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“That’s a great phone call to get,” said UNB REDS men’s hockey coach Gardiner MacDougall.
The coach of seven Canadian university championship teams, MacDougall was talking about Saturday’s phone call from Phil Maillet, one of his former REDS players, to tell him that Maillet was about to make his NHL debut.
On Sunday, MacDougall, along with countless other REDS alumni and fans, turned on the television to watch Maillet, now a member of the Washington Capitals, skate in his first National Hockey League game, a 7-4 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.
As a member of the REDS, Maillet was prolific. He scored 60 goals and 106 assists in 101 regular season games over four seasons.
He was named Atlantic University Sport MVP twice, and U SPORTS Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. He helped the REDS win two national championships, and, in 2017, he was named winner of the prestigious Lieutenant Governor Athletic Award, as the top male university athlete in Canada. He was named UNB’s top male athlete of the year on two occasions.