UNB campus continues to celebrate hockey champions
Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:57PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:58PM ADT
Three days after the Varsity Reds captured the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Hockey Championship, UNB continued the celebrations on Fredericton's College Hill.
The team received a well-deserved heroes' welcome at a community rally Wednesday at the Aitken Centre.
“We weren't able to get to Halifax to see it and we just wanted to come and show our support for the team, we've supported them all year,” says one fan.
“Boy, do they keep you on the edge of your seat,” says another fan. “We decorated the living room and TV and the mantel, we were there in spirit.”
This year’s win marked the sixth national championship in 10 years for the Varsity Reds.
“We knew that the expectations are always high, and we approach it the same way every year and this year we were able to get the job done,” says Cam Critchlow, team captain.
UNB’s reputation as a competitive club has made the team a coveted destination for prospective players.
“They like to win, and everybody that comes here wants to win,” says Marcus McIvor, defenceman. “When I was visiting schools and looking at schools, that stood out for me and I was excited about it.”
“There is kind of some expectations that comes with anyone who joins the program and I think that's why we continue to be successful,” says Taylor MacDougall, forward. “You get guys who take that expectation very seriously, who really just want to continue the tradition here.”
This season was Taylor MacDougall's last with the team. His father, head coach Gardiner MacDougall has won five national championships with the Varsity Reds and says each time has been special.
“It's a different path every year and full credit to the group,” says Gardiner MacDougall.
Gardiner MacDougall has been working the phones, making sure the best prospects know what to expect at UNB.
“It's not for everybody to come to UNB, but for the people who make that commitment, I think a lot of time they show a lot of courage in initially making the commitment, we've been fortunate the tradition lives on,” says Gardiner MacDougall.
The Varsity Reds will have home ice advantage for the next two year, as the university plays host to the CIS Men’s Hockey Championship.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore