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Hollywood

2020-21 Manitoba Bisons/CW Thread

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U-SPORTS/CIS BOOKMARKS

This is a peculiar off-season, largely because the NHL remains "paused".

As usual, the opening post has the links needed to follow USports/CIS hockey, right here.

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- withdrew in 2018-19

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- AUS

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(Lethbridge)

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(McGill)

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- site down

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(Alberta)

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(includes Manitoba)

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(student paper)

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(Manitoba unofficial)

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- UBC radio

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- Lakehead away games

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- all Bison home games

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- links to summaries

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Stats:

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- individual player stats on everybody

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- like Elite Prospects

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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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- 2010 to 2019

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(inactive link)

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- CIS hockey from 1995-96 to 2008-09

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2020-21 Exhibition Schedule - TBA

Note: The 2020-21 links are not yet in place.

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In the strangest off-season ever, it is easy to forget about basic things like recruits, schedules, etc. Well, time to shake the cobwebs and get the 2020-21 season talk going.

The Bisons have seven players with registered Letters of Intent (LOI) at the USports desk. [

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Alec Malo - C – Flin Flon (SJHL)

Malo is from Laval, Quebec and started his junior career with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL in 2017-18. He then played in the QJAAAHL (their Junior A league, which they call AAA) in 2018-19 and in the SJHL with the Flin Flon Bombers in 2019-20. His numbers were 22-66-88 in 54 games. At 6'1" and 181 lbs, he could use some poutine and perogies Manitoba style

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Chase Hartje - D – Moose Jaw/Winnipeg (WHL)

Hartje is another WHL defenceman on the Bison roster, having played in Moose Jaw, Brandon, Kootenay, moving to Winnipeg with the franchise, then back to Moose Jaw. He is originally from Bemidji, Minnesota. At 5'11" and 172 lbs he is smaller than the usual Bison d-man.

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Hayden Ostir - C/RW – Swift Current (WHL)

Ostir is a Winnipeg boy coming home after making the rounds in the WHL, covering Spokane, Medicine Hat, and Swift Current over the last four years. His numbers last year were 10-14-24. He is also 6'1" and 194 lbs. He also got a gold medal in the U-17s.

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Liam Hughes - G – Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

But for one game in the AJHL, Hughes has played in the WHL for the last four years. After stops in Edmonton, Seattle, and Lethbridge, he backstopped the Winnipeg Ice last year. He had a 2.53 GAA, and a .914 S%.

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Noah Basarab - F – Johnstown (NAHL)

Basarab is a Gimli boy who went south after having played for Swan Valley and Selkirk in the MJHL. His stats were 16-12-28 last year.

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Reece Harsch - D – Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

Having a WHL team in town is paying some recruiting dividends this year, as the Bisons land another d-man in Harsch. He is 6'4" and 201 lbs and wore an "A" last year.

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Sam Stewart - D – Tri-City/Edmonton (WHL)

Stewart is another big d-man (6' 190 lbs) from Manitoba coming home for university. He finished last year with the Edmonton Oil Kings after four years with the Tri-City Americans, with a couple of stints with the Neepawa Natives in the MJHL.

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The biggest story of the off-season is the unfortunate demise of the Horny Ones. This loss is somewhat blunted by the fact that TWU is joining the CW from the BCIHL and Macewan is coming from the ACAC.  But coming  a year after they hosted the U-Cup makes me wonder why they never devoted fundraising for the meat and potatoes, instead of the fancy dessert.

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Speaking of Holy Trinity, their coach is Barret Kropf from Estevan, Saskatchewan. I found a local news story about him.

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➤ Estevan Mercury:

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The biggest news on a national level is the cancellation of the fall sports (e.g. football) and the announcement that there would be no league play in CW hockey (amongst other sports) until the new year. Earlier, they had announced plans for a 20-game season in hockey (down from 28) and 5 games in football (down form 8).

This leaves maybe 10 weeks for a regular season and playoffs, if they want to keep the U-Cup in mid-March. I wouldn't be surprised to see playoffs truncated, perhaps confined to a single weekend conference tournament. That is all conjecture, though.

So no Vanier Cup, nor national tournaments of any type, in football, soccer, rugby, or field hockey.

I see that UVic's soccer teams are looking at an exhibition season for the new year. This may have applicability for other teams in other sports as well.

The Star-Phoenix story points out that we'll be waiting until October 8th for news on the January season, and the door is left open for provincial regulation. IMO, this makes an "unofficial" season for many teams a possibility.

A decision on first-semester individual sports — including cross-country at the U of S — will be made no later than July 15, following further consultation. For sports that span across both first and second terms — including basketball, hockey, track and field, volleyball and wrestling for Huskie Athletics — a decision will be made no later than Oct. 8 during the Canada West fall meetings, with those sports starting no sooner than January 2021.

For Canada West teams, decisions on any upcoming return to training will be made individually by members and will be based on university policies and guidelines from their respective provincial health authority.

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The Bisons had a small group of three grads (Adam Henry, Sean Christensen, and Jonah Wasylak) last year, all of whom found pro jobs in the ECHL before that season was cancelled. Also, first year goaltender Riley Lamb (who shared starting duties with Tyler Brown) also got a job.

Henry got a boat-load of awards, including top defenceman in the CW, first team all-star in the CW, and second team all-star in USports.

One former Bison not looking to ride the buses in the minors is Stephane Lenoski, who is now a MD.

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Out on the East Coast, coach Trevor Steinburg is leaving the SMUskies after 23 years. He was national coach-of-the-year three times in that era.

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The Province of Manitoba has pretty much eliminated the Wuhan virus and a local sports summer should get off the ground. FWIW, Manitoba's numbers are:

8 active cases, none of which are in hospital
285 recovered cases
7 deceased

That is a below-average flu season!

Local Manitoba baseball and softball people have announced that their seasons will be starting soon. Could hockey be far behind? And if minor can be played, why not university hockey? It seems you just need to complete some forms, and away you go!

Both associations, which had their seasons delayed because of COVID-19, got the go-ahead from Sport Manitoba and the government to return to the diamonds after submitting their Return to Play documents.

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➤ Portage Online:

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AUGUST NEWS & NOTES
 
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Normally we would be ankle deep in recruitment news and the various additions to exhibition schedules would be flowing at this time of the year. Instead we are witnessing recruitment news and a heavier than usual flow of players from university to pro.

The obvious reason for this state of affairs is the virus thing you may have heard about. So let's start there, because that affects when we will next see live hockey, then move into other news and notes.


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The MJHL is getting prepped for a full season, with an exhibition season in September and a regular season in October. The linked story has the highlights of the plan, and has a link to a 14 page PDF document with all the details covering every minute detail down to travel, meals, and hotels. This sort of guideline is likely very close to what USports teams will need to implement.

Also, former Bison all-star forward Kevin Saurette (an MBA) is now the MJHL Commissioner, taking over from Kim Davis.

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The Monkeys are back after the world's shortest ever hiatus. They announced a bow-out due to lack of funds, but some organ-grinding by a monkey in a mask must be capable of raising money. I linked official and unofficial stories. None had a scoop on the dynamics that led to their change of heart. The original announcement was based upon funding shortfalls, rather than health concerns. SportsNet's story (from the CP) seemed like a scoop in the headline but really wasn't. Anyhow, the Monkeys found enough bananas.

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In the Town of Bedrock they have announced a solid set of recruits, and a former Dino evolved into a Duck. The eight announced new recruits are also listed at Elite Prospects and are:

- Arjun Atwal (F) from Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)
- Luke Coleman (F) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CWUAA)
- Connor Gutenberg (F) from Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
- Dakota Krebs (D) from Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
- Max Patterson (F) from Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
- Matt Quigley (D) from Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
- Ryan Schoettler (D) from Prince George Cougars (WHL)
- Zach Wytinck (D) from Regina Pats (WHL)

Coleman is a transfer from the now-defunct Horny Ones. He is a 2nd year player, coming off a 12-8-20 stats line in 28 games last year. He played his junior for the Calgary Hitmen. So 7-out-of-8 were from the WHL.

Dino grad Kodie Curran has signed an NHL deal. He finished a 5-year career in 2014-15 then was a late-season depth player for Hartford in the AHL. He then split a season between the AHL and ECHL before a 4-year stint in Scandinavia, with one season in Denmark, one in Norway, and two in Sweden. He will be turning 31 during the season, so this is the ultimate late-bloomer scenario. Why would the Ducks gamble on him? He was the Swedish league MVP last year!

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The Bluegars have announced five recruits, one NCAA transfer and four WHL grads:

- Rylan Yaremko (D) from Northern Michigan Univ. (NCAA)
- Dom Schmiemann (D) from Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
- Lane Gilliss (F) from Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
- Riley Sawchuk (F) from Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
- Kyle Olson (F) from Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

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The Banjo-Cats have a diverse recuiting list so far. Two Horny Ones transferring in, another transfer from the ACAC, and two recruits from each of the SJHL and WHL. The four new defencemen should help shore up their traditional weakness. Of course, depending who comes back.

- Austin Pratt (F) from Regina Pats (WHL)
- Dylan McCabe (D) from Battlefords North Stars (SJHL)
- Jeff Rayman (D) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CWUAA)
- Taylor Fisher (D) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CWUAA)
- Carson Sass (D) from Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
- Jayden Davis (F) from Estevan Bruins (SJHL)
- Travis Mayan (F) from Alberta-Augustana Vikings (ACAC)

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After a shocking playoff run which earned them a berth in the U-Cup, followed by a cancellation on the eve of their first game, it looks like the new T-irds will not likely adequately replace the departed. They have two transfers from Lethbridge, just one recruit from the WHL, and four Junior A grads from three different leagues.

- Conner McDonald (D) from Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
- Logan Foster (F) from Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
- Tian Rask (F) from Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)
- Michael Clarke (F) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CWUAA)
- Jackson Caller (D) from Vernon Vipers (BCJHL)
- Dorrin Luding (G) from Winkler Flyers (MJHL)
- Dan Gatenby (D) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CWUAA)

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The Banjo-Mutts have yet to announce recruits, but they have a slightly new set of logos. Their miscellaneous logos got the hind leg treatment. Should somebody tell them that the singular of "Huskies" is "Husky"?

They have not issued an official announcement on recruits, but Elite Prospects has compiled a list of four names, all of whom have an affinity for fire hydrants:

- Jaxan Kaluski (F) from Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
- Parker Gavlas (D) from Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
- Ty Prefontaine (D) from Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
- Dawson Holt (F) from Vernon Vipers (BCJHL)

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The Holy Trinity have no official announcement but Elite Prospects has compiled a list:

- Jake Jurgeneit (D) from Yarmouth Mariners (MJAHL)
- Travis Walton (F) from Nanaimo Clippers (BCJHL)
- Jeremy Klessens (F) from Drayton Valley Thunder (AJHL)
- Josh Boelema (F) from Briercrest College (ACAC)
- Landon Fuller (D) from Vernon Vipers (BCJHL)
- Connor Vermeulen (D) from Carnduff Red Devils (BSHL SrAA)

It is odd that those six players finished in last year in five different leagues.

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The Griffins also have had no official announcement and only two names appear on Elite Prospects:

- Ryan Winter (G) from Merritt Centennials (BCJHL)
- Shawn Parkinson (G) from Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)   

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August 23: More News

 

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Another source of recruitment news is the USports Letters of Intent (LOI) page. It covers all sports and all conferences. UBC, Alberta, Calgary, Saskatchewan, and Regina have no men's hockey players listed. But Manitoba, Trinity Western, Mount Royal, and MacEwan have 5-7 players each. The lists here have the player's name and date of registration. The * denotes a player listed at Elite Prospects.

 

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Liam Hughes 20-04-2020

Hayden Ostir 20-04-2020

Chase Hartje 22-04-2020

*Noah Basarab 23-04-2020

Samuel Stewart 29-04-2020

*Alec Malo 01-05-2020

Reece Harsch 04-05-2020

 

Only Basarab and Malo are listed in Elite Prospects transactions. Links to all players' Elite Prospects individual pages were in the post called "June 8: Bisons Have Seven LOIs Registered" above in this thread.

 

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*Dominic Schmiemann Mount Royal 05-03-2020

*Lane Gilliss Mount Royal 12-03-2020

*Riley Sawchuk Mount Royal 23-03-2020

Gary Haden Mount Royal 31-03-2020 (C) from Victoria Royals (WHL)

*Rylan Yaremko Mount Royal 22-05-2020

*Kyle Olson Mount Royal 15-06-2020

 

Haden had good WHL numbers last year (25-30-55 in 62 games) and previously played for the Medicine Hat Tigers and Saskatoon Blades.

 

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Aidan Steinke 10-02-2020 (F) Melville Millionaires (SJHL)

*Travis Walton 21-03-2020

Jamieson Ree 23-03-2020 (D) Briercrest Clippers (ACAC)

*Jeremy Klessens 26-03-2020

*Josh Boelema 04-04-2020

*Landon Fuller 09-04-2020

*Connor Vermeulen 17-04-2020

 

Also, Jake Jurgeneit is listed at Elite Prospects but not in the LOI. Steinke's SJHL numbers were luke-warm (28-37-65 in 153 games). Ree is a big d-man whose junior career spanned 3 teams in the AJHL and one in the SJHL.

 

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*Ryan Winter 14-05-2020

Chase Thudium 29-05-2020 (F) Red Deer College Kings (ACAC)

Curtis Roach 31-05-2020 (D) NAIT Ooks (ACAC)

Connor Lyons 02-06-2020 (F) Canmore Eagles (AJHL)

Jordan Davies 10-06-2020 (D) NAIT Ooks (ACAC)

 

Also, Shawn Parkinson is listed at Elite Prospects but not in the LOI.

 

It seems a lot of ACAC players see a golden chance to make the jump to the CW with GMU. It would also appear that GMU has a much stronger recruiting class than TWU.

 

Roach and Davies are defencemen from NAIT, GMU's cross-town rival. Both were recruited from the AJHL to the ACAC when they left junior. Red Deer recruited Thudium from the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL (27-43-70 in 59 games in 2016-17). His ACAC career stats are 43-53-96 in 84 games. Lyons is from the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL (65-106-171 in 167 career games).

 

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I also have a hat-trick of miscellaneous stories you might want to check out. Former Bison Shaq Merasty has signed once again with the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL. He is now 29 and seems to be racking up more PIMs than points.

 

The second story is about a new First Nations league in Saskatchewan. I am not sure what calibre of league this will be. Will it be an intermediate men's league? Or an off-shoot of the infamous cash tournament circuit you may have heard about. There has been a National Aboriginal Championship for years. We'll see.

 

Finally, the story from Saskatoon is a nice story about Banjo-Mutt Kohl Bauml and his special needs little brother who travels about to cheer him on.

 

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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Sept 23: Manitoba Hockey Is Going!

 

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It has been a month since my last report so here is a hodge-podge of stories, announcements, and potentially news of significance as it pertains to the return of CW hockey. The recruiting news has slowed to a trickle, which makes sense because school has now started.

 

Normally everybody would have exhibition schedules in progress and rosters for us to comment upon. No such luck this year. Several teams are not bothering to update their websites with official announcements on recruits. I saw no new LOIs registered for men's hockey since my last report.

 

The only CW news, and it is a downer, is that the CW golf championship has been cancelled. It was slated for UBC Okanagan and British California is not allowing disease-infested easterners (out there, this includes the prairies) into the province.

 

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There are no official, nor unofficial, announcements from the UofM on hockey. However, there are a host of stories on the football team, who are practising hard despite cancellation of their season. If football can practice, hockey can go!

 

I have also posted a story on former Bison coach Barry Trotz, which is worth a look. Maybe one day I'll run a fresh story on former CW coaches who have made it to the NHL.

 

Finally, the best news I have heard in a while is that the MJHL has started their exhibition season! Here's the highlights of the announcement:

 

Divisions



 

Northwest (Dauphin, OCN, Swan Valley, Wayway)

 

Interior (Neepawa, Portage, Virden, Winkler)

 

Southeast (Selkirk, Steinbach, Winnipeg Blues, Winnipeg Freeze)

 

Schedule Format

 

Each team will play the other three teams within their division eight times during the regular season (Four Home/Four Away).

 

Each team will play the eight teams outside of their division twice during the season.

 

Each team will play a 40-game regular season schedule which has been significantly reduced from the standard 60 game regular season schedule (20 Home/Twenty Away).

 

Each team will play two games a week and will only face one team each week.

 

Each team will play all of their games almost exclusively during the weekend this season (Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday).

 

Games scheduled within a teams own division are almost exclusively arranged in four game, two week blocks.

 

Playoff Format to be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Links:

➤ Pique:

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➤ Free Press:

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➤ CBC:

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➤ Global:

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➤ Winnipeg Sun:

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➤ MJHL:

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➤ MJHL:

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The Bluegars are raising funds, and seem to be getting ready for January. Remember they did post their recruiting class.

 

Links:

➤ Calgary Sun:

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➤ MRU:

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In the Town of Bedrock, their recruiting class was previously announced. I found a podcast featuring Matt Alfaro, and an old photo in Cooperalls.

 

Links:

➤ WHL:

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➤ Spotify:

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I had previously posted details on MacEwan's recruits, but they have now issued official releases, available at the links. There are three new recruits, all of whom are transfers:

 

- Riley Brandt (F) from RMC (OUA) via Vernon (BCJHL)

- Cameron Trott (D) from Lethbridge Pronghorns (CW) via Vernon (BCJHL) and UAA (NCAA) 

- Ethan Price (RW) from Stony Plain (ACHW, red shirt) via Brock (OUA)

 

Brandt has only played two games in the last two seasons but in 2017-18 scored 21-12-33 in 28 OUA games. They must be happy with three former USports players in the recruiting class. Price also has a WHL background and Trott played a half-season in the NCAA.

 

Links:

➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ MacEwan:

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➤ MacEwan:

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➤ MacEwan:

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There is no news about the Evil Monkeys at all. But if you want to help them purchase more bananas, they have a fundraising link.

 

Links:

➤ UofA:

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The Banjo-Cats announced their recruits last time. All I found this time was a YouTube video.

 

Links:

➤ YouTube:

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The Banjo-Mutts have had no announcements, no LOIs, and nothing on Elite Prospects. But there have been Tweets about recruits. So I used those to do Elite Prospects searches and WOOF! A litter of puppies.

 

- Parker Gavlas (D) from Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

- Jaxan Kaluski (LW) from Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

- Ty Prefontaine (D) from Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

- Jared Dmytriw (RW) from Vancouver Giuants (WHL)

- Jeff Faith (D) from Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

- Declan Hobbs (G) from Loreburn 19ers (SVHL)

- Dawson Holt (RW/C) from Regina Pats (WHL) & Vernon Vipers (BCJHL)

 

Also, their arena may be used as a field hospital, in which case they would play at the SaskTel Centre.

 

Links:

➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Elite Prospects:

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➤ Global:

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The T-irds have three stories about alumni. Jerret Smith is going to finish his few remaining credits on-line while playing in France. Adam Maglio is a head coach in the Dub. Ray Sakaki was on their 1971 team that earned a berth at the nationals.

 

Links:

➤ UBC:

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➤ UBC:

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➤ UBC:

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On the college front, it appears that they are following the lead of the CW and waiting for January. If BC holds off on allowing inter-provincial play, perhaps the T-irds and Holy Trinity will join the BCIHL! It is nice that ACAC players won't lose a year of eligibility.

 

Links:

➤ ACAC:

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➤ ACAC:

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➤ BCIHL:

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Nov 1: CW Teams Will Play!

 

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Finally, some news about hockey games has broken out!

 

The Team Canada Junior camp is starting earlier than usual (Nov 16th) because the likelihood is that none of the players will have played any games prior to camp. And blended into the camp are SIX games against CW teams, the Evil Monkeys, Bedrock U, and the Bluegars. The Monkeys' games are November 28th and 29th. TC will have 46 players in camp, meaning that their three inter-squad games will be with full rosters.

 

At one of the links, the games against the Evil Monkeys are to be on national TV.

 

In 2011, Alberta beat Team Denmark 5-0 and 8-3 in a pair of games. And in 2012 they beat Team Canada 4-1. Meanwhile, Calgary beat TC 6-4 in 1988, combined with Lethbridge to win 5-4 in 2006 and lose 7-4 in 2011, and combined with Lethbridge and MRU to lose 2-0 in 2012.

 

Since CIS/USports nation-wide all-stars have participated in this series starting in 2015, the university team has a 6-5 edge over the junior team.

 

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Links:

➤ Global:

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➤ USports:

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➤ Hockey Canada:

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➤ U of C (2011):

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➤ U of C (2012):

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➤ Sportsnet (2012):

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The pre-season "Captains' Cup" in British California has been expanded to be a double round-robin event to be hosted by TWU. UBC and SFU will also take part.

 

2020 Captains Cup – Schedule

Nov. 12 (Thurs.) – UBC vs. SFU – 12 p.m. (PT)

Nov. 13 (Fri.) – SFU vs. TWU – 1 p.m. (PT)

Nov. 19 (Thurs.) – TWU vs. UBC – 12 p.m. (PT)

Nov. 20 (Fri.) – UBC vs. TWU – 1 p.m. (PT)

Nov. 26 (Thurs.) – SFU vs. UBC – 12 p.m. (PT)

Nov. 27 (Fri.) – TWU vs. SFU – 1 p.m. (PT)

Dec. 2 (Fri.) – Captains Cup Final – 1 p.m. (PT)

 

In other news, Holy Trinity's Koltby Johnson has started a petition for a players' voice in lockdown policies. Check the link if interested.

 

Links:

➤ Aldergrove Star:

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➤ YouTube:

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➤ West Central Online:

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Not much news from the Herd. Grad Kamerin Nault has re-signed with the ECHL's Swamp Rabbits and there is a campus story about the players' lockdown lamentations.

 

Links:

➤ Pro Hockey News:

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➤ Manitoban:

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The Banjo Mutts have lost their goaltender to the ECHL. Taran Kozun won the USports Player-of-the-Year award in 2019-20 and his would be a great loss.

 

The Star-Phoenix link contains this quote:

As it stands now, any hockey player who plays pro hockey following their age-21 playing year would lose a year of eligibility and would have to sit out 365 days before playing at the U Sports level.



 

U Sports continues to examine this “pro-rule,” but for now there are no new guidelines in place relating to the pandemic.

 

I wonder if this is wishful thinking from a home-town paper or a bona fide scoop. Seems to me that preservation of amateur status would remain a big-time goal for USports and all affiliated conferences. Also, Kozun is 26 years old and if he wants a pro career, he had better get going. He did a redshirt season at the start of his university days already, and has nothing left to prove at the university level.

 

Links:

➤ Star-Phoenix:

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➤ CKOM:

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➤ Northeast Now:

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There are a few stories around Ontario campuses. More lockdown lamentations from UWO and Brock, and a safety study from Nipissing. The study is on "mouthguard and throat protector compliance" in the NOJHL. Not a bad idea.

 

Links:

➤ My Espanola Now:

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➤ Western Gazette:

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➤ Brock Press:

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With a lot of action now scheduled for three of the four Saudi Alberta CW teams, the ACAC optimism is hard to dismiss. The ACAC teams will not take part in CCAA competitions in other sports. Concordia Edmonton will not be taking part in this ACAC season. Teams face no penalties for withdrawal in 2020-21.

 

Links:

➤ Global:

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