(FREDERICTON, NB) A buzz is starting to build around the coming of the 2016 Pete Kelly Cup, presented by Peterbilt Atlantic.
That buzz may have something to do with the fact the Concordia Stingers are coming to Fredericton.
The Stingers and UNB Varsity Reds will compete in the two game exhibition series, January 2nd and 3rd, at the Aitken University Centre.
Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall is excited. “It’s a key component for our foundation for the second half of the year.” MacDougall says the two game series pays tribute to former UNB Athletic Director Pete Kelly, who also coached the hockey team. Equally as important, MacDougall says it serves as a tune-up. “We get a couple of games under our belt. We know how tight the league is this year and it should set a good foundation for a positive start to the second half of the season.”
Concordia sits in 7th place in the nine-team OUA East Conference, with a record of 6-7-3. Two of the team’s losses were in overtime, another in a shoot-out.
Stingers head coach Marc Andre Element is eager to see how his squad stacks up against the Varsity Reds. “The program is one of the best in the country, so we are very excited to have the opportunity to play against them. This will be a nice challenge for my team.”
MacDougall says the Stingers are an up and coming team. ““We’ve heard good things about how their team has improved, they have a young coach that’s very energetic.”
Among the Stingers expected to make the trip to Fredericton, Moncton native Jessyko Bernard, former Saint John Sea Dog and Bathurst Titan forward Scott Oke, and forward Matt Boudreau, also a former member of the Titan.
“Our team strength is definitely our offence. We have a lot of skill up front and also a lot of speed. We are young, but driven,” says Element.
His team is third in the OUA-East with 62 goals for. But the Stingers have also given up 63 goals, second worst in the conference.
The Varsity Reds and Stingers meet Saturday, January 2nd, at 7:00PM. Game two of the series goes Sunday, January 3rd, at 1:00PM. Both games will be played at the Aitken University Centre. Tickets are available at the AUC box office and on line, at www.vreds.ca