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02-03-2011, 08:41 PM
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Weekend Preview: Bisons @ Dinos


MANITOBA BISONS (11-5-4, #3 in OHT34)
CALGARY DINOS (11-8-2, #10 in OHT34)

Friday, February 4th, 8:00 p.m. CST @ Calgary
Saturday, February 5th, 8:00 p.m. CST @ Calgary


To set this one up, the Bisons are tied with Sask for 2nd with 26 points through 20 games. Calgary sits in 4th place with 24 points in 21 points. The Evil Monkeys lead the lot with 28 points, and UBC and Lethbridge trail with 22 points. So a 4-point swing could radically change fortunes for any team.

There is no on-line audio or video so all that is available is Leaguestat Live Updates. There is a preview at the U of C Site. The C.W. Site has a preview which covers all three series.

These teams played their first series in Winnipeg, and both games went to shoot-outs. Calgary won the first game 2-1 and the Bisons won on Saturday by the same 2-1 score. The teams have played lots of tight games in recent years and I would not be surprised to see them share 5 or 6 points this weekend. Last year Calgary won 2-1 and 6-1 whilst Manitoba won a pair of 3-2 games.

The teams boast the top two goaltenders in the CW. Dustin Butler of Calgary had taken the #1 spot until a rough last weekend. Steve Christie is showing once again why he was voted the #1 goaltender in all of Canada last year. He leads in GAA (1.91 to 2.23) and in save percentage (92.6 to 92.3).

Calgary is top-heavy with blue-chip goal-scorers. Their top 5 are solid: Reid Jorgenson (14-9-23), Torrie Wheat (6-10-16), Brock Nixon (5-10-15), Cory Pritz (3-10-13), and Jerrid Sauer (5-7-12). Oddly, at #6 is Christmas addition Walker Wintoneak (4-5-9 in only 7 games) and shortly behind him is the returning Aaron Richards (3-2-5 in 6 games). The big drop-off after their top 2 lines makes them the lowest scoring team in the conference outside Regina.

The Bisons had their own scoring difficulties in Regina last weekend. They severely outshot the Hillbillies but were stoned by hot goaltenders, registering only 1 goal in 125 minutes. The Macaulay-Beller-Howarth line had been hot. The Dittmer-Walker-Hellyer line is always a threat, though their numbers could be better. I'd like to see if maybe they'll try to get more mileage from a third line centered by Jordan Cyr. We'll see.

NOTE: The official CW tie-breaker is as follows:
3.8 Tie Breaking Procedures:
Final league standings, at the conclusion of league play, shall be based on each teams points
as per 3.7. If two or more teams are tied in points then the tie breaking criteria are in the
following prioritized order:
1. Head-to-head competition record.
2. Number of wins.
3. Goals for/Goals against differential.
So Manitoba has the edge over Sask (5-4) and Lethbridge (6-2), trail UBC (4-2), and are even with Alberta (2-2) and Calgary (3-3).

  • This could be UBC's last stand. They are very much in the race but they seem to have a severe injury bug. No doubt there would be several smiles on other teams if they can somehow manage to hold Sask to 2 points. I cited the UBC Preview, where they lament their injury situation, in my mid-week update. It is quite a season where the #6 team (UBC) is only 6 points out of 1st place this late in the year. Keep in mind that there will be internet audio available at Sask has split 7 out of 10 series so far this year. There have been doubts and optimism about that team so far this year. If they are going to fulfill their promise they need to take advantage of the wounded 'Birds. Otherwise, it will be a long tractor ride home over the mountains.

    The series is previewed at the U of A Site. Webcasts are also available on Friday and Saturday on SSN. The Evil Monkeys are beside themselves with angst over a 3-game losing streak. They are also worried having 2 teams within 2 points this late in the season. Last weekend they had a week off when they needed it and now they have the Cougars on a weekend prowl. Last weekend Regina chose to play short rather than play guys who had "issues". While they did get 3 points they also had to ride their goaltenders after being outshot. It remains to be seen whether they can duplicate this plan on the road in Saudi Alberta. I think everybody else would send them champagne if they could hold Alberta below 4 points.
  • Canada beat Slovakia 9-1 in today's quarter-finals. Wiki leaked the wrong schedule! The Slovaks, Yanks, and Kazakhstan were all tied in their pool and Wiki must have applied the wrong tie-breaker. Can't blame them. The Universiade Site is hard to navigate. In other games, Russia beat the Czech Republic 6-1, Kazakhstan beat Japan 5-1, and Belarus beat the USA 6-3. In Saturday's semi-finals, it is Canada v. Russia and Belarus v. Kazakhstan. They have pdf-style pages for the Playoffs and one for the Round-robin if you want more detail. On the women's side the semis go on Friday and it will be Canada v. USA and Finland v. Slovakia.

Last edited by Hollywood3: 02-03-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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