Friday, October 15, 2010
The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds goaltender enters his third season with the Fredericton hockey club. The V-Reds begin their 2010-11 season tonight when they travel to Charlottetown to face the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers.
The former Saint John Sea Dogs net minder helped the team reach the QMJHL semi-finals during a magical 2007-08 campaign where the Sea Dogs tied the Halifax Mooseheads for first place in the Eastern Division. The Sea Dogs surpassed all expectations placed on them that season, but the pressure will be a bit larger at UNB this season.
For most, anything short of a national championship will be seen as a disappointment.
UNB looked well on their way to their second straight University Cup win last year. But during the final week of the regular season, the wheels fell off the wagon and they would never be fixed.
The V-Reds fell to Ryan Sparling and the St. Francis Xavier X-Men 4-3, ending their season long winning streak at 26-0. They would win their final game of the year to finish the regular season at 27-1 and received a bye through the first round.
In the second round, the X-Men would sweep the number one team in Canada in three straight games (second round is a best-of-five) all by score of 3-2.
"We've got a lot to prove as a group this year," UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall said to The Daily Gleaner today. "It was a gut-wrenching end to a great season."
The series sweep is one of the greatest upsets in Canadian University Sport history. Just to put of sense of how big of an upset it was, St. Francis Xavier was outshot 31-6 in game two but still won 3-2. Fullerton allowed one goal on two shots in the game while backup Derek Yeomans allowed two of four shots.
With UNB eliminated, David MacDonald and the St. Mary’s Huskies represented Atlantic University Sport well at the University Cup, winning the national championship.
But with practically the same lineup intact, Fullerton and the Reds will be seeking "REDemption” as UNBHockeyFans.com puts it. The CIS Blog has the Reds finishing atop the AUS standings this season after an 8-0 pre-season which included wins over NCAA schools.
Just to add to the pressure, UNB is hosting the University Cup for the next two years at the Aitken Centre. For more information on the 2010 Cavendish University Cup, click HERE.
Fullerton played one-and-a-half seasons with the Sea Dogs after being acquired from the Lewiston MAINEiacs at the 2006-07 holiday trading period. He went 8-20 with the last place Dogs down the stretch, collecting eight of the teams 20 wins that season.
In 2007-08, Fullerton joined overagers Scott Howes and Alexandre Picard-Hooper to help Saint John reach the playoffs for the first time in team history. “Fully” finished the campaign with a 24-11-6 record, a 2.98 goals against average, and a 0.905 save percentage. He will always be remembered for his performance in the quarter-final series against Bathurst.
Speaking of Picard, as far as we know he is still with the McGill Redmen of the Quebec university ranks. McGill travels to Fredericton on December 30 to face the V-Reds in an exhibition matchup.