Huskies men’s hockey team defeated by UNB in national final

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds men’s hockey team won the 2017 U Sports Cavendish Farms University Cup on Mar. 19, beating out the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for the title.

The Varsity Reds outscored the Huskies 5-3 to take the final. The Huskies managed 21 shots on net throughout the game and the Varsity Reds took 36 shots. This loss came after the blowout game the Huskies played against the St. Francis Xavier X-men, in which the Huskies kept the X-men from scoring while putting eight goals on the board and themselves into the final.

Looking back to 2016, it was against the X-men in the semi-final that the Huskies lost out in the tournament. That game, which went into triple overtime before the X-men scored, was a taxingMen's Hockey - Supplied - James West U Sportsexperience on the Huskies men’s squad. Nothing of the sort was to be seen in the game that sent the Huskies to the final, however, as the Huskies demolished the X-men.

Going into the tournament, the Varsity Reds were seeded at fifth, being Atlantic University Sport finalists, and the Huskies at sixth, being Canada West Finalists. Both teams faced an uphill battle going into the tournament but managed to play their way to the final.

Scoring started at just over four minutes in, with Varsity Reds player Cam Braes getting his first of many goals in a scramble in front of the net. Huskies forward Connor Gay caught his team up with a goal off the shoulder of UNB goalie Etienne Marcoux almost seven minutes later. UNB’s Mark Simpson scored just over a minute later, leaving his team a lead going into the second.

Braes scored again early on in the second period and again three minutes later off a power play. The Huskies were not to be shut out in the second, however, as Jordan Fransoo placed a shot in the net to cut the Varsity Reds down to a two-goal lead.

The third period saw a goal each for both the Huskies and the Varsity Reds. Braes rounded his goal count out to four, while the Huskies’ Kohl Bauml scored his first in the game. The game ended with the Varsity Reds having maintained their two goal lead and the Huskies ending their season with silver in the 2017 U Sports Cavendish Farms University Cup.

Despite losing the national final, the Huskies have managed an excellent season overall, ending off with a 21 and seven record and averaging 3.79 goals per game. Throughout their season, the Huskies scored 106 goals and had only 60 goals against.

The Huskies men’s hockey team played against Mount Royal University Cougars in February in the CanWest semi-finals. Winning the first two games and thus the series, the Huskies then tookon University of Alberta Golden Bears in the final in early March.

After losing the first game in the series to the Golden Bears, the Huskies came back to take the second game of the series in a decisive 2-0 victory. The third game, and the title, was then taken by the Golden Bears in a 6-3 loss for the Huskies.

While the Huskies may not be ending the season with a gold medal from either the CanWest or national championships, their season can easily be described as successful. The end goal for any sports team is ultimately to win it all, but being a contender on the national stage is a feat in and of itself. The Huskies will be returning next fall to make another attempt at making it all the way to gold.

Photo: James West U Sports / Supplied