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12-04-2012, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by northvanman View Post
Western defeats Brock 4-1 to close out the first half for CIS hockey.

The OUA West is as competitive, top to bottom, as it has ever been. I can honestly say this is the first time the division is such that anyone really can be anyone else. Most games between divisional opponents have been close with very few blowouts, and the goals for and against up and down the division attest to that.

Western has really surprised me - I had them picked at 3rd or 4th in the division and after a slow start, they have had about as quiet an 11 game winning steak as you can have. After losing Turkiewicz, Snow and Baker to graduation, I thought they would have big trouble scoring. But rookie Matt Clarke has really stepped up, and Zach Harnden and Steve Reese is have really played well moving to the top line.

I think Guelph is strong and stronger than their good record shows, and Windsor, who I thought would take the division this year, is only 2 points out of first place. Western and Windsor do seem to be a bit above the other teams in the division right now, but given all the close games, I think any of the top 6 could win the OUA West.
Highlights of Laurier vs York from this past weekend, a game Laurier really should have won after being up 2-0, and later 3-1. The loss is their fourth straight and keeps them in last place after a nice 5 game point streak including wins against Lakehead, Carleton and an overtime loss against Western.

Standings in the OUA West as of the break:

1 Western 16 13 3 0 26
2 Windsor 16 12 4 0 24
3 Guelph 18 11 6 1 23
4 Waterloo 16 9 5 2 20
5 Lakehead 16 9 5 2 20
6 York 16 9 7 0 18
7 Brock 16 6 7 3 15
8 UOIT 16 6 9 1 13
9 Laurier 16 5 9 2 12

Almost every night is a toss up, with all teams capable of beating all other teams. There really are not many weak teams, all OUA West teams have a strong mix of junior A, B, and OHL players with almost every team having at least one strong goaltender.

Western's recent streak is impressive. My bet is now on Western or Guelph to represent the OUA at nationals. I am not 100% sold on Guelph, but since acquiring former Colorado draft pick Brandon Maxwell, they have performed well. He has gone 9-2 with a 1.83 GAA and 0.935 save percentage.

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