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Hollywood

2017-18 Manitoba Bisons/U Sports

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Dec 2: Five Goal 3rd Period for the Bisons

manitoba-50px.gifubc-wo-birds-50x50.jpg
MANITOBA BISONS 7
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 3

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This was an enormous win in British California for the Herd. The result allows the Bisons to vault over Bedrock U into 3rd place, while the T-irds fall into a tie with Lethbridge for 6th place.

Captain Brett Stovin scored his 2nd and 3rd goals of the season, while linemates Liam Bilton and Justin Augert also scored. Dasan Sydora posted his 2nd win in as many starts, and stopped 27 of 30 shots on goal. Matt Hewitt took the loss, with 22 saves on 29 shots. He missed just over 5 minutes of play when briefly injured, and Rylan Toth made 2 more saves in that segment.

 

The game was tied 2-2 after the 1st and 2nd periods. The Bisons exploded for 5 consecutive goals in the 3rd period. Another encouraging aspect of the stats for the Bisons is the spread of goals throughout their lines. Here's the list:

 

Scorers
1st 02:30 – Man Brett Stovin (2)
1st 02:54 – UBC Michael Stenerson (6)
1st 09:45 – UBC Michael Stenerson (7) (SH)
1st 18:00 – Man Brett Stovin (3) (SH)
3rd 00:18 – Man Justin Augert (3)
3rd 01:36 – Man Brett Brooks (4)
3rd 12:25 – Man Sean Christensen (2)
3rd 12:49 – Man Liam Bilton (3)
3rd 17:06 – Man Kamerin Nault (8)
3rd 18:27 – UBC Riley Guenther (2)

 

The Saturday matinee rematch starts at 4:00 CST.

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

Regina-50x50.jpgSask-green-50x50.jpg
REGINA COUGARS 2
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 3

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The latest round in the eternal struggle between Canine and Feline banjo-lovers once again goes to the Canines. But not without a severe struggle. Zak Zborosky scored his 9th of the season at 3:57 of the 3rd period to give Regina the lead. But the lead lasted just 19 seconds, and in due time the Mutts took the lead and secured yet another “W”. Regina went with backup goaltender Dawson MacAuley, and he stopped 34 of 37 shots in a credible performance. Sask went with all-star starter Jordon Cooke, and he made 21 stops for the win. The scene shifts from Saskatown to Regina for Saturday's rematch.

 

Calgary-2013-50x50.jpgLethbridge-50x50.jpg
CALGARY DINOSAURS 1
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 4

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The Hørny Ønes have been rolling since that last shipment of Viagra arrived before they played the Bisons. They have now won 4 of their last 5 games. Also, they are a combined 4-1-0 against the Bisons and Bedrock U on the season. The Dinos now need a win in Saturday's rematch for a 5th consecutive weekend split. Combined with the Bison victory, this is the 3rd consecutive game day where the Bisons and Dinos switched spots in the standings. Ryan Chynoweth scored his first two goals of the season to lead the Horns offensively. But the bigger story was the goaltending of Garret Hughson, who stopped 46 of 47 shots he faced. At the other end, Matthew Greenfield started for Bedrock U and was yanked early in the 2nd period, allowing 3 goals on 13 shots. Jordan Papirny finished and stopped 18 of 19 shots. Lethbridge is now tied for 6th place with UBC. This series continues in the Town of Bedrock on Saturday.

 

Alberta-50px.jpgMount-_Royal-2017-50x50.jpg
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 3
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 1

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This was a tough battle, perhaps showing a sign that the Bluegars are capable of a 2nd semester surge. Jamie Crooks scored twice for the Evil Monkeys in their winning effort. Brendan Burke got the win with 32 saves, and Cam Lanigan suffered the loss, albeit with 35 saves. The scene shifts to Edmontown on Saturday for Game Two.

 

STANDINGS

 

171201-standings-_LS.jpg

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Nov 29 Queen's 5 R.M.C. 4 (ot)
Nov 30 Ryerson 5 W. Ontario 2
Nov 30 Waterloo 0 Laurier 9
Dec 01 Carleton 7 Ottawa 2
Dec 01 Guelph 6 Toronto 4
Dec 01 Laurentian 3 McGill 6
Dec 01 Laurier 1 York 4
Dec 01 Nipissing 4 Concordia 6
Dec 01 U.Q.T.R. 3 U.O.I.T. 4 (ot)
Dec 01 Waterloo 4 Brock 5 (ot)
Dec 01 Windsor 3 W. Ontario 7

 

Atlantic
Nov 29 St. F.X. 2 Dalhousie 0
Dec 01 Dalhousie 1 Moncton 6
Dec 01 New Brunswick 4 Saint Mary's 5 (so)
Dec 01 U.P.E.I. 3 Acadia 6

 

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NEXT UP

 

Dec 02 Lethbridge at Calgary – 6:00 MST/7:00 CST
Dec 02 Manitoba at U.B.C. - 2:00 PST/4:00 CST
Dec 02 Mount Royal at Alberta – 5:00 MST/6:00 CST
Dec 02 Saskatchewan at Regina – 7:00 CST
Dec 02 New Brunswick at Acadia
Dec 02 St. F.X. at Moncton
Dec 02 U.P.E.I. at Saint Mary's
Dec 02 Carleton at R.M.C.
Dec 02 Guelph at Windsor
Dec 02 Laurentian at Concordia
Dec 02 Nipissing at McGill
Dec 02 Ottawa at Queen's
Dec 02 Toronto at Brock
Dec 02 U.Q.T.R. at U.O.I.T.
Dec 02 York at Ryerson

 

end of the first semester

 

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Dec 2: Bisons End 2017 on a High Note

 

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MANITOBA BISONS 6
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 3

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The final game of 2017 for both sides could well set the stage for two teams heading in opposite directions. The T-irds are now on an 8-game losing skid and face a life-and-death struggle down the stretch just to make the playoffs. The Bisons will open their Christmas presents and ring in the New Year as a 3rd place team.

 

In roster notes, the Bisons were back to 5 defencemen as Austin Douglas was out, and Calvin Spencer in. The T-irds dressed just 19 bodies. After being short-staffed several times earlier in the season, they are once again having injury troubles. They could use some big prairie boys.

The Bisons' top line were the three stars and that says a lot about them. Here's the goals:

 

Scorers
1st 06:13 – Man Kamerin Nault (9)
2nd 05:09 – Man Blake Heinrich (1) (PP)
2nd 14:12 – Man Lucas Skrumeda (1)
2nd 17:11 – UBC Chase Clayton (3)
3rd 03:17 – UBC Jerret Smith (2)
3rd 06:32 – Man Kamerin Nault (10)
3rd 09:24 – UBC Tyler Sandhu (5) (PP)
3rd 12:17 – Man Michael St. Croix (6)
3rd 17:50 – Man Liam Bilton (4) (EN)

 

The Herd built a 3-0 lead, oddly with two first-of-the-season goals from defencemen. Through two periods, the Bisons held a 27-22 lead in shots and were more-or-less controlling the play.

To give the T-irds credit, they must have sensed their predicament and threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Byron Spriggs in the Bison net. Yet each time they scored, the Bisons replied with their own goal about 3 minutes later, then threw in an empty-netter to boot.

 

So who had Kamerin Nault scoring 10 goals by Christmas? Who had him dressing for 10 regular season games? Each player on the line had a 3 point night (Nault 2G 1A, Michael St. Croix 1G 2A, Zach Franko 3A).

 

There was a ton of action in this game. Spriggs got the win with 39 saves on 42 shots. UBC also switched starters from Friday night, going with Rylan Toth, who made 33 saves on 38 shots.

Since this was an afternoon encounter, the teams had to shower up, grab some snacks, and tune in to see what was happening elsewhere. The Bisons knew they'd be in 3rd place, and UBC was either going to be tied for 6th, or alone in 7th.

 

After a month off for exams and Christmas holidays, the teams return to action on January 5th. The Bisons will host the Evil Monkeys, whilst the T-irds fly to the Town of Bedrock to face the Dinos.

 

171202-_UBC-_UM1-_Henry.jpg

 

171202-_UBC-_UM2-_St_Croix.jpg

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

Sask-green-50x50.jpgRegina-50x50.jpg
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 6
REGINA COUGARS 5

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Once again, the Banjo Cats gave the Banjo Mutts all they could handle but came up a goal short. Their celebratory moonshine will have to stay in the still for another year, I guess. Sask got off to a quick 3-1 lead, causing the Kittens to yank starting goaltender Michael Herringer after barely 5 minutes. He gave up 3 goals on 8 shots. Regina came back to tie it at 3-3, and the game was later tied 4-4 and 5-5. Sask got the winner with just 92 seconds left. Jordon Cooke got the win, but 5 goals on 28 shots will damage his save percentage. Dawson MacAuley lost from the bullpen, and stopped 36 of 39 shots. Mutt forward Andrew Johnson was the only one with 2 goals. Regina packed in a crowd of 1,020! That offer of a free pair of used socks for a lucky fan sure drew them in.

 

Lethbridge-50x50.jpgCalgary-2013-50x50.jpg
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 4
CALGARY DINOSAURS 3
(in overtime)

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The Hørny Ønes were down 4 men in their roster and 3-0 in the 2nd period before they rallied for an OTW. The win vaults them into 6th place and that elusive final playoff berth. Mitch Cook had 2 goals for the Dinos, and goaltender Jordan Papirny was working on a shutout, but in the end gave up 4 goals on 23 shots. The rally was sparked by 2 goals (including the winner) from Connor Sanvido and the goaltending if Garret Hughson (who stopped 29 of 32 shots). The single point leaves the Dinos two points in arrears of the Bisons in the race for 3rd.

 

Mount-_Royal-2017-50x50.jpgAlberta-50px.jpg
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 2
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4

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After the Bison game was done, I was able to watch most of this one. It was one of the better games of the season so far. It doesn't hurt that the crew in Edmontown puts out an extremely high quality broadcast, either. The Bluegars held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in a very close-fought encounter. The last goal was an empty-netter, but the rest were all on the powerplay. Zach Sawchenko got the win with 19 saves, and Cam Lanigan took the loss with 25 saves. Don't be surprised to see the Bluegars close the season strong. This was anybody's game.

 

STANDINGS

 

171202-standings-_LS.jpg

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Dec 02 Carleton 3 R.M.C. 0
Dec 02 Guelph 1 Windsor 4
Dec 02 Laurentian 4 Concordia 9
Dec 02 Nipissing 3 McGill 4
Dec 02 Ottawa 2 Queen's 3 (ot)
Dec 02 Toronto 2 Brock 4
Dec 02 U.Q.T.R. 2 U.O.I.T. 3
Dec 02 York 2 Ryerson 5

 

Atlantic
Dec 02 New Brunswick 3 Acadia 2 (ot)
Dec 02 St. F.X. 3 Moncton 2
Dec 02 U.P.E.I. 4 Saint Mary's 5

 

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NEXT UP

 

Non-conference Games
Dec 09 N.A.I.T. (ACAC) at Alberta
Dec 10 Team Poland at New Brunswick
Dec 28 Guelph at Lakehead
Dec 29 Guelph at Lakehead
Dec 29 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 McGill at Clarkson (NCAA)
Dec 30 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 Windsor at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)

 

New Year Regular Season Openers
Jan 03 AUS Saint Mary's at Moncton
Jan 04 OUA Toronto at Guelph
Jan 05 CW Alberta at Manitoba
Jan 05 CW Mount Royal at Regina
Jan 05 CW Saskatchewan at Lethbridge
Jan 05 CW U.B.C. at Calgary

 

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SUNDAY MORNING LINKS

 

A load of stories and links were not updated as I closed down on Saturday night. Here they are now!

 

MANITOBA BISONS v U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS

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SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES v REGINA COUGARS

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LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS v CALGARY DINOSAURS

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1ST SEMESTER STANDINGS

 

Here are the various conference standings, outside of the CW, as at the end of the 1st semester:

 

u-sports-50x50.jpgaus-2012-50x50.jpgAtlantic University Sports
171202-standings-_AUS.jpg

 

oua-2014-50x50.jpgOntario University Athletics
171202-standings-_OUA.jpg

 

acac-letters-50x50.jpgAlberta Colleges Athletic Conference
171202-standings-_ACAC.jpg

bcihl-50x50.jpgBritish Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League
171202-standings-_BCIHL.jpg

Edited by Hollywood

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Dec 9-14: Preview: Exhibition Games

NEWS AND NOTES

These links would normally be shared as part of my weekly Bison preview, so here they are all by their lonesome. It is nice to see Brett Stovin, Bison captain, have a big weekend against UBC last week. If his line can match the output of the St. Croix-Nault-Franko line, the Bisons could mount a threat to knock off Sask for a spot at the nationals.

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THIS WEEKEND

[IMG][IMG]
N.A.I.T. OOKS (11-2-1, 12-6-2, ACAC #1)
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (15-1-0, 20-2-0, OHT35 #3)


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This charity match is the closer for the Northlands Coliseum, so it should draw a good crowd for nostalgia purposes.

[IMG][IMG]
POLAND NATIONAL TEAM (IIHF #20)
NEW BRUNSWICK VARSITY REDS (15-0-3, 17-1-3, OHT35 #1)


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The Squirrels face the Meatheads! This would be quite the event to witness. Poland's national team is just outside the qualifiers for the world championship. Ted Nolan is their coach. (He formerly coached the Buffalo Sabres and Latvia's Olympic Team, amongst others.)

WORLD JUNIOR CAMP

In what has become an annual event, the Team Canada Juniors will face a CIS/USports team in their selection camp. The games will be played in St. Catharines, Ontario on Wednesday, Dec 13th at 7:00 EST/6:00 CST and Thursday, Dec 14th at 4:00 EST/3:00 CST.

Here are the historical results of these encounters that I have compiled (there were some additional games played by the AUS which I don't have):

Canada West Games
Dec. 14, 2004 at Winnipeg: Manitoba Bisons 4, Team Canada 2
Dec. 15, 2004 at Winnipeg: Team Canada 6, Manitoba Bisons 3
Dec, 15, 2006 at Calgary: Calgary/Lethbridge 5, Team Canada 4
Dec. 15, 2009 at Saskatoon: Sask./Regina 4, Team Canada 2
Dec. 17, 2011 at Calgary: Team Canada 7, Calgary/Lethbridge 4
Dec. 12, 2012 at Edmonton: Alberta Golden Bears 4, Team Canada 1
Dec. 13, 2012 at Calgary: Team Canada 2, Calgary/Lethbridge/MRU 0

CW teams are 4-3-0 overall.

OUA and AUS Games
Dec. 14, 2002 at Acadia: AUS Selects 2, Team Canada 5
Dec. 15, 2002 at Acadia: AUS Selects 2, Team Canada 3
Dec. 14, 2010 at Toronto: Team Canada 6, OUA Selects 2
Dec. 14, 2013 at Toronto: Team Canada 3, Toronto Selects 0
Dec. 13, 2014 at Toronto: Team Canada 10, Toronto Selects 3
Dec. 14, 2014 at Toronto: Team Canada 3, Toronto Selects 0

OUA and AUS teams are 0-6-0 overall.

CIS/U Sports Nation-wide Games
Dec. 12, 2015 at Toronto: CIS 5, Team Canada 4 (SO)
Dec. 13, 2015 at Toronto: Team Canada 5, CIS 0
Dec. 12, 2016 at Toronto: Team Canada 5, USports 3
Dec. 13, 2016 at Toronto: Team Canada 3, USports 0

CIS/Usports teams are 1-3-0 overall.

I would sooner see the defending champion of either USports or the host conference stage this game. It seems a lot of expense for USports, which could be better spent on boosting travel for inter-conference games. Still, I'll be interested to see what I can of these games.

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Dec 9-10: Monkeys and Squirrels Win

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

December 9, 2017

 

NAIT-50x50.jpgAlberta-50px.jpg
N.A.I.T. OOKS 0
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4

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There are no game stories for this one but the LeagueStats are posted. The Evil Monkeys outshot the Furbies (why would they name their team after stuffed owls that look like Furbies?) 40-27. Four different players scored goals for the Apes, and each side split their goaltending duties.

 

December 10, 2017

 

Poland-50x50.jpgUNB-2007-hockey-50x50.jpg
POLAND NATIONAL TEAM 1
NEW BRUNSWICK VARSITY REDS 4

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I logged in to my computer to see if this game was on AUSTV and it was a good news-bad news scenario. Yes, it was streamed. But it was an afternoon game by Atlantic time and was over. The final goal was an empty-netter and statistically it was a reasonable game.

 

I checked out the Polish site using Google Translate. They opened the tour losing 5-2 to the Stony Creek Generals (a AAA Allan Cup team), and will conclude with a game against the New Brunswick Senior All-Stars. It seems that this team is drawn from the Polish league, so it would not include any players in foreign pro leagues, if any are out there.

 

This made me think of past occasions where CIAU/CIS/US teams have played senior national teams in the past (not the junior teams as previously posted). Off the top of my head, such games have been played by the Manitoba Bisons, Lakehead Norwesters, and UBC Thunderbirds. So here's what I compiled:

 

January 18, 1931: Manitoba 0, Czechoslovakia 0
February 1, 1931: Manitoba 9, France 0 (wc)
February 4, 1931: Manitoba 2, Czechoslovakia 0 (wc)
February 5, 1931: Manitoba 3, Poland 0 (wc)
February 6, 1931: Manitoba 0, Sweden 0 (wc)
February 7, 1931: Manitoba 8, Austria 0 (wc)
February 8, 1931: Manitoba 2, U.S.A. 0 (wc)
February 12, 1931: Manitoba 4, Czechoslovakia 0
February 15, 1931: Manitoba 3, Switzerland 0
February 21, 1931: Manitoba 11, Switzerland 1
March 1, 1931: Manitoba 2, Czechoslovakia 1
March 4, 1931: Manitoba 7, England 0
March 7, 1931: Manitoba 7, England 1
March 11, 1931: Manitoba 2, England 1
March 12, 1931: Manitoba 3, England 2
March 13, 1931: Manitoba 11, Scotland 1
November 18, 1965: Canada Nats 13, Manitoba 2
December 13, 1967: Lakehead 7, Romania 3
January 5, 1969: Sweden B 7, Lakehead 2
December 7, 1973: UBC 5, China 0
December 9, 1973: UBC 7, China 0
February 10, 2010: Norway 4, UBC 1

 

In 1931 the Manitoba Bisons represented Canada at the World Championship in Poland and they toured extensively both before and after the tournament. The games against their national teams are included here. The complete list is at [

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So now the Squirrels have joined the fold of Canadian universities to have played against, and beaten, a national team.

 

NEXT UP

 

Dec 13 USports All-Stars v Team Canada Jrs.
Dec 14 USports All-Stars v Team Canada Jrs.

 

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Edited by Hollywood

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I just remembered one more international game:

 

Mar 14, 2014: Ryerson 13, Israel 6

 

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Dec 13: USports beat Team Canada

 

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TEAM CANADA 0
USPORTS ALL-STARS 3

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The U Sports All-Stars blanked the Juniors Nats with the use of two goaltenders on loan from TC, namely Colton Point and Carter Hart. That was because TC needed to look at all 4 goaltenders in their camp. Luke Philp (of the Alberta Evil Monkeys) scored the winner less than 3 minutes into the game, followed by empty netters by Michael Clarke (of the Acadia Axemen) and Logan McVeigh (of the Saskatchewan Banjo Mutts). The Juniors had the edge in shots, 32-24, after piling on the shots in the 3rd period.

 

The rematch on Dec 14th will be a matinee affair. TC will then face Denmark in an exhibition game on Dec 15th. The USports calendar will then be blank until non-conference play takes place after Christmas.

 

NEXT UP

 

Dec 14 USports All-Stars v Team Canada Jrs. - 3:00 CST - TSN GO

 

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Dec 14: Late Goal Gives USports a Sweep

 

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TEAM CANADA 3
USPORTS ALL-STARS 4

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The USports All-Stars completed a sweep in a last-second thriller against Team Canada's junior edition. Jason Fram (of the Evil Monkeys) scored the winner, fellow Monkey Cole Sanford scored twice, and Not-PM Stephen Harper also scored. The shots were dead even (27-27), and all four TC goaltenders played half a game once again, for both sides.

 

As usual, there are loads of commentaries about the "best kept secret" of university hockey in Canada. It would be nice to see regular season games get greater coverage in the outlets which are reporting heavily on these exhibitions.

 

After the game, 6 players were cut. Included were first round draft choices Logan Stanley (Winnipeg Jets) and Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights). The others were Kole Lind, Jonathan Ang, Dennis Cholowski, and goalie Samuel Harvey. No doubt a tough experience for an exceptional hockey player.

 

NEXT UP

 

Holiday Season Non-conference Games
Dec 28 Guelph at Lakehead
Dec 29 Guelph at Lakehead
Dec 29 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 McGill at Clarkson (NCAA)
Dec 30 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 Windsor at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)

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Dec 21: Dec 21: Dinos Penalized 8 Points

 

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There are many links which parrot the CP story without embellishment. The player has not been identified but in any event the Dinos used an ineligible player in October for 6 games, in which they obtained 8 points. Those decisions have been reversed, which is a boon for UBC (who get 4 points) and Lethbridge (who get 2). The Dinos lose 3 points from Lethbridge, 4 from UBC, an 1 from Alberta.

 

I don't like giving points to their opponents, but taking points from Bedrock U seems fair.

 

The Bisons now lead 4th place UBC by 5 points. The Dinos are now in 7th, a point behind MRU.

 

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Dec 28-30: Non-Conference Games and News

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

Guelph-circle-50x50.jpgLakehead-head-50x50.jpgGUELPH GRYPHONS 3
LAKEHEAD THUNDERWOLVES 2
(in overtime)
 
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This game kicked off a miniature non-conference schedule. The Wolves blew a 2-goal lead and suffered an OTL. At one time they hosted a 4-team round-robin tournament between Christmas and New Year's, often involving the Manitoba Bisons. Now it is just a 2-game series, and this year against a divisional opponent. It would be more interesting to see them play a team from another conference. The rematch goes Friday night in Thunder Bay.

 

NEXT UP

Dec 29 Guelph at Lakehead
Dec 29 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 Calgary at Alberta
Dec 30 McGill at Clarkson (NCAA)
Dec 30 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 Windsor at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)

 

The Battle of Alberta is a new addition to the schedule. While it seems odd to play a division / conference rival in a mid-season exhibition game, I can see where a team could use such a game to kick off the rust after a Christmas/exam break. Of interest is the Kelly Cup in somewhat-New Brunswick, where the Squirrels will host Rye High. It is always better when non-conference games are played by teams from different conferences.

 

NEWS AND COMMENTARY

 

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There were quite a few stories about the Bisons since their last game. First, The Manitoban printed a story about the big win over UBC, which has solidified the Herd's grip on 3rd place heading into the 2nd semester.

 

Then came the accolades for team captain Brett Stovin. He was given the nice big cheque from the Fleming Family at the last home game of the 1st semester. Nice to see the Free Press give this coverage. Also nice to see him have his best weekend on the ice. If he and his line can play up to their potential in the 2nd semester, the Bisons could mount a serious challenge to the 2nd place Mutts.

 

Bison assistant coach, and former all-Canadian goaltender, Steve Christie was an emergency back-up for the Manitoba Moose. The Jets called up Comrie because Mason was hurt. Hutchinson was hurt for the Moose. So the Moose called up Jamie Phillips to start, and Christie to back him up.

 

I also cited the CW's list of leading scorers. Why? Well, after the break the Bisons host the Evil Monkeys. The Bisons have 4 of the Top 20 scorers, and the Monkeys have 6. So exactly half of the conference's leading scorers will be on display that weekend.

 

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While the USports win over the Team Canada Juniors was good for the brand, it was especially good for the Monkeys. Luke Philp and Jason Fram scored the winning goals as the Apes led the All-Stars to a sweep. Hopefully the link re: the Calgary game will be updated with some information about the income. I don't believe that LeagueStat updates will be offered.

 

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Of course, the big news in the Town of Bedrock was the 8 points in the standings which they lost due to the use of an ineligible player. That has been digested already, except that the grounds for the suspension remain private.

 

Though their interprovincial rivals have bragging rights when it comes to the USports All-Star series, the Dinos still had room to boast their contribution.

 

Finally, they had an incredible recruiting class, and that's not enough. They are adding former Wheat King Tyler Coulter and ECHLer Ryan Graham.

 

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Goaltender Garret Hughson has turned it up a notch and in the process has got the Hørny Ønes on an optimistic note.

 

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All we have from the Bluegars is a mid-season synopsis on the squad. IMO, they remain a team to watch in the 2nd half.

 

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The Banjo Cats posted a profile story about Tyler King, a 2nd year player. The leader-Post ran their own profile, of newcomer Zak Zborosky. He has been that blue-chip recruit who avoided Regina like the plague in recent seasons. Although they are seemingly destined to be a decisive 8th place again, they are no push-overs.

 

Regina's final series of the 1st semester was a home-and-home affair with Sask. They used the charity angle to pack the arenas. They drew over 1,000 fans themselves. In the process, they impressed a local writer, Rob Vanstone, who gushed over the quality of play in his two stories.

 

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The Banjo Mutts' Team Site carried just stories with an All-Star motif. They talked about their four selections (Kendall McFaull, Jordon Cooke, Josh Roach, and Logan McVeigh), then reposted the game stories on the two games. Their local paper then ran a mid-season report, on all Mutt squads.

 

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The T-irds ran a profile story about a new Junior A grad, Michael Stenerson, moving up to the CW.

 

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This segment has the stories and links on nation-wide matters. The first two links are in the sequence commonly referenced each week. The last two links are of the type not yet cited.

 

The Owen Sound piece puffs up the calibre of USports hockey. These stories are always nice to read but it would be useful for the brand to get this exposure throughout the season.

 

The Silhouette story is about 9 months old. It raises the issues about the TV deal signed between the CIS (as it then was) and Sportsnet (before they won the NHL bidding war). Should USports change the channel and go back to TSN? I wouldn't mind. However, it could be beneficial to have different sports on different channels. I'd like to see TSN cover the Vanier Cup, (a blended Vanier Cup/Grey Cup promotion would be great), and hockey (Sportsnet became disinterested in promotions once they got the NHL contract). Meanwhile, Sportsnet could do basketball and perhaps expand coverage into the less attractive sports, like volleyball and soccer.

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Dec 29: Home Teams Win

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

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GUELPH GRYPHONS 2
LAKEHEAD THUNDERWOLVES 4

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No stories nor summaries posted yet. But there is Twitter! Shots were 35-27 in favour of the Thundermutts. So the home side wins the series 3-2 on points, I guess. Guelph gets no easier to rank based on these results.

 

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RYERSON RAMS 5
NEW BRUNSWICK VARSITY REDS 6
(in overtime)
 
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The stats on this one are nuts. Rye High started with a 3-0 lead, despite being severely outshot in every period. (19-8, 22-4, 19-7, 3-0, 63-19 overall.) That's like a Canada v Japan international game. With less than 13 minutes to go, the Squirrels trailed 5-2. One has to think that if the teams repeat their performance on Saturday night, it will be a whuppin.

 

NEXT UP

 

Non-conference Games
Dec 30 Calgary at Alberta
Dec 30 McGill at Clarkson (NCAA)
Dec 30 Ryerson at New Brunswick
Dec 30 Windsor at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)

 

2nd Semester Conference Openers
Jan 03 AUS: Saint Mary's at Moncton
Jan 04 OUA: Toronto at Guelph
Jan 05 CW: Alberta at Manitoba
Jan 05 CW: Mount Royal at Regina
Jan 05 CW: Saskatchewan at Lethbridge
Jan 05 CW: U.B.C. at Calgary

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Dec 30: Holiday Season Non-conference Wrap-Up

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

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CALGARY DINOSAURS 1
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4

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The team websites have nothing, but the Monkeys' Twitter was going ape with updates. Alberta outshot Bedrock U 44-28 and the last goal was an empty-netter. Jayden Hart took a 5-minute major for a charge. He may have to serve a suspension against the Bisons next weekend. After their points deduction, the Dinos could have used a better result to boost their spirits.

 

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RYERSON RAMS 2
NEW BRUNSWICK VARSITY REDS 8

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Although the shot clock was closer than on Friday, it sounds like the Squirrels were gathering nuts, whilst Rye High was not as Ram Tough as they might have thought. UNB held just a 1-goal lead until mid-way through the 2nd. At that point, the Rams switched goaltenders. UNB then racked up 7 goals on 20 shots to win in a walk. Each team had 7 powerplays. So UNB wins their own Pete Kelly Cup, again. I'd be interested in hearing from AUS fans as to whether or not Rye High would make the playoffs in the AUS.

 

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WINDSOR LANCERS 2
MIAMI (OHIO) REDHAWKS 8

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Not a great season for the Lancers. They were outshot 41-13. The Redhawks scored early and often. I see that UMO is 8-8-2 on the season. So just how did Ohio end up with a Miami? BTW, Manitoba has a Miami, also.

 

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MCGILL REDMEN -
CLARKSON GOLDEN KNIGHTS -

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My guess is this one was cancelled at some point in time. And after I downloaded the Knight logo and everything.

 

Late links:

 

GUELPH v LAKEHEAD

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So that's it for 2017. Happy New Year, everybody!

 

NEXT UP

 

2nd Semester Conference Openers
Jan 03 AUS: Saint Mary's at Moncton
Jan 04 OUA: Toronto at Guelph
Jan 05 CW: Alberta at Manitoba
Jan 05 CW: Mount Royal at Regina
Jan 05 CW: Saskatchewan at Lethbridge
Jan 05 CW: U.B.C. at Calgary

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Preview: Jan 5-6: Alberta at Manitoba

 

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ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (15-1-0, 22-2-0, OHT35 #3)
MANITOBA BISONS (9-5-2, 13-9-3, OHT35 #7)

Jan 5 7:00 CDT at The Wayne Fleming Arena
Jan 6 6:00 CDT at The Wayne Fleming Arena

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year are a thing of the past! The teams in the CW have only a dozen games left. That's 6 weekends of double-headers. It gets late early, as Yogi Berra would say.

Just this week, the Bisons have redesigned their website. The links and content are the same, but the look is less cluttered. The roster page is not as good but at first blush the rest is better.

The Bisons are all alone on 3rd place island. After achieving it on their own, Bedrock U's forfeiture of 8 points puts the Herd in an unfamiliar position. The closest team above them is Sask (7 points distant) and the closest teams below them are Lethbridge and UBC (each 5 points in arrears). Not many teams in all of USports can say for certain that they will be in the exact same position in the standings this time next week.

 

If any team is going to make a move on the Bisons, it will have to happen in the next two weeks. This weekend they host the Monkeys, and next weekend they are off to Saskatown to face the Mutts. That's four games against two of the top 5 teams in the country. Survive this, and the Bisons could be challenging for 2nd place.

 

It is hard to overstate the quality of this year's Monkeys. They are 15-1-0, have given up just 20 goals in 16 games (best in USports), and have surrendered no offence, scoring 66 goals (even with Sask for first). They have 6 of the Top 20 scorers in the CW (Luke Philp, Trevor Cox, Stephane Legeault, Jamie Crooks, Jason Fram, and Brandon Magee). Philp and another Monkey, Cole Sanford, had the winning goals in the USports sweep of the Team Canada Juniors.

 

But the Bisons are no slouch. They have 4 of the Top 20 scorers themselves (Michael St. Croix, Kamerin Nault, Zach Franko, and Adam Henry). Fram and Henry are the only defencemen in the Top 20 scorers, and their stats are almost the same. (Fram is 5-10-15, Henry is 4-10-14.) All-in-all, half of the Top 20 will be on display.

 

Can the Bisons play D against the Monkeys? The Bisons are about mid-pack in the stats. Starting goaltender Byron Spriggs has carried the load, and is roughly league average (7-5-2, 3.14 GAA, .905 S%). He ranks 8th in GAA and 9th in S%. The Monkeys' tandem of Zach Sawchenko and Brendan Burke are 1st and 2nd in the league in both GAA and S%. Spriggs' claim to fame is that he is running away with lead in minutes played. His 821:13 is well in front of 2nd place Jordon Cooke's 794:57.

 

The Bisons will have their work cut out, but a home split in this series is the norm. Over the last 5 years the Apes have 13 wins (one in OT) and the Bisons have 5.

 

CWTV-2017-73x73.jpg
They have announced special pricing for the 2nd half. $24.99 gets you all hockey games. They have details on other packages in the links. The press release says they are happy with growing sales figures.

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ELSEWHERE

UBC-box-logo-50x50.jpgCalgary-box-2013-50x50.jpg
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (5-10-1, 7-8-1*, 8-11-1, OHT35 #22)
CALGARY DINOS (7-5-4, 4-8-4*, 13-7-5, OHT35 #12)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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After the illegal player debacle spoiled the festive season in Bedrock, it works out well that they get to play the chief beneficiary of their faux pas right off the bat. Technically, the T-irds have a 3-point lead over the Dinos. In reality, though, the Dinos should be chasing the Bisons for 3rd and UBC should be chasing Lethbridge for 6th. I am not sure how the penalty was assessed. The Dinos were 7-5-4. In the games in question, they went 3-1-2. So if those were all converted to regulation losses, they would be 4-10-2. But the league standings have them at 4-8-4. The USports team schedule at the link still lists their two forfeited games as OTL. Stay tuned for an update. Funny how they were quick to expunge Riley Sheen's name from all stats and boxscore pages, even getting his 5 goals scrubbed from Elite Prospects.

 

Sask-box-whitelogo-50x50.gifLethbridge-box.jpg
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (13-2-1, 14-5-1, OHT35 #5)
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (6-9-1, 7-8-1*, 10-14-1, OHT35 #21)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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The Mutts have dominated the Hørny Ønes over the last 5 years by a 16-2 count. But with Lethbridge just being pipped at the wire for the final playoff spot by UBC the last two years, perhaps their time has come. When the these two faced each other in Saskatown in October, the Mutts swept with one game going into OT. Lethbridge also swept Bedrock in the last series of the 1st semester. One has to think they expect some points this weekend, even against a much higher-ranked foe.

 

Mount_Royal-box-2017-50x50.jpgRegina-box-50x50.gif
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (6-9-1, 7-11-1, OHT35 #13)
REGINA COUGARS (3-11-2, 5-15-2, OHT35 #27)

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Neither set of Cougars were affected by the Bedrock Debacle. The Banjo Cats could have used some freebie points, but instead remain a distant last as their closest rivals (UBC and Lethbridge) reaped rewards. The Bluegars are on a deceptive 4-game losing streak, with all four games tough losses to the #1 and #2 teams. Meanwhile, the Hillbillies are better than their record. They do have points in 3 of their last 7 games. They won't make the playoffs, but they will score some wins down the stretch. If MRU want to secure 4th place, they need at least 3 points here.

 

OUT EAST

ONTARIO

Jan 04 Toronto at Guelph
Jan 05 Brock at York
Jan 05 Concordia at U.Q.T.R.
Jan 05 Ottawa at McGill
Jan 05 R.M.C. at Carleton
Jan 05 Ryerson at Laurier
Jan 05 U.O.I.T. at Queen's
Jan 05 Waterloo at W. Ontario
Jan 05 Windsor at Lakehead
Jan 06 Guelph at Brock
Jan 06 Laurentian at Nipissing
Jan 06 Laurier at Waterloo
Jan 06 McGill at Carleton
Jan 06 Ottawa at Concordia
Jan 06 R.M.C. at U.Q.T.R.
Jan 06 W. Ontario at Ryerson
Jan 06 Windsor at Lakehead
Jan 06 U.O.I.T. at Queen's
Jan 07 York at Toronto

ATLANTIC

Jan 03 Saint Mary's at Moncton
Jan 05 Dalhousie at New Brunswick
Jan 05 Moncton at Acadia
Jan 05 St. F.X. at U.P.E.I.
Jan 06 Acadia at Saint Mary's
Jan 06 Dalhousie at U.P.E.I.
Jan 06 St. F.X. at New Brunswick

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Jan 5: Bisons Contribute to a 3-way Sweep!

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ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4
MANITOBA BISONS 5
(in overtime)

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A big win for the Bisons on a great night for hockey in Winnipeg. A gold medal for Canada, a win for the Jets, and a win for the Bisons all on one night. Amazingly, there was a decent turnout at the Wayne Fleming Arena when there were Jets/Sabres and Canada/Sweden competing on TV.

 

The win was especially gratifying because the Herd was down to four defencemen, and because Remi Laurencelle finally got into the lineup, and scored the winner. Here's how they lined up:

 

Manitoba

Goal:
35 Spriggs (34 Sydora)

 

Defence:
2 Henry – 16 Heinrich
3 Christensen – 25 Skrudema
28 Stovin

 

Forwards:
27 Franko – 14 Nault – 18 St. Croix
24 Augert – 13 Laurencelle – 8 Bilton
12 Zajac – 22 B Bowles – 26 Lisoway
21 Brooks – 23 Schreyer – 17 Callis
19 Spencer

 

Scratches:
1 Paulic (G)
4 Bresciani – 9 Douglas – 11 Sharonov (D)
15 S Bowles – 20 Keane – 29 Wasylak (F)

 

Alberta

Goal:
1 Burke (35 Sawchenko)

 

Defence:
6 Craig – 5 Fram
8 Rehill – 29 Bredo
7 Lange – 4 Kirichenko

 

Forwards:
23 Clarkson – 14 Kieser – 17 Hart
10 Crooks – 9 Legault – 19 Magee
36 Cox – 12 Philp – 26 Sanford
37 Nickles – 13 Owre – 18 Baillie

 

Scratches:
31 Cameron (G)
22 Carroll – 24 Tomchuk – 52 Charif (D)
11 Cooper – 27 Kimmett – 40 Lineker (F)

 

Scorers:

1st – 02:13 – Alta Steven Owre (6)
1st – 06:16 – Alta Jamie Crooks (12)
1st – 06:37 – Man Sean Christensen (3)
1st – 12:42 – Man Quintin Lisoway (4)
2nd – 19:19 – Man Brad Bowles (1)
3rd – 05:38 – Man Michael St. Croix (7)
3rd – 12:12 – Alta Brandon Magee (7)
3rd – 16:37 – Alta Tyson Baillie (3)
4th – 01:04 – Man Remi Laurencelle (2)

 

I arrived barely on time, not having had time to dine at home. So I needed a U of M burger/fries deluxe meal. While dressing up my burger Owre had the audacity to score for the Monkeys, thus angering the hockey Gods. When Crooks gave the Apes a 2-0 lead as I was working on my fries, all I could think of was Crooks deserve jail. Within 21 seconds the Herd was on the way back, as the Good Lord intended. Christensen's goal was set up by Franko and St. Croix, who dominated the Monkeys whenever they were on the ice. When Lisoway tied the game it was clear that the early momentum of the Monkeys had subsided, and by period's end the shots were almost even (11-10 for the Apes), and the score reflected the play.

 

Captain Brett Stovin had to move from centre to defence, and did a very good job. He was turned around on the 2nd Monkey goal, and on one other occasion when Byron Spriggs bailed him out. Stovin also centred the PK.

 

The 2nd period saw things calm down. One thing about the Monkeys – they don't like to ice the puck. They had the edge in shots just by making sure that faceoffs were generally in the Bison end. Brad Bowles scored a key goal (his first of the season) to give the Bisons their first lead of the night in the last minute of play.

 

The lead gave the Bisons a sense of confidence heading into the 3rd, and they picked up the pace. St. Croix's 7th of the season gave the Bisons a 2-goal lead. And some great chances followed. Then came the penalty parade, and some controversy. On the night, the Bisons had 7 of 9 minor penalties. One strange occurrence was when the Bisons were on the PK. Bowles was trying to get off the ice through the team door and Cole Sanford was in the way. They pushed and each got a penalty. Overall, the Bisons had 4 penalties in 3 1/2 minutes. This got the Apes swinging from vines, throwing feces, and grabbing bananas. They bombarded Spriggs with quality shots, and two of them found their way in.

Laurencelle made his presence felt throughout the game. In overtime he led a 2-on-1 break during 4-on-4 and used the decoy to open up the top shelf. In the celebration, Franko and St. Croix apparently had something to say to the officials, and each got 10 minute misconducts. But who cares?

 

The rematch goes Saturday at 6:00 CST. Everybody who was at Friday's games is likely to return, and many more who were watching the TSN double-feature will join them.

 

180105-_UM-_UA-_Bowles-_Lisoway.jpg

 

180105-_UM-_UA-_Henry.jpg

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

Mount-_Royal-2017-50x50.jpgRegina-50x50.jpg
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 8
REGINA COUGARS 2

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The Cat Fight was more like a cougar against a kitten. For the Banjo Cats, Michael Herringer started in goal but gave up 4 goals on 8 shots before getting the heave-ho. Dawson MacAuley stopped 33 of 37 shots in relief. For the Bluegars, Jesse Lees scored 4 goals and Cam Lanigan got the W with 25 saves. It would be just like Regina to get a win on Saturday.

 

Lethbridge-50x50.jpgSask-green-50x50.jpg
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 3
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 2

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I saw the ending of this one on [CanadaWest.tv]. Banjo Mutt goaltender Jordon Cooke sealed the win by stopping three 3rd period break-aways. The stats were more heavily in the Mutts' favour. While Cooke made some gave-saving saves in the 21 shots he faced, Garret Hughson's 37 of 40 was the bigger feat. Alex Forsberg scored twice for the winners.

 

ubc-wo-birds-50x50.jpgCalgary-2013-50x50.jpg
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 3
CALGARY DINOSAURS 2
(in overtime)

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The T-irds were the greatest beneficiary of Bedrock U's forfeitures, and to rub salt in the wounds ended their big time slump with an honest win over the Dinos. The shots were almost even (33-31 for the Dinos). Matt Hewitt got the win and Jordan Papirny took the loss. UBC was on an 8-game losing streak entering the game.

 

STANDINGS

180105-standings-_HT.png

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Jan 04 Toronto 1 Guelph 3
Jan 05 Brock 4 York 2
Jan 05 Concordia 4 U.Q.T.R. 5 (ot)
Jan 05 Ottawa 2 McGill 3
Jan 05 R.M.C. 2 Carleton 4
Jan 05 Ryerson 7 Laurier 1
Jan 05 U.O.I.T. 2 Queen's 3
Jan 05 Waterloo 1 W. Ontario 5
Jan 05 Windsor 1 Lakehead 3

 

Atlantic
Jan 03 Saint Mary's 7 Moncton 1
Jan 05 Dalhousie at New Brunswick – ppd to Jan 7th at 2:00 pm
Jan 05 Moncton 4 Acadia 7
Jan 05 St. F.X. 2 U.P.E.I. 3 (so)

 

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NEXT UP
Jan 06 Alberta at Manitoba            
Jan 06 Mount Royal at Regina
Jan 06 Saskatchewan at Lethbridge            
Jan 06 U.B.C. at Calgary            

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Jan 6: Get out the brooms! It's a sweep!

 

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ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 1
MANITOBA BISONS 3

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Sweeping the Evil Monkeys is always a good thing. And a rare thing, too. The stories of the night were scoring from three different lines, control of the boards and physical presence, and goaltending when needed.

 

The Bison line-up and alignment was unchanged from Friday. The Monkeys made these switches:

 

Goal:
35 Sawchenko in for 1 Burke

 

Defence:
22 Carroll in for 7 Lange

 

Forwards:
29 Bredo in for 23 Clarkson
11 Cooper in for 17 Hart

 

Their alignment did not change, but for the above-noted substitutions.

 

Scorers:

1st – 04:12 – Man Zach Franko (5)
2nd – 07:56 – Man Brett Brooks (5)
2nd – 12:54 – Alta Riley Kieser (4)
2nd – 13:51 – Man Quintin Lisoway (5)

 

After a big win on Friday night my fear was that there would be some let-up in the return match. Not to be. If anything, the Bisons improved their overall performance.

 

The 1st period was quite low-key. Not a lot of shots either way, and not as ill-tempered as the other 5+ periods on the weekend. The only goal came early, by Franko set up by the rest of the #1 line.

 

The 2nd period was of much higher intensity. The contact was frequent, and the skating was fast-paced. Brooks' goal was a whack-and-hack from a flurry of activity. Kieser's reply was off a turnover from the #1 line, trying to go forward before securing possession and creating an opening big enough for several bananas. In such situations the Monkeys are skilled enough to make a couple passes to set up the open man. The fact that the Bisons repsonded less than a minute later seemed to unnerve the Primates. Lisoway used his linemates as decoys on a break-out play and shot a laser past Zach Sawchenko in the monkey cage.

 

The 3rd period was scoreless, but still lots of hits. The Bisons were mostly in a shell, and that often backfires. After two periods, the shots were 18-16 for the Monkeys. But in the 3rd, it was 13-6. But none were on break-aways, something the Bisons prevented all weekend.

 

Byron Spriggs got the win, stopping 30 of 31 shots, and Sawchenko stopped 19 of 22 in taking the loss.

 

Next weekend the Herd is running back to Saskatown, then its off to MRU. After two weeks away, they return home to face Regina January 26-27.

 

Epilogue:
What can I say about a team that was 15-1? Leading contenders for the U-Cup will want recordings of these games. Well, compared to most of the CW, they lack size. They can be out-hit. The Monkeys are adept at making sure the majority of face-offs are in the other end. They were excellent at not icing the puck. Your whole line-up has to be ready to play defence. They have four lines of skilled players. If you try low percentage passes you will give up breakaways, so smart play for all 60 minutes is required. And your goaltender has to make saves. Their skill will produce good shots no matter what. Strong defencemen who can clear the crease are needed.

 

180106-_UM-_UA-_Nault.jpg

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

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MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 4
REGINA COUGARS 2

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The Banjo Cats bounced back from their Friday night debacle with a solid matinee performance. After two periods it was 2-2 and shots were 20-19 in favour of MRU. But in the 3rd the Bluegars rose to the occasion, outshooting the Banjo Cats 16-10 and scoring twice on a pair of goals by Morgan Zulnick, the last one into an empty net. Cam Lanigan stopped 27 of 29 shots for the win. Dawson MacAuley stopped 32 of 35 in the loss.

 

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SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 2
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 4

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The Hørny Ønes have to be happy that they rebounded for a split against a higher ranked oppoenent. The ice must have been sloped. 1st period shots were 17-11 for Sask. (wow!) Then Lethbridge outshot Sask 11-5 in the 2nd. The flow was reversed once more when Sask dominated the 3rd by a 14-5 margin. After two periods the shots were even, but the Horns held a 3-0 lead. Sask's 3rd period fell short, ended by an empty-netter. Garret Hughson picked up another win, with 34 saves on 36 shots. Jordon Cooke took the loss, with 23 saves on 26 shots.

 

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U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 2
CALGARY DINOSAURS 4

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Just like in Lethbridge, Friday night's 3-2 loser became Saturday night's 4-2 winner. With the score tied 2-2 in the 3rd period, Cain Franson scored shorthanded to notch the winner for Bedrock U. Matthew Greenfield stopped 25 of 27 shots for the win, and Matt Hewitt stopped 24 of 28 in the loss. So the teams had two evenly matched games, must different than in the 1st semester when the Dinos crushed the T-irds.

 

STANDINGS

180106-standings-_Presto.jpg

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Jan 06 Guelph 2 Brock 1
Jan 06 Laurentian 2 Nipissing 1
Jan 06 Laurier 3 Waterloo 2
Jan 06 McGill 3 Carleton 2
Jan 06 Ottawa 0 Concordia 2
Jan 06 R.M.C. 4 U.Q.T.R. 5
Jan 06 W. Ontario 4 Ryerson 3 (ot)
Jan 06 Windsor 4 Lakehead 5 (ot)
Jan 06 U.O.I.T. 0 Queen's 3

 

Atlantic
Jan 06 Acadia 4 Saint Mary's 2
Jan 06 Dalhousie 5 U.P.E.I. 2
Jan 06 St. F.X. 5 New Brunswick 2

 

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NEXT UP

 

Canada West
Jan 12 Calgary at Alberta
Jan 12 Lethbridge at Mount Royal
Jan 12 Manitoba at Saskatchewan
Jan 12 U.B.C. at Regina

 

Atlantic
Jan 07 Dalhousie at New Brunswick
Jan 10 Moncton at Saint Mary's

 

Ontario
Jan 07 York at Toronto
Jan 10 McGill at U.Q.T.R.
Jan 11 Guelph at Waterloo
Jan 11 Toronto at Ryerson

 

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Preview: Jan 12-13: Manitoba at Saskatchewan

 

Manitoba-box-head-r-50x50.jpgSask-box-whitelogo-50x50.gif
MANITOBA BISONS (11-5-2, 15-9-3, OHT35 #7)
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (14-3-1, 15-6-1, OHT35 #4)
Jan 12 7:00 CDT at The Rutherdump
Jan 13 7:00 CDT at The Rutherdump

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The Bisons are off to yesteryear, the place where the 60s have yet to arrive, the land of banjo-lovin rubes, moonshine, possum shanks for dinner, and suspicious family trees. Yes, it's Saskatchewan. Saskatown, to be precise.

 

Now, a January trip to Banjoland would normally be a drab experience, to say the least. However, after last weeks' sweep of the Evil Monkeys, the Bisons must be rarin' for battle. Couple that with Sask sitting just 5 points ahead of the Bisons, and this could be the Bisons' first semi-final hosting position in quite a while.

 

To be blunt, anything less than a 4-1 sweep on points would make it tough on any Bison bid for 2nd place. But with a 7 point lead over the 4th place teams, the Herd stands in an enviable position.

 

The Banjo Mutts have had strong recruiting classes the last two seasons. In 2015, the Mutts had fallen to 6th and a quarter-final loss to MRU. But an influx of new blood vaulted them to 1st a year ago, and 2nd right now. The team boasts the league's scoring leader, Josh Roach (9-17-26), and Jordon Cooke, the all-star goaltender (12-3-0, 2.36 GAA, .914 S%).

 

The Bisons were down to four healthy defencemen last weekend, and captain Brett Stovin was forced to move back to the blueline. He did a pretty good job back there and the forward lines picked up the slack. I wouldn't mind him staying there.

 

Near the end of the last game between these teams, 8 players hit the showers early with 10-minute misconducts, and there were 3 more misconducts assessed in the 2nd period. Could be fun!

 

Also, check out the links for stories of honours being bestowed upon Bison goaltender Byron Spriggs, who was Bison sports AoW and Canada West 1st star. And guest speaker Kelly McCrimmon, assistant GM of the Vegas Golden Knights, will be the guest speaker at the annual fundraiser on January 31st.

 

180106-_UM-_UA-_Skrumeda-_Spriggs.jpg

 

180105-_UM-_UA-_Nault.jpg

 

180106-_UM-_UA-_Spriggs.jpg

 

ELSEWHERE

 

UBC-box-logo-50x50.jpgRegina-box-50x50.gif
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (6-11-1, 8-9-1*, 9-12-1, OHT35 #20)
REGINA COUGARS (3-13-2, 5-17-2, OHT35 #29)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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The playoff hopes of the Banjo Cats are a distant memory. But they still have enough good games that they could well play spoilers, especially for the teams in the race for the 4th, 5th, and 6th playoff berths. And that includes the T-irds. According to the piece in the Vancouver Sun, they remain short-staffed due to the injury bug. They could really use four points against Regina to break the log-jam with Lethbridge and MRU.

 

Lethbridge-box.jpgMount_Royal-box-2017-50x50.jpg
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (7-10-1, 8-9-1*, 11-15-1, OHT35 #19)
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (8-9-1, 9-11-1, OHT35 #14)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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Due to the forfeitures by Bedrock U, these teams are now tied in the official standings. Therefore this home-and-home series is without a doubt a “crucial” one by any measure. The Hørny Ønes have been a streaky team. They are currently on a 6-2 run, which followed an 0-8 run. In games against teams other than the top 3, MRU is 8-1-1 this season. Both teams have settled on a #1 goaltender now. 5th year Cam Lanigan is leading the Bluegars and 2nd year Garret Hughson leads the 'Horns.

 

Calgary-box-2013-50x50.jpgalberta-box-50x50.jpg

CALGARY DINOS (8-5-5, 5-10-3*, 14-7-6, OHT35 #13)
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (15-2-1, 22-3-1, OHT35 #3)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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This home-and-home was anticipated to be much more significant in the race for first. And for the Evil Monkeys, it still is. For Bedrock U, however, their 8 forfeited points dropped them from a solid 4th to a tenuous 7th. They are now 4 points away from a playoff berth. The good news is they are also just 4 points away from 4th place. They did get 3 points against UBC, but they also gave up 2 points. To make hay, they need to do things like beat the Monkeys. Just like the Bisons did!

 

OUT EAST

 

ONTARIO

Jan 07 York 3 Toronto 4
Jan 10 McGill 4 U.Q.T.R. 5
Jan 11 Guelph at Waterloo
Jan 11 Toronto at Ryerson
Jan 12 Brock at Ryerson
Jan 12 Carleton at Laurentian
Jan 12 Lakehead at York
Jan 12 Laurier at Windsor
Jan 12 Ottawa at Nipissing
Jan 12 Queen's at McGill
Jan 12 U.O.I.T. at R.M.C.
Jan 12 U.Q.T.R. at Concordia
Jan 12 Waterloo at W. Ontario
Jan 13 Carleton at Nipissing
Jan 13 Lakehead at Guelph
Jan 13 Laurier at Windsor
Jan 13 Ottawa at Laurentian
Jan 13 Queen's at Concordia
Jan 13 U.O.I.T. at R.M.C.
Jan 13 W. Ontario at York
Jan 14 Brock at Toronto

 

ATLANTIC

Jan 07 Dalhousie 0 New Brunswick 3
Jan 10 Moncton 5 Saint Mary's 8
Jan 12 New Brunswick at Dalhousie
Jan 12 Saint Mary's at Acadia
Jan 12 U.P.E.I. at St. F.X.
Jan 13 Acadia at Moncton
Jan 13 New Brunswick at St. F.X.
Jan 13 U.P.E.I. at Dalhousie

 


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Supplementary Preview

A fair bit of new links have been added in the last 24 hours. Here they are!

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Both the Bisons and Mutts have added weekend links. Sask also has a 5-page pdf download available. The CW used to put out a large pdf each week, which served as a great program along with the lineup cards they pass out at the gate.

The story in The Manitoban is on former Bison player and coach Barry Trotz and his NHL success.

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ELSEWHERE

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Regina's preview was linked in the preview post, and now UBC has their preview posted as well.

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In the Town of Bedrock they have now posted their series preview story.

OUT EAST

ONTARIO

Jan 11 Guelph 5 Waterloo 2
Jan 11 Toronto 5 Ryerson 7

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Jan 12: Bisons Lose in Saskatown

 

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MANITOBA BISONS 2
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 6

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It is late and I don't have time to say too much about Friday night's activities. I managed to see this one on CanadaWest.tv. The game was closer than the score. The Bison line-up was the same as for the Alberta series, i.e. Brett Stovin was on defence.

 

Here are the scorers:

1st – 00:51 – Sask Parker Thomas (5)
1st – 18:31 – Sask Carson Stadnyk (4)
2nd - 01:03 – Man Remi Laurencelle (3) (PP)
2nd – 08:11 – Man Adam Henry (5)
2nd – 10:55 – Sask John Lawrence (6)
3rd – 02:58 – Sask Jordan Tkatch (3)
3rd – 10:21 – Sask Josh Roach (10)
3rd – 18:54 – Sask Michael Sofillas (7) (EN)

 

Saturday's rematch goes at 7:00 CST and is available on CanadaWest.tv.

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

ubc-wo-birds-50x50.jpgRegina-50x50.jpg
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 3
REGINA COUGARS 1

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This one was as tight as I thought it would be. The last goal was into an empty net. Austin Vetterl scored twice for the Birds and Mark Hewitt got the win. Dawson MacAuley took the loss. Shots were dead even at 28-28.

 

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LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 3
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 5

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This was another one with an empty-netter at the end. The shots were also very close here, 28-27 in favour of the Bluegars. Cam Lanigan got the win and Garret Hughson took the loss. The rematch on Saturday shifts to Lethbridge.

 

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CALGARY DINOSAURS 2
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 5

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Bedrock U waltzed into Edmontown and got off to a 2-0 lead. But then they collapsed and the Evil Monkeys won it going away. Steven Owre had a hat-trick, Brendan Burke got the win, and Jordan Papirny got the loss. Each goaltender had 26 saves. Ryan Sheen was back in the Dinos' line-up. How's that?

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Brock 2 Ryerson 1
Carleton 9 Laurentian 6
Lakehead 4 York 5 (SO)
Laurier 3 Windsor 2 (OT)
Ottawa 4 Nipissing 2
Queen's 0 McGill 3
U.O.I.T. 3 R.M.C. 2
U.Q.T.R. 4 Concordia 2
Waterloo v Western Ontario - ppd

 

Atlantic
New Brunswick 6 Dalhousie 3
Saint Mary's 2 Acadia 6
U.P.E.I. 2 St. F.X. 5

 

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Jan 13: Bisons Swept

 

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MANITOBA BISONS 1
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 4

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The Bisons needed a sweep to turn their faint hope of a top-2 finish into a possibility. Instead, the sweep leaves them safely perched in 3rd, which is where they now hope to finish.

In roster notes, Nick Zajac was scratched and the Bisons played with 19, as did Saskatchewan. Also, Justin Paulic dressed as backup goaltender for the first time this season.

 

Here are the scorers:

1st 02:42 – Sask Collin Shirley (5)
1st 19:31 – Sask Michael Sofillas (8)
3rd 10:10 – Man Blake Heinrich (2)
3rd 18:21 – Sask Jesse Forsberg (5) (PP)
3rd 19:15 – Sask Parker Thomas (6) (EN)

 

The first period was end-to-end action (shots 17-12 for Sask, likely a season high). Sask's late goal somewhat distorted the flow of play.

 

The second, in contrast, was more like a playoff game. The shots were a more normal 10-8 for Sask.

The Bisons came out in the 3rd period full of vigour but had a hard time generating shots until Heinrich scored on a delayed penalty call. Eventually, a late powerplay goal, followed by an empty-netter, led to an inflated scoreboard.

 

Justin Augert had 8 minutes in minor penalties, which really hurt. The 3rd Mutt goal came on one of those powerplays.

 

The final shots were 43-25 for Sask. Jordon Cooke replaced Taran Kozun in goal for the Banjo Mutts to get the win, and Byron Spriggs took the loss.

 

The announcers on CanadaWest.tv stated that the new rink in Saskatown is not expected to be ready until January 2019. So the Bisons might have a playoff series AND a 2018-19 regular season series back at the Rutherdump. When a high shot prompted a whistle, they were also wondering if any rust fell to the ice. Rutherdump, indeed.

 

On the positive side, the Bisons get to leave Banjoland. Their team bus can leave any roadkill for the locals.

 

For the next two weeks the Bisons will face nothing but Cougars. They are off to M.R.U. next weekend, to stave off their challenge for 3rd place, then return home on January 26-27 when Regina comes for a visit.

 

180113-_US-_UM-_Spriggs.jpg

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

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U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 3
REGINA COUGARS 1

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The T-irds were lucky to get two big losses turned into wins due to forfeiture, but they have capitalized by gaining a split last weekend and a sweep this weekend in Regina. The score was one-sided but the shots were level at 33-33. (Oddly, the shots were 28-28 on Friday.) Mark Hewitt got his 2nd win of weekend. The Banjo Cats started Michael Herringer, but he was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 23 shots through two periods. Dawson MacAuley finished the game. No word on whether an old lady with an umbrella went nuts when the Tweety-Birds thought they saw a Puddy Tat.

 

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MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 2
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 1
(in overtime)
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After watching the Bisons, then catching the end of the Dinos-Monkeys, I tuned into this one. It was a playoff-like atmosphere, as well it should be. There was no scoring until almost 13 minutes into the 3rd period, when the Bluegars took the lead. Cam Lanigan (with 35 stops) won the goaltenders' duel over Garret Hughson (with 42 stops).

 

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ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 3
CALGARY DINOSAURS 5

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This looked like a runaway for Bedrock, as they rolled to a 4-1 lead in the 1st period. But a healthy dose of bananas during intermission must have been found because the Evil Monkeys cam roaring back to make it a nail-biter. The Monkeys pulled starter Zach Sawchenko after the 3rd goal (on 8 shots), but Brendan Burke gave up one goal on 23 shots for the loss. The Dinos continued their goaltender rotation, going with Matthew Greenfield who won with 23 saves on 26 shots.

 

STANDINGS

 

180113-standings-_CW.jpg

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Jan 13 Carleton 3 Nipissing 4 (ot)
Jan 13 Lakehead 1 Guelph 5
Jan 13 Laurier 7 Windsor 2
Jan 13 Ottawa 4 Laurentian 3 (ot)
Jan 13 Queen's 2 Concordia 4
Jan 13 U.O.I.T. 4 R.M.C. 1
Jan 13 W. Ontario 3 York 1

 

Atlantic
Jan 13 Acadia 4 Moncton 2
Jan 13 New Brunswick 2 St. F.X. 1 (so)
Jan 13 U.P.E.I. 1 Dalhousie 4

 

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NEXT UP

Canada West
Jan 19 Calgary at Saskatchewan
Jan 19 Lethbridge at U.B.C.
Jan 19 Manitoba at Mount Royal
Jan 19 Regina at Alberta

 

Ontario
Jan 14 Brock at Toronto
Jan 17 Queen's at R.M.C.    
Jan 18 Laurier at Guelph      

 

Atlantic
Jan 17 Dalhousie at St. F.X.            

 

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Preview: Jan 19-20: Manitoba at Mount Royal

 

Manitoba-box-head-r-50x50.jpgMount_Royal-box-2017-50x50.jpg
MANITOBA BISONS (11-7-2, 15-11-3, OHT35 #8)
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (10-9-1, 11-11-1, OHT35 #14)

Jan 19 7:00 MST/8:00 CST at Flames Community Arena
Jan 20 3:00 MST/4:00 CST at Flames Community Arena

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Oct 27: UofM 4 MRU 1: [

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The Bisons are sitting in 3rd place and hold a three point lead over the Bluegars, who sit tied for 4th. So with just 8 games remaining, this is a pivotal series. After this, the Bisons have only one more road series, also in Calgary, against the Dinos. Their only home series are against Regina and Lethbridge. My guess is that with 8 points in those 8 games they would coast into 3rd.

MRU is on a 4-game winning streak, against Regina and Lethbridge. They are 0-8-0 against the top 3. If they can't pilfer at least the odd win here and there against those teams, they may tumble out of 4th or even 5th.

 

Under the heading “players to watch”, the Bluegars have two players in the Top 20: Brad Kennedy (12-7-19, leading the league in goals), and Jesse Lees (8-11-19, including a 4-goal game). They have three more in the Top 40, namely Jamal Watson (5-11-16), Connor Rankin (6-9-15), and Luke Simpson (5-10-15).

 

No team has spread goaltending time quite like the Bluegars. Veteran backup Cam Lanigan (7-5-0, 2.40 GAA, .918 S%) has emerged as the presumptive starter. At the start, that role went to Colin Cooper (3-2-0, 2.92 GAA, .824 S%).

 

The Bisons continue to be led by their top line, Michael St. Croix ((7-17-24), Zach Franko (5-13-18), and Kamerin Nault (10-7-17), are all in the Top 20. So too is defenceman Adam Henry (5-14-19). In the nets, Byron Spriggs has been excellent at times, and decent at others. He has seen more rubber than Paris Hilton, leading the CW in shots faced (603) and saves (547). In the past two series the Bisons had just four healthy defencemen (Henry, Lucas Skrumeda, Sean Christensen, and Blake Heinrich), and captain Brett Stovin has filled in admirably. The Bisons need some healthy bodies to come back in time for the playoffs.

 

ELSEWHERE

 

Lethbridge-box.jpgUBC-box-logo-50x50.jpg
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (7-11-2, 8-10-2*, 11-16-2, OHT35 #22)
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (8-11-1, 10-9-1*, 11-12-1, OHT35 #23)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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The T-irds are holding their “Winter Classic” with this series. It is a ratings winner, as a sellout crowd of 5,500 is anticipated. The Hørny Ønes have been pipped at the wire by the T-irds in each of the last two seasons in their seemingly perpetual battle for the CW's final playoff berth. A year ago things were looking good for the 'Horns. They finished the first semester by sweeping Regina just before Christmas. In their head-to-head battle with UBC, they swept them. But against the rest of the conference they were a miserable 1-9. UBC, on the other hand, closed with splits against Calgary, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, before their losses to Lethbridge, then closed by sweeping both sets of Cougars. All told, UBC had 27 points and Lethbridge just 25. Two years ago, things were very similar. Lethbridge swept their final series with UBC (by 4-1), yet were pipped 26-24 on season points. The reason? Lethbridge closed 3-9 against everybody else. With a 3-point deficit, Lethbridge must win this series to catch UBC. If they fail, they could have troubles hanging on to a playoff berth.

 

Calgary-box-2013-50x50.jpgSask-box-whitelogo-50x50.gif
CALGARY DINOS (9-6-5, 6-11-3*, 15-8-6, OHT35 #13)
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (16-3-1, 17-6-1, OHT35 #4)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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At the start of the season, it was anticipated that this series would be a key matchup in the race for a semi-final berth. But with a slumping oil industry, Bedrock U's team bus has to be powered by the players feet and that has dragged them down. Throw in 8 forfeited points from their first 6 games, and they go from making a challenge to the Bisons for 3rd to a desperation bid for a playoff berth. They sit 3 points in arrears of Lethbridge, and must at least match what they do against UBC. Those 6 point gaps between Bedrock and UBC/MRU seem a mountain too high. Saskatchewan does not worry about mountains. They have now drawn level with Alberta in the race for 1st place. So while there is not even a hint of a race between these opponents, they both have a lot of incentives in this one.

 

Regina-box-50x50.gifalberta-box-50x50.jpg
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (16-3-1, 23-4-1, OHT35 #3)
REGINA COUGARS (3-15-2, 5-19-2, OHT35 #33)

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The Evil Monkeys once had an aura of invincibility. Then they were swept by the Bisons and split with the Dinos. They are still tied for 1st. Are the Banjo Cats the ultimate cure for a slump?

 

OUT EAST

 

ONTARIO
Jan 17 Concordia 6 U.Q.T.R. 8 (from Jan 20)
Jan 17 Queen's 5 R.M.C. 2
Jan 17 Windsor 3 Waterloo 6
Jan 18 Laurier 0 Guelph 5
Jan 19 Carleton at McGill     
Jan 19 Guelph at Brock
Jan 19 Nipissing at Queen's
Jan 19 W. Ontario at Lakehead
Jan 19 Windsor at Toronto         
Jan 19 York at Ryerson    
Jan 20 Brock at York          
Jan 20 Laurentian at Queen's
Jan 20 Nipissing at U.O.I.T.      
Jan 20 Ottawa at McGill         
Jan 20 Ryerson at Toronto      
Jan 20 Waterloo at Laurier
Jan 20 W. Ontario at Lakehead     
Jan 21 Concordia at Ottawa      
Jan 21 Laurentian at U.O.I.T.
Jan 21 U.Q.T.R. at Carleton      

 

Exhibition - West Point Weekend
Jan 20 Army at R.M.C.

 

ATLANTIC
Jan 17 Dalhousie 0 St. F.X. 3
Jan 19 Acadia at U.P.E.I.            
Jan 19 Moncton at Dalhousie            
Jan 19 Saint Mary's at New Brunswick
Jan 20 Acadia at New Brunswick
Jan 20 Moncton at St. F.X.
Jan 20 Saint Mary's at U.P.E.I.

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Jan 19: Bluegars Beat Bisons

 

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MANITOBA BISONS 3
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 4

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The Bisons lost a hard-fought game in Calgary. They were leading or tied all night until the Bluegars’ late winner. Here were the scorers:

 

1st 10:19 - Man Quintin Lisoway (6)
2nd 04:52 - Man Remi Laurencelle (4)
2nd 07:20 - MRU Tanner Olstad (6)
2nd 07:32 - MRU Jamal Watson (6)
2nd 08:41 - Man Brad Bowles (2)
3rd 06:24 - MRU Jesse Lees (9)
3rd 17:39 - MRU Jesse Lees (10)

 

The Bisons took control of the game in the 1st period, but MRU controlled the 2nd. Jesse Lees is on a roll for MRU, having a four-goal game already this semester.

 

Cam Lanigan got the win in the MRU goal, and Byron Spriggs took the loss. MRU held a 35-29 edge in shots on goal.

 

The Bisons dressed just 19 players. Dasan Sidora returned to the backup goaltender role, and Geordie Keane suited up for just the 3rd time in the regular season.  With only 4 defencemen, Brett Stovin once again played on the blueline. The return of Remi Laurencelle (now has 4 goals in 7 games) helps compensate for the loss of Stovin up front.

 

The win draws MRU within just one point of the Bisons in the race for 3rd place.

The rematch goes at 4:00 CST on Saturday and is available on CanadaWest.tv.

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

Calgary-2013-50x50.jpgSask-green-50x50.jpg
CALGARY DINOSAURS 1
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 4

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Bedrock U needs a big winning streak to salvage a playoff berth, and a decisive loss in Saskatown was not on their agenda. There was a lot of offence (42-38 shots in favour of the Mutts). Jordon Cooke got the win, and Jordan Papirny the loss.  For the Dinos, that 8 point gap between them and the Top Five makes it pretty clear that their sites have to be set on Lethbridge (a 3 point gap).

 

Regina-50x50.jpgAlberta-50px.jpg
REGINA COUGARS 3
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 9

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My speculation proved correct. After losing 3-of-4, the Evil Monkeys came out to throttle the Kittens. The final shots were 50-18 in favour of Saudi Alberta, 19-3 in the 3rd! Jamie Crooks and Luke Philp each scored twice for Alberta and Brendan Burke got the win. Dawson MacAuley took the loss. Pitty the Kitties.

 

Lethbridge-50x50.jpg  ubc-wo-birds-50x50.jpg 
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 1
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 2

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I saw a good portion of this late game on the docket after the Bisons were done. It was about as even as possible (shots were 27-27) and the sell-out crowd of about 5,500 gave exceptional vocal support to the T-irds. Tyler Sandhu’s late game winner came on a bit of a lucky bounce. Meaning that the dark cloud which hovers over the Horned Ones continues to exist. Lethbridge remains clinging to 6th place, 3 points ahead of Calgary and 5 points behind UBC and MRU. A win in the rematch is badly needed. Matt Hewitt got the win, and Garret Hughson got the loss.

 

OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Jan 19 Carleton 0 McGill 4
Jan 19 Guelph 1 Brock 3
Jan 19 Nipissing 3 Queen's 4
Jan 19 W. Ontario 6 Lakehead 2
Jan 19 Windsor 1 Toronto 5
Jan 19 York 3 Ryerson 2

 

Note: UQTR has had a load of wins taken away due to the use of an illegal player. They are still 7-14-1 and in 8th place in the OUAE, which is still a playoff position. They are on a collision course with McGill in the opening round of playoffs!

 

Atlantic
Jan 19 Acadia 1 U.P.E.I. 5
Jan 19 Moncton 0 Dalhousie 4
Jan 19 Saint Mary's 2 New Brunswick 3

 

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Jan 20: Herd Gets the Split

 

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MANITOBA BISONS 1
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 0

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The Herd exits Stampede City with a split of a close-fought series, which in the end seems appropriate. This result brought to an end the Bluegars' 5-game winning streak, and the Bisons' 3-game losing streak. The result allows the Bisons to hold onto 3rd place and strengthens the likelihood that they will host a quarter-final series the weekend of February 16-18.

 

The story of the game was Byron Spriggs' 36 save shutout performance, and Michael St. Croix's 8th goal of the season. Cam Lanigan took a hard loss for MRU, stopping 27 shots in his own right.

 

The Bisons iced the same line-up as on Friday night, meaning they were one man short and Brett Stovin was on the blueline.

 

The Bisons are at home for the next two weekends, facing Regina on January 26-27 and Lethbridge on February 2-3, before closing the regular season against the Bedrock Dinos on February 9-10.

 

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

Calgary-2013-50x50.jpgSask-green-50x50.jpg
CALGARY DINOSAURS 0
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 2

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Jordon Cooke recorded his 10th CW shutout by making 40 saves to pace the Mutts to a sweep of the Dinos. Matthew Greenfield stopped 24 of 26 shots at his end in taking the loss. The CW's leading scorer, Josh Roach, kept atop the scoring race with another goal. This is a tough loss for Bedrock U. After their points forfeiture they experienced a disappointing 3-point split with UBC, a satisfactory split with Alberta, and now this. Their realistic target for a playoff berth is Lethbridge, who they trail by 4 points.

 

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REGINA COUGARS 2
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4

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The Evil Monkeys punished rookie goaltender Brandon Holtby with 53 shots in his CW debut performance. According to their game story, that's 35 straight wins over Regina. Stephane Legault scored twice for the Monkeys. Zach Sawchenko stopped 18 shots for the win. It appears that the Kittens' rookie goaltender Michael Herringer is suffering from shell shock. He was the starter coming out of camp and was looking strong. But he did not dress in this series and his numbers have hit the skids (3-10-0, .854 S%, 5.19 GAA). Regina was also missing another rookie, Zak Zborosky, who also happens to be their leading scorer (9-13-22 in 18 games). Pitty the Kitties.

 

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LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 3
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 4
(in overtime)

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The T-irds have made the most of the four-point freebie they got from forfeitures and now seem a cinch for a playoff berth. There was seemingly a ton of offence in thuis matinee encounter. The final shots were 47-42 in favour of the Hørny Ønes. Three times, Lethbridge took the lead, and three times UBC tied it up, the last time with an empty net in the last minute. Matt Revel had two goals for UBC and Nick Buonassisi notched the winner. Matt Hewitt stopped 44 of 47 for the win, and Garret Hughson stopped 38 of 42 in the loss.

 

STANDINGS

 

CW_standings_2018-01-20.jpg

 

OUT EAST

 

US-_Army-50x50.jpg  RMC-patch-50x50.jpg 
ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS 5
R.M.C. PALADINS 0

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This game gets bonus coverage because it is an international annual event. Check out the RMC tweets if you have a sense of humour. On the anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, it was virtually impossible for the West Pointers to lose. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.

180120-_RMC-_Army.jpg

 

Ontario
Jan 20 Brock 0 York 3
Jan 20 Laurentian 0 Queen's 4
Jan 20 Nipissing 0 U.O.I.T. 3
Jan 20 Ottawa 4 McGill 3 (ot)
Jan 20 Ryerson 3 Toronto 4
Jan 20 Waterloo 5 Laurier 4 (so)
Jan 20 W. Ontario 3 Lakehead 2 (ot)

 

Atlantic
Jan 20 Acadia 0 New Brunswick 6
Jan 20 Moncton 1 St. F.X. 5
Jan 20 Saint Mary's 5 U.P.E.I. 2

 

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UP NEXT

 

Canada West
Jan 25 Calgary at Mount Royal            
Jan 26 Alberta at Lethbridge            
Jan 26 Mount Royal at Calgary            
Jan 26 Regina at Manitoba            
Jan 26 Saskatchewan at U.B.C.          

 

Ontario
Jan 21 Concordia at Ottawa      
Jan 21 Laurentian at U.O.I.T.
Jan 21 U.Q.T.R. at Carleton      
Jan 24 Ottawa at U.Q.T.R.          
Jan 25 Laurier at W. Ontario        
Jan 25 Ryerson at Brock     

 

Atlantic
Jan 24 Acadia at St. F.X.            
Jan 24 New Brunswick at U.P.E.I.            
Jan 24 Saint Mary's at Dalhousie            

 

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Preview: Jan 26-27: Regina at Manitoba

 

Regina-box-50x50.gifManitoba-box-head-r-50x50.jpg
REGINA COUGARS (3-17-2, 5-21-2, OHT35 #29)
MANITOBA BISONS (12-8-2, 16-12-3, OHT35 #6)
Jan 26 7:00 CST at Wayne Fleming Arena
Jan 27 1:00 CST at Wayne Fleming Arena

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Prior Games:
Nov 10: UofM 6 UofR 1: [

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The home stretch is upon us. Each team has just a 6-pack of games left. Neither side in this series is in an uncommon position. The Bisons are trying to hang on to third place, and the Kittens are a distant last.

 

Playoffs are no longer even a pipe dream in the Land of Banjos (southern campus). I had thought they were looking like an improved side this year. And for a time they were. After their fall series against the Bisons, they had splits with Lethbridge and Calgary and two one-goal losses to Saskatchewan to end the first semester. It seemed they were positioned to play spoiler in the second semester. However, they have lost all 6 games so far and in each series had one close game and one blow-out. So they enter the weekend on an 8-game losing streak.

 

The Kittens generated some good vibes with a solid recruiting class. They recruited a leading scorer, Zak Zborosky (9-13-22), and a starting goaltender, Michael Herringer (3-10-0, 5.19 GAA, .854 S%). But Zborosky has missed the last 3 games with injury (not sure if he's playing this weekend) and Herringer's numbers have earned him a spot either on the bench or in the stands.

 

There are not a load of capable veterans on the Kittens' roster. Notable exceptions are 5th years Cody Fowlie (7-11-18) and Ian McNulty (5-11-16), each a point away from their career highs. Brody Luhning (1-14-15) is tied for 6th leading scoring defenceman in the CW.

 

What makes me wonder about the Bisons right now is the situation on defence. Will Brett Stovin continue to be one of five defenceman? Or will one or more of Channing Brseciani, Austin Douglas, or Victor Sharonov suit up? Up front, they have had an abundance of players. However, Kamerin Nault and Nick Zajac both missed last weekend. Shawn Bowles hasn't played since early November and Jonah Wasylak hasn't played since pre-season. Add it up, and just 19 players dressed against MRU.

 

As always, both games are on

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ELSEWHERE

 

Calgary-box-2013-50x50.jpgMount_Royal-box-2017-50x50.jpg
CALGARY DINOS (9-8-5, 6-13-3*, 15-10-6, OHT35 #13)
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (11-10-1, 12-12-1, OHT35 #14)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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This series will go on a Thursday-Friday schedule because it is the annual Crowchild Classic game, at the Saddledome. They always draw a massive crowd for this game, and this year's game is sold out. The CW standings are in a state of turmoil due to the forfeitures by Bedrock U. Some of the league's standings links have the new results, and some do not. If not for the forfeitures, these teams would be tied for 4th and 5th places, 3 points back of the Bisons. Instead, though not involved in the forfeitures, the Bluegars fall behind UBC into 5th place and Bedrock U falls to 7th, 4 points out of a playoff spot. Rivalry games like these can be unpredictable. But in all honesty, this series would be a toss-up under any circumstances. The Dinos were widely held out as a potential contender entering the season, due to a powerful recruiting class, but they may need to “run the table” to avoid missing the playoffs.

 

alberta-box-50x50.jpgLethbridge-box.jpg
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (18-3-1, 25-4-1, OHT35 #4)
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (7-12-3, 8-11-3*, 11-17-3, OHT35 #23)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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The Hørny Ønes likely have a lot of people wishing them well in their quest to make the playoffs. They haven't been in the post-season since 2009. After that they had 3 seasons of placing either 5th or 6th, but the CW cut the playoff field from 6 to 4 teams in those seasons. Then came 3 seasons of dead last. The last two seasons were narrow misses, so they are due. To add sadness to this tale, they have not won a playoff series since they won the U-Cup in 1994. Meanwhile, the Evil Monkeys have been a nation-wide power. So if you're rooting for the Apes in this one you are either (a) a monkey; (b) a fan of the Bedrock Dinos; or (c) a jerk.

 

Sask-box-whitelogo-50x50.gifUBC-box-logo-50x50.jpg
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (18-3-1, 19-6-1, OHT35 #3)
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (10-11-1, 12-9-1*, 13-12-1, OHT35 #16)
(*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

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The T-irds grabbed a break by having two severe losses against the Dinos turned into victories. But they have also responded with sound performances in the 2nd semester, going 5-1-0. That will not impress the Banjo Mutts. They, too, are 5-1-0 in the 2nd semester. And they finished the 1st semester with 5 straight wins. So while the T-irds have capitalized on their good fortune, they close the season with three opponents against whom they were winless in the 1st semester (MRU and Alberta are next).

 

OUT EAST

 

ONTARIO
Jan 21 Concordia 4 Ottawa 3 (ot)
Jan 21 Laurentian 3 U.O.I.T. 2
Jan 21 U.Q.T.R. 2 Carleton 4
Jan 24 Ottawa 3 U.Q.T.R. 6
Jan 25 Laurier at W. Ontario
Jan 25 Ryerson at Brock
Jan 26 Concordia at Carleton
Jan 26 Guelph at Toronto
Jan 26 R.M.C. at Laurentian
Jan 26 U.O.I.T. at Nipissing
Jan 26 Waterloo at Windsor
Jan 26 York at Lakehead
Jan 27 Brock at W. Ontario
Jan 27 Carleton at McGill
Jan 27 Concordia at U.O.I.T.
Jan 27 Guelph at Laurier
Jan 27 Queen's at Laurentian
Jan 27 R.M.C. at Nipissing
Jan 27 Ryerson at Toronto
Jan 27 U.Q.T.R. at Ottawa
Jan 27 Waterloo at Windsor
Jan 27 York at Lakehead

 

ATLANTIC
Jan 24 Acadia 1 St. F.X. 4
Jan 24 New Brunswick 2 U.P.E.I. 3
Jan 24 Saint Mary's 2 Dalhousie 4
Jan 26 U.P.E.I. at Moncton
Jan 26 St. F.X. at Saint Mary's
Jan 27 Acadia at Dalhousie
Jan 27 Moncton at New Brunswick

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SUPPLEMENTARY PREVIEW

 

There are some additional Regina and Manitoba links for a supplementary preview. Then comes the material on the early start to the weekend.

 

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The Bisons have posted a series preview blurb, and they have a link for tickets to the fundraiser dinner on January 31st. There was nothing new on the Regina site, but the CW did an Alumni Spotlight on former goalie Darren Wilcox, complete with a 1980s era team photo.

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OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

 

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CALGARY DINOSAURS 6
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 5
(in overtime)
 
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The CW weekend got off to an early start as the Bedrock Dinos played the Mount Royal Bluegars in the annual Crowchild Classic before a large crowd of boisterous fans at the Saddledome. It was a wild and crazy affair. Tied 2-2 after two periods, neither goalie could stop anything in the 3rd period. The Dinos scored on 3 of 8 shots on Cam Lanigan, and the Bluegars scored 3 goals on 7 shots on Matthew Greenfield. The game also had wild swings in scoring. The Dinos led 2-0, then fell behind 3-2. They regained a 4-3 lead, then the Bluegars regained a 5-4 lead. Despite the onslaught of goals, Jamie King of MRU was the only one to score twice. It seems that overtime is becoming a regular feature of these games. The rematch goes Friday night at Bedrock.

 

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OUT EAST

 

Ontario
Jan 25 Laurier 2 W. Ontario 6
Jan 25 Ryerson 4 Brock 3 (ot)

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Jan 26: Bisons Win a Wild One

[IMG][IMG]
REGINA COUGARS 6
MANITOBA BISONS 8


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What a crazy game this was. The game had a raucous crowd of needy youth, mostly disabled and lots in wheelchairs. It was nice to see these kids getting a night out. But the teams often forgot to play as their coaches wanted, which was entertaining and frustrating all at once.

The best news was that three injured players were back in the lineup (Channing Bresciani, Nick Zajac, and Kamerin Nault), and goaltender Justin Paulic hit the ice for the first time. Here's how the teams lined up:

MANITOBA

Goal
35 Spriggs (1st period) – 1 Paulic (3rd period)

Defence
2 Henry – 25 Skrumeda
16 Heinrich – 4 Bresciani
3 Christensen

Forwards
27 Franko – 14 Nault – 18 St. Croix
12 Zajac – 13 Laurencelle – 28 Stovin
8 Bilton – 21 Brooks – 24 Augert
26 Lisoway – 23 Schreyer – 22 B Bowles – 17 Callis

Scratches
9 Douglas – 11 Sharonov – 15 S Bowles
19 Spencer – 20 Keane – 29 Wasylak
34 Sydora

REGINA

Goal
31 MacAuley (35 Herringer)

Defence
8 Bourhis – 4 Schacher – 25 Nagel
7 King – 18 Luhning
28 Peel – 5 Burns

Forwards
21 Langford – 13 Frei – 17 Kosloski
20 Duperreault – 12 Stevely – 27 Fowlie – 14 McNulty
22 Sparrow – 16 McPhee – 15 Hansen – 29 Predinchuk

Scratches
2 Bear – 10 Coleshaw – 19 Marr
23 Magnus – 30 Holtby – 32 Zborosky

So with Bresciani returning, captain Brett Stovin returned to the forward lines as the team stuck with the five defencemen rotation they have used most of the season, along with a 4th line which rotates 4 players. Regina had 8 players listed as defencemen in their lineup, 7 of whom played there. That left 11 forwards, and they largely interchanged. I listed them in the three groupings in which they typically played. And here's who scored:

1st 03:00 – Reg Ben Duperreault (4)
1st 07:07 – Man Blake Heinrich (3)
1st 11:12 – Man Michael St. Croix (9)
1st 11:47 – Man Liam Bilton (5)
1st 13:28 – Man Liam Bilton (6) (SH)
2nd 05:23 – Reg Landon Peel (2)
2nd 10:15 – Man Quintin Lisoway (8)
2nd 12:29 – Man Brad Bowles (2) (PP)
2nd 13:18 – Man Brett Brooks (6)
2nd 15:52 – Reg Jordan Burns (2)
3rd 06:17 – Reg Zach McPhee (5)
3rd 14:22 – Reg Landon Peel (3)
3rd 18:19 – Man Quintin Lisoway (9) (PP)
3rd 18:37 – Reg Stephen Langford (2)

Byron Spriggs got the win with 16 saves on 19 shots, and Paulic's relief appearance saw him stop 4 of 7 shots. Dawson MacAuley took the loss with 27 stops on 35 shots. Now those save percentages are not impressive. However, the Bison forwards pushed aside the Kittens' defence at will and, once they had amassed the lead, they played out of position and were caught going forward before they had accomplished a clearance of their zone.

The most positive aspect of the game was that 7 of the 8 goals came from the 3rd and 4th lines. Since they were ahead by 3 goals most of the game, they were able to dole out generous ice time to everybody.

Saturday's rematch goes at 1:00 p.m.

[IMG]

[IMG]

OUT-OF-TOWN SCOREBOARD

[IMG][IMG]
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 8
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS 1


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The Hørny Ønes came up with a stinker here, and it looks like they are headed to another late season slide from the playoffs. Too bad. Jamie Crooks (with his 5th and 16th) and Steven Owre (with his 11th and 12th) led the Evil Monkeys with their combined 4 goals. Brendan Burke stopped 27 of 28 shots for the win, and Garret Hughson stopped 29 of 34 in 35 minutes to suffer defeat. Ty Edmonds came on in relief to stop 9 of 12.

[IMG][IMG]
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS 2
CALGARY DINOSAURS 4


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In the Town of Bedrock, everybody dressed in red is shouting Yabba Dabba Doo! They got a must-needed sweep to keep their playoff hopes alive. The teams each had two powerplay goals when Cain Franson scored the only even-strength goal of the night to get the win. That's two game-winners in two days for him. An empty-netter put the game away. Jordan Papirny stopped 25 of 27 shots for the win. After riding veteran Cam Lanigan, the Bluegars never dressed him. Wyatt Hoflin stopped 18 of 21 shots to take the loss, and former starter Colin Cooper was the backup.

[IMG][IMG]
SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 1
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS 5


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How do you outshoot a team 41-18 and lose 5-1? Well, the Banjo Mutts found a way to do just that Friday night in British California. Matt Hewitt stopped 40 of 41 for the win, and Jordon Cooke had an off night with 13 stops on 17 shots. Michael Stenerson had his 10th and 11th goals of the season, the latter into an empty net, to lead the way for the T-irds. Catching a break with a pair of forfeited losses by the Dinos has seemingly sparked the T-irds.

STANDINGS

[IMG]

OUT EAST

Ontario
Jan 26 Concordia 2 Carleton 4
Jan 26 Guelph 5 Toronto 4
Jan 26 R.M.C. 3 Laurentian 4 (ot)
Jan 26 U.O.I.T. 2 Nipissing 3
Jan 26 Waterloo 4 Windsor 7
Jan 26 York 5 Lakehead 4 (ot)

Atlantic
Jan 26 U.P.E.I. 4 Moncton 1
Jan 26 St. F.X. 3 Saint Mary's 2 (ot)

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NEXT UP

Canada West
Jan 27 Alberta at Lethbridge
Jan 27 Regina at Manitoba
Jan 27 Saskatchewan at U.B.C.

Atlantic
Jan 27 Acadia at Dalhousie
Jan 27 Moncton at New Brunswick

Ontario
Jan 27 Brock at W. Ontario
Jan 27 Carleton at McGill
Jan 27 Concordia at U.O.I.T.
Jan 27 Guelph at Laurier
Jan 27 Queen's at Laurentian
Jan 27 R.M.C. at Nipissing
Jan 27 Ryerson at Toronto
Jan 27 U.Q.T.R. at Ottawa
Jan 27 Waterloo at Windsor
Jan 27 York at Lakehead

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