Men's hockey: OUA heavyweights take it on the chin

Lakehead and Laurier each suffered shutout losses this weekend, while UQTR's loss to Ottawa also jumps out as a major highlight. The Golden Hawks lost both, meaning only two points separate the top three teams in the OUA West with only three weeks left in the season.
  1. Alberta — Swept No. 4 Saskatchewan, 5-2 and 5-4 in overtime (combined attendance at Clare Drake Arena for two games: 5,625). The Chad Klassen-Brian Woolger-Derek Ryan line scored the OT winner in the second game.

    Friday, the Golden Bears' winning margin was accounted for by three power-play goals, including an early one which came after a Huskies too-many-men penalty.
  2. Trois-Rivières — The most remarkable part of Ottawa's 3-2 win Friday over the Patriotes that the Gee-Gees, due to injuries, dressed only 17 skaters, and ended up pulling off their biggest road win all season. Riley Whitlock stopped 33-of-35 shots for the Gee-Gees, while Matthieu Methot scored his 16th goal of the season to help Ottawa.

    UQTR's in no danger of losing the No. 1 playoff seed in the OUA. They beat Concordia 6-3 in their first game of the week.
  3. UNB — Former OHLer Luke Lynes, who joined the Varsity Reds over the exam break, might be finding his form. He had three assists in UNB's 4-2 win over UPEI on Saturday.

    Kevin Henderson had three points for UNB's Friday's 5-0 win over Acadia. The Varsity Reds could trade places with UQTR in next week's poll, but the difference between them is negligible until they actually play each other.
  4. Saskatchewan — The upshot for the Huskies is that their last three series are against Calgary, UBC and Regina, meaning they should not have a problem locking up second spot in Canada West. They also have to like their chances in a playoff series vs. Lethbridge or Manitoba.
  5. Lakehead — It's tough to beat any team twice in a row on the road. The Thunderwolves were blanked 3-0 by Windsor and Jim Watt (31 saves) after winning 4-3 about 18 hours earlier.

    The lost ultimately left Western one point behind conference-leading Laurier. Meantime, Windsor moved closer to qualifying for the playoffs after going 16-38-2 the past two seasons.
  6. Laurier — The cheesy lead-in is Laurier missed a golden opportunity by losing to Waterloo (3-0) and Western (5-4 on Saturday). They remain a point up on Lakehead, whom they have coming in for a two-game series in two weeks that will likely decide who gets the first-round bye.

    The Golden Hawks play five of their last six games in Waterloo, with the lone road trip being a game at Windsor. It's a favourable enough schedule. Jean-Michael Rizk had three points in the Western game, keeping him right behind SMU's Marc Rancourt for the scoring title.

  7. Saint Mary's — Ended up with a split after losing 6-2 at Moncton Saturday. The Huskies were staked to an early two-goal lead, but unravelled in the second period when they took four straight penalties and lost the lead.

    The Huskies might have (stress, might) have been off after needing a huge comeback Friday to beat St. Thomas 6-5 in overtime. The official shots on goal total was 60-15 for the Huskies, who trailed by three goals three times before salvaging a victory.
  8. Moncton — Will likely leap over Saint Mary's and possibly Laurier after knocking off two ranked teams by decisive margins, scoring 12 goals over the first and second periods. Billy Bezeau had a three-point night in the 6-2 romp over Saint Mary's.

    Francis Marchand had four points Friday in a 7-2 blowout over St. FX. Moncton scored six unanswered goals in the first two periods.
  9. Western — Two words: Re-match. The Mustangs beat Laurier 5-4 Saturday in their annual game at the John Labatt Centre. They have a return game against the Golden Hawks next Thursday.

    Friday, Western got a a late goal from Chris Petrow to shade Waterloo 4-3. Basically, the Mustangs, Lakehead and Laurier, in some order, will be seeded 1-3-4 for the playoffs, compliments of the OUA's crazy kooky four-division setup. It's more than likely all 10 teams in the two Far divisions will be in the playoffs, with the two "Mid" champions rounding out the field.

    Please keep in mind that for precedent's sake, McGill went to the University Cup last season after being a No. 3 seed. Winning the division is not an end-all, but it helps.
  10. St. FX — Came home empty-handed from a trip over to New Brunswick, losing 6-2 to Moncton and 5-4 to St. Thomas. That will drop them from next week's poll.

    St. Thomas' shooters scored 10 goals on just 36 shots over the two games. Their goalie, Ben Macfarlane, stopped 88-of-97 shots to help the underdog Tommies have a very nice weekend.
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1 comment:

  1. Very nice weekend indeed. Hopefully being able to turn the corner and build for next year. GO TOMMIES!!!