assist on the goal, which came just 17 seconds into the contest.

- Isaac Nurse (Keating, Dove-McFalls) continued his hot start when he collected a loose puck in front of the net and flipped it in at 4:43.

- It looked like it would be easy sailing for the Reds after quickly going up 2-0, but credit the Tigers - and especially Pickard - for keeping the game close despite being out-shot 23-5 in the 1st period and 23-8 in the 2nd period. 

- Although they only had 13 shots, Dalhousie did generate some quality scoring chances over the first forty minutes, including a pair of breakaways. However, Reds goalie Griffen Outhouse was up to the task in his first career start to keep the game 2-0.

- UNB finally broke through again 49 seconds into the 3rd period when Ross MacDougall picked off a pass in the offensive zone and sniped the puck into the top right corner. 

- That goal opened the floodgates for the Reds as they would strike four more times in the period. Mark Rassell (Phelan, Casey) scored what is probably the Reds nicest goal thus far when he finished off a nice passing play with a tap-in at the side of the net at 2:21. He added another at 6:49, jumping on a rebound at the top of the crease and putting it home for a power play marker to make it 4-0. James Phelan (Rassell), at 12:16, and Tyler Boland (Dove-McFalls, McCormick), on the power play at 15:39, completed the scoring on the night. 

- Shots in the period were 15-11 for the Reds. They out-shot the Tigers 61-24 on the night.

- UNB once gain only dressed 15 skaters. Benjamin Gagne, Jason Willms, and MacAuley Carson all missed their second game of the weekend and Connor Hall was also out of the line-up.

- As mentioned, Griffen Outhouse made his first start as a Red and helped extend UNB's shutout streak to three games in a row. 

- Face-offs favoured UNB 44-25.

- The Reds were 2 for 4 on the power play while the tigers were scoreless on three attempts. 

- Attendance was 1424.

- UNB last recorded back-to-back-to back shutouts during the last three games of the 2013-2014 regular season. Coincidentally, those shut-outs also came against Moncton, Acadia, and Dalhousie with Charles Lavigne playing all three games.  

- The Reds wrap up their pre-season schedule next Saturday night when they host Moncton at 7PM. 


Friday, September 24, 2021

Reds Top Axemen

For the first time since March 6th, 2020 the University of New Brunswick Reds played a competitive hockey game at the AUC. Although the stakes were not as high as they were that night, the result was the same - a convincing four goal victory over the visiting Acadia Axemen. 

- The rough stuff started right away in this one as both centres were sent to the box after tussling before the puck was even dropped.

- Perhaps the rough stuff inspired the Reds as they got on the board with the game less than a minute old. Isaac Nurse (Hall, McCormick) skated the puck down the right side and snapped a shot past Max Paddock, seeing his first taste of AUS action. The goal came at 0:57.

- UNB added a second goal at 9:23 when James Phelan's (Hall) attempted pass across the low slot hit a defender and the puck re-directed between Paddock's legs. 

- The Reds took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after a dominant 1st period that saw them out-shoot the Axemen 17-4.

- UNB added another pair of goals in the middle frame while holding a 15-10 advantage in shots on goal. The period was fairly evenly played, with the Reds having multiple instances of sustained pressure in the offensive zone and Acadia being awarded a 94 second two man advantage. 

- However, it wasn't until the 17:52 mark that the Reds were able to add to their lead with Austen Keating (Gatenby), stationed just below the left face-off dot, finding the far corner. 

- An Axemen penalty 29 seconds later would pay dividends at 19:37 when James McEwan (Landry) beat Paddock from just above the left face-off dot.

- The 3rd period was uneventful outside of a 5-minute major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking that was assessed to Acadia defenceman Merrick Rippon late in the game. Shots over the final twenty minutes were 16-8 for UNB.

- Shots in the game were 47-22 for the Reds.

- Rylan Parenteau played the entire game in net and picked up his second consecutive shut-out.

- The Reds got the services of Austen Keating, Thomas Casey, and Adam McCormick back following their involvement at NHL development camps.

- They still played shorthanded though, as only 16 skaters dressed. Jason Willms and Benjamin Gagne did not dress while MacAuley Carson is still away after being invited to the San Jose Sharks main training camp. Further, Connor Hall got in a scuffle at the end of the 2nd period, picking up a couple of penalties in the process, and never played in the 3rd period. 

- The Axemen only played with 15 skater themselves. They were missing a number of their top forwards as well as reigning AUS MVP Logan Flodell in net.

- The Reds were 1 for 4 on the power play. Acadia was 0 for 5.

- Reds defenceman Ross MacDougall played his first game against his former team.

- Attendance was 1454.

- UNB is back on home ice tomorrow night, hosting the Dalhousie Tigers at 7PM.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

UNB Hockey Is Back...On The Ice And In The Win Column

At times the University of New Brunswick Reds not only looked like a team that hadn't played a competitive game in over 18 months, but one that was also missing four players out of their line-up. Nonetheless, they did enough to defeat the University de Moncton Aigles Bleus 3-0 in their pre-season opener this afternoon in the Hub City.

- Samuel Dove-McFalls opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 5:25 of the opening period. Dove-McFalls skated the puck down the left side on a partial 2-on-1 break. The Moncton defender did a nice job taking away any possible pass so Dove-McFalls opted to fire a wrist shot that ended up beating Aigles Bleus rookie goaltender Emile Samson up high.

- UNB doubled their lead at 8:12 of the 2nd period thanks to a power play goal by James McEwan. The Reds had a 3-on-1 rush from the Moncton blue-line and, after Samson made a nice save going to his left after a cross-ice pass, McEwan was right there to deposit the rebound into an open net.

- The Reds wrapped up the scoring 12:27 into the 3rd period after a hardworking shift that ended with Jason Willms putting the puck in after a goalmouth scramble.

- Shots in the game actually favoured Moncton 28-26 with period total of 7-7, 13-10 for UNB, and 11-6 for Moncton.

- Rylan Parenteau played the entire game in net.

- As expected, the Reds were missing Austen Keating, Thomas Casey, MacAuley Carson, and Adam McCormick due to their participation at NHL development camps. Moncton was without rookie Mika Cyr, who is attending Montreal's camp. 

- As a result, UNB played with only 15 skaters. They had a full complement of six defencemen, but only iced nine forwards.

- The jersey numbers for the new players are as follows: Adam McCormick (#8), Austen Keating (#9), Jason Willms (#18), Thomas Casey (#20), MacAuley Carson (#23), Ross MacDougall (#28), Griffen Outhouse (#34), Kade Landry (#53), James Phelan (#81), Isaac Nurse (#88), and Nicolas Guay (#90).

- While no one was wearing the "C", they had four veterans wearing an "A" - Samuel Dove-McFalls, Tyler Boland, Joe Gatenby, and Mark Rassell.

- For two teams filled with a number of players without much history with one another, the game was a chippy affair right from the start with a number of post-whistle scrums. Both Connor Hall and Isaac Nurse seemed to find themselves in the middle of multiple dust-ups over the course of the contest.

- The Reds will now look forward to Friday night when they host the team they last played at the AUC - the Acadia Axemen. Game time is 7PM.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

News And Notes: Pre-Season Begins, Saigeon, NHL Camps

Tomorrow afternoon, for the first time in 562 days, the University of New Brunswick Reds will be in game action as they head to Moncton to face the Aigles Bleus. Game time is scheduled for 3PM and, according to the Times and Transcript, "spectators are welcome at all weekend hockey games at UdeM. Face masks are required."

- This will be the first time fans get to see what is going to be a very different looking team from the one that last played in March 2020. A whopping 14 players who suited up in game three of the AUS Final - Stephen Anderson, Patrick Watling, Kris Bennett, Matthew Boucher, Oliver Cooper, Ben Hawerchuk, Mark Simpson, Alexandre Goulet, Matt Murphy, Marcus McIvor, Olivier LeBlanc, Tristan Pomerleau, and Samuel Harvey - have moved on.
- Granted, all of the AUS teams have turned over upwards of half of their roster over the last 18 months. This means there are going to be lots of new faces to learn on every team around the league. 
- One player that will not be suiting up for the Reds is highly touted recruit Brandon Saigeon. The former 92 point scorer in the OHL has signed an ECHL contract with the Wheeling Nailers. 
- Saigeon joins defenceman Nathan Larose as recruits who have moved on to the professional ranks before ever suiting up for the Reds in game action.
- UNB will also most likely be without forwards Austen Keating (Arizona), Thomas Casey (Buffalo), MacAuley Carson (San Jose), and defenceman Adam McCormick (Las Vegas), all of whom are currently at NHL development camps. 
- For those who can't make the trip to Moncton, the game should be streamed on AUStv.ca. For those of you who may have missed it, the AUS has entered into a three year agreement with Visaic to broadcast games on their YARE tv platform. In addition to the website getting a refresh, users will now to need to register (for free) prior to being able to watch games.  
- The AUS pre-season officially got underway Friday night with St. FX taking down Dalhousie 3-1 in Antigonish. Moncton had an impressive start to their schedule, routing Saint Mary's 5-1 Saturday afternoon in Halifax.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Training Camp Begins

Hockey is back folks! 

The 2021-2022 season officially got underway this morning as the Reds held their first practice of the new campaign at the AUC.

The Reds kick off their schedule with an exhibition game in Moncton against the Aigles Bleus on Sunday, September 19th at 3PM. They then play three exhibition games on home ice - September 24th vs. Acadia, September 25th vs. Dalhousie, and October 2nd vs. Moncton. 

Season Ticket Info Released

The Reds have finally announced the details regarding season tickets for the 2021-2022 athletics season - and they are pretty similar to what we have seen the last number of years. 

The key points:

- Season ticket holders from 2019-2020 can renew their passes between September 7th and September 21st.
- Beginning September 22nd, passes will be open to everyone. 
- You can only renew your passes at the AUC box office.
- The cost of a pass remains unchanged - $225 for adults, $200 for seniors/UNB faculty and staff, and $75 for youth and students. 
- UNB students, with a valid student ID, can attend all events for free.
- Season passes can be used for all regular season, tournament, exhibition, and AUS playoff home games.
- Seating for men's hockey will once again be reserved.
- Single game ticket for men's hockey is $12 (adult), $10 (senior/UNB faculty/staff), $5 (youth/student), and free for UNB students/children 5 and under.
- Although the AUC will operate with no capacity restrictions, it seems as though some COVID protocols will be in place. These include masking at all times (unless eating or drinking while in your seat), physical distancing, and the no gatherings in the concourse area.  

Larose Signs Pro Deal

It appears the Reds have lost one of their key recruits to the professional ranks as defenceman Nathan Larose has reportedly signed with the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks.

The defender had signed a U Sports Letter of Intent with the defending University Cup champions earlier this summer after concluding a five year QMJHL career.

Even with the loss of Larose the Reds still have seven defencemen on the roster so it will be interesting to see if they look to add someone before the season begins, or wait until the Christmas break when more players may be available. 


Saturday, July 31, 2021

D-Man MacDougall Transferring To Reds

Acadia Axemen defenceman Ross MacDougall has decided to continue his education and playing career with the team he grew up cheering for as the Reds announced yesterday that the veteran defender will be joining the team for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. After three years in Wolfville, MacDougall will enroll in the Sport and Recreation Management MBA program.

MacDougall is a 5'11", 181 pound native of St. Stephen, New Brunswick who played 182 games across four seasons in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He amassed 28 goals and 81 assists during his junior career with his best season coming in 2016-2017 when he posted 10 goals and added 29 assists in 63 games.

After his time in the 'Q', the defenceman joined the Axemen prior to the 2018-2019 season. He tallied 7 points in 27 games in his rookie season before improving to 15 points in 29 games in his second campaign. He was Acadia's lone goal scorer in the deciding game of the 2020 AUS Final, a game in which the Reds won 5-1 to claim the conference title. 

Head coach Gardiner MacDougall says Ross is "an experienced, veteran defender and has been one of the most improved players in the AUS. He has great puck-moving skills, is a top-notch skater and he's got a very high hockey IQ. He's been one of the top defenceman in our league."

MacDougall and his new teammates open the regular season on October 6th at the AUC against Moncton. 

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

2019 UCup Retrospective

In case anyone missed this from a couple weeks ago...the UNB Alumni association sat down with head coach Gardiner MacDougall for an excellent piece in which he gives an in-depth breakdown of the 2019 National Championship game against the Alberta Golden Bears. He also discusses the recent season-that-wasn't and looks ahead to the Reds return in the 2021-2022 season. Check it out below:



Monday, July 12, 2021

Komets Claim Kelly Cup

The ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets - featuring five recent Reds graduates - captured their first Kelly Cup Championship on July 2nd after defeating the South Carolina Stingrays three games to one in the final.

Like they had all postseason, the former Reds players played an integral part in the Komets series victory.

In game 1, a 7-2 Komets win, Marcus McIvor recorded a goal and an assist, Oliver Cooper scored a goal, and Matt Boudens, Randy Gazzola, and Matt Murphy all chipped in with an assist each. 

After dropping the second game 4-2, Fort Wayne took game three by a 6-4 score. While Murphy and Cooper did not play, Boudens scored a goal and McIvor and Gazzola each had an assist.

With all five former Reds in the line-up for game four, the Komets wrapped up the championship with a 2-1 win. Gazzola and McIvor picked up assists in the clinching victory.

Former Acadia Axemen forward Stephen Harper was named recipient of the June M. Kelly Playoffs Most Valuable Player Award.

Congratulations go out to the Komets, and especially to the five former Reds players. This result should only help bring more attention to the quality of players being produced at the U Sports level - and especially by the UNB program.  

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Acadia To Host 2022 UCup

It had long been rumoured, but it was finally confirmed last week that Acadia will host the 2022 University Cup at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. The event will run from March 16th-20th.

Acadia, of course, was the host of the 2020 event that was ultimately canceled after one day of competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is great news for the Reds as it means the AUS will have three berths at the tournament, with two other squads joining the Axemen. UNB has participated in every University Cup since it moved to the eight team format in 2015. Furthermore, Halifax has been kind to UNB in recent years, with the Reds capturing a silver medal at the 2015 tournament, a gold the following year after a 3-1 win over St. FX, and were the heavy favourites before the 2020 tournament was cut short. 

UPEI, who was originally scheduled to hold the 2022 University Cup, is now expected to be named the host of the 2023 tournament. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Reds Add D-Man Larose

The defending AUS Champion UNB Reds continue to re-load their roster in preparation of the 2021-2022 season, announcing the addition of defenceman Nathan Larose yesterday. 

Larose, a 6'2", 194 pound native of Mirabel, Quebec has spent the last five seasons in the QMJHL, playing for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Saint John Sea Dogs, and Cape Breton Eagles. An alternate captain for each of the last three seasons, Larose turned into one of the best offensive defenceman in the league following his trade to Cape Breton during the 2018-2019 season. He put up 17 goals and 20 assists while being a +34 in 51 games in his first full season with the Eagles. Then, this past year, he led all 'Q' rearguards with 17 goals and added 16 assists in 31 games in the pandemic-disrupted season. His 33 points led all Cape Breton players. 

Overall, Larose posted 104 points (45 goals, 59 assists) in 206 career major junior games.    

Reds fans can expect "a high-level offensive skill package, highlighted by excellent skating ability and a powerful shot", says head coach Gardiner MacDougall. Further, associate coach Rob Hennigar describes Larose as "a player who has a lot of tools" who has a shot that "is exceptional and can be a game breaker".

Larose joins a defensive corps that has lost stalwarts Marcus McIvor, Matt Murphy, Olivier LeBlanc, and Tristan Pomerleau over the last two summers. It currently includes Joe Gatenby, Noah Carroll, Benjamin Gagne, Conner Hall, and fellow rookies Kade Landry and Adam McCormick. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Fredericton - Fort Wayne Connection

Justin A. Kohn of the Journal Gazette has a great article discussing the budding relationship between the Reds and the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets, a team that features former UNBers Matt Boudens, Marcus McIvor, Randy Gazzola, Matt Murphy, and Oliver Cooper.  

The ex-Reds have played an integral role in the Komets success this season as the team has advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. Boudens scored the series-clinching overtime goal in the deciding game to send the Komets to the western conference finals against the Allen Americans. Cooper scored a pair of goals, including the overtime winner, and Murphy and Gazzola added assists in game two against Allen to even up the series. This helped propel the Komets to a three games to one series win, with Boudens scoring in the clinching game.  

The Komets will now face Alex Dubeau and the South Carolina Stingrays in the league final.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

AUS Schedule Released

In what is perhaps the biggest sign yet that things are slowly getting back to normal, the AUS has released the 2021-2022 men's hockey schedule - and it is very similar looking to recent years.

The Reds will raise their 2019-2020 AUS Championship banner on Wednesday, October 6th when they welcome the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus to the AUC in their season - and the AUS - opener. They play their first road game of the season two nights later, travelling to Prince Edward Island to face the Panthers.

Here is the complete schedule (all games are at 7PM unless noted, homes games in red):

Wednesday, October 6th vs. Moncton 
Friday, October 8th at UPEI 
Wednesday, October 13th vs. Acadia
Sunday, October 17th vs. Saint Mary's (3PM)
Friday, October 22nd at St. FX
Saturday, October 23rd at Dalhousie
Friday, October 29th at Dalhousie
Saturday, October 30th at St. FX
Friday, November 5th at Moncton
Saturday, November 6th at UPEI
Friday, November 12th vs. Acadia
Saturday, November 13th vs. Saint Mary's
Friday, November 19th vs. St. FX
Saturday, November 20th vs. Dalhousie (4PM)
Friday, November 26th at Acadia
Saturday, November 27th at Saint Mary's
Friday, December 3rd vs. Moncton
Saturday, December 4th at UPEI

Friday, January 7th vs. Moncton
Saturday, January 8th vs. UPEI
Friday, January 14th vs. St. FX
Saturday, January 15th vs. Dalhousie
Friday, January 21st at Saint Mary's 
Saturday, January 22nd at Acadia
Friday, January 28th at Dalhousie
Saturday, January 29th at St. FX
Friday, February 4th vs. Acadia
Saturday, February 5th vs. Saint Mary's (4PM)
Wednesday, February 9th at Moncton
Saturday, February 12th vs. UPEI

A few notes:

- The October 6th start is about a week later than the previous two seasons.
- This will mark the 5th time in six seasons the Reds will open the season at home. 
- It will be the 4th time in five seasons they will face Moncton in their home opener.
- UNB will be looking to extend their streak of nine straight season opening wins and 31 (!!) straight home opening victories.
- The schedule features three Wednesday night games. Two are against a familiar Wednesday night opponent in Moncton, but the other is a rare mid-week game against Acadia. 
- The Reds experimented with home afternoon games in 2019-2020 and there are three more scheduled this year. They have a pair of Saturday games at 4PM and another at 3PM on a Sunday.
- As has been the standard since the introduction of the 30 game schedule, there are 18 games scheduled before the Christmas break and 12 afterwards.
- They play eight home games and ten road games before the break and seven home games and five road games after.
- This season UNB will play three out of their five games versus Acadia, Saint Mary's, and Moncton at home. They play an extra road games against St. FX, Dalhousie, and UPEI.
- Interestingly, they will play all three of their road games against UPEI before Christmas. They won't have to travel to the island after December 4th (unless the two teams meet in the playoffs).
- After opening the season with three out of four games at the AUC, the Reds will be on the road for six straight. This is their longest road trip since also playing six in a row away from home during the 2015-2016 season.
- UNB have a pair of stretches were they will play four in a row on home ice, including the first four games coming out of the holiday break.
- In an odd scheduling quirk, the Reds will go on the road to face St. FX and Dalhousie on consecutive weekends at the end of October. This will feature a rare back-to-back against the Tigers.
- For the 4th time in seven seasons, UNB will wrap up the regular season against UPEI.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Veterans Returning

The defending AUS Champions received some good news this past week as it was announced that four key veterans - forwards Tyler Boland, Mark Rassell, Samuel Dove-McFalls, and James McEwan - have all committed to return to the Reds for the upcoming season. 

Defencemen Joe Gatenby and Noah Carroll and goaltender Rylan Parenteau are all expected to return for the 2021-2022 season as well. 

This is welcome news for the Reds as they have saw a significant number of players either graduate or move on to the professional ranks since their last game in March 2020. These returning players will no doubt be heavily relied upon to lead what should be one of UNB's youngest and most inexperienced squads in recent years.

AUS Plans Fall Return

Get excited folks. The end is in sight.

After over a year of what has felt like nothing but bad news, there is finally some optimism on the horizon as Atlantic University Sport has announced the intention to resume competition this upcoming fall.

Following the cancellation of all 2020-2021 regular season and championship competition, the conference hopes to restart in September with regular season and exhibition play getting underway. 

It is expected men's hockey will follow a similar format and timeline to previous seasons. If this is indeed the case, then we can expect exhibition games starting in early to mid-September, the regular season beginning in late September/early October, and playoffs in late February. 

Although it has yet to be confirmed, it appears Acadia will host the University Cup March 17th-20th in Halifax. Acadia, of course, was the host of the 2020 tournament that was eventually cancelled.

The 2021-2022 schedule is expected to be released in the coming days. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

News And Notes: Boucher, Graduates, 2020-21 Season

The news cycle has been non-existent in recent months, but some news has started to trickle in over the past few days.

- Former Red Matthew Boucher has been named the ECHL Rookie of the Year after a season in which the forward led all first year players in goals (25) and points (52). He had previously been named to the all-rookie team.

- The Reds official website has posted a couple stories over the last week. The first talked about how the team coped with the pandemic and the lack of a 2020-2021 season while the other discusses the 11 players who graduated last weekend. 

- Former player Tyler Dietrich earned a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships for his role as Team Canada's video coach. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

News And Notes: Cooper, Alumni Update

 A number of ex-Reds have been in the news lately. Here is the latest on some old friends:

- Oliver Cooper became the latest Reds player to join the ECHL's Fort Wayne Comets as the 5th year forward inked his first professional contract last week. The Komets are quickly becoming UNB's unofficial minor league affiliate as they currently feature ex-Reds Randy Gazzola, Marcus McIvor, and Matt Boudens.

- Another Red-turned-Komet - defenceman Matt Murphy - was recalled by the AHL's Chicago Wolves. He has recorded an assist in two games thus far for the Carolina Hurricanes top affiliate.

- Olivier LeBlanc made his AHL debut with the Belleville Senators last Wednesday. 

- Kris Bennett has picked up a pair of assists in his first five games for the AHL's Stockton Heat.

- Mark Simpson has played 14 games with the Heat, contributing three goals and two assists.

- Philippe Maillet was sent back down to the Hershey Bears after spending most of the season on the Washington Capitals "taxi" squad. He has a goal and seven assists in his first three games back in the AHL, earning Player of the Week for his efforts. 

- Matthew Boucher continues to tear it up for the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies. He has averaged a point per game over 35 games this season with 15 goals and 20 assists. He was named the league's Player of the Week for March 22-28.

- Meanwhile, Alex Dubeau was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Week for March 15-21. He is 9-1-3 with a 2.55 GAA and 0.914 save percentage playing for the South Carolina Stingrays this season.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Casey Commits

UPDATE: Jason Malloy of The Guardian has a nice story about Casey's commitment to UNB.

The defending University Cup champion UNB Reds have added another piece to their 2021-2022 line-up as Charlottetown Islanders forward Thomas Casey has committed to the program.

The 5'9", 187 pound Casey is currently in his fourth season with the QMJHL's Islanders, where his assistant coach is former Red - and NHLer - Kevin Henderson. After putting up decent stats in his first three seasons (46 goals and 47 assists in 171 games), the Prince Edward Island native has exploded this season to the tune of 26 goals and 34 assists in 61 games thus far, playing a key role on one of the league's top teams. 

Gardiner MacDougall says Casey is "a huge addition to our UNB men's hockey program" who has "a high-level, competitive work ethic, elite speed and top-notch character."  

Casey previously attended the Detroit Red Wings development camp in 2019. 

The Reds have now added Casey, defenceman Adam McCormick, forwards James Phelan and Brandon Saigeon, and goaltender Griffen Outhouse in recent months as they look to rebuild a roster that has been gutted by losses due to professional opportunities and graduation.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

McCormick To Join Reds

What could be a very busy "offseason" for the three-time defending AUS champions got off to a promising start with the announcement that local defenceman Adam McCormick has signed a letter of intent with the Reds for the 2021-2022 season.

A native of Woodstock, New Brunswick McCormick is currently in his 5th season in the QMJHL. After four seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles that saw the 5'11", 190 pound rearguard put up 22 goals, 99 assists, and a +52 rating in 231 games - capped off by winning the 2019-2020 Kevin Lowe Trophy as the QMJHL's Best Defensive Defenceman and being named a Second Team all-star - McCormick was dealt to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, where he has 4 goals and 11 assists in 16 games thus far this season. He has served as an alternate captain each of the last two years. 

According to Gardiner MacDougall, McCormick is "an excellent puck-moving defender with great mobility and an elite hockey sense". With the departure of four members from last season's defence corps, the head coach says the defender "has the opportunity to step into our line-up and be an impact player for us at both ends of the rink."

McCormick will also be the answer to a future trivia question as he becomes the first player born this millennium to be recruited by the Reds. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Trio Of Reds Turn Pro

The cancellation of the the 2020-2021 U Sports men's hockey season continues to decimate the roster of the three time defending AUS Champions as fourth year defencemen Tristan Pomerleau and Olivier LeBlanc, as well as fourth year forward - and team captain - Kris Bennett have become the latest Reds to join the professional ranks. 

It was announced last week that Pomerleau has signed an ATO (amateur try-out) with the Laval Rocket, the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. That was followed on Saturday with the news that Bennett has signed an ATO with the AHL's Stockton Heat (Calgary), where he will join former teammate Mark Simpson and Alberta Golden Bear Luke Philp. The trifecta was completed today as LeBlanc signed an ATO with the Belleville Senators (Ottawa), joining a franchise that has featured ex-Reds Alex Dubeau, Chris Clapperton, Jordan Murray, and Matt Petgrave in recent years. 

For those scoring at home, out of the 20 players who played in game three of the AUS Final, 11 have now moved on. Forwards Patrick Watling, Stephen Anderson, Mark Simpson, Ben Hawerchuk, Matthew Boucher, goaltender Samuel Harvey, and defencemen Matt Murphy and Marcus McIvor have all signed professional contracts in the last 12 months. 


Saturday, March 6, 2021

One Year Ago

No one could have ever imagined it at the time, but exactly one year has passed since the Reds last played a game. 

It was March 6th, 2020 when UNB defeated Acadia 5-1 in the third and deciding game of the AUS final to claim their third straight conference title. 

We can't wait to get back to spending those winter nights at the AUC, watching the Reds chalk up another W.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bennett Wins Mark Jeffrey Award

Fourth year forward - and team captain - Kris Bennett has been named this year's recipient of the annual Mark Jeffrey Memorial Merit Award, the team announced last week. 

This is the most prestigious award handed out by the program and Bennett, who is one of the team's hardest workers and most popular players, has proven to be more than deserving of the honour.  

Congratulations Kris!

 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

AUC Gets A Makeover

If you happened to take a drive behind the Aitken Centre today, you may have noticed crews hard at work sprucing up the exterior. I think it's safe to say it is a slight upgrade over the previous sign, which you needed a telescope to read.

Babcock To Lead Huskies

U Sports men's hockey was in the national sports spotlight this week as the Saskatchewan Huskies announced Stanley Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medal-winning coach Mike Babcock as their new head coach. The former Maple Leafs bench boss will replace long-time Huskies coach Dave Adolph, who will be retiring in May as the winningest coach in Canadian university men's hockey history.

Babcock returns to his roots as he grew up in Saskatoon and played the 1981-1982 season for the Huskies. He would later coach the now-defunct Lethbridge Pronghorns for one season in 1993-1994, leading the school to their only national championship. 

This seems like an ideal situation for Babcock. With Toronto still paying him 5.85 million per year through the 2022-2023 season, this allows him to get back to coaching on a volunteer basis for two seasons in his hometown, near his family, for a program and a league that he has strong ties to. It will also give him the chance to repair his reputation after a number of scathing allegations about his coaching style and character emerged since his dismissal in Toronto. 

For U Sports, having a coach of Babcock's stature in the league should create some buzz and and bring national attention to a league that desperately needs any publicity it can get.

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Maillet Makes NHL Debut

This past Sunday marked a special day for the UNB men's hockey program as former star forward Philippe Maillet made his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals.

The 28 year old Maillet had 11 shifts and saw 8:02 of ice-time. He was credited with one shot on goal, two face-off wins in four attempts, and wasn't on the ice for a goal for or against in the Capitals 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Maillet is the 162nd NHL player produced by U Sports and the first UNB alum to appear in an NHL game since Kevin Henderson suited up for Nashville in 2013.

During his illustrious four year career at UNB, Maillet, racked up 201 points in 132 games to rank 4th in program history, won two National Championships (2016, 2017), was an AUS rookie of the year and member of the U Sports All-Rookie team (2014), was a two-time AUS MVP (2015, 2017), two-time AUS scoring champion (2015, 2017), two-time U Sports first team All-Canadian (2015, 2017), 2017 Major W.J. "Danny" McLeod Award winner as University Cup MVP, 2017 Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy winner as the U Sports men's hockey Player of the Year, and 2017 BLG Award winner as the U Sports Athlete of the Year.

Congratulations to Philippe for this amazing accomplishment!


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Saigeon Chooses Reds

The University of New Brunswick Reds have added forward Brandon Saigeon to their 2021-2022 recruiting class, the team announced yesterday. 

A former 5th round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, the 22 year old native of Grimsby, Ontario played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League split between the the Belleville Bulls, Hamilton Bulldogs, and Oshawa Generals. He put up 251 points (105 goals, 146 assists) in 304 career games with his best season statistically coming in his final season in 2018-2019 when he posted 37 goals and 55 assists in 68 games. Additionally, he was the Bulldogs leading scorer with 18 goals and 7 assists in 21 playoff games as the Bulldogs - which also included recent Reds recruits Kade Landry and Isaac Nurse - captured the 2018 OHL Championship.

Upon the completion of his junior career, Saigeon played a season in the ECHL with the Utah Grizzlies. He scored 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 51 games in his lone season of professional hockey. 

He will join UNB after completing a 14 day isolation.

Saigeon becomes the third confirmed recruit for the Reds for the 2020-2021 season, joining the previously announced Griffen Outhouse and James Phelan. 

With how difficult it may be to project how major junior players will adapt to the AUS given the lack of a CHL season thus far (outside of a smattering of QMJHL games), perhaps it is not a coincidence that Gardiner MacDougall and company have recruited three players out of the professional ranks. It will be interesting to see if this strategy continues over the summer.   


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Harvey, Boucher Turn Pro

The University of New Brunswick Reds have lost two key pieces to the professional ranks this week as goaltender Samuel Harvey and forward Matthew Boucher have inked AHL and ECHL contracts, respectively. 

According to the Daily Gleaner's (subscription required) Bill Hunt, Harvey has signed a tryout contract with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the Sharks, where he is expected to compete for their backup role. 

The former Memorial Cup-winning netminder will leave UNB after a short, but spectacular, stay. After completing some of his university courses while in junior, the plan all along for Harvey was to stay with the Reds for two seasons to complete his degree before moving on to the professional ranks. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic meant Harvey only got to play one - unfinished - season in the red and black, posting a 14-2 regular season record with a 1.87 GAA and a 4-1 postseason record with a 1.21 record, leading the Reds to another AUS championship. Their game three victory over Acadia in the AUS Final proved to be the last game of the season as the season was cancelled the night before their opening game at the University Cup. 

Meanwhile, it was announced today that Boucher has signed with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies. The consistent forward spent two seasons at UNB, putting up over a point per game each year. He accumulated a total of 61 points (31 goals, 30 assists) in 57 regular season games before adding another nine points in as many playoff games. He had three assists in three games at the 2019 University Cup, helping UNB to a national championship.

The loss of Harvey and Boucher isn't necessarily surprising given that pro leagues are starting up again soon and there is an increasing unlikelihood we will see any AUS competition in the near future. However, their departures are a big blow to a UNB roster that had already lost a number of key contributors from last season's squad. 

We may not know when we will the see the Reds back in action, but one thing is for certain - the team that takes the ice will be vastly different looking from the one we last saw raising the AUS trophy in March.