MANITOBA BISONS (9-10-1, 10-13-3, OHT35 #19)
U.B.C. THUNDERBIRDS (4-11-5, 7-14-6, OHT35 #24)


Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:00 PT/9:00 CT at DMTSC (Vancouver)
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00 PT/4:00 CT at DMTSC (Vancouver)


Live Links:

➤ Video: [CanadaWest.tv]
➤ Friday: [Live Stats] ∞ [Hockey Tech]
➤ Saturday: [Live Stats] ∞ [Hockey Tech]

Manitoba Links:
➤ GoBisons: [Colton Veloso and Jordyn Zacharias are Boston Pizza Bison Sports Athletes of the Week]
➤ GoBisons: [Bisons teams celebrate Pride on a super Saturday, Jan. 18]
➤ Social: [Twitter] ∞ [Facebook]
➤ CW: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
➤ LeagueStat: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
➤ Audio: [Hear the Herd Podcast]
➤ The Manitoban: [Mixed bag of results for University of Manitoba Bisons on trip out west]

UBC Links:
➤ UBC: [Winter Classic features huge showdown with Manitoba]
➤ Social: [Twitter] ∞ [Facebook]
➤ CW: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
➤ LeagueStat: [Stats] ∞ [Schedule/Results/Links]
➤ Audio: [Thunderbird Eye Podcast]

Other Links:
➤ USports: [Schedule/Links] ∞ [Standings]
➤ CW: [Home Page] ∞ [Schedule]
➤ LeagueStat: [Media Stats]
➤ Brandon Sun: [All paths lead back to hockey for Joe Caligiuri]

Prior Games:
➤ Oct 26: UM 5 UBC 2: [LeagueStat] : [Game Story]
➤ Oct 27: UBC 3 UM 1: [HockeyTech] : [Game Story]


The Bisons are off to British California for their annual west coast trek. And what a time to go. UBC holds an annual Winter Classic game, which draws a massive crowd, and that lands on Friday. This year, the T-irds will be honouring their 1971 conference championship team, their last titlist. That team defeated the Bisons in the final. They did make it to the conference final in 1975 and 1978, during the era where the CW and GPAC were split into separate conferences.

The Bisons are nicely nestled into 5th place, and seem to be tuning up for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the T-irds have now fallen out of the playoff picture, albeit just one point in arrears of 6th place. So there is massive urgency for UBC. After this weekend, they have just two home games left. As a result, the Bisons will have mighty big targets on their heads this weekend.

These two split their previous series (as the Bisons have done 9 of 10 times thus far), and UBC seemed to be a decent enough team. Over the last 5 years, both sides are 9-8-1 going head-to-head. Even this year, on goals-for-and-against UBC is only a -20, while Regina is -34 and Lethbridge is -44. Not many pundits picked UBC to miss the playoffs.

Since that series against the Bisons, UBC has just two wins – those being a convincing sweep of Lethbridge. However, I recently saw good portions of their games against Regina and Calgary and they seemed OK.

The Birds have just one player in the CW's Top 40 scorers, Austin Vetterl (4-9-13). Manitoba has four now, including Adam Henry (6-9-15) on defence, and a trio of sophomore forwards coming into their own, namely Jeremey Leipsic (6-8-14), Devon Skoleski (4-10-14), and Keaton Jamieson (2-11-13).

In goal, Birds' 3rd year Rylan Toth is a solid but unpectacular CW starter. This year he's 3-8-4, 3.03 GAA, .898 S%. Backup Patrick Dea has comparable numbers at 1-3-1, 2.67 GAA, .885 S%. Meanwhile, three rookies have given the Bisons stellar goaltending. Riley Lamb won the starter job (6-4-1, 3.11 GAA, .915 S%), then Tyler Brown wrested it away (3-5-0, 3.14 GAA, .914 S%) before Lamb jumped back in last Saturday. #3 goaltender, Jeremy Link, deserves some playing time. He had one start (against UBC) and stopped 45 of 47 shots in a loss.



ELSEWHERE IN THE CW


REGINA COUGARS (6-12-2, 7-15-2, OHT35 #23)
MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (11-7-2, 14-10-3, OHT35 #8)


Links:
➤ MRU: [Men's Hockey Site]
➤ UofR: [Men's Hockey Site]


How the season has turned around for the Banjoland's loveable losers. They seemed well on their way to yet another dismal last place finish. But alas! Four straight wins and they now sit in 6th place and seem to be on fire. Brandon Holtby has emerged as a bona fide starter (6-7-1, 2.59 GAA, .920 S%). The other Cats in this fight, like the Bisons, are all by themselves in mid-table with nobody close to them. Is the Bluegar confidence shaken after mounting a solid challenge early on? Or will this allow them to retrench for the playoffs?



SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (14-4-2, 15-5-2, OHT35 #4)
CALGARY DINOSAURS (14-4-2, 21-5-3, OHT35 #5)


Links:
➤ UofC: [Men's Hockey Site]
➤ UofS: [Huskie Happenings: Jan. 15-19]


Michael Buffer needs to do the intros in this series. If one team could sweep they would likely get 2nd place and the bye which goes with it, in addition to hosting the semi-final series these teams seem destined to play. The Banjo Mutts' slow start has been completely overcome. I'm not sure what to make of that Saturday night gong-show last weekend (giving up 5 goals on 40 shots against Lethbridge), perhaps it was just a one-off. I did pick Bedrock U for 2nd in my pre-season picks.



LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS (5-14-1, 5-17-2, OHT35 #29)
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS (17-3-0, 25-5-0, OHT35 #1)


Links:
➤ UofL: [Pronghorns face defending conference champs in Edmonton]
➤ UofA: [Men's Hockey Site]


Welcome to the squash match of the weekend. The Hørny Ønes have not come back well from the Christmas break, having 4 straight losses by 3 goals each. Regaining their form against the Evil Monkeys seems onerous. The closest the Monkeys have had to a slump is two losses with 5 goals against in each (against Manitoba and Saskatchewan) in a 5-game stretch. In my estimation the Hørny Ønes would be quite happy to pick up even one point in this set.


OUT EAST


Wed Jan 15 Concordia 1 UQTR 3
Thu Jan 16 Guelph at Brock
Fri Jan 17 Nipissing at Carleton
Fri Jan 17 Ottawa at McGill
Fri Jan 17 Windsor at Toronto
Fri Jan 17 Guelph at Waterloo
Fri Jan 17 W. Ontario at Lakehead
Fri Jan 17 York at Ryerson
Fri Jan 17 Ontario Tech at Queen's
Sat Jan 18 McGill at UQTR
Sat Jan 18 W. Ontario at Lakehead
Sat Jan 18 Ottawa at Carleton
Sat Jan 18 Laurier at Toronto
Sat Jan 18 York at Waterloo
Sat Jan 18 Windsor at Ryerson
Sat Jan 18 Nipissing at Concordia
Sat Jan 18 Army at RMC (Non-Conference Game)
Sun Jan 19 Queen's at Concordia


Tue Jan 14 New Brunswick 3 UPEI 1
Wed Jan 15 Dalhousie 3 St. F.X. 4
Fri Jan 17 UPEI at Dalhousie
Fri Jan 17 Acadia at New Brunswick
Fri Jan 17 Saint Mary's at Moncton
Sat Jan 18 St. F.X. at UPEI
Sat Jan 18 Saint Mary's at New Brunswick
Sat Jan 18 Acadia at Moncton

Links:
➤ [USp Presto S&R]
➤ [OUA LS Daily]
➤ [AUS S&R]