The big news in Fredericton, which got the whole top half of the sports front in this morning's Daily Gleaner, is that defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers has decided to take his talents to Freddy Beach. The story first broke this weekend on the website of a Trois-Rivières radio station -- big news there because UQTR coach Jacques Laporte thought that they had secured the services of the offensively minded d-man.
"Il avait opté pour chez nous, toute la semaine il nous a dit oui, et avant-hier il nous a dit non ... À partir du moment où il a quitté la East Coast il n’a jamais été question d’une autre équipe jusqu’à cette semaine où il en est apparu trois autres."What obviously helped the V-Reds pitch was that Desnoyers' agent was former UNB coach Don MacAdam, plus the fact that UNB will be hosting the University Cup for the next two years. Add in the point that a former junior teammate of Desnoyer in Drummondville is Fredericton native Jake Allen, and you can appreciate how UQTR may have got beat out. Allen, the goaltender for Team Canada two years ago in the gold medal loss to the USA in Saskatoon, is starring this season in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen. After a solid junior career in the QMJHL, Desnoyer played minor pro this season with the ECHL's Elmira Jackets. He got called up for one game to the AHL ... to Peoria. He and Jake probably had some time to chat about where to go to school.
Desnoyer is expected to be in the line-up Friday night when the V-Reds travel to Moncton to plays les Aigles Bleus. As it turns out, UdeM also tried to recruit Desnoyer over the summer, so talk about rubbing salt in a wound.
This has probably been a record year for lost man-games for the Varsity Reds, and UNB can certainly use the help on the back end, especially for their power play. Last season the V-Red power play peaked at around a 30% success rate, and finished the year at 26.6%. This season it has dropped to 19.2%. It has not helped that forward Daine Todd, who plays the left point on the first power play unit, has been out since injuring his shoulder against STU on October 16, that CIS All-Rookie Ben Shutron will probably miss the entire season after breaking his femur in an exhibition game back in September, and that All-Canadian d-man Luke Gallant missed the last 7 games of the first half with a broken finger and has just returned to the UNB line-up. And now the V-Reds have lost veteran forward/defenceman Josh Hepditch, who has been playing the best hockey of his UNB career, to a lower body injury.
So yes, despite their vaunted depth, UNB could use another defenceman, and it looks like they've found their guy in the nick of time.
Desnoyers ne viendra pas à Trois-Rivières (Nicolas Ducharme, L'Inconduite de partie)
V-Reds add to arsenal (Bill Hunt, The Daily Gleaner)
V-Reds add Defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (UNBHockeyfans.com)