UNB coach Doug MacLean was named Assistant Coach of the St. Louis Blues in August. The new coach would be Rick Nicklechok who had played three years as a goalie with University of Waterloo before Austria, Switzerland and Ottawa 67's as an Assistant before moving to the Swiss 'B' league for two years.
The new mentor would have to get aliong without much of the previous year's top scorers in John Leblanc, Mark Jeffrey, Mike Kelly, Peter Thorne and Charlie Cameron. This required an extensive rebuild and players like Hugh Hospodar, Tim Kaiser, Rob Wood and John McKerrow were looked to for added scoring, while Rick Poirier was new in goal and Paul Loggie in defense. Local blueliner, Blair MacPherson, was added later after leaving Kitchener of the OHL.
There were no leading scorers, or All-Stars in this group, which struggled to an 8-16 record, just ahead of STU (7-17), thanks in large part to sweeping the series with their cross campus rivals four straight.
John Gravelle (16-11), was the Red Devils top scorer, with help from John McKerrow (10-16), Rob Wood (11-13) and local center Mike Sutherland (9-12). Jamie Lehman (1-13) and Bruce Carroll (2-10) were the top two offensive defensemen, but Blair MacPherson (3-6) was close behind playing only 12 of 24 games.
Ernie Fitsimmons, The History of Hockey in Fredericton: Volume 4 (pg. 113)
(note: John Leblanc scored 40 goals and 70 points in 77 games for the Fredericton Express, in his rookie season, and was called up to Vancouver(NHL) for 2 games. He lost the AHL Rookie of the Year honours to Brett Hull-Moncton, 57 goals and 92 points in 67 games).
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