Mike Johnston was still nthe man at the helm for University of New Brunswick, who were now known as Varsity Reds. Neil Hawryluk had retired, while Murray Nystrom, Jim Landine, Dominic Niro and Joey McTamney were gone. Todd Sparks was released by the New York Islanders when he refused to accept an assignment below the AHL and returned to UNB where he joined strong newcomers like Mike O'Donnell, Toby Burkitt, David-Myles, Alastair Still, Scott Muscutt, Kelly Reed, Dan Sherstenka and OHS grad Jeff Kirkbridge. Mike Johnston coached Team Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos over the Christmas Holiday. Sherstenka broke his jaw vs Dalhousie and missed five weeks.
The (Varsity) Reds won their first four games before dropping a 6-5 decision to cross campus rival STU (Jeff Grant had a hat-trick for STU). UNB bounced right back to defeat the Tommies three straight times and finished first (18-7-1) in the MacAdam Division, behind only Tom Coolen's Acadia Axemen.
This season the (Varsity) Reds finally got someone into the leading scorers, as Trevor Boland (26-23) finished fourth, but he got loads of help from Todd Sparks (12-21), playmaking rookie defenseman Kelly Reed (4-28), Toby Burkitt (13-16), Jamie Colvin (10-19) and Ken Murchison (16-10). Murchison won the Jeffrey Award for leadership and dedication.
In the playoffs they topped fourth place UPEI 8-0 in game one with a hat-trick from Trevor Boland and finsihed them off with a 4-3 win on the road; University of Moncton were next and a four goal outburst by Todd Sparks led the (Varsity) Reds to a 9-7 win in the opener and he came right back with two more tallies as UNB won in Moncton 5-4 in overtime. Acadia proved to be too much in the final and the locals lost 3-1 and 6-0. Sparks had 7-6 in only six playoff games while Ken Murchison (16-10) was the only (Varsity) Reds player selected to the MacAdam Division All-Stars.
Ernie Fitsimmons, The History of Hockey in Fredericton: Volume 4 (pg. 241-2)
(note: UNB and Acadia were in different Divisions; MacAdam vs Kelly. The reference to being second to Acadia was a comparision of the teams' overall records).
Copyright © 2017 www.vredshockey.com
Free use provided proper credit to all sources is provided.