Dana Fraser wasted no time in making an impact in his first week with the UNB Varsity Reds men’s hockey team.
Fraser has five goals and an assist in five games with UNB, including one goal and two shots against his former team, the UPEI Panthers.
When asked about playing against his former teammates, the forward was quoted as saying, “I was in front of the net and the puck came to me and I just slid it home. It was nice to get that first one off my back — especially against my old team. I know a couple of the other boys were heckling me out there so it was nice to get that.”
“I was there four years and I made a lot of good friends and stuff. It was fun to play them. It was good to see that they still had that respect for me [after] switching teams. I know I still have that respect for them.”
Fraser’s stint with the Panthers could only be described as illustrious, as evidenced by his senior year in which he led a fledging UPEI team in scoring against a highly competitive Atlantic University Sport conference.
While he has fit in quite nicely with the V-Reds, who currently sit first in the AUS, Fraser didn’t intend to end up in Fredericton this season — or Canada, for that matter.
In fact, the Tatamagouche native signed his first professional contract with the Evansville IceMen of the East Coast Hockey League in July. Interestingly enough, fellow V-Red R.D. Chisholm had also signed with the IceMen that summer.
Unfortunately, his stint in Indiana didn’t last long as he suffered a high ankle sprain in training camp and was sidelined for the beginning of the season. After four weeks away from the game, Fraser re-injured his ankle in his return to practice.
“I was pretty disappointed when I first got injured,” he said in a recent interview with Ryan Cooke of The Guardian. “It sucked. I worked hard for the opportunity and had to go home.”
Fraser returned to the Maritimes following his disappointing removal from the team, but was almost immediately contacted by UNB’s head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
While the team was battling for first place in the AUS, MacDougall believed that Fraser’s experience and skillset could solidify the star-studded roster.
Heading into the home stretch of the season, UNB leads the Acadia Axemen by three points in the battle for first place. The team will be heading to Nova Scotia this weekend, with games against Dalhousie and Acadia.