As training camp kicked off and the lyrics of Diddy’s “Coming Home”
echoed through the arena on the big screens, the 2010-2011 Varsity Reds read and understood every single word that Coach MacDougall presented to them.
“I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home Tell the World that I’m coming”
That pain was deep in the gut of every player from the 2009-2010 team-a team that won more games in a single season than any other Varsity Reds team only to lose in straight games to St. FX in the playoffs. The devastating loss cut to the heart of each member of that team, and summer was about preparing to wash away the feeling, knowing the games would be played at our home.
The 2010-11 Varsity Reds set a course not only to win a National Championship, but to “go through the front door”. Nothing less than an AUS title and # 1 ranking would suffice. This was the year that everything would come together and all mistakes of the past would be forgiven.
Fast forward to the ring that symbolizes the accomplishment of having reached the goal set the day the AUS playoffs finished in 2010.
Face of the Ring:
Four Red Stones: Representing the 4 National Championships in Hockey; 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011 (the homecoming)
Shows the team record from last year at 42-9 which represents the tough journey of games played throughout Canada and NCAA competition. It represents the most games played ever in UNB Hockey history and also one of the best-ever records for the team. The team also thought about putting the final score of the Championship game (4-0) the second straight shutout by goalie Travis Fullerton (a rare accomplishment in sport), to win the semi-final and final games, not allowing a single goal. The winning goal in the gold medal game was scored by #4, 4th-year senior Luke Gallant! The number 4 is a significant number in this Championship design. This side also shows the name of the player or staff member and his position on the team.
This side shows what we are as a program – THE UNB VARSITY REDS. The banner signifies the two Championships won in 2010-11 the AUS and the CIS-a complete sweep of championships, allowing one banner to represent both accomplishments. This is a rare and difficult achievement only duplicated by the 1997-98 team.
Inside of Ring:
There are two engravings – 3600 HTPA and Protectors, Builders, Believers – which meant a great deal to this special group:
3600 HTPA - Simply put this means our team expected to be “Hard to Play Against” for an entire 60 -minute game and more, if needed. There are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in a game… hence 3600 seconds where each and every player and staff member can make a significant difference in the outcome. This small phrase held a powerful meaning within the team
PROTECTORS, BUILDERS, BELIEVERS – These three words are significant to the storied tradition of the UNB Varsity Reds program and its 106-year existence. The staff felt it was important for the players to fully understand why the expectations of the program are what they are. The players wanted to be PROTECTORS of the past by playing for those who have helped build and establish such a storied tradition; they then wanted to be BUILDERS of the tradition by putting a stamp on what the
2010-11 team was going to be in the annals of UNB Hockey history. Each and every day, these players worked, tremendously hard, on and off the ice, to make this a reality. They fully bought into being BELIEVERS of what it means to put on the UNB hockey jersey and of having true faith in each other, the coaching staff, and support staff knowing that all parts are willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve success.
This was a very special group that overcame a heart-breaking defeat the previous season and showed their deep character by overcoming adversity in a most positive manner. They showed that they can “make a positive significant difference” which is the core of a true UNB Champion.