The UNB Varsity Reds enter the 2013-14 regular season as the reigning AUS and CIS champions.
The V-Reds continued their odd number year streak of success in CIS men's hockey by capturing their fourth CIS title in the past seven years with a championship game victory over the Saint Mary's Huskies last March in Saskatoon.
Fifth year senior Chris Culligan will once again wear the "C" for the Varsity Reds. He has two national championships under his belt and led the team with 31 points last season.
Fifth-year goalie Charles Lavigne has had a great pre-season and along with rookie Joel Vienneau will form the key part of the UNB defence. Other rookies who impressed in the pre-season include forward Cam Maclise and defenceman Jordan Murray.
UNB wrapped up their pre-season schedule by travelling to Colorado to face some NCAA opposition. The Varsity Reds lost 5-0 to Colorado College on October 5th before defeating Denver the next day by a score of 2-1.
The AUS regular season play begins for UNB on October 18th in Fredericton when the reigning AUS and CIS champion Varsity Reds will host the StFX X-Men.
2012-13 regular season record: 23-5
2012-13 regular season standings: First place in AUS
2012-13 playoff record: 8-2 (5-2 AUS playoffs; 3-0 University Cup)
2012-13 playoff finish: Defeated UPEI in best-of-five AUS semifinal (3-1); defeated Saint Mary's in best-of-three AUS final (2-1); won all three University Cup games in Saskatoon.
Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall
- Career AUS regular season record with team: 246-100-18
- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 311-133-18
- Career overall record in CIS (all games included): 388-146-39
- Career overall record in CIS National Championships: 18-4
Quote from head coach:
"It is an exciting opportunity ahead for this season with our team – we have had a very competitive pre-season which included a trip to Denver to play top notch NCAA competition along with our annual AHL game in Portland. This should give us a great foundation to face the challenges of the Atlantic conference." – Gardiner MacDougall
Total number of returning players: 12
Key returning players:
F - Chris Culligan (5th year - team captain): Led the team with 31 points last season and entering the 2013-14 season he is tied for 10th place all-time at UNB for career regular season points (131)…Tied for the most assists in the AUS last season with a career-best 27…plays heavy minutes and is highly respected for his character, sportsmanship and compete level…He was the winner of the 2012-13 AUS Most Sportsmanlike player and named an AUS second team all-star.
F - Tyler Carroll (3rd year): Had a career-best regular season...Tyler became an offensive force in 2012-13 with 15 goals, including nine on the power-play in only 15 games...Was named a second team all-star and was the University Cup MVP.
F - Nick MacNeil (4th year): Nick also had a career-best regular season...A top notch two-way forward, he tied Carroll for second in AUS goal scoring with 15 and was in the top ten in points with 25. Nick was also named to the CIS University Cup all-star team.
D - Ben Shutron (4th year): Ben is a born leader both on and off the ice and in the classroom...An Academic all-Canadian, Ben played all 28 regular season games last year posting 4 goals and 11 assists...At the University Cup he had 1 goal and 2 assists.
D - Marc Antoine Desnoyers (4th year): Had a break-out season last year with UNB and was top-3 in AUS scoring by defencemen...posted an impressive +/- rating of +30...He is an excellent defender and a top penalty killer while also running the power-play....Has excellent mobility and gets the puck out of his own end as good as anyone in the AUS...Named a 2012-13 AUS second team all-star and was also named to the 2013 University Cup all-star team.
F - J.P. Labardo: A five-year veteran of the OHL who was an original second round draft selection of the Guelph Storm before being traded to Oshawa where he spent two seasons. Last year, he had a break-out year with Erie, scoring 24 goals and adding 38 assists for 62 points. He was picked up by the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL at the end of last season and added three points in four games. Labardo has outstanding speed, great offensive skills and a top notch work ethic.
F - Dylan Willick: A former captain of the Kamloops Blazers, Willick played his four-year WHL career with his hometown team. He is a natural centre who can play all three forward positions, and has the reputation of being a terrific shot blocker and penalty killer. Dylan notched a career high 28 goals & 26 assists in the 2011-12 campaign, and had 16 goals and 14 assists this past season in 51 games (due to ankle injury).
D - Keevin Cutting: The captain of the Owen Sound Attack where he spent all five of his OHL years and appeared in a franchise record 374 OHL regular season and playoff games. He is an excellent defensive defenceman and takes pride in shutting down the opponents' top players. Cutting won a U-17 Canadian championship with Team Ontario along with an OHL Championship.
D- Daine Todd: has graduated and finished last year with the AHL Texas Stars. This year he made the line-up of the AHL Portland Pirates.