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!