Saturday, 10 November 2018

Don Cherry Tickles The Ivory

It's as much as Saturday night institution as Hockey Night in Canada is. Every week, and more often in the playoffs, Ron MacLean sits next to Don Cherry as he leads the octogenarian through topics upon which the former head coach choose to opine. Sometimes, he's funny with his commentary. Sometimes, he controversial with his views. At the end of the day however, it's his hand gestures I want to focus on because someone went off the board and made an amazing video of Don Cherry.

I hadn't seen this until someone pointed it out to me yesterday at work, but YouTube user "RBFlicks" posted this magnificent two minutes of hilarity in 2011. Somehow, it has eluded me, but we were talking about Don Cherry yesterday at work when someone brought this up. And I couldn't stop laughing.
Yes, RBFlicks decided to use Don's hand gestures and desk touches to add a little music to Coach's Corner. The fact that RBFlicks coordinates hand movements with piano keys shows just how much he or she paid attention to Don's hands, but I think one comment on the YouTube video sums this up nicely for all of us:

You can catch Don Cherry on Coach's Corner tonight on Hockey Night in Canada. Whether or not RBFlicks makes more of these matters not. The video posted above, as Don Cherry would say, is a BEAUTY!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Hockey Stick Or Nine-Iron?

That picture above was from the 1962 Stanley Cup Final when the Toronto Maple Leafs knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Chicago Blackhawks by a 4-2 margin in the best-of-seven series. It was a series marked by very few close wins as only two of the six games was decided by one goal whereas three games were decided by three goals or more. Dick Duff's third goal of the playoffs on the power-play at 14:14 of the third period was the Stanley Cup-winning goal in Game Six's 2-1 victory for the Leafs, and the celebration ensued above. The players enjoyed their summers, and it would be back to work in September for most as the new season would begin on October 10.

1962 was a long way from 2018 when players begin work for the next season seemingly the day after their season is over in the previous year. Players still smoked if they wanted. There was some money for stars, but most made meagre wages comparatively to future generations. And for a vast majority of players, they'd go off to tend to their second jobs or their farms while they counted down the days until the next season.

After winning the Stanley Cup in 1962, imagine your excitement in receiving the following letter in your mailbox! Clicking on the letter will make it readable. Note that this has been going around for some time on social media with names attached, but I am removing the names and notes off the letter since I received this from a third-party.
I found this letter to be a bit comical considering what we know now, but the reality was far different prior to the expansion in 1967 and the WHA's impact on player wages. The "old days" of the NHL really were a different time altogether.

Training camp at the start of September in a neutral location is nothing new. It keeps players away from their normal hangouts during the season and keeps distractions usually to a minimum, so having the Leafs set up camp on September 7 in Peterborough is nothing ground-breaking.

The Empress Hotel as the site of the Leafs' orientation camp is somewhat notable. According to this article, "[t]he Empress suffered so much damage in a disastrous fire in 1956 that what was left was demolished. Another hotel building rose from the ashes," and it seems the Leafs took advantage of the modern amenities in the new hotel. Physical examinations - basically height and weight measurements - were done between 9am and noon, giving the players ample time to arrive at the hotel. Lunch would be served at 1pm, players would head over to the rink - likely the Peterborough Memorial Center which opened in 1956 - to get sized up for equipment, and then could skate off the lunch they just ate in a brand-new, modern arena.

It's is this third paragraph where things go in a different direction than what we know about modern training camps. Yes, golf expeditions can happen when guys agree to meet days prior to training camps, but that's beyond rare nowadays. However, the Leafs made golf "a must in the training camp schedule". I'm quite certain teams today would never make golf a "must" during camps whatsoever. But on the bright side, their choice of the Kawartha Golf Club is a good one, though, as Kawartha is a top-notch facility when it come to the golf experience. Maybe the current-era Leafs need to take a flyer here?

I chuckled at "in view of the fact that nearly all players have cars" as that just seems like a preposterous statement today, but 1962 still saw players with wages more akin to what grand prizes on scratch tickets are today. The fact that the Leafs were willing to provide train transportation to Peterborough - again, another sign of the times - is a pretty cool thing to do in 1962.

If there's one statement that may have proved that this training camp system worked, it's the statement in the fifth paragraph that reads, "we will show everybody that we deserve it and intend to keep it." If you're up on your NHL history, the Leafs indeed repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 1962-63. Not bad for a little golf and the same physical education class most children get nowadays.

Alerting the players with one month to go in the summer that they are not to more than seven pounds over their playing weight made me chuckle. Most of the time, these guys used training camp to get back into shape, so the read-between-the-lines message here might be "hope you didn't get fat". Nonetheless, the 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, and 30 knee bends sounds like a helluva plyometric workout in 1962. The fact that the Leafs went on to win the Stanley Cup for the second year in row might be proof positive that less is more when it comes to hockey. Or not. I could be wrong here.

I love the warning about the competition on the club. Rookies may take your job, veterans, so "be ready for the competition and not sorry". Love it. That's some solid "Punch" Imlach motivation. Also, the part about being better conditioned to avoid injuries is a little crazy as well as the Montreal Canadiens suffered through injuries all season long and were brushed aside by the Maple Leafs in the 1963 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Maybe this Imlach character was onto something regarding summer conditioning?

"Let's make this another profitable year with a big playoff split." This is a seemingly nice way of asking the players to try and have another two-round playoff year. Forget defending the Stanley Cup - he mentioned that above - let's go get another pay day, boys!

It was a different time back in 1962. Training camps were entirely different than they are today. It's amazing how much the game has changed in 50 years when you consider that smoking was allowed, drinking post-game happened almost always, and golfing was a mandatory part of training camp.

Stick-tap to Richard for sending me the letter!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 320

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, will be down a man tonight as Beans has some fatherly duties to perform at the ol' homestead. In saying that, Teebz has gone out and scoured the country to find a co-host or two tonight. In Beans' place tonight will be two of the finest hockey minds that this world has seen. or maybe you haven't seen, but you probably should because they are talented. That means spending an evening or an afternoon or both at Wayne Fleming Arena because two players from the University of Manitoba Bisons women's team will sit in with myself tonight and opine on all the biggest hockey stories from the past week!

Teebz will be joined by Jordyn Zacharias and Alanna Sharman this week as they look at all the major stories that came out of hockey. They'll discuss the Brendan Lemieux suspension and whether two games was enough for incident, concussions and protecting the head in general in hockey, the Ottawa Senators and their Uber ride, privacy as a player and whether the two ladies enjoy the attention of fans and media, the Bisons women's team host the Lethbridge Pronghorns while the men travel to southern Alberta, the 4 Nations Cup is happening in Saskatoon, and we'll see if the ladies agree with assistant coach Rob Voth on where he'd like to see the team in the standings at the December break. All this and more on tonight's edition of The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT!

You might be wondering where the blurb about the UMFM app has gone. I'm going on record to say you can still use it, but the new UMFM website will fill the needs of our listeners because the new online streaming player is pretty awesome. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store. The UMFM app will currently work for you, but there's some work being done to realign it with UMFM's new website, so it may go silent soon. If it does, TuneIn. It's a solid app.

I'm changing up the social media portion as well. I'm losing faith in Facebook, so that option will slowly be allowed to drift off into the horizon. However, the other options still work! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with University of Manitoba Bisons women's players Alanna Sharman and Jordy Zacharias as we discuss suspensions, concussions, privacy, this weekend's games, the international games being played, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: November 8, 2018: Episode 320

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Midweek Hovi Hit

The woman to the left? Not Venla Hovi. That woman in the picture is Finnish defender Ronja Savolainen, and the reason she's leading off this Venla Hovi piece is because I love the uniforms being worn by Finland at this year's Four Nations Cup. Specifically, I love these blue road uniforms sported by the Finns as the jerseys look and feel European with the logos and the sponsors on the sweater, and it feels out of place against the Canadian, American, and Swedish uniforms that we've seen in the tournament. Anyway, we're not here for jerseys. Let's move on.

Venla Hovi is playing for Finland at the Four Nations Cup this week, and she opened the scoring today against Sweden from what is quickly becoming her signature goal.
Hovi as the trailer swooped in on that rebound and unleashed the clap-bomb from the slot to rip it past Maria Omberg in the Sweden net. If you recall, Venla scored a similar goal against the Worcester Blades as the late entry into the zone where she hammered a puck past Mariah Fujimagari. It's great to see Venla doing well on the international stage this season, and here's hoping the Finns can pull an upset on the Americans to really shake things up. Yes, it's highly unlikely, but the US has lost to European teams before!

If Finland can get back some of their big guns who are battling a stomach virus, things should go better than they did against Canada. Hovi will need to be a big part of the offence for Finland if they hope to knock the Americans off, but she's never not risen to the challenge when given the opportunity. She'll give you everything she has in the tank, and that's why we love her here in Manitoba!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

You Can't Say That On TV

When Postmedia posted the video and broke the story last night of six Ottawa Senators players having a rather unsavoury discussion about their team inside an Uber vehicle, my initial reaction was shock. Not shock towards what the players had said, but shock in how this video was posted by someone on YouTube. I don't know the laws on what can and can't be posted without someone's consent, but it seemed like posting this video went well beyond anything considered morally and ethically acceptable. While I get that this video contained some rather juicy information for news outlets to salivate over, should the Ottawa Senators be forced to address another public relations disaster because some Uber driver in Phoenix, Arizona thought it would be a good idea to embarrass a few hockey players?

In an article posted on TSN's website today by Ian Mendes, it seems the Senators were aware of the video after the person who posted said video contacted media outlets in Ottawa through social media with a link to the YouTube snippet. I would assume that the reporters and outlets that were contacted turned around and made inquiries to the Senators about the video, prompting Ottawa to contact Uber to have the video removed and kick-starting meetings with players and staff to address the video.

"As soon as it came to our knowledge we addressed it right away. We knew about this well before it went public. We discussed it internally and we took care of it," goaltender Craig Anderson told Mendes. Kudos to the Senators for not only addressing it before the story hit the public forum, but for allowing the players involved to work through what could have been an embarrassing situation for both the team and those six players.

"We dealt with this long before this video was released," Mark Stone added. "As a coaching staff, as management and as players is dealt with internally the way it should be. And we're going to move forward and grow from it."

Rob Khazzam, General Manager of Uber Canada, tweeted out the following last night.
Whiel I appreciate the GM of Uber Canada coming out and stating that Uber was ensuring that the video was removed, but I can't help but feel like this might be the first of many incidents if Uber doesn't make a concerted effort to put in policies and punishments for those that violate these terms of service.

At what point do public figures get moments of privacy? While I wouldn't say it's of the same nature as the Uber driver's violation above, I've seen fans ask celebrities for autographs or pictures while they've been eating or shopping or out on their own. And while most celebrities will give in to these requests to avoid some sort of backlash, why is it that people can't respect boundaries when it comes to celebrities having some non-public time?

I know that's a philosophical quandary that has no right answer for some, but the conversation in question among Senators players was not for public consumption. Yes, the Uber driver has every right to use a camera in his or her vehicle for safety purposes, but to use that camera to record and posr a TMZ-esque story on players who are blowing off some steam after a 5-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes is just bad form.

Some of the media weighed in on the situation, and they expressed disgust regarding the posting of this video of what was supposed to be a private conversation.
As the world changes daily with more and more smartphones that have cameras on them get into more hands, privacy will become a bigger issue. Recording someone on Snapchat without their authorization can happen at any time, so it's already happening today and you may not even know. This move by the Uber driver certainly will make professional athletes think twice when it comes to interactions with Uber, Lyft, or taxi cab drivers in the future, and I hope there's some serious thought and effort put into ensuring that this is the last incident like this inside an Uber, Lyft, or taxi-like vehicle.

In the end, I believe there may be a lot less conversation with professional athletes for Uber, Lyft, and taxi cab drivers. It's unfortunate that someone had to go and do something rather stupid when players were goofing off in a car, but that's the reality we live in when it comes to having cameras everywhere now.

It gives one a lot to think about when it comes to one's privacy on a daily basis.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Send Him Far, Far Away

Blatent. Unnecessary. Intentional. Stupid. Idiotic. Dumb. All of these words are appropriate when describing the very obvious, very intended check to Vincent Trocheck's head that Brendan Lemieux threw in the second game of the Finland showcase. There was no doubt that a suspension was coming the moment Lemieux threw the hit, leaving the only question as how long would said suspension be. A large portion of the Jets' fans on social media wanted to see the punishment be harsh to ensure that Lemieux wouldn't find his way back into the lineup, so it was all up to the Department of Player Safety to swing the hammer of justice.

Let's review this hit that Lemieux threw on Trocheck.
I'm still speechless at that. Lemieux didn't even try to line up Trocheck's body. He legitimately went for his head no matter how many times you watch the video. There is no room for "I tried..." in this situation. Lemieux targeted Trocheck's head as the only point of contact, meaning his intention was entirely clear from the moment he zeroed in on Trocheck.

What was the Department of Player Safety's response?
Two games? That's it?

As a result, Lemieux will forfeit $9023.30 as a result of the suspension, but the two games he'll sit and watch seems hardly appropriate when one considers the phrasing used by the Department of Player Safety. The video stated,
"It is important to note that the head is the main point of contact on this hit and that the head contact on this hit was avoidable," the department said. "If Lemieux wants to deliver this check, he must take an angle of approach that hits through Trocheck's shoulder and core rather than picking his head and making it the main point of contact."
If the head was the target and the hit was avoidable, I'd be inclined to throw the book at Lemieux. However, thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, two games seems to be the maximum suspension they could serve based on the fact that Lemieux has no prior history of a fine or a suspension.

Here's where things should pivot dramatically. The Winnipeg Jets should exile Lemieux to the furthest place from the NHL they can find. Not the AHL, not the ECHL, but some place where any future of an NHL job is seriously in doubt. His dad played over in China, so maybe the Jets assign Lemieux to the China Sharks for a little conditioning?

Whatever the decision on Lemieux is, he may have cost himself an NHL career. There's no way a coach will trust him on the ice if he goes and does stupid things like the hit on Trocheck, and that five-minute major was the break the Panthers needed to take control of the game in Helsinki. Coaches don't forget those kinds of things, so Lemieux is going to have to light up the AHL and look like the second coming of Gordie Howe if he hopes to rebuild any sort of trust with the coaches and fans.

Claude Lemieux is a liability at this point in his career. The Jets would be wise to divest themselves of this problem as soon as they can. Bury him in the minors. Trade him for a bag of used sock tape. Whatever the decision is, just make sure he's not wearing a Jets logo ever again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Rundown - Bye Week

Canada West in on a conference bye this week, so there won't be any recaps or highlights to post of goals or saves. Instead, The Rundown will take a look at a pile of things that you may not know about some of the athletes that are playing or have played at the Canada West women's hockey level. This will be a mostly informative post as I take a look at a handful of stories, so buckle up as we get you edu-ma-cated on this week's edition of The Rundown!!

Where Is She From? - Regina

If you haven't been keeping up with recent international player trends in Canada West, it seems there are a pile of international players in the conference this year. We'll start in Regina where they're representing the Czech Republic with Martina Maskova being joined by Adela Juzkova this season. Maskova is in her second season of play with Regina coming out of the town of Teplice (Te-PLEET-say) after being born in Usti nad Labem (Oo-STEE-nad-lab-em) while Juzkova made the leap from her hometown of Dobrichovice (Doe-BREEK-hove-its-say). If the cities of Teplice and Usti sounds familiar, former NHLer Robert Lang is from Teplice while Milan Hejduk and Michal Neuvirth hail from Usti.

In any case, Maskova scored a goal and added four helpers in her rookie season last year, but she has showed great potential. She has speed and hands, but needs to play a slightly more physical game in the offensive zone if she wants to score at the international level for the Czech Republic. In eight games this season, she has already scored and is an effective checking forward with her speed, and I suspect that head coach Sarah Hodges has bigger plans in shutting down some of the Canada West stars in coming years. Internationally, Maskova has recorded just one goal at three Women's World Junior Championships, but helped the squad capture bronze at the 2014 tournament in Budapest, Hungary.

Juzkova, on the other hand, has been playing all sorts of hockey for her country. She was a member of the 2018 Czech inline team that won a silver medal at the 2018 Inline Hockey World Championship - yes, that's the same one where Jetta Rackleff won a gold medal! She was part of the Czech team that won the gold medal at U20 Ball Hockey World Cup that saw them go undefeated. She was part of the Czech Republic squad at the U18 Women's World Championship as well. At home, she played in the Czech women's league for HC Slavia Praha, the same team that Maskova played with before going to Regina. And now Juzkova will suit up with the Regina Cougars as well.

Juzkova brings some solid speed and tenacity to the lineup. As I was witness to in the preseason, she likes to go to the net and she's not afraid to shoot. Maskova may have more speed than Juzkova, but the latter will still win footraces if given the opportunity to skate. Juzkova has scored one goal this season, but I'm liking the rookie's character and abilities when it comes to playing a more North American game and I see her doing well as she settles into Canadian university life.

If Sarah Hodges has a pipeline into Czech hockey, she may unearth some solid talent from the European country as the Czech national team looks to improve at every level.

Where Is She From? - Edmonton

If the name "Alex Gowie" doesn't sound very foreign, it's partly because it's not. While Gowie was born in Durban, Republic of South Africa, she actually grew up in Vernon, BC where she discovered hockey and ultimately suited up for the prestigious Okanagan Hockey Academy. From there, Gowie was recruited by the Calgary Dinos and began her U SPORTS career in 2011-12.

You might be looking at those years and be thinking, "How is this young lady a part of the Alberta Pandas? And why is Teebz writing about a Canadian?" Well, there's a story to that.

Gowie was part of the CIS champion Calgary Dinos team as a rookie in 2011-12 when the team featured the likes of Hayley Wickenheiser and Iya Gavrilova, but it was in 2013-14 when rookie Kitti Trencsényi joined the team from Budapest and planted the seed in Gowie's mind to give Hungary some thought. Gowie told Women's Hockey Life,
"I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my degree, I just wanted a change," Gowie said. "One of the girls that played on the team was from Hungary [Kitti Trencsényi] and it was her first year on the team. She was going to leave after and she encouraged me to go over [to Europe] and so I went over there and played in Hungary."

Originally signed for one year with KMH Budapest, Gowie was invited to the Hungarian national team's training camps and was encouraged to return to KMH Budapest for a second year and a chance to obtain Hungarian citizenship. While Gowie moved on to a new team and country after two years in Budapest, she eventually became a Hungarian citizen and officially joined the national team program.
Alex Gowie, born in South Africa and raised on Canada's west coast, is officially a Hungarian citizen!

After spending two seasons with KMH Budapest, Gowie moved onto HC Spisska Nová Ves in Slovakia in 2016 before joining the EV Bozen Eagles in Italy for the 2017-18 season. With two years of eligibility left on her U SPORTS transcript, Gowie made the jump back to North America where she enrolled at the University of Alberta pursuing an Arts degree. In a rather cool piece, Gowie sat down and explained her jersey number in honour of the four fallen players from the Humboldt Broncos team that called St. Albert, Alberta home.

Where Is She From? - Vancouver

While they may all be Canadian, there are four women who got to do something fairly special in May this year when the Thunderbirds sent four players to the Chinese development camp who have Chinese heritage. Shiayli Toni, Emily Costales, Jenna Fletcher, and Tiffany Chiu spent a week at the camp for the Shenzhen-based Chinese Development Team as China prepares for the 2022 Winter Olympics. While there are no guarantees on any of these players making the Olympic team in 2022, the potential for one or all is certainly there based on the play of the four players over the last few Canada West seasons.

As China looks to add some additional North American-trained players to its emerging roster that includes Jessica Wong, Rose Alleva, Kimberly Newell, and Leah Lum among others, adding the four T-Birds isn't a bad idea at all. In two seasons, Emily Costales has nine goals and seven assists, but she's very good at reading the play. Tiffany Chiu is a rock-solid defender who takes care of business in her own zone. Jenna Fletcher has a goal and three assists thus far in her career, but she's an effective checking forward who certainly can make defenders pay with her speed. Shiayli Toni has six goals and 14 assists in her four-year career thus far, but she always seems to be around the puck and is a solid two-way forward.

If you want to see some potential Olympians, UBC features four players who could suit up for Team China in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing! While we've seen other Olympians play in Canada West - Hayley Wickenheiser and Venla Hovi, most notably - these four women might be some of the bedrock upon which future Chinese Olympic teams build their foundation.

Speaking of foundations, another emerging nation on the world's stage might want to build around another of UBC's talented forwards. Mathea Fischer, the Oslo, Norwegian native, has been putting up impressive numbers since her arrival at the school four years ago. In her career thus far, Fischer has tallied 19 goals and 37 assists. She led UBC in scoring last season, and her six points this season is tied for the lead as well. She has incredible vision and creativity on the ice, and she's becoming the go-to offensive player for head coach Graham Thomas.

Fischer is a star on a Norwegian team that needs someone to carry the torch, and her development in U SPORTS and Canada West has been undeniable.

That Old Barn

With Rutherford Arena in Saskatoon officially gone and replaced by Merlis Belsher Place, there was some discussion in the pressbox a week ago about which barn is the oldest rink in Canada West now. I decided to do a little digging, so let's take a look at some of the arenas and their date of opening and if refurbishments have been done.

UBC's Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Arena opened in October 1963, but was part of a major refurbishment in 2008.

Calgary's Father David Bauer Olympic Arena was also built in 1963, and AME Mechanical Engineers completed a major renovation in December 2015.

Flames Community Arena is home to the Mount Royal Cougars in Calgary, and it appears to have opened in September 1986. There have been ongoing upgrades and renovations thanks to the arena being run by a non-profit board of governors.

The Lethbridge Pronghorns play at Nicholas Sheran Arena which was opened in 1986. In 2011, a major renovation was completed by the city of Lethbridge on the arena and facilities.

The Alberta Pandas, in their historic building known as Clare Drake Arena, saw the facility open in 1959. There have been some upgrades and renovations done, but it appears that the University of Alberta is looking at going modern sooner than later.

Saskatchewan's Merlis Belsher Place opened this year, replacing the 88 year-old Rutherford Rink. They should be good for a while, methinks.

The Co-operaters Centre in Regina plays host to the Cougars. The multi-rink complex was opened in December 2009. Like their neighbours to the north, the Cougars should be good for a while.

The Bisons play at Wayne Fleming Arena inside the Max Bell Centre. The entire centre, including the rink, opened in 1981 for use.

If the above information is to be believed, it seems Alberta will be the next team with a new rink to call home. Manitoba will probably need to start exploring the idea of making major renovations at some point while UBC will likely need to start making decisions with respect to the age of their facility. The rest of the rinks seem to be pretty well-maintained from what I've seen, so let's hope that the facilities for these teams continue to help them find wins on home ice!

Moving On

Here are the standings once more with the updated schedule for next weekend's games.

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Alberta
5-2-1-0
17 19 7
W2
@ REG
Manitoba
5-2-1-0
17 20 11
W4
vs LET
Saskatchewan
4-2-2-0
16 11 7
W1
vs UBC
British Columbia
4-2-1-1
15 18 10
L2
@ SAS
Regina
4-3-0-1
13 18 18
L1
vs ALB
Lethbridge
3-4-0-1
10 12 12
W2
@ MAN
Mount Royal
2-5-0-1
7 10 23
L2
@ CAL
Calgary
0-7-0-1
1 4 24
L8
vs MRU

The Last Word

There are four weeks of hockey remaining before the December break on the Canada West schedule. The following are the schedules for each team.

ALBERTA: @ Regina, vs Lethbridge, @ Calgary, vs Saskatchewan.
MANITOBA: vs Lethbridge, @ UBC, vs Saskatchewan, @ Calgary.
SASKATCHEWAN: vs UBC, vs Mount Royal, @ Manitoba, @ Alberta.
UBC: @ Saskatchewan, vs Manitoba, @ Regina, @ Lethbridge.
REGINA: vs Alberta, @ Calgary, vs UBC, @ Mount Royal.
LETHBRIDGE: @ Manitoba, @ Alberta, @ Mount Royal, vs UBC.
MOUNT ROYAL: @ Calgary, @ Saskatchewan, vs Lethbridge, vs Regina.
CALGARY: vs Mount Royal, vs Regina, vs Alberta, vs Manitoba.

If you were asking me who had the most difficult schedule to close out the first-half of the season, Lethbridge is on the road three weeks in a row against the top-two teams in Canada West followed by a Mount Royal team looking for a playoff spot before returning home to take on UBC. Saskatchewan's schedule isn't any easier with games in Manitoba and Alberta to finish their schedule after hosting UBC and Mount Royal.

I'll be honest in that I don't envy any team in Canada West because of how good this conference is when it comes to hockey, but if there's one team who needs to really take advantage of a great schedule to finish the first-half, it's Calgary. A home-and-home with Mount Royal might be the push they need to get off this losing streak before hosting Regina, Alberta, and Manitoba. I'll say this here and now - if Calgary doesn't win three of these eight games in regulation, their season may officially be over before the Christmas break.

It should be a solid November of hockey, so get down to one of the rinks listed above and catch all the hockey action you can! If the women are on the road, the men are at home so there should be no excuse not to catch a U SPORTS hockey game! See you at the rink!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A Pinguine Takes Flight

I have to admit that one of the advantages of having a blog is that, on occasion, I discover things or players long before anyone else jumps on the bandwagon. Thanks to following the career of Brandon Reid through Aalborg, Denmark and now in Krefeld, Germany, I have been exposed to a number of players with incredible talent that I likely would have never heard of had it not been for Brandon's journey to various locations in European leagues. One of these players I've had the privilege of discovering hit the highlight reels with his goal scored last night. To say this goal was a beauty would be a serious understatement. Ladies and gentlemen, the player pictured above is Greger Hanson of the Krefeld Pinguine, and he dazzled everyone last night with his talents.

Back on August 12, I wrote about Greger Hanson after he scored a goal against Kölner Haie in preseason DEL action. I wrote,
"Swedish-born Greger Hanson is an absolutely fascinating case of player moves. He spent four years at Northern Michigan University in the NCAA from 2007-11 before embarking on a professional hockey career that has seen him play for 15 teams in five leagues over the last seven seasons. In 2013-14, Hanson played in the Central Hockey League with both the Wichita Thunder and Allen Americans along with a four-game stint in the ECHL with the Greenville Road Warriors. In 2014-15, he suited up for both the Cincinnati Cyclones and the Americans in the ECHL after the ECHL absorbed the CHL teams before jumping to the AHL to play with the Oklahoma City Barons and the Worcester Sharks. 2015-16 saw him back in Allen before call-ups to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda and Utica Comets. 2016-17 had Hanson mostly in Allen, but he had cups of coffee with four AHL teams in the San Diego Gulls, the Chicago Wolves, the Binghamton Senators, and the Charlotte Checkers. Last season saw Hanson start in Utah with the Grizzlies before a brief stint with the San Diego Gulls before finally packing his bags, flying to Krefeld, and ending the season with the Pinguine. Have bags, will travel? It seems to be a nomadic life for Greger Hanson over the last few years."

He won a Kelly Cup in the ECHL with the Allen Americans, so it's not like he hasn't contributed on any of those stops. He works hard, he has speed to burn, and he is a useful, checking forward when given the opportunity. It just seems he hasn't found a permanent home where he can show off his hockey talents. That is, until this season.

Friday night, with Krefeld and Dusseldorf tied at 2-2 in overtime, Greger Hanson went off and scored an incredible goal that one rarely sees from a journeyman player. Watch and be marveled by the Swede.
Wowzers! That was making something out of what looked like nothing in a big way as Hanson nets the overtime winner off the spin move in tight on the defender! Bernhard Ebner, the Dusseldorf defender, is actually one of their strongest players, so for a guy like Hanson who came into this game with a total of zero goals in 13 contests and pull off that move and finish with the overtime winner is pretty special.

Make no mistake in that no one is suggesting that Greger Hanson suddenly flipped a switch and will go on a crazy scoring streak until the end of the season. That's simply not going to happen. But one can take a little comfort in knowing that a kid who works hard at both ends of the ice was rewarded by The Hockey Gods for working as hard as he has this season. Atta boy, Greger!

As it stands, Krefeld sits with a 5-5-5-2 (W-L-OTW-OTL) record which has them in sixth-place right now. For a team that finished 11-25-6-10 last season, it seems that Brandon Reid has the Pinguine clipping along at a much better pace than where they were one season ago. Efforts like Hanson's on last night's goal are a large reason why the Pinguine are doing better, and the hard work that Hanson puts in at both ends of the ice is a trademark of a Brandon Reid-coached team.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 2 November 2018

TBC: Killer

I try to choose books for Teebz's Book Club that interest me. Normally, this means avoiding topics and stories that involve the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I do like biographies that examine the careers of great men. Today's entry in Teebz's Book Club looks back at the career of one of the greatest Leafs in history, and his life thus far is pretty interesting. Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Killer: My Life in Hockey, written by Doug Gilmour and Dan Robson, and published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. I will admit that I never had an appreciation for Doug Gilmnour's career prior to cracking Killer open, but learning about Gilmour's life, his career, and his accomplishments was admittedly more interesting than I would have ever thought mainly because I always associated him with the Maple Leafs. In the end, his time with the Blues, Flames, Devils, Sabres, and Canadiens turned out to be rather fascinating!

From the HarperCollins website, "Doug Gilmour was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario. Over his twenty seasons in the NHL, he played for the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens before returning to the Leafs to retire in the blue and white in 2003. He won the Memorial Cup with the Cornwall Royals and the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames, was an NHL all-star and still holds a number of junior hockey and Toronto Maple Leaf records. Gilmour became the coach of his hometown's junior hockey franchise, the Kingston Frontenacs, in 2008 and is now the team's general manager. He lives in Kingston."

Also from the HarperCollins website, "Dan Robson is a senior writer at Sportsnet. He is the author of the bestseller Quinn: The Life of a Hockey Legend and co-author of the bestsellers The Crazy Game: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond with Clint Malarchuk, Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better with Buck Martinez, and Killer: My Life in Hockey with Doug Gilmour. He lives in Toronto. As a child he was given a print of Johnny Bower, signed to 'Danny' that has hung on his wall ever since."

Killer starts at the beginning with a young Doug Gilmour ripping around the rink during an intermission when his father, Don, coached the all-star bantam team in Kingston. Without giving too much away, "Little Gilly", as he was called then, was an undersized-but-tenacious kid when it came to hockey, and his father always was giving him advice. There were some good lessons that Don passed onto Doug in those talks, and Gilmour relates a number of these stories about his dad throughout the book.

I was very interested in learning about Doug's junior career and how one of the highest-scoring players in the OHL in his draft year somehow fell to the seventh-round of the NHL Entry Draft. He played with some amazing players during his junior days in Cornwall, but he also explained how Cornwall's fortunes changed once they moved from the QMJHL to the OHL. In any case, his fantastic junior career led St. Louis to choose him in the seventh-round of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, and his dream of playing in the NHL was nearly complete!

It's very interesting to see how Doug's home life followed his NHL path as well. From his first marriage and his daughter, Maddison, being born in St. Louis to being traded to Calgary to being traded to Toronto, Doug has done his best to seemingly keep his family close no matter where he was playing. Even while playing for New Jersey, Buffalo, and Montreal, there were chances for him to go to other NHL cities where he could win more accolades, but Doug always seemed to put his family first when it came to where he'd continue his career. I found that very interesting considering that one often thinks of NHL players as being driven in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup above all else.

I know that hockey players occasionally have collections of memorabilia and paraphernalia that they collect over their years of playing the game, but Doug Gilmour has a fairly unique collection that he put together. He writes,
Throughout my short career, I had always collected my sweaters from each team I played for. Well, it turned out that the Blues wouldn't allow us to keep our sweaters. They were team property and would be reused for training camps and other things. They had only one set each of home and away sweaters. Talk about different times! Later, I'd find ways to smuggle my sweaters out of the arena and pretend they were lost. But I wasn't that bold as a rookie. So to this day, the only sweater I don't have from my playing days is that number 18 Blues sweater.
Pretty cool, right? Doug Gilmour has virtually every sweater he's worn in his career stored away somewhere. I knew that guys collected some of the more unique or historic jerseys, but to have nearly every single jersey from his playing days makes Doug Gilmour way cooler in my eyes.

Killer was a great read, and it really moved along nicely. I spent a few evenings flipping through the pages, and it was a very easy read. The stream-of-consciousness style of writing used by Gilmour and Robson is like you're listening to Doug Gilmour tell stories from across a table or in a group setting. I'm fond of this type of writing, and it makes autobiographies so much more personal. Because of the Gilmour's candor and honesty throughout the chapters along with this easy-to-read style, Killer: My Life in Hockey certainly deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

Killer cna be found at all major bookstores and libraries, and would be suitable for most teenagers and older due to some PG-rated language used by Gilmour in his stories. There isn't a lot of adult language, but some situations described by Gilmour may not be suitable for younger readers. If you're a fan of Gilmour or grew up watching him as a Leaf, Killer would be a great pick to pick up as it tells you so much more about Hall-of-Fame player Doug Gilmour!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 319

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns tonight with a special guest in terms of someone who rarely gets the spotlight outside of a little fun we have on Bisons women's hockey broadcasts. We're lucky to have him with people's schedules being as busy as they are, and we'll continue to work with some of the higher-profile names we've mentioned in recent weeks to see if we can squeeze a few minutes or an hour out of those schedules. Tonight, though, we have one of the best hockey minds in the game in this writer's view joining Beans and myself on The Hockey Show!

Rob Voth coaches the Bisons defenders, and he's been a part of the coaching staff for as long as I can remember. Rob's had an impact on all his players from Caitlin MacDonald to Caitlin Fyten to Erica Rieder and more. He's a sharp guy when it comes to the game of hockey, so
Beans andI will quiz the coach on how he started coaching, how the opportunity with the Bisons came about, what he envisions this current season's Bisons doing in terms of success, how the U SPORTS National Championship was for the coaching staff last season, and much more. The old saying about good coaches having good goaltenders might be true, but every great coach has an incredible team alongside him as well. Rob Voth's influence on the Bisons under both Jon Rempel and Sean Fisher is undeniable, and we'll learn all about Rob's career tonight!

UPDATE: No Beans. He's trapped at work.

You might be wondering where the blurb about the UMFM app has gone. I'm going on record to say you can still use it, but the new UMFM website will fill the needs of our listeners because the new online streaming player is pretty awesome. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store. The UMFM app will currently work for you, but there's some work being done to realign it with UMFM's new website, so it may go silent soon. If it does, TuneIn. It's a solid app.

I'm changing up the social media portion as well. I'm losing faith in Facebook, so that option will slowly be allowed to drift off into the horizon. However, the other options still work! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! We're here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with University of Manitoba Bisons women's hockey assistant coach Rob Voth to learn about the man, the myth, and the legend that is Rob as we find out about his career, his goals for this season and beyond, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: November 1, 2018: Episode 319

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Happy Halloween!

It's All Hallows Eve, folks! That's not my pumpkin above, but I really wish it was. The Fisherman rules!

Tonight will see me handing out candy and goodies to all the little monsters and ghouls that venture up to my door with the proper password (hint: say "Trick or treat!"). I'll hopefully see more than the dozen or so kids last year, but I'm prepared if it's around the same total this year. I find that total weird because I live in an area where there are legitimately a number of families with kids, I'm about a block away from an elementary school and a community center, and yet I see very few kids doing the Halloween march down my street.

Anyway, I'll be watching The Equalizer 2 with Denzel Washington while I await the scary minions of candy collecting, so don't expect any hockey chatter tonight. It's nice to have a night off once in a while, so tonight's the night for me. Happy Halloween, folks, and may your sweet tooth be satiated with all sorts of sugary goodness tonight!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Bobbing And Weaving Like Niku

While fans in Winnipeg lament that this young lad to the left isn't touring his homeland in Finland with the Jets, it might be for the best because current Manitoba Moose defenceman Sami Niku might have scored the goal of the year thus far, and we're not even out of October yet. Niku, who has a 2016 World Junior Championship gold medal and the 2018 AHL Eddie Shore Award for the top defenceman to his credit already, has been show all sorts of promise at the AHL level, leading most to believe that he should be playing up a level in the NHL. The Jets, for some reason, feel differently with the likes of Chiarot, Kulikov, and Morrow filling the gaps, but this allows fans of the Moose to really bask in the talent that is Sami Niku.

If you missed the highlight-reel goal he scored, never fear because it was on virtually every highlight package tonight. With the Milwaukee Admirals in town to play the Moose on this Halloween eve, check out the juking and bobbing and weaving and head-faking that Niku does to score this goal.
Holy moly, that is one heckuva goal! The call by Mitch Peacock on the video is solid, but Niku is as slippery as an eel covered in oil on that play, and the shot to finish the play is just as nice. Can someone tell me why he's not with the Jets in Finland? Or with the Jets at all?

Granted, he probably wouldn't get that kind of room to manoeuvre in the NHL, but it's not like Niku hasn't made an impact there already. He scored a goal in his only NHL game thus far in his career and didn't look out of place that night.

It might be time to unleash the beast and let Niku take a shot at filling the left side alongside Dustin Byfuglien. The kid's too good for the AHL, so let him run wild up in the NHL. yes, he'll make some mistakes - rookies always do - but he's a smart kid, he'll learn from those mistakes, and the Jets will be better off for it. What are you waiting for, Jets?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Dateline's Keith Morrison: Hockey Fan?

Occasionally, a hockey broadcast will go off its usual script and try to change things up with a unique twist on the show. While the broadcasting duo usually remains the same, it's often a new segment or an introduction that differs greatly from its normal start that is used to catch the attention of viewers. We saw the Calgary Flames have some fun with a video last year, and it appears that Rogers Sportsnet went ahead and brought a little Hollywood to their broadcast tonight... although it's far more grim than goofy when you bring NBC's Dateline and host Keith Morrison into the picture.

If you aren't familiar with NBC's Dateline, Keith Morrison usually sets the stage for the one-hour show by introducing a strange death or a disappearance or some other unnerving incident that usually involves a crime and requires deeper investigation. Here's an example of Keith Morrison's usual introduction to a story.
That introduction obviously sets the stage for Dateline to investigate the details of the murder or disappearance, but Morrison has perfected the slow build of anticipation with his unique delivery. It might be one of the more iconic deliveries on TV at this point, so kudos for Keith Morrison for instilling his voice in our collective minds.

So why is this relevant? Check out Sportsnet's introduction to their broadcast tonight.
After a thorough voice comparison was done by the law enforcement agents, HBIC can positively conclude that Keith Morrison was involved in the creation of Sportsnet's introduction. Ok, it doesn't have the same cachet as Morrison's iconic delivery, but Sportsnet's desire to find a new player to take Matthews' place as the budding superstar on their broadcasts seems a little self-serving at best. Adding Morrison's distinctive voice is a cool detail, but it seems a little unnecessary given the circumstances.

In any case, I want to know if Keith Morrison is a hockey fan. If so, it would be great to have him on The Hockey Show for a chat!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Rundown - Week 4

There were some rather intriguing series this weekend in Canada West women's hockey action with the potential for all sorts of movement depending on results. With this week being the final week before the conference bye and with nearly one-third of the games being played, we're looking for teams to emerge out of the pack as front-runners for the Canada West championship. Alberta looks strong, UBC is playing well, Saskatchewan is using strong defence and goaltending to keep pace, and Manitoba returned to its winning ways last weekend after faltering, so the usual suspects were looking to create some space among themselves and from the rest of Canada West. However, Regina and Mount Royal have been playing some solid hockey while Lethbridge and Calgary need to start posting wins to remain in the hunt. What happened this week? Let's get rolling here on The Rundown!

ALBERTA at UBC: These two Canada West semifinalists met in Vancouver for an early Friday game as the Thunderbirds played host to a number of school children. It actually was cool to see the stands packed in the mid-afternoon at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, so kudos to the T-Birds for bringing the kids in for a little fun on a late October Friday between two rivals in Canada West!

The kids in the stands only had to wait ten minutes before they could let their screams of joy be heard.
Hannah Clayton-Carroll got around Taylor Kezama on the outside on the left wing and centered the puck to a streaking Emily Costales who chipped it past Dayna Owen at 9:26, and the Thunderbirds held the 1-0 lead! The Pandas would even the game at 1-1 late in the period when Autumn MacDougall's shot from a sharp angle was stopped by Amelia Boughn, but the rebound landed out at the top of the crease where Alex Gowie swept it home for the Pandas at 18:29 to put this game back on even terms.

The second period saw the stalemate continue as both Boughn and Owen rejected all shots sent their ways. Well, Owen did a lot more rejecting as UBC outshot the Pandas 10-2 in the frame as they poured on the pressure during a couple of power-play chances. With nothing changed through 40 minutes, we'd move to the third period.

It seemed the two teams weren't going to score another goal with how the netminders were playing, but an Alberta power-play changed that midway through the period. Kennedy Ganser's spin-around shot from the slot fooled Boughn at 11:15, and the power-play marker put the Pandas ahead 2-1. The Thunderbirds would battle back, though, and find an equalizer two minutes.
Ireland Perrott collided with a Pandas defender who poke-checked the puck off her stick, allowing Brie Bellerive to pick up the loose puck where she walked in and went high glove-side on Owen at 13:24 to make it a 2-2 hockey game! Both goalies would shake off those goals to keep the remaining shots out of the net, so we were off for some free hockey on this afternoon!

In the four-on-four overtime period, there were chances, but nothing came of them. In the three-on-three overtime period, there chances, including a breakaway by Kenzie Robinson that was denied by Owen, but nothing came of them. With no scoring through overtime, the kids in attendance got to see the skills competition! Alberta's Alex Poznikoff and UBC's Mathea Fischer were unsuccessful in Round One. Alberta's Ganser and UBC's Bellerive - both of whom has goals in this game - were denied in Round Two. UBC's Emma Hall would be stopped by Dayna Owen in Round Three, but Alberta's Amy Boucher would use a nice deke and a shot over the left pad to bring the shootout to an end as the Alberta Pandas claimed victory with the 3-2 score! Owen stopped 16 shots, plus three in the shootout, for the win while Boughn stopped 24 shots, but only two of three in the shootout, as she took the loss.

ALBERTA at UBC: After an exciting game one afternoon earlier, the rematch went Saturday. The pace started off a little slower than one day earlier, but both Alberta's Kirsten Chamberlin and UBC's Tory Micklash looked sharp early on. However, that calm would soon be disrupted by the Pandas late in the period. Amy Boucher fed a perfect pass over to Hannah Olenyk on a 2-on-1, and Olenyk one-timed the offering past Micklash's outstretched glove for the 1-0 Alberta lead at 17:54. It appeared that UBC had a chance to erase that deficit with a late Alberta penalty, but it would be Alberta's penalty killers who capitalized when sniper Alex Poznikoff picked up a turnover, went down the ice on a partial breakway, and deked backhand to forehand to open up Micklash before tucking the puck between her pads for the shorthanded goal to make it 2-0 for Alberta at 19:47! At the end of the first, Alberta ruled on the scoreboard and led 13-3 in shots!

The second period saw the teams trade five-on-three power-play opportunities, but neither side could solve the opposing penalty-killing units. Ireland Perrott was given the final 27 minutes of the game off after she was flagged for checking a Pandas player from behind, so UBC would lose one of their more productive forwards. Despite all the action, Chamberlin and Micklash were perfect in the middle frame as the 2-0 score held.

The score would remain intact for the majority of the third period as UBC did everything in their power to rally back. Alberta continued to pepper Micklash with shots throughout the period, but the only one that mattered was the one that was taken while Micklash was on the bench late in the game. Alex Poznikoff hit the empty net at 19:02 to ice this game as Alberta prevailed 3-0. Chamberlin recorded her third win and second shutout of the season in turning aside all 15 shots she faced while Micklash suffered her first loss of the season despite stopping 27 shots.

SASKATCHEWAN at REGINA: The first leg of the home-and-home series between the two Saskatchewan based teams went in Regina on Friday night, and both teams had something to play for as Saskatchewan needed to keep pace with Alberta and UBC while Regina was looking to leap-frog Manitoba into fourth-place with the Bisons idle on Friday. Things started well for the home side as Jordan Kulbida hit Jaycee Magwood with a pass, and the Cougars sniper fought off a couple of Huskies defenders to zip a low shot past Jasey Book to put the home side up 1-0 just 1:28 into the game! Regina wasn't done there, though, as Ireland South finally tossed the 800-pound gorilla off her back when she grabbed a loose puck off a turnover, went in on Book, and beat the netminder with a backhander for her first-career Canada West goal after 35 games of action at 3:17 to make it 2-0 for Regina!

After that flurry of activity three minutes in, the remainder of the game saw the two teams engage in a more physical contest than one is used to seeing in women's hockey. Most of the offensive chances came on the combined eleven power-plays through the remaining 56:43 of play, but Book would allow no other goals while Morgan Baker turned away all Saskatchewan attempts. When the final horn sounded, those two early Regina goals were the difference as the Cougars won 2-0! Baker stopped 19 shots for her first win and first shutout of the season while Book suffered her first loss of the season in an 18-save performance.

REGINA at SASKATCHEWAN: The Huskies and Cougars would reconvene the following night at Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon. Jessica Vance took the net for Saskatchewan while Morgan Baker looked to continue her perfect ways against the Huskies. The two teams played a less physical first period than the final two periods in Regina, but the Cougars would see themselves in a bit of trouble midway through the period when Elise Endicott and Shaelynn Vallotton were whistled for bodychecking less than two minutes apart. The Huskies used that five-on-three advantage to finally break Baker's shutout of a game plus twelve minutes when Chloe Smith pounced on a loose puck off a blocked Leah Bohlken shot, burying the power-play goal at 12:38 to put the Huskies out in front 1-0! Baker was solid once again despite letting in a goal as the Huskies built a 13-3 lead in shots, but the 1-0 score was the only count that mattered after 20 minutes.

If head coach Sarah Hodges was looking for more out her club in the second period, the Cougars certainly responded. Several solid chances were denied by Vance throughout the period as the Cougars took control of the game, and final tally on the shot counter read 19-19 after the Cougars outshot Saskatchewan 16-6 in the frame. The only problem? The score remained 1-0 for the Huskies!

An early bodychecking call on Nikki Watters-Mathes in the third period was the motivation that Saskatchewan needed to double their lead. Bailee Bourassa dented the iron with a shot as it seemed Saskatchewan had scored, but, after moving the puck for another open look, Leah Bohlken made it a no-doubter as she fired a shot clean past Baker on the power-play at 4:11 to make it 2-0 for the Huskies! Regina continued to press as they searched for an equalizer, but Jessica Vance was simply unflappable. Despite launching another 16 shots on her in this period, the Cougars came away empty-handed as the Saskatchewan Huskies took the second-half of the series on home ice by a 2-0 score! Vance was perfect in stopping all 35 shots she faced for her fourth win and second shutout while Baker stopped 25 shots in the loss.

LETHBRIDGE at CALGARY: Two teams who have struggled to score goals met in Calgary on Friday as the Pronghorns visited the Dinos in the first-half of this home-and-home series. Calgary has scored just four times in six games while the Pronghorns have just seven goals in six games. Would we see an explosion of goals for these two clubs?

One team would find their goal-scoring touch on this night. After hitting the post early on in the game, the Pronghorns went to work midway through the period while on a five-on-three power-play. Mackenzie Gal hit Mikaela Reay with a pass, and Reay found Tricia Van Vaerenbergh on the doorstep. Van Vaerenbergh had no trouble scoring past Kelsey Roberts from that distance as the power-play marker made it 1-0 for Lethbridge at the 12:47 mark! Lethbridge missed out on a couple more power-play opportunities later in the frame, and we'd head to the intermission tied 8-8 in shots and Lethbridge leading 1-0.

The second period started quickly as Alli Borrow beat a down-and-out Roberts on a second rebound off Kyra Greig's shot to make it 2-0 for Lethbridge just 2:16 into the period. With Sara Craven watching from the sin bin after being caught for boarding, Alli Borrow put on a bit of a show while on the power-play. Off a drop pass from Van Vaerenbergh just inside the line, Borrow pulled off a spectacular toe-drag to find an angle past a defender, and then went high over the glove of Roberts for a magnificent power-play goal at 5:57 for the 3-0 Pronghorns lead!

As an aside, you what would make this recap better? A highlight of the above goal. Why is it so hard for Canada West schools to generate highlights to showcase their athletes? I ponder this question often. Anyway, back to the recap.

The third Lethbridge goal seemed to wake Calgary up as they began to control the game through possession, but shots were still few and far between for the home side. The shots that did get to Alicia Anderson in the Lethbridge net were handled fairly easily. At the end of the second period, Lethbridge held the edge in shots with a 22-13 advantage and a 3-0 advantage on the scoreboard.

The third period saw Calgary carry its momentum through the intermission as they continued to carry the play in the final frame. They hit a goal post, they were thwarted by a couple of key saves by Anderson, and the Lethbridge defence took care of any rebounds left behind. With some five minutes left in the game, Kelsey Roberts went to the bench for the extra attacker, and Lethbridge put any doubt of this win away with a Tricia Van Vaerenbergh empty-net goal at 16:41 as Lethbridge took the first game of this weekend series by a 4-0 score. Anderson recorded her third win and third shutout of the season in stopping all 20 Calgary shots while Roberts fell to a 0-5-1 on a 22-save night.

CALGARY at LETHBRIDGE: The two netminders from one night earlier would get the call in the second game of the home-and-home series as Kelsey Roberts and Alicia Anderson faced off on Saturday night. Calgary desperately needed a goal of any type to prevent being shut out in four-straight games while Lethbridge was looking to hit double-digits in points prior to the conference bye.

Both teams opened the game looking to get on the scoreboard in a hurry as shots came early and often. Each team would be unsuccessful on a power-play opportunity that saw good chances created, but the opening period would remain tied at 0-0 despite Lethbridge having a slight edge in shots at 14-13.

The second period was more of the same as Kelsey Roberts stoned the Pronghorns while Alicia Anderson continued her perfect play against the Dinos. It seemed as though the Pronghorns were about to take the lead late in the period, but Roberts pulled off some sort of voodoo or black magic to absolutely rob Alli Borrow of what seemed like a sure goal. Moments later, Delaney Frey had a chance against Anderson as she cut to the net, but her shot found nothing but the post behind Anderson as this game went to the third period tied 0-0 on the scoreboard and 24-24 in shots.

Lethbridge finally broke the stalemate when Jordan Doram scored her first-ever Canada West goal off a Jodi Gentile rebound in front of the net at 4:55 to put the Pronghorns out in front! Both teams would continue to push for goals, but the two netminders had no interest in helping the other team's offence. Roberts went to the bench with 1:20 to play, but Calgary was unable to find a seam on Alicia Anderson as the Pronghorns emerged victorious with the 1-0 score! Anderson recorded her second-straight shutout over the Dinos with her 32 saves while Roberts suffered another loss despite making 30 saves on this night.

MOUNT ROYAL at MANITOBA: In a rare Saturday-Sunday weekend series, the Cougars traveled to Winnipeg to meet the Bisons. In holding games in-hand, both teams knew that wins, especially wins in regulation time, were vitally important to their own standings.

Both teams seemed to know what they had to do as scoring chances were plentiful in the opening period. Goal posts and great saves kept things scoreless through most of the period, but Manitoba would capitalize on a late power-play to get on the board. Erica Rieder forced a turnover in the offensive zone as the puck was knocked off the stick of a Cougar and into the slot where Natasha Kostenko, fresh off the bench, roared into the slot and wired a puck high over Zoe De Beauville's glove for the power-play marker at 17:18, putting Manitoba up 1-0 at the first break.

The second period saw the two teams press for more goals, but both Lauren Taraschuk and Zoe De Beauville continued their stellar play opposite one another. Mount Royal would finally solve Taraschuk when some good puck movement caused a defensive breakdown in front of Taraschuk. Camryn Amundson's point shot was stopped by wide-open teammate Breanne Trotter right at the top of the crease, and Trotter faked the backhand before pulling the puck to her forehand, using her reach to slide the puck around a prone Taraschuk who had bit on the backhand fake to make it a 1-1 game at 13:55! Despite all the scoring chances before and after the Mount Royal goal, this game would head to the third period tied 1-1!

It seemed neither goalie would be satisfied playing just 60 minutes as both Taraschuk and De Beauville made save after save in the third period. It seemed that it would take a mistake by one team to find another goal, but I'm not sure anyone expected this mistake. Off a fairly harmless Alex Anderson shot, De Beauville made the chest save with the puck falling to the ice in front of her. As she reached out with her stick and pulled it into her pads, the puck found its way through her five-hole and trickled across the goal line for a Manitoba goal! Anderson looked stunned as the referee pointed towards her, but the goal counted as the Bisons took the 2-1 lead with 4:15 to play! De Beauville would go to the bench with 90 seconds to play, but it would be Manitoba's Émilie Massé who would send the puck the length of the ice into the yawning cage with less than a second to play for her first Canada West goal! When the dust settled, Manitoba claimed the 3-1 victory over Mount Royal! Taraschuk stopped 16 shots for her fifth win of the season while De Beauville recorded 26 shots in the loss.

MOUNT ROYAL at MANITOBA: De Beauville got the call on the Sunday game for Mount Royal, but Manitoba, who had published their lineup with Taraschuk as the starter earlier in the day, decided to give rookie Erin Fargey her first Canada West start on this day. Would it pay off for the Bisons?

Both teams found chances in the opening frame, but similar results were found as both De Beauville and Fargey were solid in their nets. The visitors would get a glorious opportunity at the end of the period after Lauryn Keen was whistled for a check to the head, resulting in a double-minor, but the Manitoba penalty kill was aggressive and didn't let the Cougars set up in the offensive zone for the majority of the advantage. After one period, the score was 0-0 with Manitoba holding an 8-6 edge in shots.

The second period saw more chances for both sides, but the goaltenders continued to steal the spotlight. De Beauville made a couple of key saves off Jordyn Zacharias and Karissa Kirkup while Erin Fargey denied former midget hockey teammate Breanne Trotter and Mount Royal sniper Tatum Amy on chances. Through 40 minutes, it was all goaltending as the score remained 0-0 while Manitoba held a 15-9 advantage in shots.

Manitoba would go to the power-play early in the third period after Tianna Ko was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for tossing Alex Anderson's stick out of her way, but it was her Mount Royal teammate Morgan Ramsey who had the best chance on the advantage.
Fargey stared down the speedy Mount Royal rookie and kept the game scoreless with a great pad save to keep this game knotted up at zeroes. However midway through the period, that stalemate score would be no more.
Madison Cole's shot through traffic somehow avoided legs and bodies in front of De Beauville to zip by the Mount Royal netminder just inside the post at 10:10 of the third period, and Manitoba grabbed the 1-0 lead! Mount Royal worked to find a seam on Fargey, but the Bisons rookie held the fort. Manitoba held possession for the final few minutes in the Mount Royal end, preventing De Beauville from going to the bench. When the Cougars finally did get the puck down the ice with seconds to play, allowing De Beauville to get to the bench, the puck came right back as Alex Anderson hit the empty net with the puck to help Manitoba to the 2-0 win! Fargey was excellent in her first start, collecting her first win and first shutout in a 16-save effort while De Beauville dropped her second-straight game in a 20-save performance.

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Alberta
5-2-1-0
17 19 7
W2
BYE
Manitoba
5-2-1-0
17 20 11
W4
BYE
Saskatchewan
4-2-2-0
16 11 7
W1
BYE
British Columbia
4-2-1-1
15 18 10
L2
BYE
Regina
4-3-0-1
13 18 18
L1
BYE
Lethbridge
3-4-0-1
10 12 12
W2
BYE
Mount Royal
2-5-0-1
7 10 23
L2
BYE
Calgary
0-7-0-1
1 4 24
L8
BYE

The Last Word

There are certainly some statistical numbers starting to emerge in Canada West women's hockey, particularly for the teams near the bottom of the standings.

The goal differentials sported by both the Dinos and the Mount Royal Cougars are troubling at this point in the season as both teams are struggling, yet Mount Royal has recorded wins over Alberta and Regina. If the fortunes for those teams are going to change, they need to find the opposing net more often and allow fewer goals in a hurry.

For Calgary especially, four goals in eight games is a tough pill to swallow at this stage. Rookie Elizabeth Lang has accounted for half of Calgary's total offensive output this season, and her goals came in Week One versus Manitoba. Calgary has a ton of talented players - Chelsea Court, Delaney Frey, Annaliese Meier, the aforementioned Lang - so seeing them with just four goals after eight games is hard to fathom.

Alicia Anderson's wins-to-shutouts ratio also has to change in a hurry. Lethbridge's three wins have come on the strength of three Anderson shutouts - two of which were over the Dinos - and that's completely unsustainable for the rest of the season. Lethbridge needs Anderson to play well, of course, but they could also do well in finding the opposing net more often than they have.

Alberta's everyday goaltending tandem of Dayna Owen and Kirsten Chamberlin are currently sporting a combined 5-1-0 record, a combined 0.64 GAA, and a combined .955 save percentage. If you add in rookie Halle Oswald's numbers, the Alberta trio are 5-2-1-0 with a 0.86 GAA and a .946 save percentage to go along with four shutouts. That's four clean sheets in eight games. In other words, you better bring better-than-your A-game if you want to score on these Alberta netminders.

Anderson and Calgary's Kelsey Roberts are 1-2 in shots-against thus far which tells you a lot about the defence of both Lethbridge and Calgary. Anderson has faced 235 shots while Roberts has stood in front of 234 shots. Manitoba's Lauren Taraschuk is next at 172 - 62 shots less than Roberts. It's also surprising that Taraschuk has faced one more shot than Mount Royal's Zoe De Beauville who has played 33 minutes more than Taraschuk. Of all these teams, Manitoba might be the one to worry the most about when it comes to the number of shots they're giving up.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the three Alberta goalies have faced just 130 shots in eight games - an average of 16.25 shots per game. Again, you better be at your best when the Pandas are your opponent because they simply don't give up the chances needed to beat them very often.

Saskatchewan and Alberta have yet to surrender a power-play goal. Saskatchewan is perfect on 27 penalty kills while Alberta is perfect on 17 kills. Alberta has two shorthanded goals-for while Saskatchewan has one. That's some impressive penalty-killing to start the season, especially on Saskatchewan's behalf. Kudos to them in being 27-for-27 after eight games!

In a special mention, Alberta Pandas head coach Howie Draper coached his 450th game in Canada West this weekend! The milestone sees Draper with a 355-88-7 record over that time which translates to a .797 points percentage. Yes, Howie Draper's team has earned points in 80% of the games the Pandas have played since he took over. That's a heckuva percentage, and it's a credit to how good Howie Draper is as a head coach! Congratulations, Coach Draper!

With no games next week, we'll dive into a few stories about players as we look at some of the great people in Canada West this season. There are some new faces, some veteran players, and a few characters that deserve some spotlights, so we'll highlight them on the bye week.

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!