Thursday, 21 November 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 374

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns to the cozy confines of the studio tonight as there is a lot of hockey news to go over from the last few weeks. From suspensions to dismissals to snapping scoreless droughts, there was definitely some big news coming out of the hockey world just in this last week, but I'll sit down with Jason Pchajek, sports editor of The Manitoban, and Bryan Sveinsson, host of Beyond The Panel heard Tuesdays on UMFM, to discuss some of these news-worthy stories. The debate will be lively, so get yourself settled in for another great chat with these two gentlemen!

If I may, please allow me to indulge you with a short video of where our show will begin tonight.
If you're aware of the "Magic Loogie" scene from Seinfeld, we'll begin The Hockey Show tonight with a discussion about Washington's Ganet Hathaway being suspended for three games by the NHL for spitting on Anaheim's Eric Gudbranson after those two got in a bit of a tussle. Both Jason and Bryan have thoughts on the matter, so we'll have a discussion about that. Along with the spitting incident, we'll talk about the earth cracking open in the middle of Toronto as the Leafs fired head coach Mike Babcock after a slow start to this season. We'll touch on the Bisons women's hockey team breaking their scoring drought along with previewing the men's hockey weekend as the Bisons men's team welcomes the Canada West-leading Alberta Golden Bears to Wayne Fleming Arena. We touch on the NHLPA quietly filing their grievance on behalf of Dustin Byfuglien with the NHL, Mikhail Berdin of the Moose being named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week while being the most fun part of the Moose this season, and John Scott makes his play-by-play broadcaster debut for the Trinity West Spartans this past weekend! All of this and more - if we can squeeze more in - happens tonight at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 UMFM and umfm.com!

Where's the best place can you hear us if you're outside Winnipeg, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still 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! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with Jason Pchajek and Bryan Sveinsson to discuss player expectorations, coach dismissals, snapping droughts, welcoming Ursus arctos californicus to Manitoba, enjoying the Birdman, a new voice on the west coast for hockey, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

When They Just Played Sixty

I don't think there are many hockey fans who would disagree with the notion that three-on-three overtime hockey is some of the best and most exciting hockey that we see today. There's so much room for players to gain speed and show creativity, but there was a long period of time where overtime simply didn't exist. I know it's hard to believe, but the final horn after sixty minutes was the final horn of the game regardless of whether the two teams were tied or not. If they were tied, the two points were split with each team getting a point, and everyone moved on. That practice actually started on this day in history!

Back in 1942, every industry in North America was completely immersed in World War II in terms of having brave men and women enroll in the military for their respective countries. The NHL was no different as the men playing in the league went over to Europe as participants in the war. There were enough players from the Brooklyn Americans who went over for the US military that the league suspended the Americans franchise, thereby beginning the start of the Original Six era as the Bruins, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Rangers, and Black Hawks would make up the NHL until the league doubled in size in 1967.

Because war-time travel restrictions were in effect, the NHL was forced to adapt to the various changes that the train schedules underwent, and it caused some serious scheduling issues when teams were booking tickets to their next stop via those trains if they were forced to play overtime. In short, there was concern that teams may miss trains if played overtime. If you're not aware, teams played a full 20-minute overtime period where teams could score as many goals as they liked as if it were a regular period of hockey. Sudden-death overtime wouldn't be introduced into the NHL much later. Now you see why there may have been concerns about making trains if teams were forced to play a full fourth period while train schedules were restricted.

On November 20, 1942, NHL President Frank Calder made the decision to cancel overtime periods during the regular season indefinitely while the war-time travel restrictions were in place. As The Associated Press reported in the snippet to the right, Calder made the decision to have the teams play the full 60-minute game as usual, but if there the teams were tied at the end of the 60 minutes, the game would end in a draw. Each team would receive one point of the two total points available, and the visitors would still have enough time to get to the train station so they could make their next stop in time. I know the AP said that Calder didn't elaborate, but I'm not sure what he would need to elaborate on after making this decision. It seems pretty straightforward.

Officially, the last overtime game that season was played on November 10, 1942 between the Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Rangers in a game that saw the Rangers prevail by a 5-3 score. Tied 3-3 at the end of 60 minutes, the Rangers would win their second game of the season by scoring a pair of goals in the extra period of play.

Here's the twist in this story, though. The NHL, in its infinite wisdom, didn't reinstate playing overtime during the regular season until the 1983-84 season when a five-minute, sudden-death overtime period was tacked on to games tied after 60 minutes. Why did it take 41 years for the league to re-introduce overtime in regular-season games? There is no official reason, but it seems that the owners and the league were content with games ending as ties with the two teams splitting the points.

It's a little strange to believe that train schedules were the reason for the NHL abandoning regular-season overtime for 41 years, but that's exactly what happened on this day back in 1942.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Twitter Winner, Chicken Dinner!

If you missed the fun that the Manitoba Moose are having in the AHL, the Moose have won six games in a row and goaltender Mikhail Berdin, pictured to the left, has been a big part of the action. Not only has Berdin been a wall in the net for Manitoba, he's even shown that he won't put up with players intruding on his work space. In other words, the "Birdman" has given the AHL all the evidence they need for a weekly award they hand out. All Berdin had to do was wait for the AHL to call to make it official as the team prepared for their road games against Belleville later this week.

First, let's get the scuffle out of the way before we get to what Berdin does best. It seems that San Antonio's Jordan Nolan was a tad more aggressive than he should have been around the Moose netminder, and Mikhail Berdin did not take that lightly.
His post-game comments about Nolan invading his space only makes me like Berdin more. Who doesn't love a goalie who defends his crease and doesn't care who skated into it?

Anyway, Berdin was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for his outstanding netminding in helping the Moose win their last six games. As you can see in the tweet below, the Birdman was on fire when it came to stopping pucks - 148 saves on 153 shots during the week leading to a 1.24 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage! When you're as hot as Berdin is, it's going to lead to some fun around the franchise, and the Moose social media team had some fun thanks to the Birdman's performances!
That is OUTSTANDING! Whoever came up with this bit deserves some serious kudos. If you're a fan of Family Guy, you know this scene for how ridiculous it is, but for the Moose to use it to promote Mikhail Berdin's work last week is pure genius!

The Manitoba Moose won Twitter this week. There's nothing else that will even come close to this level of social media badass-edness.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Back To His Roots?

Plants that are unwanted, often hard to kill, and return are being eradicated are often categorized as weeds. While no one would ever believe that grapes are a weed, it seems that the man called "Grapes" keeps coming back and reinventing himself after it seemed that he might be gone for good. Don Cherry, fresh off being fired from Hockey Night in Canada by Sportsnet, announced today that he would bring back his brand of entertainment under the name of his 1980s TV show as Don Cherry's Grapevine begins as a podcast starting tomorrow.

The 85 year-old Cherry will reportedly record the podcast with his son, Tim Cherry, and he plans on addressing his dismissal by Sportsnet on the first episode of the podcast. According to Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun, Don's grandson, Del, will also co-host episodes as Cherry plans on producing a new episode each Monday that can be found on Spotify and other streaming services during the NHL season.

His first episode, however, will be released tomorrow, and it sounds as if Don is already pretty excited about the episode in being able to clear the air over his removal from the first intermission feature known as Coach's Corner.

"But that's not all we talked about," Cherry told Warmington. "We are talking hockey, of course. It's going to be terrific. In this one I am talking about The Rocket, one of the all-time greats."

The Cherry-produced podcast will have none of the restrictions that he found himself operating under as a member of HNiC and Sportsnet, so fans of the outspoken former coach will get everything and more from Cherry as his seven-minute segment can be expanded to as long as Cherry wants. If he wants to rip Quebecois players for wearing visors or if he wants to talk about Swedes playing soft or if he wants to rip any other segment of the population for any reason, there's no one there who will stop him from his rants and diatribes this time.

There's also a chance that this podcast will give Cherry a chance to hone his delivery for other offers that could come his way. While it may be a stretch to assume he'd be back on any TV broadcast regularly, I could see Don getting a regular spot on some radio show where Don talks about one major hockey topic per week from his perspective. He'd likely do well on a SiriusXM program where they have some additional flexibility on what is discussed, but I think this podcast could help his brand find some solid footing after his poor wording one week ago.

Whatever the case may be, those who screamed murder when Don was fired can now find him on their favorite audio streaming service. If you need your fill of Grapes, tune into Spotify tomorrow!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

The Rundown - Week 7

All eight teams were back in action this weekend - and earlier in the week, in one case - as the Canada West Conference makes its way towards the December break. The top-two teams in the conference were scheduled to meet while a number of other intriguing match-ups that could affect the standings awaited viewers and fans this week. Of course, there were eyes on Manitoba as they looked to snap a program-record scoreless streak as well, so let's find out who did what on this week's edition of The Rundown!

We get to start this week's action on a Thursday with the first portion of the annual Crowchild Classic got underway. Mount Royal started the week one point ahead of Calgary, so the crosstown rivalry was very much alive as both teams had a shot to jump into first-place in the conference with wins this weekend! Kaitlyn Ross got the start for the Cougars in this game while the Dinos responded with their veteran starter in Kelsey Roberts.

The Dinos opened the game with a little jump in their step as they controlled the play early on. Carrying the play seemed to do them well as the Dinos were the first to hit the scoreboard when a puck was dug out of a scrum near the corner, was poked off a Mount Royal defender's stick, and the pinching Paige Michalenko corralled the puck and fired it low past Ross at 9:51 to put Calgary up 1-0! Despite having the Cougars push back through the remaining ten minutes, Calgary would take that one-goal lead to the room along with a 7-5 edge in shots!

Early into the second period, Mount Royal would square things up when Anna Purschke's shot in all sorts of traffic in front of Roberts somehow went up and over the Dinos netminder and into the net at 3:31 to make it 1-1! Minutes later, Calgary's Holly Reuther broke down the left wing and cut across the middle after entering the Cougars' zone where she put a shot high on Ross that the goaltender simply appeared to miss with her glove to make it 2-1 for the Dinos at 8:14! The teams would trade a few more opportunities as the second-half of the period wore down, but it would be Calgary who took another one-goal margin into the intermission, but with the Cougars holding a 17-15 margin in shots!

Early in the third period, Elizabeth Lang picked the pocket of a Cougar in the Calgary zone, chipped the puck past a Mount Royal defender at the blue line, and was off to the races. Delaney Frey joined her as the other Cougars defender dropped back to turn the break into a two-on-one, but Lang would feather a pass across to Frey who cut across the crease and slipped the puck five-hold past a sprawling Ross to make it a 3-1 game for Calgary just 2:16 into the frame! From there, the Dinos went into denial mode as Roberts stoned the Cougars on their remaining opportunities to give the Dinos the 3-1 win! Kelsey Roberts earned her seventh win with a 24-save performance while Kaitlyn Ross suffered her first loss of the season after making just 16 saves.

Highlights of this game are below!

The second-half of the crosstown rivalry took place at Flames Community Arena as the Cougars hosted the Dinos. Mount Royal needed a win to keep pace with the Dinos who had moved into first-place with their win on Thursday. Friday's game could put real separation between the Dinos and the pack, so Calgary came in with a purpose. Kelsey Roberts got her twelfth-straight start for the Dinos while Cassie Shokar was between the pipes for the Cougars.

It was pretty clear early on in this game that Mount Royal wasn't content with the loss the night before as they came out and peppered Roberts with shots. Regardless of what they threw at her, though, Roberts wasn't letting anything by her. At the other end, Shokar was just as good, denying all the chances Mount Royal set up in what was a period where the goalies shone. After one frame, the score remained 0-0, but Mount Royla had an 11-5 advantage in shots.

The second period had the same vibe as the first period as the Cougars continued their assault on Roberts in the offensive zone, but the Calgary netminder was just as good as she was in the first period. That netminding became key midway through the period when Paige Michalenko's long shot from the point deflected off a defender in front of Shokar and past the goalie at 12:20 to give Calgary the 1-0 lead! Despite having a power-play 90 seconds later, the Cougars could get nothing to to twine in this period as the Dinos went to the break with the one-goal lead, but having been outshot 24-10 through 40 minutes.

The third period saw the Dinos crank up their defensive game as they took time and space away against the Cougars throughout the final period. This was effective at limiting chances on Roberts as she faced nowhere near the same barrage as she did through the first period, and that defensive play allowed the Dinos to skate away with the 1-0 victory! Kelsey Roberts was perfect on all 28 shots she faced for her eighth win and second shutout of the season while Cassie Shokar suffered the loss despite stopping 14 of 15 shots sent her way.

Highlights of this game are below!

The Pandas went east to visit the Cougars in Regina as these two teams found themselves starting the weekend a lot closer than anyone may have imagined at this point in the season. Regina could overtake the Pandas in the standings with a pair of wins on home ice while the Pandas needed points to claw their way back into the discussion for top-spot on the conference. Halle Oswald got the start for the Pandas while Jane Kish earned her third-straight start after a pair of wins over Manitoba the week before!

The two goaltenders started this game strong with each making a number of key saves in the first period. Despite a handful of chances seen, both Oswald and Kish would keep the scoresheet clean through one period as the Cougars held a 7-5 edge in shots in the 0-0 game.

The second period started much like the first period did with both netminders continuing their stellar play, but a penalty to Alex Poznikoff six minutes into the frame gave Regina the advantage they needed. On the power-play, McVannel and Magwood played catch up top before Magwood's one-timer from the right face-off circle found its way through traffic and under Oswald thanks to a deflection, and Regina had the 1-0 lead at 7:12! Just 31 seconds later, Rachel O'Toole would send a point shot towards Oswald that Jordan Kulbida deflected past Oswald after setting up in front, and the Cougars had themselves a 2-0 lead! Alberta could muster anything on the power-play they received moments later, and this game would head to the second break with the Cougars up 2-0 on the scoreboard and leading 15-10 in shots!

In the third period, the Pandas brought all the firepower as the Cougars went into a defensive shell to try and preserve the two-goal lead. No matter what the Pandas did on this night, however, the Cougars had an answer for them, and it was often in the form of Jane Kish. At the final horn, the Cougars wrapped up a 2-0 victory over the Pandas! Jane Kish picked up her fourth win and her third-straight shutout with the 21-save blanking while Halle Oswald took the loss after a 14-save effort.

Just for the record, it should be noted that Jane Kish is personally sporting a shutout streak of 193:37 after tonight's shutout of the Pandas. The last time she was scored on was back at 6:23 of the third period against Mount Royal on October 25 when Victoria Byer scored the winner that night.

Highlights of this game are below!

SATURDAY: With the win the night before, Alberta and Regina found themselves separated by one point in the standings, so there was all sorts of intrigue in today's game. Alberta needed to put some space between themselves and Regina for the final playoff spot while Regina looked to bump Alberta into a non-playoff spot with a win. The Pandas turned to Kirsten Chamberlin in this game while the Cougars were riding the hot goalie by starting Jane Kish in her fourth-straight game!

That shutout streak that I mentioned about Jane Kish? It ended quickly on Saturday because there was another player who was all over the scoresheet on this day. Just 2:35 into the game, Autumn MacDougall stripped a Regina defender of the puck at her own blue line and skated in all alone on Kish before wiring a shot high glove-side that found the back of the net for the early Alberta 1-0 lead! Both teams went back to work following the goal as Regina looked for an equalizer, but Chamberlin was on her game. With 13 seconds remaining in the period, Regina was whistled for tripping. After a scramble around the net, Alex Poznikoff threw a pass out front from behind the net, and it was MacDougall standing on the doorstep, whacking it past Kish with one second on the clock to put Alberta up 2-0 through 20 minutes with the power-play marker. Regina, however, took a 6-5 edge in shots into the intermission.

If you're asking, Kish's shutout streak ended at 196:12 of time on MacDougall's first goal - a heck of a run for the Cougars netminder!

The second period felt like an Alberta Pandas frame as they controlled the period from start to finish. What they couldn't do, it seemed, was solve Kish again. That was true until late in the period when Autumn MacDougall picked up a loose puck behind the net and centered it where it went off Kish and into the net behind her at 15:20 to make it a 3-0 game! In a period where Alberta outshot Regina 9-2, that 3-0 lead seemed a lot bigger.

Alberta focused more on playing solid defence in the third period as they kept Regina away from the net and out of danger zones with the puck. While they still had a couple of chances, it was clear that the Pandas were more concerned with closing this game out with a strong finish, and they did just that as they limited Regina to just one shot in the third period en route to the 3-0 victory! Kirsten Chamberlin picked up her third win and first shutout of the season by stopping all nine shots she faced while Kish suffered just her second loss of the season in a 17-save performance.

Highlights of this game are below!

If we're talking about shutout streaks, no one likely knows shutouts better than Manitoba after having been shutout in four-straight games. With the Huskies travelling east to Winnipeg with one of the best netminders in the conference on their side, there was some general fear that Manitoba's streak would be extended further. Saskatchewan, however, has been having their own scoring woes as of late, having scored just four goals in their last three games while going 1-2 in those games. Jessica Vance got the call for Saskatchewan on Friday while Erin Fargey started for the Bisons!

Manitoba started the game going stride for stride with the Huskies, but it was soon evident that Saskatchewan was the more aggressive team in the opening frame. A couple of penalties slowed the Huskies attack, but Manitoba's power-play couldn't seem to find any great chances on Vance. The teams would retire to the dressing rooms for the intermission tied at 0-0 with Saskatchewan doubling Manitoba in shots by a 10-5 margin.

The second period saw the tides turn when it came to the penalty box as Manitoba was whistled for two quick penalties early on that gave Saskatchewan all kinds of momentum. It would be the first power-play, however, where the Huskies would open the scoring when Bailee Bourassa's shot from the left side was stopped by Fargey, but the puck popped up and over the netminder, landing behind her in the blue paint. Leah Bohlken saw the loose puck as she drove the net, and she tapped it across the line for the power-play goal to put Saskatchewan up 1-0 at the 3:37 mark! Saskatchewan simply exerted their will in this period, controlling most of the possession leading to a lot of offensive zone time, but Fargey was solid as she kept Manitoba in this one. After 40 minutes, the Huskies held the one-goal lead despite outshooting the Bisons 22-7!

The third period saw the Huskies continue their strong play through the first-half of the period before the Bisons turned up the tempo with some good neutral zone play and transition attacks. Despite Manitoba's increased pressure, Vance looked cool and calm as she made save after save. With Fargey on the bench late in the game, Manitoba had a number of good chances to tie this game up, but the puck never found its intended destination as Kate Gregoire looked like she had all the room with 20 seconds to play to end the drought, but she partially-fanned on the shot and it settled underneath the sprawling Vance. When the horn sounded, the Huskies picked up the 1-0 victory over the Bisons! Jessica Vance stopped 14 shots for her fourth win and second shutout of the season while Erin Fargey deserved a better fate than a loss after making 29 stops on the night.

Apparently, the Bisons decided not put any highlights up for this game, so you'll have to take my word that everything above happened. What shouldn't be disputed, however, is that the Bisons were shutout again, extending their scoreless streak to 303:57 of time. At some point, something has to hit the twine whether by shot or by fluke, but it seems the snake-bitten Bisons will have to regroup and try again tomorrow.

SATURDAY: Saskatchewan came into Saturday's game looking for the sweep over Manitoba to strengthen their lead over Mount Royal who they jumped in the standings. Manitoba, meanwhile, just needed a goal in order to restore some confidence in themselves. A win would be other-worldly at this point. Regardless of the underlying drama, Camryn Drever was named the starter for Huskies on Saturday while the Bisons called upon fifth-year netminder Amanda Schubert to guard their nets.

This game had a far more physical tone early on that the referees didn't seem top appreciate, so the first period was a parade to both penalty boxes as the teams worked out their anger towards each other in the sin bins. In total, there were seven minor penalties called in the opening frame with five of those going to Manitoba. The good news is that the top penalty-killing unit in Canada West came up big as the Bisons killed off all the power-play opportunities that the Huskies were awarded. The flip side is that the conference's worst power-play didn't help the Bisons' cause either, and we went to the intermission still tied 0-0 with Saskatchewan holding a 7-5 edge in shots.

The second period started the same way the first did as Manitoba was forced to kill off another minor penalty before going on a power-play of their own. No goals were scored, but we would see one midway through the period when Emile Massé skated along the line before dropping the puick to Chloe Snaith who fired the biscuit into a crowd that eluded Drever and found the back of the net at 9:05 to put the Herd up 1-0! THE BISONS SCORED! And they weren't done there as a penalty to the Huskies sent the Bisons out on the power-play where Katie Chatyrbok's centering pass from behind the goal line in the left-wing corner deflected in off a Huskies defender at 15:44 to make it a 2-0 Bisons lead! The early goal seemed to energize the Bisons, and the second one looked like it brought them back to life as they closed out the period with the 2-0 lead and outshooting the Huskies 6-5 in the frame!

The third period opened with Saskatchewan showing some purpose as they looked to get back into the game. They would be rewarded for their efforts early on when Morgan Willoughby's point shot hit a player in front of Schubert as she was sliding in the opposite direction, giving Shyan Elias all sorts of time and space to bury the puck at 4:53 to make it a 2-1 game! The Bisons, though, would not be deterred by that goal as they continued to move their feet and get chances while Saskatchewan did all they could to find an equalizer on Schubert. When the horn sounded, the losing streak and the scoreless streak were both over the Bisons captured victory by the 2-1 score! Amanda Schubert was solid in stopping 20 of 21 shots for her second win of the campaign while Drever took the loss after stopping 13 shots.

Again, no highlight package from the Bisons for the game. Get your act together, Manitoba! And just for the record, that scoreless drought that Manitoba was on ended at 333:02 with Snaith's goal as Manitoba went nearly thirty days without denting twine. Let's hope no team has to go through something that again this season or in any future season!

Perhaps the most intriguing match-up of the weekend occurred in Lethbridge where the Pronghorns, who had flirted with the top spot in the conference all season, met the UBC Thunderbirds who had charged up the standings over the last few weeks to put themselves in a situation where they could not only catch Lethbridge, but pass them as well. First-place was on the line in this meeting between these two teams, and UBC opted for their hot goalie in Tory Micklash to tend the nets while Lethbridge went with their veteran in Alicia Anderson!

The early portion of the period was played fairly evenly before we saw our first goal. Off a defensive zone face-off win that went behind the net, a UBC defender had the puck stripped off her stick by Kianna Dietz who centered the puck, and Tricia Van Vaerenbergh finished off the play by going high over the right shoulder of Micklash at 6:37 to put the Pronghorns up 1-0! However, 30 seconds later, that lead was gone as Ireland Perrott picked up a pass on the right side, skated into the high slot area, and beat Alicia Anderson with a wrist shot to make it a 1-1 game! UBC continued to pressure the Lethbridge defence through the remainder of the period, but chances at both ends were denied as the teams went to the intermission tied 1-1, but with UBC leading 9-5 in shots.

The second period saw Lethbridge start the period strong, but UBC began to rally as the period progressed. Before the midpoint, a Pronghorns clearing attempt was held inside the zone by Mikayla Ogrodniczuk. Emma Hall picked up the loose puck and was tripped, but pushed the puck ahead to a wide-open Chanreet Bassi who made a good fake to freeze Anderson before taking to the forehand and firing the puck past the prone goalie at 7:53 to make it a 2-1 game! 2:50 later with UBC on the power-play, the T-Birds moved the puck well from Hannah Clayton-Carroll to Shay-Lee McConnell to Mathea Fischer who one-timed it past Anderson to give UBC a 3-1 lead! And UBC would add a second power-play goal with 3:38 to play in the period as Hannah Clayton-Carroll beat a Lethbridge defender on the right side and fed Mathea Fischer streaking down the left side who went forehand-backhand for her second goal of the night as the Thunderbirds jumped out to a 4-1 lead! Through 40 minutes, the three-goal lead stood with UBC leading in shots 18-13.

The third period saw UBC and Lethbridge open things up in a big way as both teams looked for more goals. Chances were had at both ends, but both Anderson and Micklash were up to the challenge as they denied all shots in this period. In saying that, the 4-1 score remained intact through to the final horn as UBC earned the victory! Tory Micklash was stellar once more as she denied 22 shots for her seventh win of the season while Alicia Anderson suffered the loss in a 26-save effort.

Highlights are below!

SATURDAY: After dropping the first game of the two-game set, the Pronghorns knew they needed to dig deep to down a formidable opponent who had picked up points in nine-straight games. UBC was looking to keep the good times rolling as they had a shot to claim first-place outright with a win, so they came in focused on the task at hand. Tory Micklash was back between the pipes for UBC while Lethbridge opted for Chloe Marshall as their netminder to try and derail the Thunderbirds.

The only problem? The Thunderbirds were hitting their targets today. Tiffany Chiu scored at 4:29 and Mikayla Ogrodniczuk added a goal at 6:04 as the UBC Thunderbirds jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in this game despite only putting five shots on Marshall in the opening frame. In contrast, Lethbridge fired pucks from every point at Micklash and the UBC defence thanks to a handful of penalties only to come up empty. After one period where the ice was slanted towards the UBC zone, the T-Birds led 2-0 despite being outshot 14-5 in the frame!

The second period saw the game even out a little as the two teams traded chances and shots as the parade to the penalty box disappeared. The goaltenders were both sharp in the period as they kept pucks from getting behind them, and the 2-0 lead that UBC brought into the period was carried into the second intermission with Lethbridge leading 22-15 in shots.

And then the wheels fell off for the Pronghorns in the third period. Hannah Clayton-Carroll scored at 3:34, Ireland Perrott scored on the power-play at 6:20, and Clayton-Caroll book-ended the scoring with her second of the game at 12:30 as a handful of penalties really provided the spark that UBC needed to take over this game. When the final horn sounded, UBC piled up a 5-0 win over the Pronghorns. Tory Micklash picked up her eighth win and fifth shutout of the season with a 27-save blanking of Lethbridge while Chloe Marshall took the loss in a 24-save performance.

Highlights of this one are below!

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
British Columbia
7-2-1-2
25 26 23
W6
vs MRU
Calgary
7-4-1-0
23 22 18
W4
vs LET
Lethbridge
6-5-0-1
19 24 27
L3
@ CAL
Saskatchewan
5-4-1-2
19 17 17
L1
vs REG
Mount Royal
6-6-0-0
18 20 15
L2
@ UBC
Alberta
5-6-1-0
17 31 18
W1
vs MAN
Regina
3-7-2-0
13 16 27
L1
@ SAS
Manitoba
3-8-0-1
10 11 22
W1
@ ALB

The Last Word

Let's talk about how good UBC has been in the last eight games because there simply aren't enough people talking about their efforts. There's a reason why they're in first-place, and I alluded to it above as they've picked up points in their last ten games. They don't have a regulation loss since the first week of the season, and a big reason for that is their commitment to taking care of their own zone and the work by Tory Micklash.

Let's just throw out the 14 goals they surrendered in the opening weekend to Alberta. We can't take them off the stats, but we're going to focus on the last ten games because UBC has been the best defensive team by a country mile!

In those ten games, UBC has surrendered just nine goals. They haven't given up two goals since November 1 when they beat Saskatchewan 3-2 in overtime, and haven't given up three goals since October 19 when they lost in a shootout to Regina by a 3-2 score. If we toss out the shootout goal, UBC hasn't given up a three-goal game since the opening weekend, and have only allowed more than one goal in a game three times! This team is addicted to defence right now, and it only helps that their goaltending has been bolstered by Tory Micklash.

Again, pulling the 12 goals off her total that Alberta laid on her, Micklash has surrendered just eight goals in 618:07 of play in those last ten games. If you're doing the math, that's a 0.78 GAA to go along with an incredible .961 save percentage as she's saved 195 of 203 shots in those ten games. With teams averaging just 20 shots per game over that time on Micklash, she's likely to give up just one goal if teams are lucky based on that save percentage. If your goaltender is surrendering just one goal per game, there's a good chance you're winning games. Unless you're Manitoba and mired in a program-record scoring slump.

Through seven weeks last season, Alberta had surrendered just ten goals through 15 games in what was one of the best seasons for goals-against ever put together by any Canada West team. They would finish the season with just 24 goals-against in a 28-game season, so it's likely that UBC won't better that mark, but it should be encouraging to know that if UBC continues to match the pace that Alberta ran at last season, it's very likely UBC will finish in the top spot at season's end just as Alberta did one campaign ago.

The playoffs are a whole different matter, of course, but with UBC playing playoff-like hockey in terms of their defensive effort, one has to believe that they'll be set for a good playoff run. Things might change over the December break as the month off may cool off the T-Birds, but it seems the Thunderbirds are soaring right now thanks to a solid commitment to defence.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 16 November 2019

#49 Takes The Face-Off

The excitement of signing your first NHL contract is always something special for any player. The Arizona Coyotes, in looking to keep the talent flow coming into their dressing room, went out and made a major signing today as they inked Leighton Accardo to a contract with head coach Rick Tocchet inserting her into the lineup tonight. Ok, we'll asterisk that last sentence because there are some details that are needed to fill in the blanks when it comes to young Leighton's signing today. Leighton was in uniform tonight, though, and she was on the ice at Gila River Arena with her Coyotes teammates.

For those that don't know who Leighton Accardo is, she's a young lady from Arizona who is currently battling stage IV cancer. She's plays baseball in the summer on an all-girls team called the Peaches in the East Valley Baseball league, and she plays hockey in the winter. Her favorite hockey team is, of course, the Arizona Coyotes. However, it was in the spring when Leighton was getting ready for another baseball season that the family had a major scare after the Accardo family took Leighton into the emergency room after she complained her stomach hurt. After a CT scan, the family got the most difficult news of their lives.

"They discovered multiple masses throughout her abdomen, in her liver and on her lungs," Carly Accardo, Leighton's mother, told Sebastian Emanuel of Cronkite News. "They sent us to the children's hospital and she was later diagnosed after the biopsies with germ cell tumors."

As Emanuel explains in his article, "[g]erm cell tumors are growths that form from reproductive cells and may be cancerous or noncancerous, according to MayoClinic.org. Leighton has malignant germ cell tumors that are not located in her blood or bones, her family said."

The good news is that the cancer that Leighton was diagnosed with is the "type of cancer is often treatable with stage IV having an 82 percent cure rate, according to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at John Hopkins." That some awesome news for Leighton and her family after being dealt with some of the hardest news they'd deal with in their lives.

So why am I writing about Leighton and girls' baseball teams on a hockey blog? Well, as part of the Hockey Fights Cancer month in NHL, Leighton was signed by the Coyotes for one day to become a member of the Coyotes complete with her own contract, her own jersey, and an opportunity to be on the ice with the Coyotes as they met the Flames tonight! Here is 8 year-old Leighton on her way to get ready for her debut as she walks through the corridors of Gila River Arena!
All of this pretty awesome for the Coyotes to do for Leighton, but it's what one player in particular did for Leighton once she got on the ice. As you may be aware, most of the people who participate in the Hockey Fights Cancer ceremonies are invited to drop the puck for a ceremonial face-off between the two NHL captains featured in those games. However, Leighton was involved a little more than your normal puck-drop.
This is an incredible moment for Leighton, an amazing gesture from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and a simply awesome moment for the game. Knowing she played the game and having her out on the ice in full gear, Ekman-Larsson's gesture for her to take the face-off against Mark Giordano is entirely how professional players should be using their influence on the game, and OEL's recognition of Leighton's love for hockey has created a memory that she'll never forget. I love that Giordano played along with Ekman-Larsson's idea, and this is why I love this game: it's such a pure and genuine moment where a couple of players gave a young fan who is dealing with some adversity a memory that erases all that adversity.

Well done to the Arizona Coyotes for giving Leighton Accardo a day where she forgot some of the hospital visits she's had to endure, and infinite stick-taps to Oliver Ekman-Larsson for giving a young lady the biggest moment of her life. I don't know if Leighton Accardo will ever see this article, but Hockey Blog In Canada is a fan of yours, Leighton, as I wish you and your family complete remission in your battle against cancer with no recurrences of any kind in the future.

#49 in your programs, and definitely #1 in all our hearts today.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 15 November 2019

He's Got A Future

A lot of people, upon seeing John Scott and what he was known for during his days in the NHL, likely wrote him off before ever getting to know the man. As has been stated here before, Scott has a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech. He's the author of his own autobiography, A Guy Like Me: Fighting to Make the Cut, which was an enjoyable read for me. He's currently involved in the movie adaptation of that book when he's not lending his name and abilities to charity hockey games across Canada and the US. He's a devoted father, a loving husband, and seems like he's a heckuva guy. But this article isn't about John Scott as a person. Rather, it's about a new venture that Scott may want to do if he's so inclined.

Scott has done all sorts of things since retiring from the NHL, but he had yet to call a hockey game publicly. Until tonight.
While in Langley, British Columbia as the keynote speaker for Trinity Western's Spartan Foundation fundraiser known as the Complete Champion Corporate Reception, someone must have mentioned to Scott that the Trinity Western Spartans men's team had a game that night where he could try his chops doing play-by-play for the game. Scott, never one to shy away from a challenge, took the opportunity to call a few minutes of the game between the Spartans and the University of Victoria Vikes! How cool is that?

Here's some more footage of Scott doing some solid work and take a dig at the refs in this game.

It's pretty clear that John Scott is a good guy who likes to have fun, and I'm excited to see him in Winnipeg on December 6 at the first-annual Hockey Helps The Homeless tournament where John will be playing while helping the tournament raise funds to defeat homelessness in Winnipeg. Scott's work as a play-by-play broadcaster was pretty decent for the first time, and it seems that he has a knack for play-by-play. Might we see him as a future colour analyst or play-by-play man? It's quite possible after this performance!

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's getting his degree, playing hockey, writing books, or calling hockey games, John Scott excels at almost everything he sets his mind on doing. The best part of this story is that it seems like John Scott is game for almost anything that sounds fun. That's why I admire John Scott.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The Hockey Show - Episode 373

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is on the road tonight as I move out of the cozy confines of the studio and inside the crisp, cool air of an arena! The show will be live from the BellMTS IcePlex in Winnipeg as I get set to do a little promotion for the JWHL Showcase happening here in Winnipeg starting tonight and running through to November 17 that will feature four Canadian JWHL teams and one non-JWHL team as some of the best female players under the age of 19 visit Winnipeg! It should be a great show from the always-great BellMTS IcePlex, so make sure you're listening!

The Junior Women's Hockey League features teams from across North America, and is considered one of the best prep leagues for women looking to play hockey at the collegiate or university level. The four JWHL teams who will take part in this weekend's showcase are the Pacific Steelers (Richmond, BC), the Ottawa Lady 67's (Ottawa, ON), the Ridley College Tigers (St. Catherines, ON), and the reigning JWHL champions in the Balmoral Hall Blazers (Winnipeg, MB). Joining them will be the Thunder Bay Queens who play against a number of top prep schools across the nation, and it will be exciting to see them in the mix this weekend!

The JWHL teams not attending are all based in the eastern United States, so I can understand them not attending when one factors in travel and costs. The three American teams we won't see this weekend include the North American Hockey Academy (Stowe, Vermont), the Boston Shamrocks (Boston, MA), and the Washington Pride (Washington, DC).

Tonight on the show, you'll hear me do a little promotion for the tournament this weekend as we get you set for a busy weekend of women's hockey in the city. The Bisons women's team are also at home this weekend, and both they and UMFM have some exciting news about this weekend as they play the Saskatchewan Huskies in a two-game set. I'll talk about a record set in Canada West women's hockey last weekend. I'll be joined by the two ladies seen in the image above as Desiree Wiens and Jade Ridgeway sit down with me for a few minutes to talk about playing for the Pacific Steelers and in the JWHL, being recruited by Trinity Western University for their first Canada West season in 2020-21, and more! On top of that, I will address the elephant in the room and say a few words about Don Cherry's dismissal from Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada. If there's time, I'll also go over an amazing accomplishment by Byron Spriggs! It should be another busy show, so make sure you tune in tonight at 5:30pm CT!

Where's the best place can you hear us if you're outside Winnipeg, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

Having lost faith in Facebook, I spend far less time on that site for good reasons. In saying that, you can still 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! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz previews the JWHL Showcase in Winnipeg and the weekend of Canada West women's hockey between the Bisons and Huskies, promotes a goaltender who set a new record (and counting) in Canada West women's hockey, talk to TWU recruits Desiree Wiens and Jade Ridgeway about hockey, 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 14, 2019: Episode 373

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A Hockey Movie Starring You

When you see the image above of people skating on a makeshift outdoor rink, what comes mind? Are you taken back to the days when you first were learning to skate and how to play the game? Is it memories of the biting cold in your cheeks being thawed by warm hot chocolate after skating at top speed on a brisk, chilly winter's day? Shovelling snow off the rink in near-darkness late in the evening after the lights have gone out to play just one more game? Is it something entirely different altogether?

Canada, as a nation, experiences hockey differently as we move across the nation both geographically and chronologically throughout history. From skating on a local pond to making backyard rinks, from going to the local community centres and playing on outdoor ice in frigid temperatures to experiencing that first game inside an indoor rink, from having your parents lace up your skates as a kid to pulling on that NHL jersey for the first time and dreaming that you're scoring the Game Seven overtime goal to win the Stanley Cup, everyone has a story that has a personal meaning to him or her about the game of hockey. And this is what Scotiabank is looking for - the stories of personal and community connections to the game of hockey so they can piece together a unique documentary that will capture a day in community hockey in Canada.

I'll let Ron MacLean and PK Subban take it from here.

As Ron stated in the video, Hockey24 is all about hockey across this amazing nation filmed on a single day that shows how we all experience the game no matter where we are on the map. Using only footage and photos taken on Sunday, November 17 and submitted through the Hockey24 website, globally-renowned, awarded, and recognized documentary filmmakers will compile the contributions submitted from Canadians across this incredible country to weave together a unique snapshot of hockey experiences over a single 24-hour period in Canada. Personally, this sounds like it could be one of those films that makes one laugh, smile, and cry all in a single sitting while watching this film!

Scotiabank is aiming for the film will to be released in the spring of 2020, and you could see yourself on TV, online, and on the big screen! Now you might be saying, "Hold on, Teebz, I don't play anymore" or "I never played", and that's ok too. As Canadian hockey legend Geraldine Heaney stated in the video above, "Hockey is for everyone," and this project is too! Scotiabank is looking for all hockey experiences in this endeavour - your favourite pre-game routine, coaching or volunteering at the rink, hitting the road or watching the game with your friends - so it doesn't matter if you're an NHL player or have shown your best moves on a hockey video game! Hockey24 is a film that is meant for all Canadians that is all about capturing a "hockey day" in the life of Canadians of all ages from all walks of life who live in all corners of this amazing country!

What's even cooler than being in a movie? Free stuff, and Scotiabank is giving one lucky participant in Hockey24 a chance to win up to $24,000 for your local community hockey team or league and a trip to the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri! How cool is that for filming and submitting what you do when it comes to your love of the game of hockey this Sunday?

"Scotiabank is very excited to be a part of this incredible film," said Clinton Braganza, Chief Marketing Officer at Scotiabank. "Hockey matters to Scotiabank because it matters to Canadians. As fans, coaches and players ourselves, community hockey is an important part of who we are. We can't wait to see how Hockey 24 weaves the country's individual hockey experiences together into one story."

However, you can only be entered to win that amazing prize if you participate this Sunday! So get that phone or camera out, get that chinstrap done up, lace up the skates, break out the clipboard, use the dry-erase markers, capture your best video game highlights, show off your hockey-themed rec room, take pictures of yourself and your friends and everyone down the row at your local hockey game, do whatever it is that is your personal hockey experience, and submit it to Hockey24 for a chance to be in the film and possibly get yourself to the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri!

Hockey absolutely is for everyone. Let's show the rest of the world how we do that in Canada!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Saved By Spriggs

The man sitting to the left in the #60 Colorado Avalanche jersey is emergency backup netminder Byron Spriggs. Spriggs, a former Manitoba Bisons netminder and newest coach on the Bisons men's team's coaching staff, has worn a few different jerseys as the emergency netminder while teams visit Winnipeg. I'm not certain how often other teams have their emergency goalie pressed into action, but it seems that Spriggs has gotten his fair share of jerseys from AHL teams to go along with his newest NHL jersey.

If you missed the news, Pavel Francouz was injured less than one minute into the game between the visiting Colorado Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets, prompting back-up netminder Adam Werner to take to the nets. Without a goalie to back Werner up, Byron Spriggs was called into action as the emergency back-up netminder. And that's how the image above was captured.

The most recent AHL jersey Spriggs added to his collection was that of the Manitoba Moose after Spriggs was signed by the club in March last season. While he didn't see any ice time with the Moose while they were in Colorado, Spriggs earned himself a jersey as the back-up to Ken Appleby for that March 22 game that the Moose won 2-0 over the Eagles, and the Moose invited him to training camp this season as seen to the right. It would be hard for most young goalies to supplant Mikhail Berdin in the Moose net, and Spriggs was ultimately cut by the Moose. It's clear he made a good impression over the last couple of seasons as True North Sports and Entertainment has kept him on as the emergency netminder as we saw tonight.

Just a week prior to getting his Moose jersey, the AHL's Texas Stars were in Manitoba when they were plagued by goaltender injuries. Spriggs inked a contract that guaranteed he would be in uniform on March 15 as the Stars played the Moose in Winnipeg, and he would back up Philippe Desrosiers in a 5-4 overtime win by the Stars.

If you're keeping track at home, Spriggs wore #1 with the Stars one week before wearing #35 with the Moose, and followed that up by wearing #60 with Colorado in the same calendar year. Has there ever been a netminder who wore three different numbers in one calendar year? I don't recall that happening, but I also didn't look very deep into it. If you know of one, post his name in the comments below!

March is a good month for Spriggs when it comes to suiting up in the AHL as he got a chance to be the back-up netminder behind Daniel Altshuller for the Charlotte Checkers on March 9, 2017 after the Checkers acquired Tom McCollum at the trade deadline, but his gear didn't arrive in Winnipeg in time for the game between the Checkers and Moose on that date. With the Checkers needing a back-up, they turned to Spriggs who signed an amateur tryout contract for the day and sat as the back-up to Altshuller as Charlotte went on to win that game by a 4-3 score.

I don't want to point out the obvious, but Byron Spriggs is now 4-0 as a back-up netminder as he's been part of wins with all four teams for which he's dressed after the Avalanche dismissed the Jets by a 4-0 score tonight! That's a rather cool statistic that Spriggs may want to boast about when it comes to his spot duty for teams. I don't know if it's just good luck, teams responding to their goaltending woes, or another factor, but Spriggs might have the best record of any emergency goaltender in hockey right now!

It's always fun to see a guy you know getting a shot at glory, even if it's only for one game. Byron Spriggs is a phenomenal guy, and that smile he wore for the majority of the game tonight is the same smile you see him with on a daily basis. Congratulations on that amazing record as well, Byron.

If you needed proof, Byron Spriggs is evidence that good things do indeed happen to good people.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Lest We Forget

I know there was major news today surrounding the comments made by one hockey personality, but you won't find me dissecting those comments here. Today is a day for honouring the men and women who bravely stood for the freedoms that we believe in while helping other countries maintain or regain those freedoms while remembering the ultimate sacrifices made by those who didn't return home from those battles. I know the controversy swirls around the flowers pictured above, but today is bigger than that controversy. The men and women of the armed forces earned the right to have this day, and I will honour them by remembering those sacrifices.

Never forget what these men and women did, and honour them by wearing your poppy at the eleven o'clock location over your heart to show everyone that you hold our veterans in the most esteemed light. They are brave, courageous, and unwavering both in battle and in life, and those whose lives were taken far too young deserve to be honoured by being remembered on this day.

Never forget, folks. HBIC is closed in order to pay my respects to our brave veterans.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Rundown - Week 6

With the second-half of the conference bye in full swing, it was another weekend with just four teams in action playoff picture while Mount Royal and Lethbridge looked to claim first-place once more with sweeps of their own. With four teams idle, there was likely going to be some movement in the standings, so let's find out who sits where after six weeks of games on this week's edition of The Rundown!

The battle of the cellar dwellers in Canada West had more to it than just who would end up in seventh-place and eighth-place. A weekend sweep by either team would put them within reach of the final playoff spot, so there was a lot on the line this weekend if either team hoped to make a run at a playoff spot after slow starts. Jane Kish got the start for the Cougars while Amanda Schubert was in net for the Bisons.

The teams came out with a sense of defence as the play was mostly kept to the neutral zone. The Cougars were the more aggressive team as they had a number of times of sustained pressure in the Manitoba zone where they moved the puck and their feet, drawing penalties on the sluggish Bisons. The second penalty to the Bisons wouldn't result in a goal, but it was the power-play formation that saw Regina score first as Jaycee Magwood skated off the wall in the corner and fed Paige Hubbard cross-crease at the backdoor for the easy chip by Schubert to put Regina up 1-0 at 15:10! Kish and Schubert would give nothing else before the horn as Regina went to the break up 1-0 and leading 9-6 in shots.

The second period saw Manitoba find more shots, but almost none came from the high-danger areas. Nonetheless, Manitoba drove more of the play in the second frame compared to the first. Even with that increased shot total, it did not faze Kish as she stood her ground. At the opposite end, Schubert was less busy, but kept her focus sharp as she turned aside all Regina shots. After two periods, Regina held onto their one-goal lead despite Manitoba holding a 15-13 edge in shots.

The third period was more of the same as Manitoba couldn't penetrate the high-danger scoring areas enough to generate genuine scoring chances despite throwing more shots on Kish. Regina's defence simply cleaned up any rebounds that Kish couldn't corral and tied up Manitoba sticks on the way to the net. Again, Schubert had little to do in the third period as Manitoba's defence blocked shots and moved the puck, but it would Kish and the defence that shone on this night as Regina skated to the 1-0 win as the final horn sounded. Jane Kish earned her first win and first shutout of the season by denying all 24 Manitoba shots while Amanda Schubert deserved a better fate after stopping 16 shots for her team.

Highlights of this game are below!

SATURDAY: As Manitoba's scoring woes bled into another weekend - more on that in The Last Word - there was a sense of urgency to break the scoreless drought and get thing righted in Bisons' camp. Regina, fresh off a shutout and a big win, looked to continue the momentum from that win on Friday into Saturday. Jane Kish got the call after a big night on Friday for the Cougars while Manitoba sent Erin Fargey out to the crease.

If Friday's Bisons team looks slow and sluggish, the Saturday edition was out to erase those memories as the Bisons came out physical with their feet moving which resulted in much better chances early on. That effort was also reflective on the defensive end as the Bisons kept the Cougars to the perimeter for most shots while limiting good scoring chances on Fargey. It seems the only thing that didn't go right for the Bisons was scoring goals, but the teams went into the intermission tied 0-0, but with Regina leading 8-7 in shots.

The second saw Manitoba use their speed to create chances as they opened up the game. Kate Gregoire, using her speed, appeared to have the first goal of the game as she broke in alone on Kish from right to left while flipping the puck back towards the abandoned right side of the cage, but her shot caught iron as the Bisons were once again denied a goal. Despite holding an 8-5 edge in shots, both goalies kept the scoresheet blank as the teams went into the second break tied 0-0.

Regina appeared to take control early in the third period as they had a handful of chances, but Fargey was equal to the task. Manitoba began to exert their will as the period rolled on, simplifying their game by trying to get more screens in front of Kish. While the strategy was effective, Kish and her defenders would smother pucks or clear them quickly to take second chances away from the Bisons. When the horn sounded, these two teams were still tied 0-0 and would need overtime to find a winner!

In the extra hockey frame, Jordy Zacharias was whistled for tripping on what appeared to be Tamara McVannel falling. Despite her protests, the Cougars went to the power-play, and it would Tamara Mcvannel who zipped a shot through the five-hole of a screened Erin Fargey at 2:39 of overtime to give the Cougars the 1-0 victory! Jane Kish earned her second win and second shutout of the season by blanking Manitoba on 26 shots while Erin Fargey did all she could, but suffered the loss on Regina's 15th shot of the night.

Highlights of this game are below!

In what could be a battle for first-place in the conference, Mount Royal kicked off the home-and-home in Lethbridge this weekend. Six points for either squad would put that team all alone in first-place, so there were some big stakes in this series. Zoe de Beauville took to nets for Mount Royal while Alicia Anderson was in her normal place between the pipes for the Pronghorns.

The home side didn't have to wait long for a goal as Tricia Van Vaerenbergh's long shot following a face-off win made its way through traffic and went low past de Beauville as Lethbridge jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 3:47 into the game! Mount Royal, not to be outdone, drew a hooking penalty on Ashlee Hodge-Hirschfield midway through the period and they went to work on the power-play. Some good puck movement by the Cougars resulted in an Emma Bergesen one-timer from the high slot that was stopped by Anderson, but Breanne Trotter corralled the rebound and slid it by the netminder as Mount Royal squared the game 1-1 at 12:13 on the power-play! Mount Royal continued to pepper Anderson and the Pronghorns defence with shots as the period closed, but the game would remained tied at a goal apiece with MRU leading 15-8 in shots!

The second period saw Mount Royal come out and maintain their level of aggressiveness, but a Camryn Amundson penalty was the opportunity that Lethbridge needed. Eryn Johnasen's point shot hit a body in front and popped out to where Madison Porter was heading to the net, and Porter fired the puck past de Beauville before she could cover the net for a power-play marker at 7:26 as Lethbridge went up 2-1! Mount Royal seemed unfazed as they continued their barrage on the Lethbridge net, but Alicia Anderson was perfect in the second period! As the teams went to the break, Lethbridge maintained their one-goal lead despite being outshot 30-13 through 40 minutes of play!

Just as they had done for two periods, Mount Royal threw a ton of pucks at the Lethbridge net in the third period. Anderson, however, was having none of it as she was in full denial mode on this night. With four minutes remaining in the game, Van Vaerenbergh corralled an Alli Borrow pass at center and pulled away from a defender on a breakaway before going to her backhand where she roofed a puck past de Beauville to make it a 3-1 game with 3:55 to go! That insurance marker was more than enough for Anderson as the Pronghorns claimed a 3-1 victory at the final horn! Alicia Anderson was spectacular in stopping 42 shots for her sixth win of the season while Zoe de Beauville suffered her third loss in a 16-save effort.

Highlights of this game are below!

RECORD ALERT

Canada West hockey has been entertained by the amazing goaltending of Lethbridge's Alicia Anderson for some time now. The fifth-year goalie has perennially been one of the best netminders in the conference despite her team's record, and she's literally been the reason that Lethbridge had remained in games in years past. There's no doubt that she is one of the best at stopping the puck that this conference has seen in its history, and now we can call her the best to do so.

As per Paul Cartledge, the Canada West stats guy, Anderson's 42 saves tonight moved her past former Lethbridge Pronghorns netminder Crystal Patterson - a woman she replaced starting in the 2015-16 season - for career saves made. Patterson's old record of 3314 saves made in her career is now second to Alicia Anderson's total of 3328, meaning that the final Mount Royal shot of the second period in tonight's game was the save to put her in first-place all-time! I've immortalized Alicia in NHL '94 player form for her record-setting night, but let me congratulate Alicia Anderson here and now for her accomplishment!

Congratulations from Hockey Blog in Canada, Alicia, for stopping more pucks than anyone else!

With the series shifting back to Calgary and Flames Community Arena, the Pronghorns were looking to grab a hold of first-place by themselves with a sweep of the Cougars. Mount Royal was looking to put space between themselves, Alberta, and Saskatchewan while competing for a top-two finish that would give them a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. Alicia Anderson got the start after her record-setting night while rookie Kaitlyn Ross was given the task of knocking off the conference's top team.

Mount Royal continued right where they left off the night before by being the more aggressive team in putting pucks on net. However, like one night earlier, the same results were found as Anderson denied all opportunities. At the other end, Ross was looking to keep her record on the season perfect, and she helped her cause in the opening frame by denying all Lethbridge chances as well. After 20 minutes, the game was tied 0-0 with Mount Royal holding a 12-7 edge in shots!

The second period saw more good defence and more exceptional goaltending as the two sides continued to hunt for goals. Anderson and Ross, however, were unwilling to participate in the scoring as they denied all chances once again, and we'd move to the third period still tied at 0-0 and with Mount Royal up 21-12 in shots.

Three minutes into the third period, we'd see the stalemate broken when Kate Hufnagel's long shot went through her defender and past Anderson on the blocker side at 2:58 to put the Cougars up 1-0! The Cougars would extend that lead on the power-play midway through the period when Emma Bergesen's wrap-around went through the crease under Anderson, allowing Andrea Sanderson to tap home the power-play goal at 12:17 to put MRU up a pair! From there, Kaitlyn Ross and the Cougars defence did the rest as they withstood the Pronghorns attack through to the final horn to claim the 2-0 win! Kaitlyn Ross earned her fourth win and second shutout by stopping all 20 shots she faced while Alicia Anderson suffered the loss despite making 31 saves.

Highlights of this game are below!

CWUAA WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Lethbridge
6-3-0-1
19 23 18
L1
vs UBC
British Columbia
5-2-1-2
19 17 22
W4
@ LET
Mount Royal
6-4-0-0
18 19 11
W1
@ CAL
Calgary
5-4-1-0
17 18 17
W2
vs MRU
Saskatchewan
4-3-1-2
16 15 15
L2
@ MAN
Alberta
4-5-1-0
14 28 16
L2
@ REG
Regina
2-6-2-0
10 14 24
W2
vs ALB
Manitoba
2-7-0-1
7 9 20
L5
vs SAS

The Last Word

If there was ever a few numbers that should worry a fanbase, here are three: 4, 2, and 243:57. All three of these numbers are related to the Manitoba Bisons who simply just cannot score goals. They had multiple chances over the weekend against Regina only to be shutout in both games, and they'll welcome one of the best defensive teams in the conference to Wayne Fleming Arena next weekend in the Saskatchewan Huskies. If you were worried before, the three numbers above won't help.

Manitoba has been shutout in four-straight games while losing five-straight games. In those games, they've scored a total of one goal - October 19 at Calgary - while racking up 102 shots. To make matters worse, they scored zero goals at five-on-five play in those five games, and that should have head coach Jon Rempel searching for goals in any fashion through whatever means he has to take. With the talent on this roster, there is no way that they should be under-performing as often as they are. However, when your team is shooting a collective 0.98% as a unit over five games, you have serious scoring problems.

The second number is two, and that should worry Manitoba fans, coaches, and players because that's the number of goals that Manitoba has scored on home ice in four home games. The last time that Manitoba scored at home was October 12 when they downed the Mount Royal Cougars 2-0. Since then, they've been shutout three times on home ice. They're just 1/16 on the power-play at home, they've hit the net with just 84 shots in four home games (21 shots/game), and have a shooting percentage of just 2.3% at home. When a team has the last change and can get favourable lines out against potentially weaker lines of their opposition, that 6.25% power-play success rate, 2.3% shooting percentage, and low average shot totals are big indicators that this team simply doesn't find quality scoring chances often nor do they generate a lot of chances. Let's upgrade that "serious scoring problems" comment to "catastrophic scoring problems".

The last number is 243:57, and that's the length of time in minutes and seconds since Manitoba last scored on October 19 when Chloe Snaith scored on the power-play against Kelsey Roberts with 3:57 to play in the third period of a 2-1 loss to the Dinos. With just nine goals in ten games, this team may challenge the 2017-18 Calgary Dinos for fewest goals in a 28-game season with 22, and the reality of the situation is that Manitoba plays Saskatchewan (second-best defensive team this season), Alberta (best possession team this season), and Lethbridge (first-place in conference) over the next six games before the December break. No one will have mercy for Manitoba in those six games, so that 243:57 time may be extended further based on Manitoba's opposition. Much further. Again, we'll update that "catastrophic scoring problems" to "nearly-impossible-to-achieve scoring problems".

Now it's easy to sit here and throw out stats and make comments, so here's the solution for this apocalyptic scoring drought: get mean! If you watched or listened to the Manitoba broadcasts this weekend featuring Kyleigh Palmer and I, you likely heard us talking about how no player on Manitoba ever dropped a shoulder and cut hard to the net, how Bisons players were being pushed around by the Cougars, and how they gave far too much respect to players like Magwood and McVannel. That has to end here and now. The best teams in Canada have an edge to them, and they don't let other teams skate into their barns and push them around.

Manitoba has already lost the same number of games as they did all of last season, so let's be honest and say that playing passively for the remainder of the season is not an option. This team needs to discover its edge in rapid fashion or they'll set new records for scoring futility this season. That's not how the Manitoba Bisons play, and it certainly shouldn't sit well with these players who came from great programs. And they're being embarrassed by programs with which they should be competing, if not beating.

For the remainder of this season, Manitoba needs to adopt Patches O'Houlihan's advice in Dodgeball because there are no other options being this far behind at this point in the season. His advice?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!