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Thread: 2017-18 Manitoba Bisons/USports Thread

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  1. #10
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    Default Preview: Jan 5-6: Alberta at Manitoba


    ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (15-1-0, 22-2-0, OHT35 #3)
    MANITOBA BISONS (9-5-2, 13-9-3, OHT35 #7)

    Jan 5 7:00 CDT at The Wayne Fleming Arena
    Jan 6 6:00 CDT at The Wayne Fleming Arena


    Live Links:

    • Video: [CanadaWest.tv] (all games)
    • Friday: [Live Stats] ∞ [Hockey Tech]
    • Saturday: [Live Stats] ∞ [Hockey Tech]

    Manitoba Links:
    • GoBisons: [Team Site]
    • Social: [Twitter] ∞ [Facebook]
    • CW: [Stats]∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
    • LeagueStat: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]

    Alberta Links:
    • Team: [Team Site]
    • Social: [Twitter] ∞ [Facebook]
    • CW: [Stats]∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
    • LeagueStat: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]

    Prior Games:
    Oct 14: UofA 5 UofM 2: [UofM Game Story] ∞ [LeagueStat]
    Oct 15: UofA 4 UofM 1: [UofM Game Story] ∞ [LeagueStat]

    Other Links:
    • [USports] ∞ [US Schedule/Links]
    • [US Standings] ∞ [Top Ten]
    • [CW Site] ∞ [CW Schedule]
    • [CW Stats] ∞ [Media Access]
    • [CUSN Top 10 Stories of 2017]

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year are a thing of the past! The teams in the CW have only a dozen games left. That's 6 weekends of double-headers. It gets late early, as Yogi Berra would say.

    Just this week, the Bisons have redesigned their website. The links and content are the same, but the look is less cluttered. The roster page is not as good but at first blush the rest is better.

    The Bisons are all alone on 3rd place island. After achieving it on their own, Bedrock U's forfeiture of 8 points puts the Herd in an unfamiliar position. The closest team above them is Sask (7 points distant) and the closest teams below them are Lethbridge and UBC (each 5 points in arrears). Not many teams in all of USports can say for certain that they will be in the exact same position in the standings this time next week.

    If any team is going to make a move on the Bisons, it will have to happen in the next two weeks. This weekend they host the Monkeys, and next weekend they are off to Saskatown to face the Mutts. That's four games against two of the top 5 teams in the country. Survive this, and the Bisons could be challenging for 2nd place.

    It is hard to overstate the quality of this year's Monkeys. They are 15-1-0, have given up just 20 goals in 16 games (best in USports), and have surrendered no offence, scoring 66 goals (even with Sask for first). They have 6 of the Top 20 scorers in the CW (Luke Philp, Trevor Cox, Stephane Legeault, Jamie Crooks, Jason Fram, and Brandon Magee). Philp and another Monkey, Cole Sanford, had the winning goals in the USports sweep of the Team Canada Juniors.

    But the Bisons are no slouch. They have 4 of the Top 20 scorers themselves (Michael St. Croix, Kamerin Nault, Zach Franko, and Adam Henry). Fram and Henry are the only defencemen in the Top 20 scorers, and their stats are almost the same. (Fram is 5-10-15, Henry is 4-10-14.) All-in-all, half of the Top 20 will be on display.

    Can the Bisons play D against the Monkeys? The Bisons are about mid-pack in the stats. Starting goaltender Byron Spriggs has carried the load, and is roughly league average (7-5-2, 3.14 GAA, .905 S%). He ranks 8th in GAA and 9th in S%. The Monkeys' tandem of Zach Sawchenko and Brendan Burke are 1st and 2nd in the league in both GAA and S%. Spriggs' claim to fame is that he is running away with lead in minutes played. His 821:13 is well in front of 2nd place Jordon Cooke's 794:57.

    The Bisons will have their work cut out, but a home split in this series is the norm. Over the last 5 years the Apes have 13 wins (one in OT) and the Bisons have 5.


    They have announced special pricing for the 2nd half. $24.99 gets you all hockey games. They have details on other packages in the links. The press release says they are happy with growing sales figures.

    Links:

    Canada West TV posts record first half ... [@CW] : [@ UofL]


    ELSEWHERE


    U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (5-10-1, 7-8-1*, 8-11-1, OHT35 #22)
    CALGARY DINOS (7-5-4, 4-8-4*, 13-7-5, OHT35 #12)
    (*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

    Links:

    UBC: [Winter Classic tickets on sale now]
    UofC: [Reinforcements arrive for second half of hockey season]
    USports: [Calgary Team Schedule]
    Elite Prospects: [Riley Sheen]

    After the illegal player debacle spoiled the festive season in Bedrock, it works out well that they get to play the chief beneficiary of their faux pas right off the bat. Technically, the T-irds have a 3-point lead over the Dinos. In reality, though, the Dinos should be chasing the Bisons for 3rd and UBC should be chasing Lethbridge for 6th. I am not sure how the penalty was assessed. The Dinos were 7-5-4. In the games in question, they went 3-1-2. So if those were all converted to regulation losses, they would be 4-10-2. But the league standings have them at 4-8-4. The USports team schedule at the link still lists their two forfeited games as OTL. Stay tuned for an update. Funny how they were quick to expunge Riley Sheen's name from all stats and boxscore pages, even getting his 5 goals scrubbed from Elite Prospects.


    SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (13-2-1, 14-5-1, OHT35 #5)
    LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (6-9-1, 7-8-1*, 10-14-1, OHT35 #21)
    (*Record adjusted for Calgary's forfeits.)

    Links:

    UofS: [Huskie Athletics unveils new mobile app in 2018]
    UofL: [Pronghorns open New Year hosting third ranked Huskies]

    The Mutts have dominated the Hrny nes over the last 5 years by a 16-2 count. But with Lethbridge just being pipped at the wire for the final playoff spot by UBC the last two years, perhaps their time has come. When the these two faced each other in Saskatown in October, the Mutts swept with one game going into OT. Lethbridge also swept Bedrock in the last series of the 1st semester. One has to think they expect some points this weekend, even against a much higher-ranked foe.


    MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (6-9-1, 7-11-1, OHT35 #13)
    REGINA COUGARS (3-11-2, 5-15-2, OHT35 #27)

    Links:

    MRU: [Team Site]
    UofR: [Cougars host MRU as 2018 schedule kicks off]

    Neither set of Cougars were affected by the Bedrock Debacle. The Banjo Cats could have used some freebie points, but instead remain a distant last as their closest rivals (UBC and Lethbridge) reaped rewards. The Bluegars are on a deceptive 4-game losing streak, with all four games tough losses to the #1 and #2 teams. Meanwhile, the Hillbillies are better than their record. They do have points in 3 of their last 7 games. They won't make the playoffs, but they will score some wins down the stretch. If MRU want to secure 4th place, they need at least 3 points here.

    OUT EAST

    ONTARIO

    Jan 04 Toronto at Guelph
    Jan 05 Brock at York
    Jan 05 Concordia at U.Q.T.R.
    Jan 05 Ottawa at McGill
    Jan 05 R.M.C. at Carleton
    Jan 05 Ryerson at Laurier
    Jan 05 U.O.I.T. at Queen's
    Jan 05 Waterloo at W. Ontario
    Jan 05 Windsor at Lakehead
    Jan 06 Guelph at Brock
    Jan 06 Laurentian at Nipissing
    Jan 06 Laurier at Waterloo
    Jan 06 McGill at Carleton
    Jan 06 Ottawa at Concordia
    Jan 06 R.M.C. at U.Q.T.R.
    Jan 06 W. Ontario at Ryerson
    Jan 06 Windsor at Lakehead
    Jan 06 U.O.I.T. at Queen's
    Jan 07 York at Toronto

    ATLANTIC

    Jan 03 Saint Mary's at Moncton
    Jan 05 Dalhousie at New Brunswick
    Jan 05 Moncton at Acadia
    Jan 05 St. F.X. at U.P.E.I.
    Jan 06 Acadia at Saint Mary's
    Jan 06 Dalhousie at U.P.E.I.
    Jan 06 St. F.X. at New Brunswick

    Links:

    • [US Presto S&R]
    • [OUA S&R]
    • [AUS S&R]
    Last edited by Hollywood; 2018-01-04 at 20:55.
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