2000 AUAA Championship and CIAU Appearance
Regular SeasonUNB started off slow and the local Press had jumped onto Coach Coolen's back - critizing his methods. The team finished the first half with a 9-5 record, but finished strong with three wins at home over DAL, Acadia and PEI before loosing on the road to UdeM.
The second half was a constant battle for UNB - with STU out in front, UNB was battling UdeM for second and home ice advantage against the Blue Eagles in the first round as the Panthers were no where to be seen. Two Shoot-out victories on the road against DAL and Acadia, in games 22 and 23, kept UNB within 3 of UdeM with 3 games to play (two of which were in-hand over UdeM) and one of which was against UdeM (UdeM's only remaining game). UNB needed to beat UdeM in their head-to-head match and win one of their other two games. A loss to UdeM would relegate them to third and a tie plus 2 other victories would also relegate them to third as UdeM would have a better head-to-head record.
A loss to STU in game 24 would require UNB to win both of their remaining games. Game 25 was against UdeM, a must win for the VReds. UNB had a 2-1 lead at one point before UdeM tied the game in the third. UNB had to win in regulation as UdeM would receive at least one point regardless of a tie or OT/SO loss. A late period penalty by Graham Schlender put UNB behind the '8' ball, but a Moncton penalty soon followed and the two sides were square at 4-4. With Ken Carroll off for the extra attacker - UNB had a 5-on-4 empty net man-advantage. A wrap-around by Peter McKeller failed, but the puck ended up going to the point where Colin Beardsmore sent a wrist shot to the top shelf for the game winning goal with 12 seconds left. This put UNB 1 point behind UdeM and a victory over UPEI two nights later in game 26 lifted UNB into sole ownership of second place and home ice advantage in the first round. UNB had climbed back into the rankings, 10th, by beating UdeM and PEI in their last two games.
Rk MacADAM DIV GP W L OL F A P 4 STU 26 18 8 2 128 96 38 10 UNB 26 15 11 0 99 93 30 Moncton 26 14 12 1 115 110 29 UPEI 26 5 20 4 72 121 14 Rk KELLY DIV GP W L OL F A P 6 SMU 26 18 8 5 118 82 41 9 St. FX 26 15 11 5 103 85 35 Acadia 26 13 13 2 80 82 28 DAL 26 5 21 5 71 114 15
MacAdam Div. Semi-Final, AUAA Quarter FinalRound One - UNB vs UdeM, Win Series 2-0
UNB had betten UdeM in their second last game of the season and a final game victory over UPEI propelled UNB to second place in the MacAdam Division - one point ahead of UdeM. This gave UNB home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The first game, at the AUC, had 4 lead changes before UNB tied the game with 5 minutes left forcing overtime. Colin Beardsmore scored in the second overtime with a slap shot from the left wing. Game two, in Moncton, was a close checking game with few opportinutes. UNB took the lead early in the third period and went on to a 3-0 shutout win for Ken Carroll and a 2-0 series win.
MacAdam Div. Finals, AUAA Semi-FinalsRound Two - UNB vs STU, Win Series 2-1
The playoff 'Battle of the Hill' was certainly a big event with game one selling out in 40 minutes. STU had won their series against UPEI in two straight gaems (9-2 & 5-2). Few gave UNB a chance against the division leader and #4 in the country. STU won game one 6-2 and took a 1-0 series lead into the AUC on Thursday (Games were scheduled for Tue/Thur & Sat - game 2 was to be played on Friday at the AUC, but the annual NB Highschool basketball tournament was on this weekend). Ryan Naismith scored with 50 seconds left in the first overtime period to even the series for the VReds and force game three at the LBR on Saturday. Game three was a complete turn of events for STU - UNB jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and eventually ended the game with a 7-0 victory shutout for Ken Carroll and series victory for UNB.
AUAA FinalsRound Three - UNB vs Acadia, Win Series 3-1
The AUAA finals pitted Kelly/MacAdam rivels UNB and Acadia with Acadia having home ice advantage in the best of five series. Two years earlier, UNB had beaten Acadia in a best of 3 series, with Home ice advantage, in two straight games. UNB would go on to beat Acadia again in the CIAU finals that year. Acadia scored two goals in the third period of game one, in Fredericton, to break a 2-2 tie and win 4-2, taking a 1-0 series lead. Game two followed the next day with UNB winning game two. UNB was down one goal beginning the third, but tied and took a two goal lead on 3 straight goals. Acadia responded with a goal of their own, but it wasn't enough and UNB won 5-4.
Games 3 & 4 were held in Wolfville. UNB trailed by one goal with 2 minutes left before Peter MacKellar scored on a slap shot and forced overtime - Joe Bouvier scored late in the second overtime period to give UNB a 3-2 win and a 2-1 series lead. Game four ended up a mirror image of game three, with a minute left before Joe Bouvier tied the game with a slap shot from the high slot. Later in the second overtime period Colin scored the game, and series winner, with a low shot from the left wing that slipped under the goalies right pad.
Cardiac KidsAfter the AUS Finals, UNB was being called the 'Cardiac Kids', having won a regular season OT game and three regular season shoot-outs in four OT chances. Added to this was four playoff come-from-behind OT wins and the late game heroics versus UdeM in game #27 to win in regulation. These expereinces would help UNB at nationals.
CIAU Finals - U. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon - Saskatchewan
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