Hockey Headlines

Monday, 30 November 2015

He's A Solid Goalie

I was lucky enough to see Garret Sparks play before he wrote his name into the Maple Leafs' record book tonight. Granted, it wasn't live and in-person, but I watched the highlights of Sparks stonewalling the Manitoba Moose in the second game of the AHL season this year. Sparks stopped 27 of 29 shots in regulation time before stopping four shootout shots in his season debut with the Marlies, but he looked very solid in earning his first AHL win of the season. Who would have thought he'd be part of Maple Leafs' history two months later?

I'm just going to post this video here. Sparks, after shutting out the Oilers in his debut with the Maple Leafs, is informed of his record-setting feat and he's simply overcome with emotion.
First off, classy move by Sparks to hand the first-star stick over the boards and ensure the young man was the recipient of the stick. That little boy will cherish that stick for a long time before he even comes to the realization that it came from a guy who set a record tonight.

How great is it, though, to see Sparks overcome by emotion after finding out that he's now a part of history? Sparks, as you may not know, decided to recommit himself to his position after finding himself in Orlando with the ECHL's Solar Bears last season. He gave up sweets and junk food in the off-season, worked his butt off to get in better shape by dropping 25 pounds, and now he's the starting netminder for the Maple Leafs until James Reimer returns or Jonathan Bernier finds his game.

Not bad, right?

There's a good chance that Sparks starts in Winnipeg on Wednesday, and it will be the first time that a goaltender has had the opportunity to defeat both Winnipeg-based clubs in the same season. While that record is surely one that won't be remembered as fondly as the one set tonight, there aren't many goalies who can claim to have beaten the same city in two leagues in the same season.

We'll see what happens on Wednesday.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Rundown - Week 9

Just because a team found itself in first-place last weekend doesn't mean it will even be in the top-three this weekend. However, sometimes things work out in weird ways when upsets happen. What I'm trying to say is that there was flux in the standings across the CIS this week, but things seemed to have settled in an all-too-familiar way once the action had subsided. Let's take a look what happened on this week's Rundown!

Canada West Results

CALGARY at UBC: Calgary's Sasha Vafina opened the scoring 11:23 into the opening frame for the 1-0 lead. UBC had a solid second period in tallying three times in 3:14! The Thunderbirds got goals from Haneet Parhar at 2:23, Mathea Fischer on the power-play at 4:31, and Kathleen Cahoon at 5:37 to take a 3-1 lead. Iya Gavrilova would get one back in the third period, but Calgary only managed 14 shots in this game as UBC won 3-2. Danielle Dubé picked up the win while Sarah Murray was on the losing end.

CALGARY at UBC: UBC's Logan Boyd kicked off this game with a power-play goal at 10:34 for the 1-0 lead. Delaney Frey would tie the game up at 17:25 for the Dinos. Melissa Goodwin would score while shorthanded at 8:10 of the second period, and UBC went back up by a goal. Iya Gavrilova would respond with a shot that beat Samantha Langford at 14:22, but UBC would take the lead into the intermission as Rebecca Unrau beat Sarah Murray at 17:57 for the 3-2 lead. Calgary would rally in the third period, though, as Kelsie Lang tied this game up once more at 8:31, and the regulation horn would sound with the game deadlocked at 3-3.

The four-on-four overtime period solved nothing, so it was off to the second overtime period where we'd find a winner. It took 32 seconds of three-on-three, but Sasha Vafina would end this as she beat the UBC defence and went high on Langford for the 4-3 double-overtime win! Sarah Murray earned the win in 21-save performance while Langford takes the loss.

SASKATCHEWAN at MOUNT ROYAL: Three goals in three periods, and we'd find a winner. Mount Royal opened the scoring in the first period off Kate Hufnagel's goal at 12:55. Sarah Weninger would double the Cougars' lead at 14:44 of the second period. Saskatchewan's Brooklyn Haubrich would get one back at 10:19 of the third period, but that would be the final goal scored in this contest as Mount Royal downs Saskatchewan by a 2-1 score. Emma Pincott stopped 23 of 24 shots for the win while Cassidy Hendricks took the loss.

SASKATCHEWAN at MOUNT ROYAL: The Huskies were looking to turn the tables on the Cougars, and they opened the scoring in the second period. Marley Ervine scored a power-play just 19 seconds into the frame as Saskatchewan jumped out to the 1-0 lead. They would double the lead when Kaitlin Willoughby scored with 29 seconds left in the second period, and Mount Royal had a bit of a hill to climb. They would get one back on a power-play of their own when Kate Hufnagel potted a goal at 14:43, but that's how the game would end as the Huskies won 2-1. Cassidy Hendricks stopped 26 of 27 shots she faced in the win while Jess Ross fell short in the Saskatchewan net.

REGINA at MANITOBA: It took until the second period, but the scoring would start with Bailey Braden beating Rachel Dyck to put Regina up 1-0 at 13:27. Manitoba would answer back 1:06 later when Courtlyn Oswald took a feed from Venla Hovi in the slot and ripped a wrist shot high over Toni Ross' glove for the 1-1 equalizer. The third period would see one goal scored as Jaycee Magwood would deflect a Bailey Braden shot from a sharp angle over Dyck's shoulder for the 2-1 lead, and the Huskies would protect that lead to the final horn for the win. Ross stops 24 of 25 shots sent her way while Rachel Dyck came up short on this night.

REGINA at MANITOBA: The second half of the two-game set was a one-goal affair. Literally. On the power-play, Manitoba's Alana Serhan set a screen in front of Toni Ross, and Caitlyn Fyten was able to skate in off the point and send a rocket of a wrist shot high on the blocker side at 14:24 of the third period for the only goal of the game. Rachel Dyck made 34 saves in the 1-0 shutout win while Toni Ross made 29 saves in the loss.

ALBERTA at LETHBRIDGE: Lethbridge finally broke the scoreless streak last week, but Alberta decided to start a new one foe the Pronghorns. Goals by Ashley Morin at 2:08 and on the power-play at 15:24 of the first period set the tone, and Janelle Froehler's marker at 11:42 of the third period was all that was needed for the 3-0 shutout by the Pandas. Lindsey Post was perfect on all 23 shots she faced while Alicia Anderson took the loss.

ALBERTA at LETHBRIDGE: Alberta kicked this game off with another first-period goal as Autumn MacDougall beat Alicia Anderson on the power-play at 7:42 for the 1-0 lead. The shutout streak, though, would end at 87:14 this time as Kirsten Reeves beat Lindsey Post at 7:14 of the second period, and we were knotted up at 1-1. It appeared that these two teams were headed for overtime as the deadlock continued late into the third period, but Lethbridge's Lauren Fredrich would find the back of the net with 3:03 to play, and the Pronghorns earned themselves the 2-1 win over the top team in Canada West! Alicia Anderson picked up the win while Lindsey Post took the loss.

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Alberta
9-6-0-1
28 40 24
L1
JANUARY
Manitoba
9-6-0-1
28 33 23
W1
JANUARY
British Columbia
7-5-2-2
27 35 30
L1
JANUARY
Saskatchewan
6-5-3-2
26 36 35
W1
JANUARY
Regina
6-6-3-1
25 43 38
L1
JANUARY
Mount Royal
6-7-2-1
23 31 27
L1
JANUARY
Lethbridge
6-7-2-1
23 28 37
W1
JANUARY
Calgary
2-9-1-4
12 28 60
W1
JANUARY

Ontario Results

WATERLOO at GUELPH: The Gryphons opened the game with a pair of goals in the first period as Mallory Young beat Stephanie Sluys at 6:02 and Averi Nooren followed suit at 11:20. Waterloo would get one back 13 seconds into the third period when Paula Lagamba found room behind Valerie Lamenta to make it 2-1 for Guelph, but the Gryphons would restore the two-goal lead off the stick of Jessica Pinkerton at 16:06. Waterloo wuld make things interesting as Stephanie Digness scored with 1:30 remaining, but Lamenta would shut things down the rest of the way to help Guelph to the 3-2 win. Lamenta picks up the win while Sluys was on the losing end in this one.

QUEEN'S at WESTERN: It was all Queen's in this one. Courtenay Jacklin scored at 13:37 of the second period, and they would get a second goal from Jacklin on the power-play at 19:09 of the middle frame. That would be all that Caitlyn Lahonen needed as she stopped all 29 shots she faced as Queen's downed Western 2-0. Kelly Campbell took the loss in this game.

UOIT at YORK: The Ridgebacks opened the scoring at 4:26 when Mariah Wilson beat Megan Lee, but York would answer back with 22 seconds to play in the opening frame when Kristen Barbara scored on Tori Campbell. And then we wouldn't see another goal almost an hour. UOIT and York played through regulation time and two overtime periods until they hit the shootout tied at 1-1.

If you like free hockey, this shootout wasn't done quick either. It took ten rounds, a York goal by Jenna Gray, and a Megan Lee stop on Victoria MacKenzie for the York Lions to win by a 2-1 score in the shootout. Megan Lee made 35 saves on 36 shots plus eight more in the shootout for the win while Tori Campbell stopped 36 of 37 shots plus seven more in the shootout in the loss.

LAURENTIAN at RYERSON: The Voyageurs got a pair of first-period goals from Julie Hebert to go up 2-0. Hebert scored at 5:58 and then added a power-play goal at 8:12 to get the Voyageurs off on the right foot. Ryerson's Alex Rodriguez would get one back on the power-play at 9:06 of the second period, but that would be all the Rams could muster on this night as Laurentian skates to the 2-1 victory. Laura Deller stopped 23 shots in the win while Ally Sarna records the loss.

NIPISSING at TORONTO: Toronto's Kassandra Roache opened the scoring on the power-play at 5:28 of the second period when she beat Jacqueline Rochefort to put the Varsity Blues up 1-0. Taylor Day would double the lead at 5:20 of the third period while on the power-play, but that seemed to spark the Lakers. Nipissing's Carly Marchment beat Valencia Yordanov 1:27 later, and Kaley Tienhaara would tie the game on a power-play at 14:45 for the 2-2 tie.

This game would go to overtime, and it was in the second overtime period where a winner was crowned. Taylor Murphy's unassisted tally at 2:30 of the fifth period gave Nipissing the 3-2 win over the Varsity Blues! Rochefort picked up the win while Yordanov suffers the loss.

BROCK at WINDSOR: It was almost all Windsor in this one. Erinn Noseworthy opened the scoring for the Lancers on the power-play just 5:32 into the game, but Brock responded with a goal from Christina Ieradi at 11:39. From there, Windsor took over. Krystin Lawrence and Shawna Lesperance scored 21 seconds apart at 4:38 and 4:59, respectively, of the second period, Lawrence would add another at 3:32 of the third period with the man-advantage, and Jillian Rops would add an empty-netter at 17:12 to pace the Lancers to the 5-1 win. Ingrid Sandven picked up the win in a 20-save performance while Jensen Murphy took the loss.

QUEEN'S at WINDSOR: They scored five the night before, but only needed one on Saturday. Shawna Lesperance scored at 4:13 of the first period while Ingrid Sandven shut the door on the Queen's Gaels as the Lancers won 1-0. Sandven stopped all 27 shots she faced while Caitlyn Lahonen stopped 25 of 26 shots in a losing effort.

GUELPH at WESTERN: Western's Anthea Lasis opened the scoring on the power-play as she beat Valerie Lamenta for the 1-0 lead. Guelph's Averi Nooren would score on a power-play just 2:33 into the third period to tie the game, but Lasis would strike again on the power-play at 9:58 to put the Mustangs up 2-1. We weren't done there, folks. The Gryphons tied the game with 26 seconds to play when Christine Grant found the back of the net, so it was off to extra time!

Both overtime periods would solve nothing, so it was off to the breakaway challenge for a victor. Western's Katelyn Gosling and Stacey Scott both beat Lamenta while Kelly Campbell shut the door on Gryphons as Western takes this one by a 3-2 score! Campbell picks up the shootout win while Lamenta suffers the loss.

NIPISSING at RYERSON: Just one team put ink on the scoresheet. Zosia Davis scored on the power-play at 5:50 of the opening frame while teammate Kayla Carter scored on a power-play of her own at 6:57 of the third period to lead the Nipissing Lakers to the 2-0 victory. Jacqueline Rochefort stopped 40 shots in the shutout victory while Ally Sarna was on the losing end.

LAURENTIAN at TORONTO: Taylor Day had a pair of goals for Toronto in the second period at 2:17 and 17:34 to put the Varsity Blues up 2-0. Laurentian's Julie Hebert scored a power-play goal just six seconds into the third period to make it 2-1, but Sonja Weidenfelder put Toronto back up by a pair of goals at 7:58. Valencia Yordanov would take care of the rest as the Varsity Blues skated to the 3-1 victory. Yordanov records the win while Laura Deller was assessed the loss.

YORK at LAURIER: The Golden Hawks came to play. Robyn Degagne scored on the power-play at 11:39 in the first period. Erika Kiviaho added another goal for Laurier at 17:51 of the second period. Jessica Prevette made it 3-0 at 3:31 of the third period. It became 4-0 when Haley Baxter found the back of the net on the power-play at 13:01. York's Erin Locke would break the shutout at 16:01 on a power-play, but Madison MacCulloch's empty-net goal sealed the 5-1 win for Laurier. Lauren Webber stopped 26 of 27 shots in the victory while Megan Lee took the loss in this one.

OUA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Guelph
8-2-2-1
29 40 16
L1
JANUARY
Queen's
8-3-1-1
27 27 17
L1
JANUARY
Western
8-4-1-0
26 36 17
W1
JANUARY
Toronto
6-1-2-3
25 30 20
W1
JANUARY
Waterloo
6-4-2-1
23 33 20
L1
JANUARY
Nipissing
6-3-1-3
23 21 20
W2
JANUARY
Laurier
6-4-0-1
19 25 22
W1
JANUARY
Laurentian
4-5-2-2
18 21 27
L1
JANUARY
York
2-6-3-1
13 22 29
L1
JANUARY
Brock
3-7-1-1
12 14 22
L3
JANUARY
UOIT
3-7-1-1
12 23 39
L1
JANUARY
Windsor
2-8-1-1
9 24 46
W2
JANUARY
Ryerson
1-9-0-1
4 10 31
L5
JANUARY

Quebec Results

CONCORDIA at MONTREAL: The Carabins were all over the Stingers in this one. Maude Laramee opened the scoring at 16:34 and Emmanuelle Passard made it 2-0 for Montreal with seven seconds to play in the first period. Lore Baudrit would add a third goal at 15:33 of the second period, and Ariane Barker woudl round out the scoring at 17:17 of the third period for the 4-0 Montreal victory. Marie-Pier Chabot stopped all 16 shots she faced in the shutout win while Katherine Purchase was on the losing end in this one.

CARLETON at OTTAWA: The GeeGees were the only team on the scoresheet in this one. Goals by Carling Chown at 8:43 of the first period, Carol-Ann Upshall on the power-play at 11:08 of the second period, and an empty net goal by Roxanne Rioux at 18:36 of the third period paced Ottawa to the 3-0 victory. Sarah-Maude Labrecque, who wears #25 as a goaltender, was perfect on the 28 shots she faced for the shutout and win while Katelyn Steele took the loss.

CONCORDIA at CARLETON: Ann-Julie Deschenes would get the Stingers off on the right foot as she scored on Katelyn Steele just 1:24 into the game. Carleton would tie the game up at 13:00 when Hannah Dinovitzer beat Briar Bache, but the Stingers would regain the lead before the end of the period when Tracy-Ann Lavigne scored at 17:56 on the power-play for the 2-1 Concordia lead.

From there, the Ravens took over. Mackenzie Coney tied the game 1:33 into the second period, and she would add a second goal at 5:21 of the third period to put Carleton up 3-2. An empty-net goal by Shannon Pearson with 1:31 to play put the game out of reach as Carleton skated to the 4-2 victory! Steele earned the 40-save win while Bache took the loss despite only seeing 15 shots.

OTTAWA at MCGILL: This game was all about the power-play. Marimee Godbout-Parent put Ottawa on the board while on the power-play at 16:55, but McGill's Brittney Fouracres would tie the game up with ten seconds to play in the period while on the power-play. Kelsie Moffatt would put McGill up 2-1 on a power-play at 9:29 of the second period, but Ottawa would tie the game 3:50 later when Laura Turcotte scored at even-strength! The third period would see the winning goal scored on - you guessed it! - the power-play as Melodie Daoust found the bakc of the net at 10:14 for McGill as the Martlets skated to the 3-2 victory! Taylor Hough picked up the win in this penalty-filled affair while Maude Levesque-Ryan took the loss.

RSEQ WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Ottawa
7-4-0
14 28 26
L1
JANUARY
Montreal
6-3-1
13 30 15
W2
JANUARY
McGill
6-3-0
12 19 10
W3
JANUARY
Concordia
3-6-1
7 12 24
L4
JANUARY
Carleton
3-7-0
6 12 26
W1
JANUARY

Maritime Results

MONCTON at ST. THOMAS: Two of the top teams in the AUS clashed on Friday night. Emily Oleksuk put the Tommies on the board at 5:26 when she beat Emilie Bouchard, but the Aigles Bleues took over from there. Kaitlyn Gallaway scored at 8:18, Amelie Dion scored at 9:29, and Kaitlyn Gallaway added a third goal at 11:14 as Moncton blitzed Taylor Cook for three goals in 2:56 to take a 3-1 lead.

Dion would make it 4-1 with her second goal of the night on the power-play at 5:45 of the second period. The Tommies would chip one goal off the total when Kelty Apperson scored on the power-play at 9:12 of the third period, but that goal would round out the scoring as Moncton wins 4-2. Emilie Bouchard picked up her fifth win of the season while Taylor Cook took the loss.

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER at UPEI: The game was a little yin and yang. Rachel Colle beat Pascale Daigle at 11:06 as UPEI took the 1-0 lead. Samantha Sweet would make it 2-0 at 11:23 of the second period, and Andie Boeckman made it a 3-0 game just 34 seconds after Sweet's goal.

The third period was all StFX. Emily Power scored at 8:00, Jenna MacDonald added another goal 1:30 later, and Sarah Bujold would beat Marie-Soliel Deschenes with 1:30 to play to send this game to overtime! With momentum on their side, the X-Women would find the winner in the extra period as Daley Oddy dented the twine at 7:57 for the 4-3 overtime win! Daigle picked up the win while Deschenes was on the losing end in this one.

DALHOUSIE at UPEI: UPEI was looking to rebound after the overtime loss the day before, but they have to score goals in order to win. Dalhousie's Laura Brooks beat Marie-Soliel Deschenes at 6:28 on the power-play for the only goal of the night, and the Tigers would escape with the 1-0 win. Jessica Severeyns made just 12 saves in the shutout win while Deschenes stopped 24 of 25 shots in a losing effort.

MOUNT ALLISON at SAINT MARY'S: There were a lot of goals scored, and mostly by one team. Here we go. Hayley Halilihan at 7:49 and Breanna Lanceleve at 19:51 of the first period put the Huskies up 2-0. Caitlyn Schell at 3:36, Rebecca Johnson at 7:20, and Beatrice Harrietha at 8:13 of the second period ended Keri Martin's night as the Huskies were up 5-0, but we weren't done. Sarah Douglas added another goal for the Huskies before Kelsey MacDougall snapped Rebecca Clark's shutout at 17:54 to make it a 6-1 lead for Saint Mary's. Heather Richards made it 6-2 at 11:21, but Haylee Tretiak would score on the power-play for the Huskies at 13:36 as Saint Mary's wins this game by a 7-2 score. Clark picked up the win while Martin was assessed the loss. Lindsay Wray stopped 19 of 21 shots in relief.

ST. FRANCIS XAVIER at DALHOUSIE: These two teams both recorded wins one day earlier, so who would take two wins into the December break? Kara Power put the X-Women out in front with a shorthanded tally at 4:03 of the second period, and Taylor Dale doubled that lead 6:05 when she beat Jessica Severeyns. Dalhousie would cut the lead in half when Tara Morning beat Pascale Daigle on the power-play at 13:07, but we were far from done with the scoring in the middle frame.

Daley Oddy added a third StFX goal at 15:31, and Schyler Campbell added a power-play goal with 18 seconds to play to put the X-Women out in front by a 4-1 score. Lisa MacLean would pull the Tigers within two with her goal at 13:46, but Kara Power would ice this game with her empty-netter at 19:49 to give StFX the 5-2 win. Daigle earned the win while Severeyns was on the losing end.

AUS WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Saint Mary's
10-2-0
18 39 19
W10
JANUARY
Moncton
7-5-0
14 38 28
W2
JANUARY
St. Thomas
6-4-1
13 25 23
L3
@ DAL
StFX
6-5-1
13 30 30
W2
JANUARY
Dalhousie
5-6-0
10 25 30
L1
vs STU
Mount Allison
5-7-0
10 26 37
L1
JANUARY
UPEI
2-8-2
6 17 33
L10
JANUARY

It's going to be a quiet edition of The Rundown next week with one lone game on the docket, so we're going to have a little fun next week. I'm going to post my CIS Top Ten because I'm not sure who is voting and/or watching these games, but I have some serious issues with the current Top Ten list. How the fourth-place team in Canada West is ranked while no other team is has me shaking my head.

In any case, like we did on the bye week, I'll highlight a couple of players who are having impressive seasons, open up the discussion on the Top Ten, and we'll look at that final AUS game before the December break!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Bernier In Reimer's Situation

Well, it was another night in the blue paint for Jonathan Bernier, and it was another night of struggles for the once highly-prized goaltender as the Capitals downed the Maple Leafs by a 4-2 score. Two goals of the weaker variety marred another night for Bernier between the pipes, and the crowd at the Air Canada Centre began mock-cheering for the netminder when he made a save. It should be noted, though, that Bernier is almost in the exact same place James Reimer was in last season - no confidence, and no one has faith in him. They persevered with Reimer, and Reimer has been the most consistent goalie in the Leafs' camp to date. So what do they do with Bernier?

The first thing that Bernier needs is a game against a team where he can build his confidence. While it pains me to say this, the upcoming schedule for the Maple Leafs has no "easy" games on it, so he's going to have to jump in with both feet and be ready to play. Edmonton is a good start on Monday, but the Leafs may want to consider the Jets who dropped another game to the Colorado Avalanche tonight. In either case, both teams will put pucks on net. Bernier needs to stop a few to get his rhythm back.

With the Leafs going on the road, Bernier will need to have his head in the right place. Giving up a weak goal on the road will only add to the catcalls and mocking that he received at home, so Bernier needs to be ready to go from the start. If I'm Mike Babcock, I take four players and simply pepper him with shot after shot after shot for five minutes straight in the warm-up. Get him sliding and finding positions and squaring up so he's ready to go once the game starts.

Honestly, though, the goal below is mostly a mental issue.
Bernier did two things wrong on this play: he didn't close the top of his pads to cover the five-hole and he didn't put his stick in front of his pads. That's not a case of not knowing how to play the position or not having the skills needed to be successful. That's a clear indication that his head isn't 100% in the game at that very moment.

Bernier has stopped a dump-in fired directly at him hundreds of times in his career, and we have yet to see him show up repeatedly on highlight shows for being unable to stop the 100-foot shot. Right now, he's fragile mentally and lacks any confidence in himself and his skills, and he needs a solid game to regain some of that confidence.

The late, great Yogi Berra said, "Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical." For Jonathan Bernier, the same could be said about goaltending in place of baseball because, right now, he's fighting himself on some of these saves that should be routine. No one he plays against will help him out by floating shots at him all game, so he needs to get his mental game back on-track. Once he does, his goaltending will improve drastically once more.

It all starts with being mentally ready to play the game. If his head is right, Bernier's confidence in himself will start to come back, and he'll look like the goaltender everyone expects him to be.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Time For A Chat

There are a few players who have running rivalries in the NHL when it comes to physical play. It used to be more common back in the day when teams had truer rivalries, but rarely do we see the kind of physical battle where player-vs-player runs from season to season. That is, unless you're Brandon Dubinsky and Sidney Crosby. These two seem to have a mutual dislike for one another, and it flared up again tonight.

Here's the video. It shows all you need to see.
While it wasn't as vicious as the Dustin Byfuglien cross-check on JT Miller, the similarities must be drawn because Dubinsky delivered the cross-check to Crosby's neck area. Here's the video of Byfuglien on Miller, and it's ugly.

Dustin Byfuglien was suspended four games for his rather brutal cross-check on Miller, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Dubinsky's wasn't as vicious, but he still cross-checked a guy who has a history of head and neck injuries to the ice and followed up with a second cross-check that broke the shaft of his stick. Whether it was the last cross-check, a combination of the two, or a number of other factors that went into the stick snapping over Crosby's prone body is irrelevant because the optics are bad on this one.

In saying that, the NHL's Department of Player Safety was quickly on the phone to let Dubinsky know that they'll be speaking with him tomorrow morning. Because it's a phone call and not an in-person discussion, the suspension probably won't be as severe as Dustin Byfuglien's suspension of four games was, but Brandon Dubinsky will have to face the fire nonetheless.

Personally, I think he gets hit with a game or two. The cross-check targeted the neck area of Crosby despite Dubinsky stating otherwise, and that will the deciding factor. Crosby was alright despite the infraction, but that's just irresponsible on Dubinsky's part.

Tomorrow's phone call should be interesting!

**UPDATE: Dubinsky was suspended for one game for his actions.**

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Hockey Show - Episode 167

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show, returns tonight with a rather low-key show. We had everyone ramped up last week with a lot of hockey chatter to cover, but this week will be a breakdown on a number of hockey items. We might even work a little football into the show thanks to the CFL's Grey Cup Championship being in Winnipeg this weekend. And it's a pretty big day in the Lower 48 as Americans everywhere are settling down in front of their TVs with obscene amounts of food to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the USofA.

If we're talking about turkey, though, we'll have to mention the Winnipeg Jets and their 1-6-1 record in the month of November. Beans and I will discuss where this team has gone wrong, what it needs to do to right the ship, and where they need to be over the next month if playoffs are in their future once again. We'll talk about the Montreal Canadiens losing Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price once more and how that may affect them, and signing Marc Bergevin to a new extension and why that's good for the club. We'll chat about Nail Yakupov being injured by a linesman, some KHL news, and we'll bring to you another Connor McDavid injury update (hint: he's still injured).

There are also a few promotions you should be aware of that we'll rattle off tonight. First, friend of the show and TSN stalwart James Duthie is signing his new book, The Guy On The Left, at Chapters Polo Park this Saturday at 1pm if you're in or near the Winnipeg area. Get down there, grab a book, and meet James Duthie!

Secondly, friend of the show and skeleton racer Cassie Hawrysh will be in town next Saturday for TEDxKildonan, an event that aims to inspire Winnipeggers with ideas and create an all around better city. If you want to attend, it's $30 for registration, but I'm told it's a fun day of idea-sharing and collaborating between people who truly care about the city. Go see Cassie and hear her message on December 5!

Thirdly, The Hockey Show and UMFM are collecting socks for Siloam Mission to ensure that Winnipeggers have warm feet this winter! Bring your gently-used or new socks down to UMFM during regular business hours and toss them in the sock bin that we'll turn over to Siloam Mission on December 24th! Alternatively, you can call of text Megan at (204) 782-7677 and she'll come and pick up your stocking donation! Megan has already collected over 600 pairs, and we're trying to help her get to 1000 pairs before Christmas! Help out The Hockey Show and UMFM by tossing a pair of socks or two into the bin and keep all Winnipeggers warm this winter!

The phones are wide-open once again tonight, so call in and chat some hockey with us! Make sure you tune your radio dial in the Winnipeg region to 101.5 on your FM dial or listen live between 5:30pm and 6:30pm CT on your web-enabled device at the UMFM webpage as well! Tweet me anytime with questions you may by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show. We talk turkeys and American Turkey Day on The Hockey Showtonight only on 101.5 UMFM!

PODCAST: November 26, 2015: Episode 167

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Antler Banter: Season 1, Volume 30

The Moose split with the Chicago Wolves last weekend which, in a way, was a small victory considering how well Chicago has been playing this season. That being said, the Moose needed to keep their eyes on the prize, so to speak, as the Bakersfield Condors arrived in town for a two-game set. It was announced last Thursday that Matthew Ford, one of Bakersfield's leading scorers, would miss this weekend's games thanks to a suspension for a check to the head in a prior game, so the Moose were catching a break as the Condors invaded Winnipeg. Let's get to the action on these two games!

Game 14 - Vs Bakersfield

The Moose broke out a promotional jersey as they took the ice in camouflage for Friday's game, and there was some new blood in the lineup as Nic Petan, seen to the right, suited up for his first AHL game this season. However, it would be the Condors who struck first in this game as Ryan Olsen coughed up the puck in his own zone, and it found the stick of Mitch Moroz in the slot who went high on the glove-side past Hellebuyck for the 1-0 lead just 2:24 into the game. The Moose would respond 10:05 later, though, when a centering pass from the corner by Nic Petan found Brenden Kichton, and his wrist shot eluded Laurent Brossoit for the 1-1 tie.

This game became a bit of a goaltender's duel as Hellebuyck and Brossoit went save-for-save for the better part of twenty minutes, and some were of the unbelievable version. However, Bakersfield would find another goal midway through the second period. Brad Hunt's point shot would be redirected by Alexis Loiseau in front of Hellebuyck, and the deflection would get past the Moose netminder at 10:07 for the 2-1 lead.

The third period would be more of the Hellbuyck-Brossoit goaltending clinic as these two netminders put on a show, but neither team would dent the twine any further as Bakersfield earned the victory in a 2-1 game. Brossoit stopped 32 of 33 shots in the win while Hellebuyck made 28 saves on 30 shots. The Moose fall to 3-9-1-1 in the setback.

Game 15 - Vs Bakersfield

The Moose looked to rally back in winning the second half of the two-game set as they did a week before against Chicago, and they got things started the right way. Joel Armia broke in on a 2-on-1 and made a perfect pass to JC Lipon at the edge of the crease who redirected it past a sliding Laurent Brossoit for the 1-0 lead at 10:39. It appeared that the Moose would carry that lead into the intermission, but a late power-play goal evened the game up. Jujhar Khaira found Anton Slepyshev, and he beat Eric Comrie with 11 seconds in the period for the 1-1 equalizer.

The Moose would grab the lead again in the second period. Scott Kosmachuk spotted Austen Brassard streaking down the middle the ice, and hit him with a perfect pass as he had a step on Brad Hunt. A quick deke to the forehand past Brossoit allowed Brassard to deposit the puck into the open net at 18:58, and the Moose took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.

A turnover in the Condors' zone led to the the third Manitoba goal on this night. Marc-Olivier Roy coughed the puck up to Brenden Kichton just above the left face-off circle, and he went cross-ice to Scot Kosmachuk who one-timed a blast past Brossoit 2:10 into the final frame for the 3-1 Manitoba lead. Eric Comrie would shut things down the rest of the way in helping the Moose to the 3-1 win! Comrie grabs the win while Brossoit was tagged with the loss. With the victory, the Moose improve to 4-9-1-1 on the season!

The Infirmary

Defenceman Jay Harrison and forward John Albert are the only two players still on the sidelines for the Moose as both Matt Fraser and Thomas Raffl returned to the lineup. There's hope these two will be ready to go for the upcoming road trip, but it appears that Albert is closer than Harrison in returning to the lineup at this point.

How The Dominoes Fall

The Moose moved a few players this week to open up some roster room for the healed. There was also a couple of recalls that may affect how the Moose move forward. All in all, there was considerable player movement in one week for the AHL club.

First, Ben Walker was re-assigned to the Tulsa Oilers again. Walker played a pair of games with the Moose since being recalled, and he recorded two penalty minutes in those games. He was sent back to Tulsa on Saturday.

Sunday saw Connor Hellebuyck recalled by the Winnipeg Jets after the knee injury to Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec was seen leaving MTS Centre on crutches following Saturday's game against the Arizona Coyotes, and head coach Paul Maurice stated this week that Pavelec has a knee sprain that will keep him out until January or February. In other words, Hellebuyck will have a great opportunity to prove he's ready for the NHL when he gets his chance.

To make up for the lack of goalies, the Moose signed former Manitoba Bison backstopper Joe Caligiuri to an amateur tryout contract on Sunday in time for the game against the Condors. Caligiuri was 24-16-2 in his time with the Bisons, and has been an emergency goalie at times for the Jets.

The Moose recalled goaltender Jesse Olkinuora from Tulsa on Sunday as well, but he was unable to get to Winnipeg in time for the game. Olkinuora sports a 2-3-2 record along with a 2.80 GAA and a .909 save percentage in seven appearances for the ECHL Oilers this season, and he was 7-5-0 with the IceCaps last season. He'll serve as the backup for Eric Comrie going forward on the road trip.

The Moose then released Caligiuri Sunday night with Olkinuora joining the team. If you want a cameo jersey, Caligiuri wore #30 for his one AHL game. I'm pretty sure the Moose let him keep his jersey as a souvenir of his one AHL game thus far.

On Monday, the Jets recalled Joel Armia from the Moose as they embark on a road trip. Armia has three goals and three assists in 14 games thus far, but I'm not sure he'll see much action unless head coach Paul Maurice is looking to add some offence to his bottom-six. Armia will be relied upon to step into the lineup if someone does go down on this road trip, though.

Finally, the Moose released Kevin Lynch from his professional tryout contract on Tuesday. In five games with the Moose, he recorded two penalty minutes. He will return to the ECHL's Florida Everblades where he had recorded eight points in ten games prior to signing the tryout deal with the Moose.

Who's Next?

The Moose hit the road for a pair of games in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters. The Monsters are one of the teams ahead of the Moose in the Central Division standings, so wins against the Monsters are important. The Monsters are 10-4-0-2 on the season, and have a pile of balanced scoring through their lineup.

Markus Hannikainen, Sonny Milano, Ryan Craig, and Alex Broadhurst all have double-digits in points, so the Moose won't be able to target one or two players. Anton Forsberg and Joonas Korpisalo are both putting up impressive numbers in between the pipes, so scoring goals won't be easy either. Lake Erie is 2-0 versus Manitoba already this season as they downed the Moose at MTS Centre by scores of 3-1 and 2-0, so the Moose will have to come out ready if they hope to take a pair of games off the Monsters.

The Moose and Monsters play Wednesday and Friday, and then the Moose are off to Milwaukee. We'll have those updates next week right here on Antler Banter!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Finding Getzlaf

If you're an Anaheim Ducks fan or you play fantasy hockey, you know that Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf is consistent when it comes to gathering points in a season. Sure, he's never won an Art Ross Trophy, but he's consistently in the top-ten in scoring year after year. Until this year, it seems. Getzlaf and the Ducks have struggled mightily out of the gates, and it's no surprise that the Getzlaf and linemate Corey Perry have been absent from the scoresheet. Every team, though, seems to have an opponent whose number they have, and the Ducks have the Flames' number when playing in southern California. That match-up was what Getzlaf needed.

Ryan Getzlaf broke out of his scoring slump in a big way, assisting on all five goals scored tonight as the Ducks downed the Flames 5-3 tonight. It was the second time he's recorded five assists in his career with the last time coming against Detroit on October 29, 2008. It would mark the 21st-straight time that Anaheim has defeated the Flames in Anaheim as well as that streak also continues. And on this night, the Flames had no answer for the big centerman.

"That's what he brings to the table," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters after the game. "That's why he's played on Team Canada twice and won gold medals and a Stanley Cup. When he plays like that, he's a force to be reckoned with."

The coach's words should ring true in his player's ears as Getzlaf looked like an entirely different player tonight than the few times I've seen him this year. He seemed to be able to see plays as they were happening rather than reacting to the play in front of him. He clearly had vision to find players who were in good positions to score, and he looked like the dominant player every expects him to be. Needless to say, he was everything the Ducks need him to be on this night. And maybe a little more.

"Guys made some plays after I gave them the puck," Getzlaf said, deflecting any praise. He went on to say thathis line hasn't had a left winger in some time, and that Rickard Rackell fit perfectly on this night. I'd say he was correct as Rackell and Perry accounted for four of the five goals scored by Anaheim, and Getzlaf had a hand in all of them.

If the Ducks are going to do anything this year, the Getzlaf-Perry duo and whomever occupies that left wing slot will need to find a way to make plays happen. They're too important to be watching on any night, and they haven't ways to hit the scoresheet regularly to be threats yet this season. They were effective last season, but they've struggled this season thus far.

Perhaps it's a simply a confidence thing, and Getzlaf found himself a pile of it tonight. A five-point night will always do wonders for a struggling player. Now the only question will be whether this was the norm or just a blip on the radar of a poor season?

Until next season, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Huge Loss

I won't lie to you, folks: I'm a Brendan Gallagher fan. I love his gritty play where he's in the face of whatever defender has called him as his check. I love his heart as he goes to high-traffic areas and gets his hands dirty in looking for goals while paying the price. I love his speed, his checking, his tenacity. If there was a player I'd want to play with but not against, Gallagher would be the mold of that player. Clearly, the Montreal Canadiens and head coach Michel Therrien value him as well as he seems to be on the ice every second shift bringing his tenacious game to his opponents, but it might be a long time before we see him on the ice again.

Gallagher and the Canadiens were playing the New York Islanders last night, and things were going somewhat to plan midway through the second period when the game was tied 1-1. I'll let the video set this one up.
Gallagher blocked Johnny Boychuk's shot with his hand and was in immediate discomfort. It's well-known that Boychuk has a cannon of a shot, so you can imagine how that would feel to get a chunk of frozen, vulcanized rubber fired at you at close to 100mph.
Sacre bleu, check out that ring finger! Not good. At all. According to the Canadiens, Gallagher fractured two fingers on his left hand and is out indefinitely following surgery Monday. That's going to leave a big hole in this lineup as it's expected that Gallagher may be out six to eight weeks.

We'll see how the Canadiens react to this setback because Gallagher was having himself a career year before the injury. He was an integral part of the Canadiens' early success. And while there's no replacing a player of Gallagher's skill and tenacity entirely, the Canadiens will need someone to step up in his absence in a big way.

The only question is who will be that player?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Rundown - Week 8

With all the conferences approaching the December break, there was a pile of movement in the conference standings once again. Honestly, the CIS Top Ten list must have three or four new teams every week since the standings today look entirely different than they did three weeks ago. For some teams, finding ways to win is proving difficult while others are piling up wins as their rosters get healthy. Let's run down this week's play in CIS Women's Hockey!

Canada West Results

CALGARY at MOUNT ROYAL: In a rare Thursday night game, the Dinos visited the Cougars needing wins while the Cougars looked to keep pace with the teams ahead of them. The all-Calgary battle started with Mount Royal applying some serious pressure on the Dinos. They would benefit when Carley Bertram found the puck in a scramble around the Calgary net at 7:31, and she found the back of the net behind Sarah Murray for the 1-0 lead. The two teams would battle all the way through to the third period before Calgary found the equalizer. Iya Gavrilova threaded a perfect pass to Sasha Vafina at 18:11 of the final frame, and she beat Emma Pincott to send this game to overtime!

The first overtime period would solve nothing, so it was off to a fifth period. Mount Royal's Megan Carver tried to make a move around a defender, but the two players got tangled up. Sarah Weninger found the loose puck and broke in alone on Murray where her deke to the forehand was enough to dent the twine at 2:56, and the Cougars took the 2-1 double-overtime victory! Emma Pincott made 22 stops in the victory while Sarah Murray took the loss in a 23-save effort.

MOUNT ROYAL at CALGARY: Would the second half of the home-and-home be beneficial for the home team once more? Iya Gavrilova would open the scoring for the home side as she took a Kelsie Lang pass for a breakaway at the blue line, and her shot beat Emma Pincott for the 1-0 lead at the 13:14 mark.

Mount Royal would tie the game early in the second period while on the power-play. Channia Alexander's shot from the point was tipped by Sarah Weninger past Sarah Murray at 2:36, and the game was knotted up at 1-1. 2:16 later, Calgary reclaimed the lead when Sasha Zvonkovic's point shot was saved by Pincott, but it popped loose and Sasha Vafina tapped it in for the 2-1 Dinos lead. 11 seconds after that goal, Mount Royal's Hali Reardon broke in Murray who made the initial save, but Maggie Shykula-Ross potted the rebound for the 2-2 tie.

It would take a fifth period in this game to find a winner once more. With Calgary's Iya Gavrilova whistled for slashing 39 seconds into double-overtime, Mairi Sorensen would end the game 2:19 into the fifth frame when she fired a shot from the high slot past a screened Murray for the 3-2 double-overtime victory! Pincott picked up the win while Murray was assessed the loss.

LETHBRIDGE at REGINA: Would this be the game that Regina broke out of their scoreless streak that had extended to 13.5 periods? In one word, your answer would be "no". Kylie Gavelin scored at 8:42 of the first period, Stephanie Sawchuk added a power-play goal at 4:38 of the second period, and Jaycee Magwood would round of the scoring at 5:27 of the second period as Toni Ross recorded the 3-0 shutout victory. Ross stopped all 22 shots sent her way in the win while Alicia Anderson got no help in the loss.

Just because I have to note it, Lethbridge has not scored a goal in 330:43 of play. How long will this go on? Let's move to Saturday.

LETHBRIDGE at REGINA: Mark it down, folks. Kirana Stocker's shot was stopped by Toni Ross, but Aislinn Kooistra was on the doorstep to knock home the rebound to put Lethbridge up 1-0 for their first goal in 338:25!

Regina would use the second period to take the lead as Kylie Gavelin ripped a wrist shot past Anderson on the power-play, but the puck hit the post and then Anderson before setting behind the goal line for the 1-1 equalizer. The Cougars would strike shorthanded after that as Kylie Gavelin poked the puck past a pinching defender at the blue line, and Jaycee Magwood would pick up the loose puck and race down the ice on a breakaway. Alicia Anderson would come a long way out of her net and fall prey to Magwood's deke, and she scored with less than a second to play in the second period.

Lethbridge would double their output in this game when Sarah Spence fed Kirsten Reeves who one-timed a shot past Ross for the 2-2 equalizer. That would lead to another overtime situation that required five periods to solve this game. Carleen Mezsaros fired a puck on Anderson that was stopped, but Emma Waldenberger fired home the rebound for Regina to give them the 3-2 double-overtime win! Ross picked up the win after stopping 23 of 25 shots while Anderson would suffer the loss despite stopping 43 of 46 shots.

UBC at ALBERTA: Depending on the results of this series, we could see major changes to the standings. Alberta did the minimum needed to win in this one as they scored a lone goal. Natasha Steblin's goal at 11:46 would be the only mark on the scoresheet, and Lindsey Post recorded the 17-save shutout in the 1-0 Alberta win. Danielle Dubé took the loss in this game for UBC despite making 29 of 30 saves.

UBC at ALBERTA: Alberta once again needed just the minimum number of goals, but they added some insurance just to be safe. Sasha Lutz scored at 8:49 into the middle frame and Alex Poznikoff added a power-play goal at 15:04 of the second period, and Lindsey post would shut the door on the Thunderbirds for the second straight night. Alberta skated to the 2-0 win over UBC. Post recorded her second straight shutout win in stopping just 14 shots while Samantha Langford took the loss in this one.

MANITOBA at SASKATCHEWAN: These two teams were looking to make a run at first-place with a couple of wins. It would take until the second period, but Manitoba opened the scoring 1:27 when Kaleigh Wiens found room past Cassidy Hendricks for the 1-0 lead. Saskatchewan would escape the period with the lead after they score the next two goals in the middle frame. Elizabeth Salyn put on past Rachel Dyck at 11:04 and Kaitlin Willoughby found twine behind Dyck at 14:00 for the 2-1 lead.

The Bisons would find the equalizer in the third period when Erica Rieder's blast got by Hendricks at 13:15, and this game would head to overtime tied at 2-2. It would take five periods to decide this game as well, but Saskatchewan's Marley Ervine stole the puck at the Manitoba blue line and broke in alone. She would fire a shot glove-side that Dyck couldn't corral at 3:01, and the Huskies would take this game 3-2 in double-overtime. Hendricks picked up the win while Dyck was on the losing end of this game.

MANITOBA at SASKATCHEWAN: The second half of this two-game set saw the Huskies score early. Julia Flinton beat Rachel Dyck just 2:23 into the game for the 1-0 Saskatchewan lead. However, penalty problems would plague the Huskies in the latter half of the period. Karissa Kirkup made the Huskies pay for their indiscretions twice on the power-play, first at 11:46 and again at 16:54, to put Manitoba out front with a 2-1 lead at period's end. The only other goal in this game came with 42 seconds to play when Alanna Sharman iced the game for the Bisons as they skate to the 3-1 win. Dyck picks up the win in stopping 30 of 31 shots while Cassidy Hendricks absorbed the loss.

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Alberta
8-5-0-1
25 36 22
W2
@ LET
Manitoba
8-5-0-1
25 31 21
W1
vs REG
British Columbia
6-5-2-1
23 29 24
L2
vs CAL
Saskatchewan
5-4-3-2
23 33 32
L1
@ MRU
Regina
5-5-3-1
22 41 36
W2
@ MAN
Mount Royal
5-6-2-1
20 28 24
W3
vs SAS
Lethbridge
5-6-2-1
20 26 33
L6
vs ALB
Calgary
2-8-0-4
10 22 54
L2
@ UBC

Ontario Results

WESTERN at UOIT: Western jumped out to a lead they would never surrender. Tia Kipfer put the Mustangs up 1-0 at 2:47, but the Ridgebacks would tie the game on Tailor Campbell's power-play marker at 10:17. Kendra Broad would restore the one-goal lead at 18:41 with her marker.

The second period saw Western jump out to a 5-1 lead off goals by Brittany Clapham at 1:10, Evra Levesque at 10:09, and Kendra Broad's second of the game at 16:36. Stacey Scott would add another at 5:11 of the third period, and UOIT would add one more at 18:12 on the power-play by Kassidy Nauboris to make it more respectable, but the Western Mustangs take this one by a 6-2 score. Kelly Campbell earns the win while Cassie Charette takes the loss.

WINDSOR at QUEEN'S: Queen's Clare McKellar opened the scoring at 5:11 of the second period as her shot beat Ingrid Sandven for the 1-0 lead. Queen's would double their lead at 4:29 of the third period while on the power-play when Taryn Pilon found the back of the net. Windsor would cut the lead in half when Larissa Borowiec beat Caitlyn Lahonen at 13:25, but Queen's restored the two-goal lead 1:30 later when Addi Halladay scored on the power-play. Nadia Larocca would add one more goal for Queen's at 16:39, and Queen's would take this game by a 4-1 score. Lahonen picked up the win while Sandven was on the losing end.

RYERSON at YORK: It was all York in this one. Rianna Langford scored at 7:54 and Erin Locke scored at 8:19 of the first period. Locke added her second of the game while shorthanded at 8:18 of the second period, and Langford would complete the book-end with her second of the game at 3:43 of the third period as York skated to the 4-0 win. Megan Lee stopped 25 shots in the shutout win while Alex Armstrong was the goaltender of record in the loss in playing just the first period. Ally Sarna made 17 stops on 19 shots in relief.

WATERLOO at BROCK: It would take four periods to see a goal scored, but that goal would determine the winner. Waterloo's Paula Lagamba would score 50 seconds into overtime to give the Lancers the 1-0 victory! Stephanie Sluys would record the 25-save shutout and win while Jensen Murphy stopped 23 of 24 shots in a losing effort.

GUELPH at NIPISSING: Guelph would grab a lead a 1:31 of the second period when Leigh Shilton beat Jacqueline Rochefort. Bronwyn Bolduc would tie the game at 8:57 when she got the puck past Valerie Lamenta. The Gryphons would jump ahead before the end of the period, though, as Christine Grant scored on the power-play at 15:49.

The Lakers would tie the game in the third period at 3:20 off a Brooklyn Irwin goal, and the final horn would send this game to an extra period to find a winner. It didn't take long as Guelph found the winning tally just 40 seconds in on the power-play as Jessica Pinkerton brought an end to this game. Guelph wins 3-2 in overtime. Lamenta picks up the win while Rochefort takes the loss.

WINDSOR at UOIT: Shailyn Waites put Windsor up 1-0 with her goal 3:30 into the game. UOIT would tie the game on the power-play with 30 seconds to play in the period when Jenna Carter found the back of the net. Krystin Lawrence would put Windsor ahead on her goal 1:07 into the second period, and the Lancers would carry that score into the third period.

And then things changed. UOIT's Shanelle Doucette scored 15 seconds into the period to make it 2-2. Kassidy Nauboris scored at 4:22 to give the Ridgebacks the 3-2 lead. Windsor would tie it while shorthanded when Erinn Noseworthy scored at 5:15, but Natasha Tymcio would score on the same man-advantage at 6:07 to put UOIT up 4-3. 30 seconds later, Samantha Forchielli would give UOIT a 5-3 lead, and that lead would hold for the remainder of the game as UOIT took this game 5-3. Cassie Charette earned the win while Marissa Kozovski took the loss.

WESTERN at QUEEN'S: Western continued their assault on the rest of OUA. Kendra Broad would earn the game's first goal while on the power-play at 13:24, and Ali Beres would add a second power-play goal at 18:45 for the 2-0 Western lead. Kendra Broad would add her second of the game and fourth of the weekend at 7:08 of the second period to increase the lead to 3-0. Queen's Katrina Manoukarakis would get one back at 11:24 to cut the lead to 3-1, but Evra Levesque would hit the empty net with 1:30 remaining to send Western to the 4-1 victory. Kelly Campbell stopped 34 of 35 pucks sent her way for the win while Caitlyn Lahonen was on the losing end.

GUELPH at LAURENTIAN: Laurentian's Ellery Veerman would open the game with a power-play goal at 4:10 of the second period that found room behind Valerie Lamenta. Kelly Gribbons would tie the game at 1:15 of the third period when she beat Laura Deller. The Gryphons would take the lead at 4:29 when Leigh Shilton found the back of the net. However, the Voyageurs would tie the game at 11:57 when Julie Hiebert dented the twine, and we'd be off to overtime to find a winner.

It would take 2:24, but the Guelph Gryphons would skate to victory off a Brittany St. James shot that beat Deller for the 3-2 overtime victory. Lamenta earned the win while Deller was assessed the loss.

TORONTO at YORK: Five periods of play resulted in a total of zero goals as both goalies stood tall. It would take a skills competition to find a winner as this game went to a shootout at a 0-0 draw. York's Dana Somerville would open the shootout with a goal, and Kristen Barbara added a second goal on York's third shot. Megan Lee stopped both Toronto shooters, giving York the 1-0 shootout victory. Lee stopped all 43 shots she saw and two more shots in the shootout for the shutout and win while Valencia Yordanov stopped all 33 shots she faced for the shutout, but surrendered two shootout goals in the loss.

LAURIER at WATERLOO: Waterloo's Marissa Redmond got this party started when she beat Lauren Webber at 17:43 of the first period. Laurier, though, would come out in gangbusters in the second period. Dollee Meigs scored 31 seconds in, Madison MacCulloch added a second goal at 3:43, and Jessie Hurrell made it a 3-1 Laurier game at 4:16 as Rebecca Bouwhuis' night was over in net. Stephanie Sluys would take over for Waterloo at that point.

Waterloo seemed to take a spark from the change. Rachel Marriott scored at 14:15 to cut the lead to 3-2, and it was off to the third period. Amy Barnard would tie the game with her goal on the power-play at 4:56, and Marriott would add her second of the game with 3:54 to play as Waterloo comes from behind to take this game by a 4-3 score. Sluys is the goaltender of record in this game for the Lancers as she stopped all 17 shots she faced for the win while Webber takes the loss.

OUA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Guelph
7-2-2-0
25 35 11
W7
vs WAT/@ WES
Queen's
7-2-1-1
24 25 16
L1
@ WES/WIN
Western
8-3-0-0
24 33 13
W5
vs QUE/GUE
Waterloo
6-3-2-1
23 31 17
W5
@ GUE
Toronto
5-1-2-2
21 25 16
L3
vs NIP/LAU
Nipissing
5-3-0-3
18 16 18
L2
@ TOR/RYE
Laurier
5-4-0-1
16 20 21
L2
vs YOR
Laurentian
3-4-2-2
15 18 23
L1
@ RYE/TOR
Brock
3-6-1-1
12 13 17
L2
@ WIN
UOIT
3-7-1-0
11 22 37
W1
@ YOR
York
2-5-2-1
11 19 23
W2
vs UOIT/@ LGH
Ryerson
1-7-0-1
4 9 27
L3
vs LAU/NIP
Windsor
0-8-1-1
3 18 45
L3
vs BRO/QUE

Quebec Results

MONTREAL at CARLETON: The Carabins kicked this game off with a Jessica Cormier goal at 4:15 to take the 1-0 lead. Montreal would double their lead at 10:37 of the second period when Marion Allemoz beat Hailey Perreault for the 2-0 lead. The Ravens would get one back at 14:06 when Audrey-Ann Boutour found space past Marie-Pier Chabot, but the Carabins would ice this game in the third period off a pair of goals from Ariane Baker at 6:01 and Alexandra Labelle at 12:12 for the 4-1 victory. Chabot would pick up the win while Perreault took the loss.

MCGILL at CONCORDIA: McGill was the only team to hit the scoresheet in this one. Melanie Daoust scored at 13:39 of the second period and Gabrielle Davidson added a shorthanded marker at 15:05 of the third period as McGill skated to the 2-0 victory. Taylor Hough picked up the 21-save shutout and win while Katherine Purchase was assessed the loss.

OTTAWA at CONCORDIA: The GeeGees brought the game to the Stingers in this game. Melodie Bouchard scored at 16:02 and Vickie Lemire scored at 19:27 to send Ottawa to the dressing rooms up 2-0. Ann-Julie Deschenes brought the Stingers to within one while on the power-play at 1:40, but Carol-Ann Upshall restored the two-goal lead at 8:47. Ottawa would add one more goal in the third period off the stick of Camille Pauck-Therrien while on the power-play at the 28-second mark, and that would round out the scoring in a 4-1 Ottawa victory. Maude Levesque-Ryan earned the victory while Katherine Purchase was on the losing side of ledger once more this weekend.

RSEQ WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Ottawa
6-3-0
12 23 23
W2
vs CAR\@McG
Montreal
5-3-1
11 26 15
W1
vs CON
McGill
5-3-0
10 16 8
W2
vs OTT
Concordia
3-4-1
7 10 16
L2
@ MON/CAR
Carleton
2-6-0
4 8 21
L2
@ OTT/vs CON

Maritime Results

UPEI at MOUNT ALLISON: The Mounties opened the scoring late in the opening frame when Heather Richards found the back of the net on the power-play to put Mount Allison up 1-0. Gabrielle Vautour would make it a 2-0 game early in the second period when she beat Marie-Soliel Deschenes at 2:18, but the Panthers would chip away. Cornelia Geib fired a shot past Keri martin at 10:34 to make it 2-1, but that's as close as UPEI would get as Mount Allison wins by that 2-1 score. Martin picks up the win while Deschenes was on the hook for the loss.

MONCTON at SAINT MARY'S: All the scoring came in third period in this game. The Aigles Bleues would hit the board first when Marie-Pier Arsenault put the puck past Rebecca Clark on the power-play at 2:23. From there, it was all Saint Mary's. Breanna Lanceleve scored at 7:16 and Celine Van de Molen would notch a goal at 8:08 to put the Huskies up 2-1. Sarah Douglas would round out the scoring with 13 seconds to play when she hit the empty net while shorthanded to give Saint Mary's the 3-1 victory. Clark picked up her seventh win of the season while Gabrielle Forget took the loss in this one.

MOUNT ALLISON at ST. FRANCIS XAVIER: There's a pile of goals here, so let's roll through this. Mount Allison scored the lone goal of the first period when Samantha Bujold hit the scoresheet on the power-play at 10:42. StFX tied the score at 7:07 of the second period when Kara Power found the back of the net, but the Mounties would jump out to a 3-1 lead off a Mackenzie Lalonde goal at 10:16 and a Kara Anthony power-play goal at 13:42.

Heather Richards would add another for Mount Allison just 36 seconds into the third period for the 4-1 lead. Connor Garagan would make it 4-2 at 10:14 as she pulled the X-Women closer, and the lead would be just one for the Mounties after Kara Power notched her second of the game at 13:36. However, Shelby Colton would hit the empty net with a 1:30 remaining to give Mount Allison the 5-3 win. Keri Martin picked up her fourth win of the season in a 43-save performance while Pascale Daigle took the loss in stopping just 12 of 16 shots.

ST. THOMAS at SAINT MARY'S: Only one team would represented on the scoresheet on this night. The Huskies got goals from Laura Polak at 9:50 of the first period and 8:08 of the third period as Polak powered Saint Mary's to the 2-0 victory. Clark earned the win and shutout by stopping all 18 shots she faced while Taylor Cook was on the losing end in this one.

MONCTON at DALHOUSIE: The Tigers would open the scoring at 4:40 on the power-play when Lisa MacLean beat Emilie Bouchard for the 1-0 Dalhousie lead. Katryne Villeneuve would pull the Aigles Bleues even at 10:59 when her shot beat Mati Barrett. Dalhousie would retake the lead at 17:34 when Courtney Sheedy found the back of the net, but Moncton would even the score 1:50 later while on the power-play when Marie-Pier Corriveau's shot dented twine for the 2-2 deadlock.

The second period would see Moncton jump ahead when Kaitlyn Gallaway found room on Barrett at 8:50, but Tara Morning would pull Dalhousie even once again with her goal at 13:29. Tis game would be decided by the lone goal of the third period, and it went to Moncton's Amelie Dion on the power-play at 13:00. Moncton would take this one by a 4-3 score. Bouchard earned the win while Barrett took the loss.

AUS WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Saint Mary's
9-2-0
18 32 17
W9
vs MAU
St. Thomas
6-3-1
13 23 19
L2
vs MON
Moncton
6-5-0
12 34 26
W1
@ STU
Mount Allison
5-6-0
10 24 30
W2
@ SMU
StFX
4-5-1
9 21 25
L1
@ UPEI/DAL
Dalhousie
4-5-0
8 22 25
L1
@ DAL/vs StFX
UPEI
2-7-1
5 14 28
L8
vs StFX/DAL

Next week are the final games before the annual December break in the CIS outside of one game in the AUS. Students write exams in December, so the CIS takes the full month off to allow its student-athletes to live up to the first-half of the phrase "student-athlete". Games resume in the first week of January, so I'll have a couple of features on CIS women's players to occupy some of the time off.

Looking at the standings, Canada West is anyone's conference right now, the OUA is turning into a five-team race, the RSEQ has four of five teams competing for the top spot, and the AUS has the Huskies on a serious role in winning their last nine games. There's one more week for teams to send a message before the sprint in the final two months of the season starting in 2016, and these conferences are proving that nothing is given and everything must be earned week-in and week-out!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Retro Gaming Night

You may not be aware of this, but I consider myself something of a retro gamer. I still have several old gaming consoles hooked up in my basement including an old Nintendo Entertainment System that features cartridges of Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man among the few I have. I love the old 8-bit systems because they're still challenging today, some 30 years after they were originally released. I have an old Sega Genesis that gets played often thanks to NHL '94, but there's something about the old 8-bit system that just keeps me coming back for more.

Tonight, the ECHL's Toledo Walleye will celebrate 8-bit night as they host the Fort Wayne Komets, and they will outfit both teams in what I believe might be the greatest jerseys to honour the 8-bit video game era that I've ever seen.
Having the Walleye dress as Mario and the Komets dress as Bowser is one of the greatest designs conceived and produced on a hockey jersey ever. The fact that it's "blocky" to look more 8-bit is even better. There is nothing about these jerseys I hate. Being that they are a minor-league promotional jersey, they are some of the best ever seen. That's not just an opinion from this writer. I happen to believe that it's a fact.

Now you might be saying, "Teebz, these are just images. The real thing could look like garbage". Yes, that's a possibility, so it's part of the reason why I've posted this picture from the Walleye's Twitter account.
They still look pretty darn good. I used to believe that the Bakersfield Condors ruled the roost when it came to producing incredible minor-league promotional jerseys, but the Walleye have really stepped up their game over the last few seasons. These 8-bit jerseys are just the latest in a long line of incredible Walleye jerseys you can see on their Instagram feed.

The 8-bit jerseys will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to a few different places: the Adopt America Network, the Alzheimer's Association NW Ohio Chapter, and the Walleye Wishing Well. The Walleye Wishing Well is the charitable fund of the Toledo Walleye, providing financial support to local organizations with an emphasis on youth recreation and wellness. Those are some pretty worthy causes, so good on the Walleye for helping these three great organizations.

There's also a pile of 8-bit fun surrounding the game! "Suit Up (T-Town Hockey)", the theme of the Toledo Walleye, is normally performed by In Theory, but Tim Martuch, an Academy of Art grad student in film composition, decided to apply a little 8-bit magic to the song. You can hear that new remix here! For those who can't be at the live auction - me, for example - the Walleye have created some 8-bit t-shirts! Personally, I like the 8-bit jersey tee or the 8-bit skater tee, but you can see all of them over on their online store!

And because the Walleye are going to wearing the overalls of Mario on this night, they are also celebrating Movember night tonight! If you're one of the first 2000 people through the doors tonight, you'll be given a mustache! Those with self-grown mustaches can have them trimmed and groomed by Great Clips representatives who will be offering their services to take care of your hirsute upper lip as well!

The Toledo Walleye jump back to 1985 in their Super Mario Bros. jerseys tonight, and they look spectacular in doing so!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Russia Celebrates January 23

I hope you've booked the weekend of January 23 clear. You might want to take the Friday and Monday off at work as well because it's going to be a busy weekend. If you had tuned into The Hockey Show yesterday, you'd have heard that the NWHL All-Star Game is that very weekend. They, however, are not the only league to be sending their league's best players to one location. The KHL will and CWHL reportedly will hold their respective All-Star Games that very weekend as three prominent leagues try to compete with one another for interest from fans. The NWHL All-Star Game will take place in Buffalo, the KHL All-Star Game will happen in Moscow, while the CWHL's game reportedly will be in either Toronto or Montreal.

We discussed the gimmick-filled NWHL All-Star Game on the show last night, so I'm not going to go through the details here again. Needless to say, I'm not impressed in that they took the gimmicks that killed the NHL All-Star Game and decided to use them for their own game. I'm not sure who decided this, but if it didn't work for the NHL where fans are tuning out the game in droves, why would you adopt the same things that caused the NHL fans to stop watching?

In any case, there will be one more confirmed game that weekend as the KHL has announced that the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow will be the site for the 2016 KHL All-Star Game. The VTB Ice Palace plays host to Dynamo Moscow during the regular season, but it sounds like the KHL is also doing a little work for the Russian Hockey Federation with this announcement. KHL Hockey Operations Vice-President Georgy Kobylyansky stated, “The VTB Ice Palace is a state-of-the-art arena with room for 12,000 spectators, and is the perfect venue for the capital to stage a brilliant and unforgettable show for hockey fans everywhere. The arena has also been chosen to host some of the games in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, which will take place in Russia in May of next year. The KHL All-Star Game, as well as Dynamo Moscow’s home games throughout the 2015-16 season, will provide the perfect test for the VTB Ice Palace in the months leading up to the World Championship.”

This will be the second time that Moscow has played host to the KHL All-Star Game. The last time we saw the game there, it was played outdoors at Red Square with some iconic imagery in the background.
While this imagery won't be seen from inside the VTB ICe Palace, you will see the stars of the KHL light up the ice as they run through the skills competition and the game on the weekend. So who will be going? While it's still early to make definitive choices who will appear for the two squads, there are some players who have stood out thus far.

Over in the Eastern Conference, Sergei Mozyakin of Metallurg Magnitogorsk will likely head to the game as he leads the KHL in goals with 22. Linus Omark will likely go for the Eastern Conference as well as Omark is tied for the lead in assists with 22. He's tied with another man who should go in Jan Kovar who is Mozyakin's linemate in Magnitogorsk. They should be joined by Nigel Dawes who has 18 goals and 28 points for Barys Astana, and his linemate Brandon Bochenski should also get a nod as he also has 22 assists on the season. Anatoly Golyshev of Avtomobilist should get an invite on the strength of his 18 goals thus far.

On the blue line, Sami Lepisto of Salavat is fourth in scoring by a defenceman with 21 points while Lada's Tobias Viklund is second in goals by a defenceman. In net, I'd like to see Neftekhimik's Alexander Sudnitsin go to the game as one of the goaltenders as he's been a standout with Neftekhimik despite their inability to score. Sudnitsin has a 1.60 GAA and a .945 save percentage on a 10-9 record in 28 games. Amur's Juha Metsola is another strong candidate despite his team being offensively-anemic. Metsola has a 1.88 GAA and a .931 save percentage with five shutouts despite his record being 10-15 in 31 appearances this season.

The Western Conference will see some familiar names show up. CSKA's Alexander Radulov will likely be included after he's off to a 34-point start to the season. CSKA teammate Geoff Platt may join him as he's already tallied 15 times this season. Jokerit should see former Leaf Brandon Kozun head to the game as he has 32 points already this season. Matt Eliison of Dinamo Minsk will probably go as he has 15 goals as the fourth-best sniper this season, and Lokomotiv's Petri Kontiola will be invited as he's another player who has 22 assists on the season already.

The hometown Dynamo Moscow will likely be represented by defenceman Mat Robinson as he leads all defencemen in scoring with 27 points thus far. Slovan's Cam Barker will likely join him as he's second in scoring from the blue line with 25 points while Dinamo Minsk will add the third-leading scorer from the blue liners in Nick Bailen with 23 points. Lokomotiv's Alexei Murygin should be a strong candidate for the netminders as he's sporting a 1.04 GAA, a .957 save percentage, seven shutouts, and a 12-4 record in 17 appearances. CSKA's Ilya Sorokin will probably be one of the other netminders as he has a ridiculous 0.97 GAA, a .957 save percentage, five shutouts, and an 8-3 record in 12 appearances this season.

The one name I didn't put in writing? SKA St. Petersburg's Ilya Kovalchuk. There's more than a good chance he'll be invited, but Kovalchuk is having himself an awful season by his standards. He's fourth in team scoring with five goals and 12 assists in 23 games. He was injured for eight games with a knee injury, but he's a team-worst -13 this season so he hasn't had anything close to the season that one would expect out of him. He might get the call, but he should do the right thing this season and let someone else attend in his place. He is not, statistically, one of the KHL's best by any means.

So there's a quick primer for your January 23 weekend. There will be lots of hockey, lots of skills competitions, and a few gimmicks to deal with, but there should be some good hockey at various points. There have been no announcements if anyone will carry the KHL All-Star Game, but I assume OnHockey.tv will have coverage if you want to be up very early that morning!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!