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01-24-2013, 06:37 PM
  #233
Hollywood3
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Jan. 25-26: Bisons @ Pronghorns

WEEKEND PREVIEW


MANITOBA BISONS (13-5-4, 16-7-4-1, OHT35 #6)
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (1-19-2, 3-24-2, OHT35 #35)


Friday, January 25th, 8:00 p.m. CST @ U of L
Saturday, January 26th, 8:00 p.m. CST @ U of L


Live Links:
|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [Live Video Both Nights]

Manitoba Links:
|> [U of M Team Site]
|> [LS Stats] : [LS Schedule/Results]
|> [Twitter] : [Facebook]
|> [The Manitoban: The good, the bad, and the hockey]

Lethbridge Links:
|> [U of L Preview Story]
|> [LS Stats] : [LS Schedule/Results]
|> [Twitter] : [Facebook]

Prior Games:
|> [Nov 9: Manitoba 4-1] : [Nov 10: Manitoba 4-2]

Other Links:
|> [CIS Site] : [Schedule/Results/Links]
|> [CW Site] : [Schedule/Results/Links] : [Standings]
|> [LeagueStat Daily] : [CW Weekly Media Notes #13]
|> [Every Link Re: CIS Hockey]


The big question facing the H0rny Ones this weekend is: How many players will they have? In recent weeks they have played with as few as 16 players in their lineup. First year forward Chase Schaber has done well (8 goals and 10 assists in 19 games) and leads the team in scoring. He has missed the last 3 games with injury.

Lethbridge put in a gritty performance when they visited Friendly Manitoba in November. But their lack of finish, and skill in general, did them in. Even so, they played better than Regina. And Regina leads them by 20 points.

The standings tell us that the Bisons are favourites. The goals for and against stats tell us by how much. The Bisons have scored almost twice as many goals as the `Horns (79-40). And the `Horns have given up more that twice as many goals (115-56).

The Bisons cannot take any team lightly in their final 6 games. The `Horns have no playoffs to shoot for and, in such situations, teams try to at least pick up some wins at home. Adding to the pressure is the fact that nothing less than a 4 point weekend will do. The Herd is level with Saskatchewan and nose in front of Calgary in the race for 2nd place. They have to assume that Sask will sweep Lethbridge when they play in two weeks.

As a side-note there is one heck of a scoring race in the CW. Ian Duval leads with 30 points (7-23-30), one ahead of linemate Blair Macaulay (10-19-29). Tyler Dittmer is tied for 10th (12-10-22). The trio has combined for 29 goals thus far. The Bisons also boast three of the top 10 scorers amongst defencemen. Travis Bobbee (4-13-17) is 3rd, Jeremy Schappert (5-8-13) is 6th, and Dane Crowley (4-7-11) is 9th. Forwards James Henry (7-7-14) and Matthew Lowry (10-3-13) are also in the top 50 scorers.

At the other end of the ice the Bisons are solid in defence. Goaltender Jesse Deckert is 3rd in GAA (2.08) and 2nd in save percentage (.919). He is within range of top spot in those categories as well.

I shall be nestled into the Phone Booth watching the Jets host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. Otherwise, I would be watching CanadaWest.tv. Lethbridge has had a rough year on the ice but their website and on-line coverage has been top notch all season.



ELSEWHERE:


SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (15-7-0, 17-8-1, OHT35 #7)
REGINA COUGARS (11-9-2, 12-15-2, OHT35 #22)


Links:
|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [no on-line audio or video]
|> [U of S Preview Story] : [U of R Preview Story]
|> [Grow the Flow Video]
|> Regina Leader-Post: [January 21st] : [January 22nd]
|> Re Matt Strueby: [Darryl Wolski's Twitter] : [Elite Prospects CIS]


Zak Stebner and four other Mangy Mutts with bad mullets will be getting haircuts for a fundraiser. Check out the video. If anybody needs a haircut, it's Stebner.

This is a home-and-home series for all the moonshine. Rumour has it that the winning school will be awarded a generous supply of store-bought toilet paper imported from Dauphin. Expect the province's best harmonica orchestra to be there, as well.

The Banjo-Cats have been the pleasant surprise in the conference this year. They were dead last in 2011-12 and did not look any better heading into this season. They looked gawd-awful in pre-season when they visited Winnipeg. For that matter, they never looked any better when they were squashed twice again on their regular season return visit. But against everybody else they have been a solid .500. In fact, they have only been swept 3 times (by Manitoba, Calgary, and Alberta). Though squashed by Manitoba, they did have an OTL against Alberta and had two very tight games against Calgary.

Moreover, the Kittens notched up a win and an OTL against the Banjo-Mutts when they met in the first half. The fact that these are rivalry games makes the results less certain then the stats and facts might suggest.

While the Kittens may talk about moving up in the standings, it must be noted that they have the toughest schedule of anybody left in the race. After Sask, they play at Alberta then close by hosting Manitoba.

The Regina Leader-Post ran a couple of stories earlier this week (see links) about the Banjo-Cats and their return to the playoffs at long last. There was no confirmation there of Matt Strueby's departure for the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL, which is listed at Elite Prospects and sourced by agent Darryl Wolski. While Strueby's stats are not enormous (5-7-12), he is the Kittens' 4th leading scorer (44th in the conference) and one of only 5 players they have in the top 50. Their top scorer is Tyler Henry (10-6-16) and he sits 30th in the conference.

Conversely, the Mutts have 8 players in the top 50, including Kyle Bortis (9-20-29) who is duelling with Duval and Macaulay for the scoring title.


ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (18-4-0, 29-4-0, OHT35 #1)
CALGARY DINOSAURS (14-8-0, 17-11-0, OHT35 #12)


Links:
|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [Live Video Saturday]
|> [U of A Preview Story] : [U of C Preview Story]


This is the traditional Battle of Saudi Alberta, fought in home-and-home format. Although the Bedrock Boys have been the conference runner-up the last two seasons, they have struggled against the Evil Monkeys. Earlier this year the scores were 5-2 and 4-1.

Calgary was off to an iffy start this year. But that also described their play for most of last year. They recovered and went on a 7 game winning streak until they were blown out by the Bisons 6-0 last Friday. The Monkeys also had a 11 game win streak halted in Manitoba, and since then have started another 4 game win streak. That means they have won 15 of 16 heading into the weekend.

While Calgary still have legitimate hopes of a 2nd place finish and a quarter-final bye, they are only one point away from falling into 5th place and playing away to UBC in the quarter-finals.

Both sides have been fond of rotating their goaltenders. Both Kelly Mucha and Jacob Deserres stole OTWs for their respective teams in trips to Manitoba. Will their coaches succumb and give them both starts on the weekend?


MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (4-17-1, 5-19-2, OHT35 #30)
UBC THUNDERBIRDS (12-7-3, 17-8-3-1, OHT35 #15)


Links:
|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [Live Audio Friday]
|> [UBC Preview Story] : [MRU Preview Story]


The New Kittens on the Block were officially eliminated from playoff contention last weekend so now they enter “play-out-the-string” mode. I suspect they will be pumped to play Calgary, especially the game at the Saddledome. This weekend could be a bit of a downer.

This is a series UBC must sweep. After this they visit Manitoba and then host Alberta, so no easy points there. It has been an unbelievably long time since UBC hosted a playoff round. In 1989-90 the Tweety-Birds had a winning record and placed 3rd. They have not done that well since, placing between 5th and 7th every season. At that time only 4 teams made the playoffs, so they never hosted a playoff round that year, either. In fact, that was their only winning season, and their only finish higher than 5th, since GPAC rejoined the CW in the 1985-86 season. And it was not like they were just leaving an era of dominance. In the years of the split conferences UBC was usually 4th in a 4 team conference.

So, if UBC want to join the Big Boys of CW they must dominate the Little Guys, starting this weekend.

OUT OF TOWN SCOREBOARD:

Links:
|> [OUA LeagueStat Daily]
|> [AUS Schedule/Results Page]


Tuesday, January 22
McGill 2 UQTR 3 (so)

Wednesday, January 23
RMC 2 Queen’s 1 (ot)
Toronto 1 Ryerson 3

NEWS:


Brandon Maxwell (goaltender for the Guelph Gryphons) has left school to play in the KHL. I also found some video highlights of last week's McGill win over the Patties. And, last and least(!), we have the new CIS Top Ten release.
Links:
|> Guelph: [Gryphon goalie, Brandon Maxwell signs with Russian Team]
|> McGilligutties v Patties: [Jan 16th Boxscore News Story] : [Video Highlights]
|> CIS Top Ten: [CIS Press Release] - reposted at [CW Site]

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