Hockey: AUS Weekend Recap

After a long preseason, all eight AUS men's hockey teams opened the regular season this weekend, with some close games and some blowouts.

Friday night UNB had their home-opener and CIS championship banner raising and the depleted UPEI squad were the sacrificial lambs for the jacked up Varsity Reds. The game quickly saw the Panthers transform into the Washington Generals against UNB's Harlem Globetrotters routine. UNB outshot UPEI 50-20 in the 10-0 blanking with Travis Fullerton getting the shutout and Hunter Tremblay notching the hat trick. The next night bitter rival Moncton was in Fredericton, and this game had more of an edge to it. UNB was up 7-0 in the second period before Moncton got on the score clock, and it finished 9-3 with UNB outshooting UdeM 47-23. There was 104 PIM equally divided between the two teams thanks to several misconduct calls and lots of bad blood. Rookie Chris Culligan had a hat trick for UNB in the victory and linemate Hunter Tremblay added a pair of goals.

On Friday night the first Battle of Halifax went to Saint Mary's, but surprisingly the Dalhousie Tigers pushed the Huskies to overtime, although a bad penalty allowed SMU's killer power play to win the game 3-2 in OT. Rookie Dal goalie Bobby Nadeau made 43 saves to steal the all-important point in the standings. Saturday night Dal was in Antigonish, and Nadeau made 36 saves in losing to StFX 4-2. It was a good bounce back for X, who lost 4-3 in overtime Friday night to the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville. In that game it was rookie X-Men goaltender Joey Perricone stealing a point for his team, as he made 48 saves in the loss.

Goalies were the big stars on the weekend. On Friday, rookie St. Thomas netminder Charles Lavigne made 46 saves to steal a 4-2 win against Moncton, spoiling their home opener in the newly renovated J-Louis Levesque Arena. Also of note in the game for the Tommies was transfer student Tyler Dietrich scoring two goals. Dietrich may be the first CIS hockey player to play for three schools – UBC, UNB and now STU. However Lavigne was chased from the net on Saturday after the Panthers scored 3 goals on 10 shots in the first 20 minutes. UPEI won 9-4 in a game that evidently got nasty, with STU collecting 68 PIM and UPEI 47. Rookie Panthers defenceman Dylan Quaile collected a hat trick and 2 assists, as did forward Matthew Carter.

My AUS offensive player of the week would be UNB star forward Hunter Tremblay with 5 goals and 2 that were called back and his under-rated physical play. While UPEI d-man Dylan Quaile did get those 5 points, he was -2 against UNB on Friday. My defenceman pick then would be UNB rookie Ben Shutron who had 4 assists and was +7 on the weekend plus a physical force. Completing the sweep for UNB would be top goalie Travis Fullerton, who had the only shutout while the Friday gamestealers lost on Saturday night.
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  1. So based upon the UNB scores this weekend the question needs to be asked, what has happened to the toughest Conference in the country?
    What has happened here is simple!
    The V-Reds are on another level!
    Alberta has dominated the West for the last decade-plus and did so by getting the best recruits out of the WHL; and the AUS coaches and media claimed that the Canada West was inferior to the AUS, etc.
    But for the last couple of seasons UNB has got the best recruits out of the OHL, the QMJHL and now the WHL as well...and now no one is going to touch them!
    The Bears won three titles in four years; 2005, 2006 and 2008, and what is scary is that the Bears had better teams from 2001 to 2004 when they didn't get it done.
    But now with UNB hosting Nationals in 2011 and 2012 and finding a way to out recruit everyone I can see the V-Reds claiming four straight titles and five in six years.

    Bob Stauffer
    Oilers Radio

  2. There you go Bob, trying to pump up UNB so karma turns on them somehow?


    I wouldn't want to read too much into UNB trouncing a UPEI team missing three key players and a key rookie not eligible yet. As for Moncton, it looked like their conditioning isn't there yet, although the third period was their best. I did expect them to play better all game.

    A better test for the AUS will come the next two weekends, when UNB is at Acadia and Saint Mary's, and then those two teams the next weekend. I will be really, really surprised if those games turn into blowouts.

    But to be fair, there are a few fans here already worrying if UNB might be too far ahead of the AUS thanks to their recruiting, but jeepers, they've only played three AUS teams so far this year.

  3. UNB has a great team for sure, but to win 4 straight titles they'd have to pretty much go 12-0 against the best teams in Canada, or get very lucky in losing. They still have to play the games...

    Even a favorite is an underdog against the combined probability of the entire league, meaning there's a greater chance that someone else will win. Bob's reference to those powerhouse Alberta teams only serves as more evidence. As 2008 proved, all it takes is a hot goalie to steal a win.

    There are a few teams in the AUS that will push UNB this year, shouldn't read too much into the first 2 games.

  4. But I gotta admit there is some depth on this UNB team; hot prospect Taylor Procyshen from the WHL is playing on the third and energy lines most of the season so far as he has been snakebit around the net. Only true rookie forward Chris Culligan has cracked the top six, as has rookie-again Daine Todd.

  5. You UNB guys are to modest. No need to patronize people with statistics and excuses for the other teams. UNB are what they are, damn good. Every coach in the AUS would probably agree word for word with what Bob said above but don't dare to say it so succinctly.
    There are 7 AUS teams and then there is UNB. Like someone said, the only team that will beat UNB will be UNB.

  6. Dietrich may be the first CIS hockey player to play for three schools – UBC, UNB and now STU.

    That sounds bizarre. I'm unfamiliar with his situation: is Dietrich in his fifth year now, having done UBC-sit-UNB-sit-STU, or did something else happen?

  7. You've got the gist of it Rob. Dietrich started at UNB out of Junior, got hurt, left school before end of season. Came to UNB, sat a yaar, started the season with UNB, got hurt early, and by the time he was healed up the numbers game had him in the press box most nights. Still, he was part of the championship UNB team in 2007. He then left UNB and went across campus to St. Thomas. Sat a year as requited and now playing for the Tommies. By my math I would have him in his last year of eligbility, but STU has him at year 3, which I don't get.

  8. Sorry, that should be "started at UBC out of Junior"

  9. Both Acadia and St Mary's on the Road will be great test for UNB.

    While it is true UNB has a great team, too many blowouts will not be healthy when they do play the tough teams.

    I would not be surprised to see them take a loss in atleast one of the two games this weekend on the road. And although Im not cheering for that to happen, it may not be a bad thing for them. I fully Expect St Mary's to fire 25 to 40 shots at the UNB net and thats something they deperately need to keep their goalies sharp.

    what you saw happen in the third period with Moncton even getting on the scoreboard was almost the case of UNB getting bored, and their Goalie being asleep.

    The UPEI game was what it was, the Moncton Game believe it or not could have been much worse if UNB kept it up the whole game could have been easily a 9-0 or 12-3 game.

    One thing for sure, is with Hunter Tremblay Healthy, and playing with 2 great team players on his line Culligan and Dickson, he is going to have one huge year. % goals and 4 assists to open the year is fantastik, scary part is he actually scored 2 other goals to be called back due to the ref prematuraly blowing the whistle

  10. Lets worry about winning two Cups in a row before even thinking about 4...getting alittle ahead of ourselves aren't we??

    As for UNB getting bored...I was at the Moncton game and I noticed atleast once where a Moncton shot was blocked for the umpteenth time by a UNB player and, atleast judging from his mannerisms, Yeomans (UNB goalie) did start to look a little frustrated that he wasn't more involved...although I am sure that will change the next two weekends...

  11. Re: Dietrich, we've never been that worried about math at STU.

  12. Squirrel H8TR10/19/2009 1:03 pm

    Re: Dietrich, we've never been that worried about math at STU.

    Why would a Squirrel worry about the Math faculty at STU? Oh, I get it you were pretending that you went to STU. How funny was that? Good one.

    It was my understanding that the year the player sits out does not count for eligibility. Justin McCutcheon played 3 years at STU, sat out one year, played at UNB last year and he had one year left if he chose to use it this year. So I would say that Tyler is in year 3. UBC = 1, year he sat out = 0, UNB = 2, year he sat out = 0, STU = 3.

  13. I believe Squirrel H8TR is right, as I understand rules on "Student-Athletes Entering Directly from another Canadian Interuniversity Sport Institution" they must sit out 1 year, but aren't charged 1 year of eligibility.
    Dietrich started school at UBC back in 05-06 and could conceivably play until 11-12.

    It'd be kinda cool if he transfered to the OUA and played for all 3 conferences, and 4 schools...