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02-07-2013, 08:30 PM
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Feb. 8-9: Bisons at Cougars


MANITOBA BISONS (16-6-4, 19-8-4-1, OHT35 #5)
REGINA COUGARS (12-11-3, 13-17-3, OHT35 #23)

Friday, February 8th, 7:00 p.m. CST @ Regina
Saturday, February 9th, 2:30 p.m. CST @ Regina

Live Links:
|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [no live audio or video]

Manitoba Links:
|> [U of M Team Site]
|> [LS Stats] : [LS Schedule/Results]
|> [Twitter] : [Facebook]
|> [Manitoban: Bison menís hockey team ...]

Regina Links:
|> [U of R Preview Story]
|> [LS Stats] : [LS Schedule/Results]
|> [Twitter] : [Facebook]
|> [Regina Leader-Post: U of R men's hockey ...]

Prior Games:
|> [Sept 15: Man 5-0] : [Sept 21: Man 6-2] : [Sept 22: Man 6-2]
|> [Nov 23: Man 6-0] : [Nov 24: Man 7-2]

Other Links:
|> [CIS Site] : [Schedule/Results/Links] : [Standings]
|> [CW Site] : [Schedule/Results/Links] : [Standings]
|> [CW Weekend Preview]
|> [LeagueStat Daily] : [CW Weekly Media Notes #15]
|> [Every Link Re: CIS Hockey]

Here we are on the eve of the end of the regular season. And the Bisons are on their way to Banjoland, this time to the southern outpost. Of course, they hope for one further trip to the Sticks (for the University Cup in Saskatown).

A weekend preview at this time of year requires a look at the standings:

``Team``````````W``L OT PTS PCT`` GF``GA
1 Alberta``````21``4``1``43 .827 110``44
2 Manitoba```` 16``6``4``36 .692``97``64
3 Saskatchewan 17``8``1``35 .673``92``79
4 Calgary``````16 10``0``32 .615``83``62
5 UBC``````````14``9``3``31 .596``82``77
6 Regina`````` 12 11``3``27 .519``69``85
7 Mount Royal`` 6 18``2``14 .269``68 108
8 Lethbridge````2 21``3`` 7 .135``51 133

The Bisons can assure themselves of 2nd place with a pair of wins over the Banjo-Cats, or fewer if Sask manages a loss in Lethbridge. Regina, however, is in 6th and staying there. So, will they have incentive? They were rolled by the Monkeys last weekend.

I have mentioned before that the Kittens failed to impress me during both trips to the Max Bell. In fact, they seemed to be the weakest opponent the Bisons faced all season. However, maybe the Max Bell is the only arena in the league without catnip. The Kittens have surprised every other team throughout the season. They were the overwhelming choice for last place in the pre-season coaches' poll. Yet here they are, in a playoff position with 13 points to spare.

The linked Leader-Post story tells how Chris Cuthbert was pushed back to play defence due to injuries. I checked my posts from the pre-season and note that he also played defence at times in those games. In any event, the story explains that the Banjo-Cats were down to two regular defencemen when they faced the Monkeys in Edmontown last weekend. According to the Regina preview story, they will have 3 of their regular 6 defencemen available this weekend.

The Kittens may also have a preference for playing the Banjo-Mutts in the playoffs. Just two weeks ago the sides exchanged 5-4 OTWs. All-in-all, the Bisons are by far the team with the most incentive.

Of note, Bisons Blair Macaulay and Ian Duval continue to fight for the scoring title. And their line-mate Tyler Dittmer is tied for the lead in goals. Check out the scoring leaders:

`` Player`````````` Team```` GP``G``A PTS
1``Blair Macaulay`` Manitoba 26 12 22 34
2``Jordan Hickmott``Alberta``26 14 19 33
3``Kyle Bortis``````Sask```` 26 10 21 31
4``Ian Duval````````Manitoba 26``8 23 31
5``Johnny Lazo``````Alberta``26 12 18 30
6``Tyler Dittmer````Manitoba 24 14 13 27
7``Levko Koper``````Alberta``26 10 15 25
8``Brock Nixon``````Calgary``26``9 16 25
9``Eric Galbraith`` MRU``````24 14 10 24
10 Brennan Bosch````Sask```` 24 12 12 24
11 Walker Wintoneak Calgary``26 12 12 24

Bison home action v UBC last weekend.


SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (17-8-1, 19-9-2, OHT35 #8)
LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (2-21-3, 4-26-3, OHT35 #33)

|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [Live Video both nights]
|> [U of L Preview Story] : [U of S Site]
|> [Saskatoon Star-Phoenix: [Six stars emerge ...]

The H0rny Ones finally picked up a win in a 3-point weekend last week. Will they now relax? Or will they want to go out with a bang and give the Banjo-Mutts a stiff challenge? I suspect that if they can finally ice a full roster they just might have the desire to close strong. I suspect that there will be one decisive win for the Mutts, and one toss-up game.

The six stars story is about the naming of all-time Mutt squads for each decade. The linked story is for the 1960s.

ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (21-4-1, 30-4-1, OHT35 #1)
UBC THUNDERBIRDS (14-9-3, 19-10-3-1, OHT35 #15)

|> [Live Stats Friday] : [Live Stats Saturday]
|> [Live Audio Friday]
|> [UBC Team Site] : [U of A Team Site]

The Tweety-Birds need an upset or two if they want to reach the promised land of a home playoff series, which has not happened since 1971. The Monkeys had first place wrapped up last weekend but still found the incentive to crush the Kittens. Will they continue to play with an edge on the road in British California? Neither side has yet posted a preview story.

CALGARY DINOSAURS (16-10-0, 19-13-0, OHT35 #12)
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (6-18-2, 7-20-3, OHT35 #31)

|> [Live Stats Thursday] : [Live Stats Friday]
|> [Live Video both nights]
|> [MRU Team Site] : [U of C Preview Story]
|> [U of C Crowchild Story reposted at CW Site]

This Cowtown Derby will go Thursday/Friday, and the Thursday game is dubbed the "Crowchild Classic" and will be played at the Saddledome. It should be a wild scene. This is not good for the Dinos. They need the points and the New Kittens on the Block are in 7th with no hope of rising higher. Normally, there could be some letdown for the underdogs. But with a big crowd and loads of hype, the Thursday game at least becomes a bit of a toss-up.


Former Mutt and Team Canada coach Dave King will be at the University Cup to give out some coaching awards.
|> Dave King stories: [at CW Site] : [at U of S Site]

The CIS Blog has another AUS Update. Oddly, their teams only have one final game to play this weekend.
|> CIS Blog: [AUS Update]

The Laurentian Voyageurs will be competing in the OUA next season. So it is appropriate that they have started getting commitments from players. Alain Valiquette, former goaltender for the Urban Cowboys, is the first.
|> Sudbury Star: [Valiquette to suit up for Voyageurs]

And, as usual, the CIS released a top ten list which has a few deficiencies. Which is why the Good Lord giveth the OHT35.
|> CIS Top Ten: [CIS Press Release] - reposted at [CW Site]

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