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UNB players celebrate after scoring on the TMU net
2024 U Cup All Recaps Sports

UNB stomps TMU, will look to repeat as national champions on Sunday

By Blake Talabis

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) Reds will play in their second consecutive U Sports men’s hockey championship final after beating the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s hockey team 7-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

Dejected TMU players—still fresh off a heartbreaking loss in the Queen’s Cup final a week ago—faced another demoralizing defeat in the semi-final matchup. 

The loss was reinforced by their melancholic team huddle surrounding second-year goalie Kai Edmonds before exiting the ice.

“It was embarrassing for us going out there and losing like that,” said third-year Bold forward and captain Chris Playfair. “We got to look ourselves in the mirror.” 

The Bold’s frustrations were epitomized by third-year forward Jackson Doherty after a missed high-sticking call on the Reds. Doherty took out his frustrations on the bench door—his multiple slams echoing through the eerily quiet MAC.

“It was embarrassing for us going out there and losing like that”

The well-travelled UNB fans foreshadowed how the game would play out, as their roars after every play overtook the Bold fans from puck drop to the final horn.

“They had a lot more stuff to get excited about,” said Bold head coach Johnny Duco.

Despite some flashes of pushback from the Bold throughout, there was seemingly nothing they could do to puncture the impenetrable wall that was the Reds defence and second-year goaltender Samuel Richard.

The game would eventually come to an end with the cheers of joy erupting from the UNB faithful—both on and off the ice.

“There is a lot of pride in our province and our city for this UNB team,” said UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “When you get a UNB chant in an opponent’s rink in Toronto…that’s pretty significant.”

As for the Reds, the win means they will have a chance to capture their fifth U Cup in the last seven years.

“We have a mantra…we are just getting started here,” said MacDougall. “We know we will have a better opponent for tomorrow.”

  • UNB players celebrate by hugging each other in a huddle
  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Elijah Roberts looks sad
  • A TMU player and the TMU goalie look on as a puck goes into the TMU net while UNB players celebrate
  • TMU Bold men's hockey player Joe Rupoli
  • UNB players celebrate on the ice
  • A UNB player shoots the puck into the TMU net
  • Referees and players hold different members of the Bold and Reds hockey team after they got into a fight
  • UNB players celebrate a goal on the ice
  • TMU head coach Johnny Duco looks looks somber on the ice post-game
  • A TMU Bold player fires a shot at the UNB net
  • A UNB fan holds a sign that says "Go Reds Go"
  • The puck goes into the TMU net after a UNB player shoots it

Although the game was extremely one-sided, the Bold were filled with energy towards the beginning. 

However, a friendly bounce for the Reds fell for first-year forward Sean McGurn, who scored off a broken play to give the Reds the first lead of the game.

This goal was the catalyst for the clinic that was displayed by UNB for the rest of the afternoon.

UNB would add two more goals in the period from second-year defenceman Kale McCallum and first-year defenceman Colton Kammerer as the Reds took a commanding 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Bold had another quick flurry at the beginning of the second but the Reds held firm. The reigning national champions netted two more goals in the second period coming from third-year forward Austen Keating and third-year defenceman Kade Landry.

The misery for TMU was encapsulated by a stunning solo-effort goal by second-year forward Camaryn Baber just under a minute into the final frame. 

The Reds would add one final marker from third-year forward Jason Willms to increase the lead to seven.

Even though it was a lacklustre ending for the Bold, they still have one more chance at redemption in the bronze medal game tomorrow.

“We have a tight-knit family,” said Playfair. “The losses sting but…you don’t let the wins go to your head and you don’t let the losses go to your heart.”

After a couple of emotional losses, the Bold will be hoping to salvage a bronze medal in the third-place game. 

“We know we didn’t play our game at all,” said glossy-eyed third-year Bold forward Kyle Bollers. “We have a lot to prove and tomorrow we are going to prove it…we want to leave with some hardware.”

UP NEXT: The TMU Bold will face either the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières or McGill University in the bronze medal game at 11 a.m. on Sunday at the MAC.

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