With the second half of the season underway and UCup finals fast approaching, The Brunswickan takes a look back at some of happenings from the Varsity Reds men’s hockey team’s busy holiday break.
UNB defeats Polish national team
In their first of three exhibition games over the break, the Varsity Reds earned a 4-1 win over Poland’s national team. In addition to the novelty of seeing UNB face Poland’s best players, the game also provided the team with a unique challenge, as they went head-to-head against famed former NHL coach Ted Nolan. Nolan now serves as Poland’s head coach alongside assistant Tom Coolen, who also coached at the NHL level and spent two seasons as the V-Reds’ head coach between 1998 and 2000. UNB forward Christopher Clapperton was named the game’s first star, continuing his tremendous pace since returning from a concussion earlier in the season.
ECHL star Goulet joins in time for second half
The long-rumored addition of ECHL and former QMJHL star Alexandre Goulet finally came to fruition in December, as head coach Gardiner McDougall used one of his open roster spots to bolster an already dangerous offense. The 21-year-old forward made his professional debut earlier this season playing for the Jacksonville IceMen—the Winnipeg Jets’ ECHL affiliate—where he put up an impressive 22 points in 18 games.
V-Reds avoid upset in Pete Kelly Challenge
UNB narrowly avoided a major upset in their second exhibition game, defeating the Ryerson Rams 6-5 in overtime. The game saw them come back from two separate three-goal deficits before Tyler Boland made the game winning shot in overtime. The two teams faced off again the following day—this time with the Varsity Reds winning by a lopsided score of 8-2. The series against Ryerson marked Alexandre Goulet’s exhibition debut and saw him pick up both three assists and a +4 rating over the two games. The team has now won 23 straight games against teams from the OUA conference.
StFX hands UNB their first regulation loss of the season
The Varsity Reds suffered a tough loss to rivals St.FX in their first regular season game after the holiday break, losing by an emphatic score of 5-2. The X-Men’s AUS-leading power-play proved to be the game’s deciding factor, scoring three goals in six attempts while UNB’s power-play unit went one-for-five. St.FX now sits tied with UNB for first place in AUS standings and have made a strong case that they are currently Canada’s top team.
Goulet scores first goal
Newly-added centre Alexandre Goulet notched the first goal of his USports career on Sunday afternoon when he helped UNB rebound from the loss at StFX with a 3-0 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers, who currently sit in last place in the AUS. He now has one goal and one assist in two regular season games. The game also saw rookie goaltender Rylan Parenteau pick up his first career shutout, as the V-Reds held the Tigers to only 12 shots.
Photos: Andy Campbell Varsity Reds Athletics, Mathieu Belanger, Kyle Lamkin