Mike Kelly was back as coach of UNB and had quite a small turnover. He lost goalie Frankie Leblanc, who signed as a free agent with Chamonix in France, along with highscoring Bill Wright and Toby Burkitt and longtime players Dan Sherstenka, Scott Muscitt and Wade Simpson were also gone.
Strong newcomers were Ryan Linday, Chris vanDyk, Brian Stewart, Tyson Flynn and Kirk Gormley. The Varsity Reds expanded on their success of 96-97 by finishing first overall (24-3-1) and topped second place St. Thomas (14-11-3) in all four meetings, which was the exact margin between the two teams.
Dax MacLean (26-23) led the league in goals; was second in points; AUAA MVP, Most Sportsmanlike; as well as MacAdam Division All-Star and was named a CIAU All-Canadian as well. Ken Carroll (2.38) was the All-Star goalie; Darryl Rivers (4-25) an All-Star blueliner and Jeff Andrews (10-38) an All-Star forward. Jason Campbell (18-25) was 5th in points, while Ryan Lindsay (19-17) was sixth and was named top Rookie.
In the playoffs UNB jumped all over UPEI in a 9-4 first game win, but got a jolt when they lost game two 4-2 and just squeaked out a 5-4 win the decider; next came their old pals from STU and it took a pair of goals by Peter MacKellar for the (Varsity) Reds to win 4-2 in the opener. Game two saw Jason Campeau score twice and Ryan Lyndsay got a shorthanded tally to take the series 5-4.
The AUAA final brought another scare, as Acadia took the opener 2-1 as Darryl Rivers got the only UNB goal, back home it was Jason Campeau scoring the overtime winner in a 3-2 game and then Scott Cherrey got the winner in another 3-2 triumph to give UNB their second straight AUAA title. For all this winning Mike Kelly was named Coach of the Year.
Rookie Ryan Lyndsay (4-7) led the playoff point scorers, followed closely by Peter MacKellar (6-4), Ryan Burgoyne (1-9), Jason Campeau (6-3) and Jeff Andrews (3-6), while Ken Carroll (6-2 with 3.00 GAA) led the playoff net minders.
To top off the season the Varsity Reds swept to the National title in three straight as stingy defense led to a 2.26 average for Ken Carroll, while Jason Campeau (2-4), Bill Lang (1-5) and defenseman Chris Zanutto (3-2) led in points and Ryan Burgoyne had three goals.
Ernie Fitsimmons, The History of Hockey in Fredericton: Volume 4 (pg. 347-8)
(Note: Coach Kelly was the CIAU Coach of the Year, Ryan Lindsay was CIAU Rookie of the Year and Chris Zanutto was UCup MVP / correction: Flinn).
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