Among the generation of greats that built a new era of brilliance for the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Reds, Frederike Cyr provided a strong work ethic. Nicknamed Freddy, also enjoying standing as a U Sports Academic All-Canadian, the 2022-23 campaign provided plenty of emotion for the skilled forward, as it marked her last in the Reds paraphernalia.
Raised in the Montreal suburb of Candiac, Cyr was originally recruited to play in the RSEQ. Committed to the University of Montreal Carabins, one of the city’s three elite university teams, she graced the ice in three games during the 2017-18 season. Worth noting, her first university goal occurred with Les Carabins, bulging the twine in a 4-1 home win versus the Carleton Ravens on January 26, 2018.
After redshirting the 2018-19 season, one which saw Cyr journey eastwards, finding a home with the UNB Reds, the wait proved well worth it. Playing on a line with Ashley Stratton in her inaugural season with UNB, the results from 2019-20 reflected consistent play.
Finishing with 16 points, also enjoying the prestige of serving as an alternate captain, the milestone of her first goal as a Red took place on home ice. Defeating the Dalhousie Tigers by a 4-1 tally on October 12, 2019, Cyr found the back of the net in the third period, with Stratton earning the assist.
With each successive season marking an upward progression for the Reds, helping restore the program only marked half the experience. Propelling the Reds to new levels of relevance signified an achievement built on unity, respecting the process of building a team. Fittingly, her final season saw both the Reds women’s and men’s teams occupy the number one ranking in the National Polls.
“I just recently graduated university and thinking back of what our program was able to accomplish in five short years is beyond incredible. Winning two AUS championships back-to-back is obviously exceptional in and of itself.
Yet, I think what I am most proud of, is that we put the UNB Reds women’s hockey program back on the map. Everyday, we showed up to the rink with a growth mindset and at the end of the day, we did it for each other, we did it for those who came before us, and those who will come after us.”
Enjoying a second consecutive regular season and postseason title in 22-23, Cyr delivered on all accounts, her role as a team leader pivotal towards such a plateau. Amassing a respectable 22 points in 27 games played, her 17 assists ranked 12th in the AUS. Additionally, her plus/minus rating of +21 placed her fifth in the conference.
The 2023 AUS playoffs allowed Cyr a special linkage to Reds history. Facing off versus the St. Francis Xavier X-Women in the Subway AUS Championship Series, attaining the summit of the double of regular season and postseason crowns proved hard-fought yet phenomenal.
In a best of three series and which saw the X-Women prevail in the opening game by a 2-1 mark, it set a unique tone, as each game was decided by one goal, testament to the talent of both teams.
Regrouping to tie the series, Cyr contributed with four shots on goal. Led by Kendra Woodland’s 34 save effort, a dramatic 1-0 shutout that saw Alayna Wagstaff bulge the twine in the second period, the outcome was prologue for an even more intense affair to follow.
With the outcome of the third and final game at Aitken Centre decided in double overtime, the sense of drama increased as neither team managed to score in the third period. With goaltenders, Woodland and Jamie Johnson, both raised in British Columbia, putting forth masterful goaltending displays, opportunities were scarce.
On a penalty kill in the second overtime, Reds skater Lillian George fed the puck to Cyr. Placing the puck past a valiant Johnson, it marked the greatest goal of her career. Recognized as the Subway Player of the Game, it marked the crowning touch in her sojourn with the glorious Reds.
“When I scored the OT winning goal, I never thought of myself as the hero. We had worked so incredibly hard all year to even get to that moment, and that was a collective effort. It came down to the fact that I was in the right place at the right time, and I was able to beat StFX’s goaltender. Being able to celebrate that AUS championship win with my teammates in front of our crowd was the most special moment in my career.”
Among the pillars of the Reds revival, the effort to become a member of the community with numerous initiatives made an impression. With inclusion and belonging among the core values for the Reds, Cyr had November 4, 2022, circled on her calendar.
Emphasizing that Hockey is for everyone, the fans at Aitken Centre saw the Reds grace the ice for their Pride Game in sharp rainbow jerseys. With a season that also saw the Reds participate in the Orange Jersey Project in October, plus a Cancer Awareness Game in January, part of Think Pink Weekend, such events served as compelling highlights.
The Pride Game proved just as enjoyable, providing a shared sense of victory for team and community alike. Cyr earned the assist on a second period goal by Lily George, as backup goaltender Cassie McCallum recorded her second shutout of the season in a 2-0 blanking of the St. Thomas Tommies.
“The Pride game was important to our program because it was an opportunity for us to create awareness and to demonstrate that no matter your differences, there is a place for anyone who chooses to participate in sports.
From day one, our program has been striving to foster inclusivity and a safe space for not only the members of the women’s hockey team, but also for the members of our community. It was important for us to show younger members of our community who may identify with the LGBT+ community that they have a safe space in hockey and that they are welcome.”
Prior to the postseason, culminating with the Reds second straight appearance at Nationals, celebration and closure proved key themes. Worth noting, Cyr felt a sense of full circle at Nationals. With Les Carabins de Montreal serving as host team, games at the CEPSUM venue rekindled feelings of her inaugural season of U Sports hockey.
Equally important for a jubilant Cyr was the sense of ceremony from the Reds Senior Night festivities. With nine players recognized, her family proudly in attendance for such a monumental time, the shared feeling of achievement held plenty of emotions.
Hosting the Mount Allison Mounties, the February 5 affair, saw numerous seniors make key contributions. Starting with Tamina Kehler opening the scoring for the 1-0 advantage, the Reds never relinquished the lead.
With Melanie Frost, also recognized as the Subway Player of the Game, fellow senior Jenna MacLean and Lillian George placing their names on the scoresheet, Cyr recorded a pair of assists in the 4-1 final. Beyond the scoreboard, the Reds became a second family for Cyr. Collectively, the assiduous effort and sense of unity provided an unforgettable time, filling a grateful Cyr with purpose and fulfillment.
“Senior night, for me, was a game I will always remember. I loved being celebrated alongside my teammates who had been there since the Return of the Reds. Having my family in the stands was the cherry on top. We were all so appreciative and grateful for the work that the younger members of our team, as well as the staff, who put together such a memorable day for us.
Aside from being a part of historic wins and putting UNB back on the map, what I enjoyed the most about playing for UNB was to be able to make lifelong friendships and memories.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“