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Hollywood

2019-20 Manitoba Bisons/USports Thread

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U-SPORTS/CIS BOOKMARKS

 

The Bisons are off to a much faster start with recruiting news than last year, so time to start the 2019-20 thread! Hopefully last years health issues are behind me so I can keep on top of my favourite hobby this season.

 

As usual, the opening post has the links needed to follow USports/CIS hockey. The next one will have the news.

 

League Sites:

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Canada West Team Sites:

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OUA-West Team Sites:

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RSEQ (OUA-East) Team Sites:

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ACAC Team Sites:

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- joining the CW in 2020-21

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BCIHL Team Sites:

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- AUS

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(includes Manitoba)

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Canada West stats and data:

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Stats:

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- 2009-10 to 2019-20

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- 2009-10 to 2019-20

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- 2010 to 2020

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Note: The 2019-20 links may not yet be active on some sites.

Edited by Hollywood

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May 12: Recruits, Renovations, and Expansion

 

CW-2017-ManitobaBanner-200x125.jpg

RECRUITS

 

The Bisons have announced five recruits who, when combined with last year's red shirt and post-Christmas acquisitions, cover most of the team's pressing needs for the upcoming season. Of the eight players profiled, seven are from every corner of Sunny Manitoba. One more solid major junior goal-scorer would be nice! Here are the details:

 

Brady Pouteau - D - Regina Pats (WHL)

Pouteau fits what was once the prototype for a Bison recruit: A local boy (from Oak Bank, BTW) who went off to play in the WHL, wore a letter, and is coming back home to go to school. He is 6'3" and 203 lbs and plays some physical D. That was one big item on the Bison shopping list. He played five years in the Dub, in Regina, Lethbridge, and back to Regina for their Memorial Cup run. Of great local interest is that the Pats gave him the Rick Rypien Memorial Award. Rypien was the captain of the Pats and, though undrafted, was recruited to the Manitoba Moose where he established himself as a legit prospect and was offered a 2-way deal by the Vancouver Canucks. When the Jets were revived, he was signed by the team but unfortunately took his own life whilst suffering from depression before training camp.

 

Links:
➤ GoBisons.ca:

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➤ ChrisD.ca:

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➤ Regina Leader-Post:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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Riley Lamb - G - Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

Lamb, from Rivers, is coming home. He finished his WHL career with Swift Current, but started with Red Deer. He had two years with Red Deer (2016-17 and 2017-18) before heading to the SJHL in 2018-19 for his "overage" year. After stints in Weyburn and Yorkton, he was added by Swift Current for their late-season drive. His numbers are solid (just over .900 save % the last three years). After the departure of the three goaltenders the Herd has had in recent years (Byron Spriggs, Justin Paulic, and Dasan Sydora) they needed somebody to partner with last year's redshirt, Tyler Brown (also a WHL grad). I expect them to add a local recruit from the MJHL or even MMJHL to act as a #3.

 

Links:
➤ GoBisons.ca:

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➤ CHL:

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Matthew Stanley - D - Swift Current Broncos (WHL), Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL)

Stanley is from Balmoral and is another sizeable country boy on D, just what the Bisons need. In 2015-16 he started his career with Steinbach in the MJHL. He then spent three seasons in the WHL, from Swift Current to Lethbridge then back again. Last year was his "overage" year and Swift Current picked him up after Lethbridge let him go. He also had a cup-of-coffee with Jacksonville at the end of 2019. If only they had fighting in the CW! The Bisons have more than their share of capable pugilists.

 

Links:
➤ GoBisons.ca:

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Tony Apetagon - F - Winnipeg Blues / OCN Blizzard (MJHL)

Brian Harris - F - Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) / Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

 

The Bisons had a joint press release for these two MJHL forwards.

 

Apetagon is a 6'2" forward from Norway House. It is tough to come up through the ranks up north. Distances are long and travel is rough. In 2016-17 he started with the OCN Storm (Junior B), then in 2017-18 he went to the OCN Blizzard (Junior A). Last year he was OCN's captain but was traded to the Blues late for their playoff run. He finished 3rd in league scoring (29-45-74 in 59 games) and was on the 1st all-star team. He was also

OCN's captain.

 

Harris is a 6' 1" forward from Wawanesa. He helped lead Swan within a game of their first-ever MJHL title. Last year he was 16-36-52 in 59 regular season games, and 4-11-15 in 17 playoff games. The linked YouTube video shows he can throw 'em like a good old Manitoba boy!

 

Links:
➤ GoBisons.ca:

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In addition to the five recruits, the Bisons have a redshirt and two post-Christmas recruits of note from 2018-19.

 

Tyler Brown - G - Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

Last year Brown was a redshirt after having surgery in the off-season. Reports at the time had him coming to the team in the new year, but that never happened.

 

Links:
➤ Eliteprospects.com:

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Ryan Carlson - D - Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets (NCAA) / Steinbach Pistons (MJHL)

Carlson is a Minnesota boy but played three seasons for Steinbach in the MJHL from 2014-15 to 2016-17. He then played a season and a half down south before transferring at Christmas last year. He is 6'3" but not very physical. He does handle the puck well, though. He was one of those guys who was better than expected. He was on the NCAA Scholastic Honour (or Honor as they say) Roll!

 

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Colton Veloso - F - Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL)/Kootenay Ice (WHL)

Veloso is a Winnipeg boy who left Steinbach and went far west to play for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL in 2015. He wound up his WHL career with the Kootenay Ice (now the Winnipeg Ice), where he scored 25 goals in 2017-18. He went to play for the Jacksonville Icemen at the end of the 2018 season and then in 2018-19 he played until Christmas. He then came to the Bisons so he could cash in his WHL scholarships. He posted stats of 2-5-7 in 12 games.

 

Links:
➤ Eliteprospects.com:

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➤ Game On:

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RENOVATIONS

 

The Winnipeg Ice of the WHL will play their first two seasons at the Wayne Fleming Arena whilst their new arena is being built about a 15-20 minute drive from the U of M. We knew that renovations would be coming but the place is in for a massive face-lift. Highlights are:

- increased capacity from 1,400 to 1,600, with a balcony on the east side;
- party lounges are being installed;
- upgraded concessions;
- VIP lounge;
- video scoreboard;
- miscellaneous improvements to the media area, glass, boards, safety netting, dressing rooms, etc.

 

Here are some artist renderings:

 

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To orient yourself on the pictures, the seating is in a "C" shape, going behind both nets and on one side (the one with the penalty box). The nets are at the north and south ends and the seats are on the west side. The player benches are on the east side. The new loges are going on the east side.

 

Links:
➤ WHL:

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EXPANSION

 

Two new teams will be joining the CW in 2020-21. The Trinity Western Spartans will join from the BCIHL and the MacEwan Griffins will join from the ACAC.

 

This will bring the CW up to 10 teams. However, the downside is that unless new schools join, the BCIHL will be down to four teams and the ACAC down to seven. So, seen globally, this would not improve the status of university/college hockey very much.

 

UQAM-50x50.jpgUQTR-2019-50x50.jpgUQC-50x50.jpg

 

However, there are rumours of significance coming from UQAM, of all places. They have never had a team before. They have a million dollar donation from the Molson's! Maybe the other UQ's can also have teams. UQTR has a new logo. Maybe UQAC can come back!

 

TRINITY WESTERN

 

Holy Trinity was a founding member of the BCIHL in 2005, operating a team known as the "Titans". In 2010-11 the hockey team was elevated to varsity status, and adopted the "Spartans" moniker, as used for their other varsity teams. They have finished first and won the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. They last an exhibition game to UBC 6-2 last September. Jeff Gamache (AD) had this to say in the link:

“I could not be happier for (TWU men’s hockey head coach) Barret Kropf, as without his dedication to hockey in general at TWU and his leadership and ability to build a team of people around both our men’s and women’s programs, this day would not be possible. We can now say with great certainty that TWU will be home to the leading Christian hockey program in the world. I have no doubt we will have players from literally all over the globe who want to join Spartan hockey because it will provide elite hockey players a place to explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a godly Christian leader. We understand how unique this opportunity is and we are excited to see many more young women and men use their God-given hockey talent on a team that loves each other and competes shoulder to shoulder in such a unique way within the hockey world.”

 

I suspect that TWU will be able to recruit on a continent-wide basis, which might compensate for them being at a disadvantage against UBC and other CW schools due to their strict code of conduct.

 

MACEWAN

 

The Peter Griffins had a prolonged period of mediocrity in the ACAC (5 straight seasons of quarter-final eliminations preceded by 3 straight years out of the playoffs), however they have now won three titles in a row. In all three seasons they finished second to NAIT in the regular season before rallying in the playoffs. MacEwan has only just begun to add non-conference games with the CW to their schedule. This contrasts to NAIT, who have loads of games every year against CW and NCAA teams, both inside and outside Alberta. Last year they were hammered twice by the Bedrock Dinosaurs, 6-2 and 9-0.

 

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The CW is getting a Hall of Fame!

 

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icon1.gifMay 26: Where's the News?

 

It has now been two weeks without news in the CW. The Bisons announced some recruits (per the last post) but no other team has an official announcement of recruits. So we need to look at news from other areas for now.

 

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One of UBC's assistants is leaving the nest. Kelvin Cech is leaving to coach the Winkler Flyers in the MJHL. Believe it or not, this is the only new news on a CW team page, other than the Bisons. Last year UBC was laying on the announcements.

 

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Perhaps you saw the just-ended IIHF World Championship. For me, one game of interest was at the end of the round-robin when Great Britain beat France for 7th place and the right to return next year. There were two USports grads on the Team GB roster - Tim Billingsley (from the Cartoon Ravens) and Mike Hammond (from the Lakehead Thundermutts). Both played from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

 

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The AUS is the first conference to release a schedule. The story doesn't say too much about it. I do not see it uploaded as yet to the USports site. (Although the way that site is run, that may not happen until January anyhow.)

 

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MacEwan's shift from the ACAC to the CW was already posted. However there is additional discussion of the topic our in Saudi Alberta. The story at the Red Deer Advocate claims that the ACAC will be down to 9 men's and 4 women's teams after the move. Did I miss two new men's programs being added to the ACAC?

 

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icon1.gifJune 3: TV passes & odds and ends

 

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The on-line product has been getting better but there is a steep price increase. All sports pass is $100. Early bird pricing exists and is now scaled in. Here's the price list:

 

ALL-ACCESS PASS - includes playoffs
  Tier 1 (June 3-30) - $79.99
  Tier 2 (July 1-31) - $84.99
  Tier 3 (August 1-31) - $89.99
  Full price (Sept. 1) - $99.99

 

SPORT PASS - for one of football, soccer, hockey, volleyball, or basketball, regular season only
  Tier 1 (June 3-30) - $31.99
  Tier 2 (July 1-31) - $33.99
  Tier 3 (August 1-31) - $35.99
  Full price (Sept. 1) - $39.99

 

SINGLE EVENT PASS: $6.99

 

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There are more stories about the on-going renovations of the Wayne Fleming Arena on the UofM Campus and about previously announced recruits.

The old scoreboard has been removed from centre ice as in this picture. The new one should be nice.
 
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The CW schedule has not been released. However, at the UND site we see that the Herd will have an exhibition game there on October 6th.

 

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icon1.gifJune 10: Odds & Ends


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The CW is going to be using AI to generate highlights this year. Here's what they claim:

“REELY’s technology will allow our members to generate more highlights, and distribute them instantly, as we continue to put an increasing emphasis on shareable video content," said Evan Daum, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing for Canada West. "The automation of clipping will help our members engage more fans through social media, while enabling the conference to produce additional video content.”


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If you need a part-time job, the U of M is looking for game day staff. Details are in the links.

 
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Serge Lajoie is one ape headed for the Evil Monkeys' Wall of Fame. He won awards at every level:

In his time as a defenceman, assistant coach and head coach with the perennial powerhouse U of A program, Lajoie won a combined four Canadian university national championships, one as a player, two as an assistant coach and one as a head coach.



As a player, he also captured the Wilson Challenge Trophy as the U of A’s top male athlete, and the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the Canadian university men’s hockey player of the year. He also won two provincial college championships as head coach and two Coach of the Year awards.


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The BCIHL musings on the impact of Holy Trinity's shift to the CW in 2020-21 are in the linked story. They brought up that TWU may operate a varsity team in the CW and a club side in the BCIHL. Maybe UBC would follow suit!


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icon1.gifJune 10: Bisons Land a Hat-Trick of Forwards

 

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The Bisons announced the recruitment of three more players, all forwards who finished last season in the MJHL where they enjoyed all-star status.

 

Bradly Goethals - C - Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) / Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

 

At 6'1" and only 170 lbs, I can't help but think that some bulking up would help Goethals find that next level. I am sure that he can locate many fine cooks in his home town of Île-des-Chênes.

 

He had just one full season in the WHL, where he scored 15 goals. The Blades replaced his overage spot with a defenceman early last year, so he came back to the MJHL, landing with Swan. In 50 games he went 34-45-79, which landed him on the first all-star team. He also racked up 12-13-25 in 17 playoff games.

 

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Josh Tripp - F - Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL)

 

At 5'9" and 165 lbs. Tripp will not be adding a physical presence to the line-up. However, this Swan River boy edged Goethals (his team-mate) for the MJHL scoring title, 36-48-84 in 57 games. Both were on the league's first all-star team. He was also 11-10-21 in 21 playoff games.

 

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Chase Brakel - C - Cornell Big Red (NCAA) / Portage Terriers (MJHL)

 

Brakel's three full seasons with the Terriers ended in 2017-18, when he was the team captain. He started last season at Cornell, but left after just six games. He was a deadline addition to the Terriers' playoff roster. In 21 regular season games, his scoreline was 9-11-20 and in 20 playoff games he was 11-17-28. His peak season was in 2016-17, where he racked up numbers of 34-46-80 in 58 games. Also, he was an MJHL second team all-star in 2017 and 2018.

 

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Meanwhile, another Evil Monkey has turned pro. Jason Fram is off to the KHL to join Kunlun Red Star, based in China. He's been voted Canada's best USports defenceman in 2018 and 2019.

 

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DefaultJune 12: Schedule Is Out

 

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The schedule is out!

 

Most teams had announcements, with their team highlights, as linked. The league schedule link still goes to 2018-19. The 2019-20 schedule link brings up an XLS document.

 

One nice feature on the team schedules is a "history" link at which they post trivia and stats about the match-up going back to February 2008 (for Manitoba). This feature is on the Manitoba, Calgary, Sask, and UBC schedule pages.

The exhibition games should now be announced by bits and drabs. Regina's story contained this tidbit:

 

Warming Up


The U of R currently has four non-conference games scheduled to tune up before the regular season kicks off late in September. Regina will play Saskatchewan and Calgary in Saskatoon before visiting the Manitoba Bisons for a pair of pre-season games the following weekend.

 

The Bisons are not affected by the new WHL franchise. They have two Saturday night-Sunday afternoon series, two Friday night-Saturday night series, and three Friday night-Saturday afternoon series.

 

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