It’s not often that I get to write about a major Canadian sports event taking place in my hometown. This weekend I do. The CIS University Cup is Canada’s national university hockey Championship. This is the second straight year the tournament is in Fredericton. Last year the host UNB Varsity Reds won. Coming in as the top team in the country, they are favoured to do so again. The other five teams who are competing in Fredericton this weekend are OUA champs McGill Redmen (ranked 2nd), Canada West champions Saskatchewan Huskies (ranked 3rd), the Western Mustangs (ranked 4th), Moncton Aigles Blues (ranked 5th), and the UQTR Patriotes (ranked 7th).
The Varsity Reds will play in the final group stage game against Western Ontario tomorrow afternoon at 4:30pm Atlantic (TV: Sportsnet East/Ontario/Pacific). With a win, UNB would advance to Sunday’s final. The Reds are led by Kyle Bailey, who has 16 goals and 17 assists this season. The Reds also have a strong defence that includes Jonathan Harty (7 goals, 20 assists), Bretton Stamler (8 goals, 11 assists) and Luke Gallant (5 goals, 20 assists). Travis Fullerton will likely start in net for the Reds. He was second in the CIS this season with a 1.67 GAA. Keaton Turkiewicz is the star player for the Mustangs. He led the CIS in points with 47 this season. Western’s goalie, Josh Unice, gave up slightly over 2 goals per game this season.
Pool B is a bit messy. The McGill Redmen (1-0) can clinch a spot in the final with a win over Saskatchewan tomorrow. However, a Huskies win would result in a 3-way tie between Moncton, McGill and Saskatchewan (all 1-1).
Sportsnet will broadcast two games from the University Cup. Rob Faulds will host the broadcasts from the Aitken Centre and report from ice level. RJ Broadhead will call the games with analyst Sam Cosentino. Here is Sportsnet’s broadcast schedule (all times Atlantic)
Saturday 3/24, 4:30pm – UNB vs. Western Ontario (East/Ontario/Pacific)
Sunday 3/25, 8:00pm – Championship Final (East/Ontario/West/Pacific)