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10-14-2011, 07:00 PM
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Preview: Bisons @ Evil Monkeys: Oct 14-15


MANITOBA BISONS (2-0-0, 3rd in OHT34)
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (2-0-0, 1st in OHT34)

Friday, October 14th, 8:30 p.m. CDT @ Edmonton
Saturday, October 15th, 8:30 p.m. CDT @ Edmonton

LIVE LINKS: [Live Video] : [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
MANITOBA LINKS: [Team Site] : [LS Roster] : [LS Schedule/Results]
ALBERTA LINKS: [Team Site] : [LS Roster] : [LS Schedule/Results] : [U of A Preview]
OTHER LINKS: [CIS Site] : [CW Site] : [LS Daily - Live Updates]
OTHER STORIES: [SCS Bison Preview] : [Caligiuri plays for Jets - Slam! : Free Press :]

The schedule-maker has made this a pivotal series, even though it is just the second series for both teams. The Bisons came into the season rated 3rd or 4th by most pundits but knocked off Calgary (twice) in Cowtown. So if they could go 4-0 in Saudi Alberta before even playing a home game then they would truly be off and running. In a 28 game season, they will have but 10 games left on the road.

The big question remains in goal for the Bisons. Joe Caligiuri won the #1 job and followed with two shut-outs. If he can maintain something close to that, the loss of Steve Christie will be well and truly covered. Maybe his workouts with the Jets his week will help him.

The next question will then be Bison scoring. Their D is solid, perhaps the best in Canada. (UNB would argue that one.) But they were unable to cash in on chances against MRU and Regina in pre-season play. They will need better finish against the Monkeys.

Here's what the U of A preview story said:
Furthermore, the Bisons have had considerable success against the Golden Bears in recent years, outside of the playoffs. In the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, the two squads went 2-2 in conference play, splitting each weekend series.

In the 2010-11 season, Alberta and Manitoba split again in Winnipeg, but the Bears were victorious on home ice, though the Bisons found a way to tie the game and pushed the Bears to extra time and/or a shootout on both occasions.

Add to that several close games in the post-season in the last two years, including the Canada West finals in 2009-10, and the rivalry, which simmered through most of the 2000s, is a goal or a save away from achieving an even higher level of intensity.

UBC THUNDERBIRDS (1-0-1, 11th in OHT34)

|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday] : [Live Video]
|> [U of L Preview] : [SCS UBC Preview] : [SCS Lethbridge Preview]

Lethbridge have been a disappointment so far. They went winless in the pre-season and were handled with relative ease by the Banjo-Mutts last weekend.

Meanwhile, UBC was opportunistic against the Dinos. Their pre-season results would indicate that they are about the same calibre as last year's team.

REGINA COUGARS (0-2-0, 18th in OHT34)

|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday] : [Live Video Saturday only]
|> [U of R Preview] : [U of S Preview] : [SCS Regina Preview] : [SCS Sask Preview]

This series is a home-and-home affair in the Battle of the Melonheads. The fur will fly when dogs meet cats and both are armed with banjos. I'll be interested to see what happens if Regina is once again outshot by something like 45-12 on the night, which is what happened when they played Manitoba, Alberta, and the teams in the States.


CIS Blog's conference previews:
Canada West
OUA - West
OUA - East

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