Weekend Preview; Various Season Previews; Miscellaneous

University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds
Massachusetts Minutemen
Saturday 6pm

UMass will face the CIS (think Canadian NCAA) Champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in their one and only exhibition match of the season.  These same two teams met last season prior to the beginning of the regular season with the Minutemen shutting out the V-Reds 6-0.  UNB returns 15 players from that squad last year including goaltender Travis Fullerton who let in 6 goals on 39 shots.  The V-Reds only managed 21 shots in the game that also featured 20 penalties.  The goals were scored by Alex Berry (2), Casey Wellman, Scott Crowder, Cory Quirk, and Mike Lecomte.  James Marcou had two assists.

However the V-Reds come into the (“Jack Canniff”?) Practice Rink as defending CIS champions.  More importantly they are just coming off a game against the AHL Portland Pirates where they played to a very respectable 4-2 loss and they outshot the pro team by a wide margin.  The loss was the first for UNB in their exhibition season.  The V-Reds are made up of a mixture of junior players, major junior players, and even ex-NCAA players.

Normally I’d spend more preview time on the opposing team but this game being an exhibition I think more eyes will be on the Minutemen, trying to see who has improved over the summer and getting a first look at this year’s crop of freshmen.  I would expect to see Paul Dainton, Randy Wolcott, and Kevin Moore all get a period of play (assuming Meyers sits).  In past years Toot has sat some of the star players in order to get a look at how the younger or role players look in game situations, so don’t be surprised to see James Marcou or Justin Braun in street clothes.  The most important thing is for no one to get hurt.  It seems like every year these games with the Canadian teams tend to get chippy.

More can be learned about the V-Reds at their official site or their fan site.


The hockey page on UMassathletics.com is now featuring an interview with co-captains Justin Braun and Brett Watson from Media Day at the Garden.

Speaking of Braun, College Hockey News named him as a player to keep an eye on

Nice to see Joe Meloni writing for CHN as he did a very good job covering the Minutemen as a student writer for the Collegian the past few years.


Inside College Hockey ranks all 58 teams.  UMass checks in at #28.


Warrior Rink Rat has a preview of UMass and picks them to finish 7th.


The Pasadena Star-News says the bottom line for the LA Kings will be goaltending.  The story features a really great picture of Jon Quick although I’m thinking there is no way he makes the save.


I noticed the UMass Pond Club recently updated their website with the sad news of Jack Canniff’s passing.  However they have a great picture of Coach Canniff when he was a player with BC that’s worth checking out.

A remembrence of Coach Canniff will be held at 2pm this Sunday at the Elks Club at Bass Rocks in Gloucester.


The Boston Herald has an article about the renovations at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.  Can’t wait to see it.

I recently watched the copy of “100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball”I picked up at the UMass hoops celebration held last month.  I have to say the athletic department did a great job with it.  Over two hours of history and interviews with the greats of UMass basketball including John Calipari, Dr J, Marcus Camby, Trigger Burke, and a host of others (though Rick Pitino’s absence was noticed but not unexpected).  I highly recommend it.  Anyone who considers themselves a UMass basketball fan must own this DVD as well as Marty Dobrow’s “Going Bigtime”.  However I know this is a hockey blog so for those fellow puckheads I also recommend the Hockey East 25th Anniversary DVD that was released last year.  The part on Travis Roy is particularly moving.  But if you’re like me you’ll want to turn away when they show the Ben Murphy goal.  In an effort for full disclosure I should probably say that my brother worked on the DVD so some of the money you spend on it will go towards feeding my three incredibly cute nieces.