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MacKay joins UNB REDS

Story courtesy of the UNB Athletics

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB REDS men’s hockey team is adding centre Camaryn Baber and right winger Cole MacKay to their recruiting class of 2022.

The pair, both from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, have signed U SPORTS Letters of Intent, and will join the REDS ahead of the 2022-2023 Atlantic University Sport season.

“Cole and Cam are tremendous additions for the REDS,” said associate coach Rob Hennigar. “Cole is coming off an incredible major junior career with a great organization in the Soo, and Camaryn is a fierce competitor and knows what it takes to win games.”

The 21-year-old MacKay played four Ontario Hockey League seasons with his hometown Greyhounds, skating in 232 regular season games and recording 85 goals and 116 assists.

Baber, also 21, played three and a half seasons with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit before being traded to the London Knights this past season. In 181 regular season games, Baber scored 35 goals and added 54 assists.

“What set UNB apart from other options was the culture and how important winning is,” said Baber. “The program’s success and their excitement for the future really got my attention.”

“The hockey program at UNB is second to none,” said MacKay. “From winning national championships to graduating players to professional hockey, there was no better fit for me.”

Both players say they considered other U SPORTS options before deciding on UNB.

Baber, who played with current REDS forward Brady Gilmour in Saginaw, describes himself as a strong two-way centre.

“I feel like I’ll contribute by winning faceoffs, helping out offensively and being most confident in the defensive zone.”

MacKay says UNB was the clear choice among his options.

“I consider myself a two-way winger that can contribute offensively when we need a goal and someone who can be trusted defensively,” he said. “I pride myself on my work ethic and I can’t wait to contribute everything I can to this team.”

The REDS are excited about what the pair will bring to Fredericton.

“Cole’s consistency is highlighted with almost a point per game pace over his OHL career,” said Coach Hennigar. “He plays in all situations and will be a key contributor to our success in the future. He’s also an outstanding student.”

“Camaryn is a player who knows how to play the game the right way and chip in all over the ice,” said Hennigar. “He wore the ‘C’ in Saginaw and is a respected veteran. London traded for him at the deadline to bring energy and leadership.”

Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Baber and MacKay played together throughout their formative years, and both say the other is among their best friends. And while they talked about their hockey futures, the fact that both have landed at UNB wasn’t a coordinated effort.

“We discussed different schools throughout the season, but never talked about going to the same school,” said MacKay. “When I texted him to tell him I committed to UNB, he told me he’d just decided that as well. It’s cool how it worked out.”

“It’s exciting to know that we’re going to be able to go through this experience together,” said Baber.

Short-term, both say they want to succeed in the classroom and get better on the ice.

Long-term, they’re both eager to do whatever they can to return the national championship to Fredericton.

Both will study Business while attending UNB.

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