Canadian PGA connections

By: Nick Murray –

May 18, 2014. Click here for original article

With Mike Weir and Graham DeLaet each going into today’s final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship only one and two strokes off the lead, respectively, and with the potential to give Canada its first PGA tour win since Stephen Ames won the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, we thought we’d look at a few other Canadian connections on the PGA tour you may not know about.

1. Angie Watson

Travelers Championship - Final Round

(Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Golf fans would recognize the six-foot-four Angie Watson from the two awesome embraces after her husband Bubba won the 2012 and 2014 Masters. But Canadian basketball fans may remember her as Angie Ball.

The Toronto native met Watson while the two attended Georgia University in the late 1990s and married in 2004. In her senior year she started 35 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 36 games and posted 7.2PPG while shooting 51 per cent from the field. Georgia advanced to the Elite Eight before losing 59-51 to Rutgers in the Regional Final.

She represented Canada at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney where the team went 2-4 and finished 10th.

Ball went on to play in Italy for a while and then signed as a free agent with the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting before injuries forced her to retire.

I bumped into Ball at the Masters this year, literally.She’s still true to her Canadian roots though, apologizing to me even though I fouled her.

2. Sean Foley

(Image via Golfweek)

(Image via Golfweek)

Sean Foley may be one of the best and arguably most intelligent coaches on the PGA tour.

The Burlington, Ont., native has worked on the swings of some of the game’s best players including Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Sean O’Hair, Stephen Ames, and formerly Lee Westwood before the two parted ways earlier this year.

Arguably most notable on Team Foley is Tiger Woods, who jumped on board in 2010.

Foley golfed at Tennessee State and graduated with a B.A. in 1998, but don’t let the Arts degree fool you, he’s incredibly intelligent. His deep philosophical mindset was on full display in a 2010 Golf Digest article by Jamie Diaz.

“He said learning to deal with being a minority on a campus that was predominantly black was a challenge that became one of the most important experiences of his life,” Diaz wrote on Foley’s time at Tennessee State.

And on his appreciation for Tiger, Diaz quoted Foley saying: “I’ve always appreciated what he is doing in a historically Caucasian sport. And I think because of my experiences I have empathy for that cause and for him.”


3. Wayne Gretzky

(Image via

(Image via

I really didn’t want to go here, but the Great One is soon to become the father-in-law of PGA long-bomber Dustin Johnson.

While Paulina Gretzky isn’t Canadian-born, she and Johnson got engaged back in August. But the NHL heiress isn’t being warmly welcomed in all of golf’s circles. We’ve all seen the May 2014 cover of Golf Digest, featuring Gretzky in white yoga pants and a matching sports bra, and seven-time LPGA major-winner Julie Inkster was less than impressed.

(Image via Golf Digest)

(Image via Golf Digest)

Even the New York Times jumped on the controversy in April, reporting that Gretzky was only one of 11 women since 1969 to ever grace the cover with a solo shot. Only one other woman of that 11 has never won a pro event or amateur major: The Golf Channel’s Holly Saunders.

“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, What do you have to do to get a little respect? I’m guaranteeing you right now, it was not a woman editor who chose that cover,” said Inkster in the April New York Times article by Karen Crouse.


4. PGA Tour Canada

(Image via PGA)

(Image via PGA)

Many golf fans overlook this but the PGA actually has a Canadian tour – much like the PGA Tour China it’s a springboard for many player to earn their Tour cards. For baseball fans, PGA Tour Canada is basically double-A and the tour is triple-A.

It doesn’t foster the same tournament purses as The Show, if you will, but last year Dundas, Ont., native Mackenzie Hughes bankrolled $52,114 through nine events. The top five money earners each year earn tour cards.

The Tour itself started back in 1970 but was taken over by the PGA in 2012 and rebranded as PGA Tour Canada, and is operating much smoother under the PGA brand.

Mike Weir got his start on the tour in 1993 – formerly the Canadian Professional Golf Tour – winning Rookie of the Year honours, before qualifying for the PGA tour in 1998.

Other PGA notables who’ve passed through the Canadian Tour ranks include former British Open winner Todd Hamilton, Stuart Appleby, Chris DiMarco, Stephen Ames and 2005 U.S. Open champ Michael Campbell.


5. RBC

Full disclosure that TMQ is not sponsored by RBC – though not closed to the idea – but it’s hard to ignore Canada’s largest financial institution on the PGA Tour.

Aside from being the title sponsor for the Canadian Open since 2008, and the Heritage since 2012, RBC has ensured its gold lion is spotted at almost every possible opportunity. Members of Team RBC include Canadians Weir, Ames, David Hearn and DeLaet – I should think so – as well as big names like Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Luke Donald and Brandt Snedeker, among others.

Funny thing is RBC sold off its retail branches in the United States to PNC Financial (think Pittsburgh Pirates) in 2011. The peppering of ads must be for those secret Cayman Island account holders…


Sights, sounds and memories from The Masters

mom and i at Masters2Wed Apr 16 2014
Page: B1
Section: Sports
Byline: Nick Murray The Daily Gleaner

Just like any other course, only the most dedicated golfers – or in this case patrons – was the first group at the Augusta National Golf Club Sunday.

Everyone outside the main gates were there for a common purpose though, and golf etiquette is thrown out the window momentarily in a mad dash to get your spot for the day. But Sunday is a different monster altogether. Even as I was speed-walking through the main gates toward the security checkpoint which rivals the setup at the Fredericton airport, planning out a strategy to get my seat to the first row on the 18th green, I couldn’t help but feel a chill up my spine when in a truly southern accent I heard: “Welcome to the Masters.”

There’s a code at this tournament unlike any other. Patrons are allowed to bring in a folding chair – most buy the Masters-branded green ones for $30 – and once you place your chair down, that’s your spot for the day.

Nobody will touch it, and fellow patrons will respect your space when you return to your seat. You could practically leave your wallet on your chair and it will be there when you get back.

So after Mom and I waited outside the main gates in the cool Augusta morning for an hour, then outside security where the only speck of billboard advertising you’ll see on the course is the word “Rolex” on a giant functional white and gold clock, I speed-walked (no running allowed) to the 18th green and got a spot 20 feet from where Bubba Watson would tap in 12 hours later to win his second green jacket.

For my mother, Wanda, a Masters rookie – this was my second trip to American golf’s most historic course, having visited with my dad to watch Phil Mickelson win in 2010 – she said her walk down the driveway to the first hole “was like walking into Disney World.”

History hits you right in the face here. Look right, and there’s the Masters scoreboard. The one that flies the national flag of the country of each national golf federation. The one which is updated by scorers who are perched on ladders to update the scores hole-by-hole.

More history: Bronze plaques are sprinkled around the course, explaining “Arnie’s Army” – American golfer Arnold Palmer was an icon here, winning four green jackets in the late 1950s and early ’60s – and Jack Nicklaus’ Augusta legacy.

Augusta National Golf Club is unlike any course in the world. But the true beauty of the par-72 layout are the elevation changes of the holes that can’t be captured on TV. There’s probably only two flat holes, 12 and 13, but you really don’t realize how steep some of them are until you’re walking across the fairway at one of the many designated crosswalks – which somehow don’t fade to brown from the stampede of patrons – where on certain occasions I caught myself stopping and gazing out into the fairway, visualizing my own shot at Augusta. Dare to dream, eh?

There’s never a leaf out of place. The tournament actually has people to pick up the divots along the course and tee boxes, and to clean the sand off the green between groups. Rumours abound around Augusta. One patron suggested that Augusta National actually has a master falconer to keep rodents off the course. Come to think of it, ever see a squirrel when you watch on TV?

Even celebrities are in awe here. I briefly crossed paths with John Slattery – better known as his character Roger Sterling on AMC’s Mad Men. Dressed in an untucked plaid shirt, shorts and high black socks, the Emmy-award nominee was looking left, right and up, often falling behind his accompanying brother, just soaking in what he was seeing.
If you want to follow the action shot by shot, watch it on TV.

There are no bad seats, or bad sights at Augusta National. Following the leaders though, is next to impossible if you want to see them actually hit their shots. We spent some time with Canadian Mike Weir and playing partner Brandt Snedeker Sunday, following for about four holes. We later caught them coming around Amen Corner – as the 11th, 12th and 13th holes are nicknamed – and again finishing on 18.

A highlight you probably didn’t see: Weir hit his second shot on the par-4 445-yard first hole with the backside of his iron after tucking his drive up against a tree. The first lefty to win a green jacket hit it right-handed but didn’t flip his club around to hit it with the toe. No. He hit it with the back of his iron.

The roars that echo through the pine trees here are enough to make a player pause over a putt. When you hear that roar, you yearn to be a
part of it. Patrons might stake out a spot for the duration of the tournament, waiting for that moment when, for instance, 20-year-old rookie Jordan Spieth chips in from the bunker for birdie – as he did on the fourth hole on Sunday.

Or our own Masters moment: Weir chipping in for birdie off the 11th green at Amen Corner. We were among a small army of Canadians following our native son.

When you hear the roar in the distance, you look next to the scoreboard.What just happened? Word of a great shot travels fast around Augusta. But as loud as it can get, it’s amazing how you can hear the silence among thousands of people.

The PGA once had a slogan: “These guys are good.” It’s a classic understatement. Watch Bubba Watson rip a 325-yard drive on the 350-yard third hole, uphill and on the fly. Or watch Billy Horschel warm up on the putting green and realize the right-hander is actually putting left hand low.

There are moments when you realize: these guys are good. But they are human.

Miguel Angel Jimenez on the driving range, puffing on an expensive cigar. Matt Kuchar’s nonstop grin as the crowd calls out Kooooooooooooch.” Rory McIlroy, first off the tee Saturday as the last survivor of the cut, paired with a marker because there are an odd number of golfers. He shoots a 71, one-under par. But, rumour has it, the man he’s playing with this day, the two-time club champion, is three shots better with a 68.

But even the human traits of our golf heroes fade when they walk up Holly’s fairway to the clubhouse. Hometown boy Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters champion, struggled through the weekend, shooting back-to-back 79s to finish 16 strikes over par for the tournament. He walked up the fairway at 18 to a standing ovation from the gallery. So did former champions Weir, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott and Bernard Langer, and many others.
They know their history here.

None though, got a louder or a longer ovation on almost every hole, than 1992 champion Fred Couples. At 54 years old and battling back trouble, he still teases golf fans year after year. He manages to stay in contention and leaves patrons holding out hope for one more touch of Sunday magic. One of the thrills of the Masters is walking the course and picturing all the great shots woven into the history of this course. You pause at the
place at Amen Corner where Mickelson hit that shot from the pine needles to reach the par-5 in two; or Gene Sarazen’s “Shot heard round the world” on 15 – a double eagle two on the par-5 hole. He won a 36-hole playoff the next day and the winner’s take of $1,500. The year was 1935.

The things you remember, and you will remember: walking up the 10th fairway when Singh hit his tee shot into the trees on the right. There wasn’t a huge crowd around so we tucked ourselves in to see his punch out. You could hear the sizzle as the ball soared through the air around the tree-line. He was close enough that we could have exchanged a celebratory high-five – had we dared.

We fell into conversation with a staff worker who had manned his post on the 10th fairway for seven years. With little prodding, he gave us a first-hand account of Bubba Watson’s 30-foot draw to the green in 2012. Bubba, of course, won his first green jacket that year. We had a green-side seat to watch him claim his second. While the Masters is an American classic, it’s an international event. Australia and England are wellrepresented
by fans, some with “loudmouth” pants sporting the flag of their native country. Judging by the crowd following Weir on Sunday, we were among a group of a few hundred Canadians.

A few tips from a now veteran spectator at Augusta – this being my second trip to these hallowed grounds: Choose between seeing the final putt drop or the presentation of the green jacket. You can’t do both. Sit at different parts of the course and enjoy the golf; it’s impossible to follow every shot so pick your spots and watch the best players in the world show their stuff. Finally: Walk the course; you’ll never see another one like it. Watching it on TV years later makes it that much more fun as you recall the shots and the sights and the sounds you witnessed live.

P.S.: Not having Tiger there wasn’t a big deal.

© 2014 The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)

Dr. Mick Burt, Professor Emeritus and Renowned Researcher, Dies at 76

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

April 8, 2014.

Dr. Michael (Mick) Brunskill Burt, a world-class and award-winning parasitologist who taught and researched at the University of New Brunswick for 50 years, died in March after a battle with liver cancer. He was 76.

Burt was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Jan. 19, 1938 and moved to Scotland with his family eight years later before coming to UNB in 1964.

Described by colleagues and students as a great communicator who could make any topic interesting, he taught thousands of undergraduate students and supervised more than 60 graduate students over his time at UNB, and though he retired in 1995 he actively continued his research at UNB as Professor Emeritus and an Honorary Research Professor. In fact, all researchers are given identification numbers. Today, they’re up to seven digits long. Burt’s was three digits.

Among his more than 100 scientific journals include his studies on the “sealworm,” which he was asked to look into by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which helped save the cod industry from an economic collapse.

Among his PhD students was eventual-colleague Dr. Mike Duffy, who first took Burt’s introduction class during his undergraduate degree, which led to a career in parasitics.

“There’s so much you can talk about this guy. I hadn’t really found my way [when I came to UNB] but I took my first class with Mick and wow, this man changed my life,” Duffy said, who gave a eulogy at Burt’s funeral last month. “How do you get up and speak about a man who was one of the most effective communicators I’ve ever met?”

Burt had applied for and received research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and was continuously funded for his 50 years – in the 15 years after his retirement, Burt was awarded nearly $1.5 million from various NSERC funding programs.

“You think about most profs get their job in their early 30s and typically retire at 65. So they do good to basically crank out a 35-year research career,” Duffy explained. “Mick had NSERC funding for fifty years. These are competitive applications. Historically you had to apply every three or five years and then a panel of experts would look at your work and determine whether or not you were worthy to invest funding in. Some people will apply and get funding for five years and maybe they’re out of the system for two years and re-apply and get back in. But Mick never missed a year in 50 years. Honestly, that must be a record with NSERC.”

Before his death, both NSERC and UNB were preparing to recognize him for his achievements at a special celebration event.

Among his many teaching awards throughout his career, Burt has received three UNB Merit Awards, a NATO Senior Scientist Research Award and the Gordin Kaplan Award of the Canadian Federation of Biological Sciences for outstanding contributions to public awareness of science and technology.

As part of being an effective communicator, Dr. David Crowe – Burt’s colleague and former graduate student – described Burt as an “entertainer.”

“I think where he gained a lot of notoriety was because of his lectures,” Crowe said. “You’d almost stop taking notes and just sit there and listen. It was as if he’s telling you a story. You’d almost lose track of the fact that ‘Hey, I should be taking notes’ but this is the sort of lecturer he was. You’d get lost in the story he was giving.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that myself and probably 35 or 40 parasitologists scattered around the world owe our careers to Mick. Certainly we never would have gotten to where we were without him. He was a tremendous influence.”

When he wasn’t lecturing Burt was always devoted to his work. Aside from sticking around campus for almost 20 years after his retirement, Duffy remembers Burt going to amazing lengths in the name of research.

Duffy was researching certain parasites which live in the brains of deer. To study the parasites, Duffy worked with local agencies to collect deer around the province, but early on didn’t know exactly how to get a deer.

“I arrived to work one day and there were a set of keys and a note sitting on my desk,” Duffy recalled. “They were Mick’s car keys and the note said ‘Mike, there’s a deer for you in the back of my van.’

“Mick knew I needed deer and saw a dead deer lying on the side of the road when he was driving into work. So the obvious solution for Mick was to drag the deer into the back of the van. I think that would go a long way to describe Mick Burt. He would absolutely do anything to make things happen or get things off the ground. He was a real visionary.”

Burt’s quirkiness extended far beyond the walls of UNB. His daughter Diane took classes with him and said even at home he was just as witty with a dry sense of humour.

“It was funny to watch him because he wouldn’t really make a joke. He’d just make a comment that he knew was funny and he’d look around to see if people got it,” she said. “He did that everywhere.”

Indeed. Even in his final weeks he was still rolling out the punch lines.

Diane and his other daughter Sheila took him out for lunch one day and he was up to his old tricks with the waitress.

“He ordered a beer and a sandwich and told the waitress he could only drink half of a beer,” Diane recalled. “So he only did eat half the sandwich and drink half the beer and the waitress came and asked if he wanted the sandwich packed up to go.

“And he said ‘No, not really but I would like to pack up the beer to go.’ And he was just joking but she looked at him seriously and said, ’I’ll go get a cup.’ ”

Diane also remembers her father going to pay with a debit or credit card and pretending to forget the pin number. When the cashiers would insist that he had to have the pin number, Burt jokingly replied, ”Well how would I know the pin number? I just found this card outside.”

Burt’s fascination for marine life also extended beyond the research labs. He was Associate Director of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre and Director of Academic Programs from 1995 to 2001.

He was also an avid fly fisherman in his spare time and was a great squash, soccer and field hockey player. He was a self-taught gourmet chef and could play the piano by ear.

“I’ve heard a number of unsolicited stories about how these younger men in fantastic shape would ultimately succumb to Mick in a squash match,” Duffy said. “He would typically host people for five- or six-course meals and just whip up the most amazing meals.

“He certainly had an affinity for seafood and made a mean leg of lamb. His steaks were always a real specialty and his statement was always ‘How would you like it? Rare or ruined?’ Of course he ate his blue.”

Burt’s research is being continued by his students with whom he worked with right up until January.

Burt is survived by his sister, Susan Jamieson; children – Carolyn Ramsay (Bert Ramsay), Diane Burt (Cenk Acar), Sheila Burt (Gordon Thomas), and David Burt (Erin Whitmore) and their mother Joan Burt; children – Katherine Burt and Hilary Burt and their mother Barbara MacKinnon; grandchildren – Jessica Ramsay, Chris Bielecki, Stefan Bielecki, Emily Bielecka and Alec Dobbelsteyn; and nieces and nephews and their families – Peter Burt, Fiona Jamieson, David Jamieson, Graeme Jamieson and Catriona Jamieson.

Young V-Reds will gain experience from playoff upset | Maillet wins rookie of the year on top line

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

March 19, 2014.

Photo by Brian Smith / The Brunswickan

Photo by Brian Smith / The Brunswickan

The curse of even-numbered years stung the Varsity Reds men’s hockey team again this season.

Albeit, a 24-3-1 record in the regular season en route to a seventh consecutive first-place finish stop the Atlantic University Sport standings is nothing to sneeze at.

Unfortunately for UNB, a red-hot Saint Mary’s Huskie goaltender in Anthony Peters would bring an end to a back-to-back championship bid.

Peters, a reigning CIS silver-medalist and who led the AUS all-stars to a gold medal at the World University Games in Trentino, Italy, stopped 141 V-Reds shots in the semi-final – including 50- and 42-save performances in Games 1 and 3 which both went to double-overtime.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The V-Reds only had 10 players returning from last year`s national championship game – 12 if you include Tim Priamo and Cam Critchlow who sat out the final game, leaving Gardiner MacDougall to fill a healthy number of roster spots.

Mission accomplished.

MacDougall brought in seven rookies by the season opener, most notably AUS rookie of the year Phillipe Maillet who finished the regular season third in conference scoring with 16 goals and 25 assists.

Jordan Murray also had a stellar rookie campaign on defence with a 20-point season, while Matt Petgrave filled the void of an offensive defenceman left by Daine Todd, generating rushes from the back end. Murray was named to the all-rookie team.

After Antoine Houde-Caron left the team before the start of the second-half of the season, Philippe Halley slid into the lineup and immediately began clicking on the top line with captain Chris Culligan and Maillet, a former Victoriaville Tigers linemate.

Halley averaged a point in his 14 regular season games, including a seven-game scoring streak where he scored 13 of his 15 regular season points.

Ben Duffy also joined the team at Christmas after a stint with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs and the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League. Although he was inserted into the V-Reds game day programs, he never saw any ice time as not to burn a year of his eligibility.

Holding off on Duffy’s debut was a timely move for the V-Reds who will lose Chris Culligan to eligibility – he’s since signed an amateur tryout contract with the AHL’s Texas Stars. Goaltender Charlie Lavigne is also graduating and used his final year of eligibility.

Forward Tyler Carroll is expected to return for his fourth year following an injury-plagued season.

Carroll was limited to only six regular season games after suffering a pre-season injury on a trip to Denver and missed the first nine games of the season, then went down in the gold medal game of the World University Games and missed another 11 game stretch in the second half.

Rob Mignardi will also suit up for UNB next year after two years in the AHL with Manchester and Houston, finishing last year with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. Previously, he captained the Owen Sound Attack to an Ontario Hockey League championship.

Defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers and forward Nick MacNeil are also likely not to return for their fifth year of eligibility.

But looking ahead to the next two years the V-Reds are in a good spot to continue the trend of odd-year championships as the AUS will be represented by two teams at the upcoming University Cup championships. St. Francis Xavier will host in 2015, Saint Mary`s in 2016. Both will be at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Photo by Alex Walsh

Photo by Alex Walsh

Maynard the hero as V-Reds fall in double-OT

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb. 27, 2014

Brian Smith / The Brunswickan

Brian Smith / The Brunswickan

Mitchell Maynard may have just landed himself as a full-time defenceman on the banged-up Saint Mary’s Huskies.

The rookie forward and former Memorial Cup champion slid back on defence Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey semi-finals and scored the game-winner in double-overtime as the Huskies upset the UNB Varsity Reds 2-1 before 2,671 fans at the Aitken Centre.

“We’re down guys so we need to fill in those spots,” Maynard said. “[Going back on defense] is something I’ve been able to do in my career and feel confident in the position. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team in the playoffs so we can go as far as we can.”

Maynard’s goal came on the power play five minutes into the second overtime. Steven Johnston won the draw following a Marc-Antoine Desnoyers high-sticking penalty and Maynard wristed it far-side top corner for the winner.

Aside from rolling five defencemen, the Huskies found out just before arriving to the arena that they’d be without head coach Trevor Steinburg, who was suspended one-game for comments he made in a local Fredericton newspaper. Steven Beyers, who was tied atop the team’s regular season point lead, was also scratched.

Assistant coach Tyler Naugler stepped in behind the bench, as he had in the first half of the season as Steinburg was on medical leave, and said gaining that experience in the first half was the biggest reason why he wasn’t nervous.

“That’s probably my most exciting win as a coach, in history,” Naugler said. “I’ve coached a lot of games, I’ve had a lot of good players and I’ll tell ya, as a head coach that’s probably the biggest one that I’ll celebrate.”

Steven MacAuley – another of Naugler’s pupils in minor hockey – opened the scoring midway through the first period, cashing in on a loose puck by the post for his fourth goal in the last three games.

After a scoreless second period UNB cashed in on the power play and again it was the “Victoriaville Connection” leading the charge.

Chris Culligan slung a cross-ice pass to Philippe Maillet who one-timed a shot on goal, and Philippe Halley was right there to bank in the rebound with just under nine minutes to go in regulation.

That was the only time UNB beat Huskies goaltender Anthony Peters, who made 50 saves to earn first star honours.

“He’s unconscious. Every time our program faces a little bit of adversity, we have the character in that dressing room to step up and ‘Petey’ really led the charge for us tonight,” Naugler said.

UNB forward Tyler Carroll made his return to the V-Reds lineup on a line with Cam Critchlow and Dylan Willick. Carroll has missed 22 games this season because of various injuries, and hadn’t played since Jan. 4.

He put up a game-high nine shots on goal in his return, including a great chance in the second period on a breakaway but was turned aside by Peters’ toe.

“He’s quite the hockey player that guy,” Willick said on his new linemate. “He knows where to put the puck, he knows where to be to get the puck and it’s pretty easy to play with a guy like that. He’s very good about talking to me and keeping me honest and letting me know what he saw out there as well. So a bit of a teacher like that as well so I was really happy to have somebody like that on my wing.”

UNB has ran into a hot goaltender like Peters before – who’s now riding a 1.42 GAA through four playoff games – but Willick said the key is to keep trying to make the most of their chances.

“We gotta be happy with the fact that we are getting those chances and we have to realize that the puck is going to go in and we have to stay away from being frustrated and just keep on playing like that,” Willick said.

Both teams will have less than 24 hours to regroup with Game 2 set for 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Aitken Centre.

Editorial: Addressing the leak from last week

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb. 26, 2014

As some of you may have noticed with with the footnote we added to Richard Kemick’s op-ed last week on the UNB Student Union, Ben Whitney, Marc Gauvin and Greg Bailey got to read Kemick’s op-ed before it was published in last week’s paper.

I want to give full disclosure because you, the students who pay for this paper, deserve to know. And having taken four years of communications and journalism, I know transparency is always best.

The leak came from within the office. What’s important is that you know this has never happened before in this paper’s institutional memory and it will never happen again.

The staff member has been reprimanded in accordance with the Brunswickan by-laws, as outlined in our constitution, and has assured me they understand the severity of what they did and won’t do it again.

That person didn’t realize that what they did was unethical, but they have been made aware of the consequences these kinds of actions have toward the editorial voice of this publication. After speaking with them I am confident this won’t repeat itself.

UNB is a relatively small campus with a lot of ties. In this case, it was an instance of a friend giving another friend a heads up of what was coming. But that violated a journalistic standard the Brunswickan has always upheld. Part of Kemick’s piece addressed that the Student Union had not updated its council minutes. By seeing the piece before it ran, they quickly fixed that mistake.

While the minutes were only a small part of Kemick’s overall argument, we understand the ramifications of what can happen in a more serious news article. Occasionally, it’s acceptable to send somebody an excerpt of an upcoming criticism, but not by the same context or motif of what happened last week.

This leak does not take away from the stellar reporting that has come out of the Brunswickan office this year – particularly during the strike/lockout – and that will continue to come out of this office long after we’ve graduated.

We understand that for the Brunswickan and the Student Union to operate properly, both need to remain completely independent of each other. As in any government, the UNBSU needs our criticism to function. Critical voices are vital in a functional democracy. Even when Frank McKenna’s Liberals won every legislative seat in New Brunswick in the ‘80s, the premier allowed the Progressive Conservatives to submit written questions for question period in the legislature. Any government needs opposition and criticism, and that’s one of our roles.

I’ve spoken with Whitney and he understands that even if presented the opportunity, he will turn away from reading unpublished material in the future.

But it really doesn’t matter whether or not I believe him, or the incoming president, because they won’t be presented with the opportunity, period.

I hope this mistake doesn’t compromise the trust you have in us, especially the news department which again has been nothing short of professional this year, and I hope if any of you one day choose to be a part of this staff that you understand the ethics behind working at a newspaper.

Final thoughts on Sochi

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb. 26, 2014


Upon leaving Sochi Monday morning, CBC’s David Amber tweeted out “So Canada completes the ‘Double-Double’. Gold in mens and womens hockey [sic] and curling. First time ever.”

I like David Amber. I do. We had a nice 45-minute conversation in October because I was looking into Syracuse’s journalism program – his alma mater. But that one tweet perfectly represented the set of horse blinders this country wears when it comes to any other sports.

Lest we forget, the lovely Dufour-Lapointe sisters went 1-2 in the women’s moguls, while Alex Bilodeau and Mikael Kingbury also topped the podium on the men’s side. Let me repeat. The men and women’s teams both won gold AND silver in the same sport.

By that nature, Canada actually completes a triple-triple, with a nice hint of Captain Morgan’s Silver Spiced Rum – it’s the best thing I could come up with that goes with silver.

Point is, unless you subscribe to whatever European ski network that airs the World Cup circuit, that double gold and double silver in moguls was almost mostly forgotten by the closing ceremonies. Maybe it’s the bad timing of having the event within the first two days of the Games, I don’t know.

But as Sportsnet’s Mark Spector pointed out in Sunday column at : “We exercise anti-prohibition, changing our liquor laws overnight for a gold medal game with a 7 a.m. ET puck drop, a fact that no one – not even those folks who live to be concerned about the level of fun enjoyed by others – raise a voice against in protest.”

And I totally understand that. I’m not saying we should be on the edge of our seats watching Chloe and Justine fly down a hill, praying the judges don’t screw them like Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Winning double gold is a big, big deal. In any sport. Yet it seemed to be a bigger deal that two sisters topped the podium than the fact that in two days Canada became the best and second-best moguls country in the world. It didn’t even make it into Amber’s Tim Hortons metaphor.


If there’s anybody who’s hoping for an NHL appearance in 2018, it’s the restaurant industry coast-to-coast. I’m waiting for somebody to check into how much the industry made over those two weeks, but I’m willing to bet that after the Olympics, the strike suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big hit on the Cellar anymore.

But if this Olympics has taught me anything, it’s further strengthened my argument that Fredericton is a really mediocre sports town. Aside from my usual bantering of how few local sports actually get decent attendance, the fact that I had to call around and ask bars if they’d be open on Sunday morning for the gold medal game is saddening.

I myself went to Boston Pizza. I first went to the Snooty Fox because my waiter the day before said they’d be open at 8 a.m. They actually smartly opened earlier and by the time I got there every table within a view of a TV was taken.

But aside from those two places and the Hilltop – and the Grad house but . . . yeah – there wasn’t really any other decent bar to watch it at. I caught the Canada-USA women’s gold medal game at the Cellar and it was awesome, as was the Canada-USA men’s game at the King Street Ale House.

But aside from Boston Pizza’s bar section, there’s really no good sports bar in this city. And even at Boston Pizza, it doesn’t feel all that welcoming to stand with a beer in hand if you can’t get a table.

But to wrap up these Olympics on a positive note, the there was a lot of good to remember in these games.

I challenge anybody doing a RAKnomination to outdo Justin Wadsworth. He’s the Canadian cross country ski coach who, after all his athletes were eliminated, helped out a Russian skier – an early medal favourite – by giving him a spare ski after his was mangled to the point of disrepair.

And then there’s Norway’s Astrid Uhrenholdt who finished in fourth place in cross-country sprint only four days after her brother’s death.

And how about Gilmore Junio, the Canadian long-track speed skater?

In a true act of just being a good teammate, Junio stepped aside to let fellow Canadian Denny Morrison race in the 1,000-metre long track race. You see, Morrison fell at the Canadian trials in December and failed to qualify for the 1,000-metre race. This after recovering from a broken leg the year before.

Morrison took the gift and skated to a silver medal.

Personally, I still think Junio should have carried the flag at the closing ceremonies. Maybe in PyeongChang, eh?

Tigers defeat V-Reds in AUS championship

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb 20, 2014

Sarah Badibanga / The Brunswickan

Sarah Badibanga / The Brunswickan

On the fifth match point in Saturday night’s epic five-set thriller between UNB and Dalhousie’s men’s volleyball teams, Julio Fernandez readied himself to unleash yet another of his signature kills.

The three-time defending Atlantic University Sport Most Valuable Player scored UNB’s first three points of the final set – all kills – but was stuffed on his next two tries. He didn’t want to let that happen again.

And with the 1,368 fans in attendance collectively holding their breath, Fernandez hammered the ball through an opening at the net, as he had a thousand times before. Only this time, it was long and out of bounds, thus abruptly ending one of the most storied careers in UNB volleyball history.

“That last point. Wow. I really wanted to score on that ball,” Fernandez said. “It’s probably the worst feeling that you killed a game like that because your whole team is counting on you on that ball and you miss it.
“[When it went out of bounds] it was like ‘OK, we’re getting the next one’ then I turned around and I saw that that was it. It was probably the worst feeling of the night.”

But give full credit to Dalhousie. The Tigers clawed back after dropping the first two sets – in what both players and coaches described as a “hostile” Richard J. Currie Center – to win the match 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20 and 19-17, and with it, the school’s 35th AUS title.

“You could just see the commitment to every point by both teams,” Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota said. “For a spectator it must have been an absolute dream to see something like that because matches like that don’t happen very often, anywhere in the country.”

V-Reds middle Logan Keoughan also played his last game but came up big in his swan song with 14 kills and was dominant at the net. Rookie Eivind Anderson was also a big factor at the net with a match-high 18 kills, and despite losing Keoughan and Fernandez, head coach Dan McMorran said there’s a silver lining in losing a match that close.

“This leaves a bad taste in your mouth. One of the things we need to do is savour that bad taste a little bit as a reminder that we don’t want that taste in our mouths again,” McMorran said. “As demoralizing as that loss was, there is a silver lining that we have a fantastic group of guys returning next year.”

One returnee who will fall into a leadership role will be libero Chhase McFarlen. He’ll be back for his fifth year and coming off an AUS libero of the year award. But Satuday, he kept his team alive when they needed it most.

After Dalhousie opened up an 8-0 run early in the third set – which was undoubtedly the match’s turning point – UNB tied it back up at 14-apiece as McFarlen chased down a live ball out of bounds, dove into the UNB bench, took out a few chairs, faceplanted on the first row of the Currie Center bleachers, kept the play alive and got right back up as UNB won the point.

But that’s as close as UNB came, albeit they had 13 deadlocked scores in the fifth set.

For Fernandez, it’s not the way he expected to walk off his home court.

“It’s the toughest loss for me in my five years here, probably because it was my last one,” Fernandez said. “But at the same time, I kind of want to show the team how it feels so they don’t have to go through that in the next few years. That was basically my goal at the end. In spite of the loss, they know what they have to work on for next year. I’m happy for what’s left here. I know they’re going to do great.”

Fernandez said Saturday’s crowd was the biggest he’d ever seen, and to all the supporters who cheered him on over the years, he says “thank you.”

“Tonight was another night like that and I think UNB has an amazing crowd. I’m so thankful for that. It was hard for me to go and talk to people after a tough loss, but I had a lot of people come to me and shake my hand. It feels nice.”

UNB cuts Bathurst nursing program

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb. 20, 2014

UNB’s Bathurst campus will flatline after 2017.

Last Monday the university informed nursing students in Bathurst that it was discontinuing the program after the class of 2017 graduates.

UNB’s Dean of Nursing Dr. Gail Storr said a big reason for scrapping the program was because there aren’t enough instructors in clinical placements to accommodate the number of enrolled students.

“It’s become increasingly difficult to secure [clinical] sites for the number of students we have,” Storr said, adding that having the Bathurst campus compete for open placements with NBCC or the Moncton campus “doesn’t necessarily line up in the best way with the curriculum and what the learning needs are.”

The yearly enrolment at Bathurst is capped at 26 students, but it’s been a struggle to reach the mark. Last year, only 14 students were accepted ­— there are 53 more students ranging from second to fourth year.

Another factor in the decision was that in negotiations with the regional health authority regarding student placements, a proposal was put forth in October that students be bilingual.

“They backed down on the bilingual aspect,” Storr said,” but the latest thing that we have for them is that they wanted our students to understand French.”

While Storr assured financial reasons were not at all part of why the program is being shut down, the Bathurst program “has never been financially self-sustaining.”

“I’m responsible for Fredericton, Moncton and Bathurst, and we’ve been subsidizing the costs to run Bathurst over a period of time,” Storr said.

While the university will certainly save money by discontinuing the Bathurst program, it’s unclear as to exactly how much.

Storr was unable to provide the operating costs of the Bathurst campus and was not prepared to discuss the finances surrounding it. A right to information request has been placed with the university secretariat for that information.

Susan Hebert started at the Bathurst campus in 1999 – she now works as the only administrator among a staff of six other faculty members – and said it was “shocking” when Dean Storr delivered the bad news the week before informing the students.

“It was unluck of the draw, I guess, that they decided to close Bathurst,” Hebert said. “The difference with nursing is that we have an instructor who can teach, say 30 students. But for those same 30 students we would need five clinical instructors.”

Part of the program includes a practicum placement in a clinical setting – like a hospital or clinic – but the instructors in the field can only teach up to seven students at one time.

Among the six other faculty members at the campus, two are on contracts while the others have tenure. Hebert said she’s unsure if the faculty will transfer to another campus, but said she’ll have to look for another job after they close the doors.

“It’s a bit of a worry but it happens,” Hebert said. “It will be very hard to find another job that is quite like this one. I love working with the students. It’s great. I’ve enjoyed it for 15 years and I’ll enjoy it for three more, then we’ll see where we go from there.”

But the underlying issue is the ripple effect this will have for students who may not be able to travel to the Moncton or Fredericton campuses.

UNBSU’s nursing representative Laura Carr said future nursing students in northern New Brunswick may not have as easy access to their education because of the logistics.

“I know a lot of the students are from Miramichi and they travel to Bathurst [for school],” Carr said. “So what chance do the people from the outskirts of Bathurst have to get a quality education? If I could stay in Miramichi with a low cost of rent and not have to move somewhere [like Fredericton], then awesome.”

Hebert shared the same sentiments.

“The thing I think that’s most sad about this is that we serve a neiche population,” Hebert said,”a population of transfer or mature students who, because of family commitments or whatever it may be, just don’t have the chance to travel to get an education. It’s a little sad that way.”

UPDATE, 5:09 a.m., Feb. 20: An earlier version of this story reported that Dr. Storr said a lack of instructors in the classrooms was a reason why UNB closed the campus, when in fact it was only a lack of instructors in clinical placements. The Brunswickan apologizes for the error.

College Hill shows support for LGBTQ athletes in Sochi

Nick Murray – Editor-in-Chief, The Brunswickan

Feb. 20, 2014

Karsten Saunders / The Brunswickan

Karsten Saunders / The Brunswickan

There’s a new flag flying high on College Hill.

UNB, along with St. Thomas University, Mount Allison University and l’Université de Moncton, raised pride flags last week in support of LGBTQ athletes competing at the Olympic games in Sochi.

UNB president Eddy Campbell said he got a letter from John Staples, vice president of Spectrum – UNB and STU’s LGBTQ student group – asking the flag be raised just like other provincial and municipal governments across Canada have done.

For Campbell, it was a no-brainer.

“What’s happening in Russia, from our point of view, it’s hard to believe what’s being said and what laws are being passed,” Campbell said. “For me it goes back to a letter the Brunswickan published, where one of our instructors, who happened to be gay, said something along the lines of ‘I just want to be left alone to live my life.’ ”

He said that letter put the struggles facing the LBGTQ communities everywhere into perspective.

“That really resonated with me in the sense that for heterosexual people, that’s not even a question. Of course you’re left alone to live your life,” Campbell said. “But if you’re a member of the LGBT community, life is not so simple or so straightforward. Look at what’s happening in Russia.”

In the letter, addressed to Campbell and STU president Dawn Russell, Staples wrote that the gesture was a “move of support for the rights and safety” of LGBTQ athletes.

Earlier last week Fredericton mayor Brad Woodside tweeted the pride flag would fly outside City Hall, and by Friday the provincial government also raised one outside of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly.

LA Henry, co-vice president of Fredericton’s Pride Committee, said while the gesture by the various social institutions across Canada signifies a level of social awareness that wasn’t always there, it doesn’t solve the challenges surrounding LGBTQ issues on home soil.

“There’s still a lot of bullying and a lot of people that feel the need to be closeted,” Henry said, adding it’s also important for Canadians to not take for granted the gains that have been made for LBGTQ rights.

“Especially where there’s some deep-rooted prejudices that still exist that if the landscape were to change at the legislative level then all of that stuff would probably rise to the surface again,” Henry said.

Other schools across the country have also raised pride flags, including the University of Calgary, MacEwan University in Edmonton and George Brown College in Toronto. UNB’s pride flag will come down after Sunday’s closing ceremonies.