Regina @ Saskatchewan
The Saskatchewan Huskies continued their strong finish to the first half of the season with a series sweep of the cellar dwelling Regina Cougars. Friday night saw Steven Gillen notch a goal and two assists to lead the way for the Huskies offensively, in a 5-1 Saskatchewan win. The Huskies made good on 2 of 3 power play opportunities, and Jeff Harvey secured the win in goal. Saturday night saw Harvey get the start again in goal for Saskatchewan, and rookie Andrew Bailey scored a pair of goals in a 3-1 Saskatchewan win. With the pair of victories, the Huskies moved their record to 9-6-1, and finish the first half of the regular season winning six of their last seven. Regina on the other hand, heads into the break with a disappointing 4-10-0 record, and will sit in seventh place heading into the new year.
Saskatchewan heads to Thunder Bay next weekend for a pair of non-conference games against the Lakehead Thunderwolves in what should be an interesting showdown between at least one team that is bound for nationals, and another that was among the favourites at the start of the season to come out of the Canada West and earn a berth to the big dance. The Cougars will play a non-conference game next weekend against ACAC opponent Briercrest College next weekend in Strasbourg, Saskatchewan.
UBC @ Calgary
The Thunderbirds and Dinos met this weekend for the first of back-to-back series against one another to wrap up the first half of the season with the Dinos getting the best of the T-Birds with a series sweep. Friday night the Dinos got a pair of power play goals, and scored four-straight goals to open the game, which proved to be too much for UBC as Calgary secured a 4-1 win. Dustin Butler earned first star honours with a 22 save performance on 23 shots to earn his seventh win of the season. Saturday night Brock Nixon was the story as he picked up his seventh and eigth goals of the season to lead the Dinos to their eigth win of the season, and earn the sweep. The weekend was a good bounce back weekend for Calgary after being swept last weekend in Edmonton by the Golden Bears.
UBC and Calgary will officially wrap up the first half of the Canada West season next weekend in Vancouver as they will be the lone Canada West series of the weekend.
#2 Alberta @ Lethbridge
The Golden Bears and Pronghorns met for the second series in three weeks, with the end result being the same as two weeks ago when the Bears swept the Pronghorns. The power play was solid Friday night for the Bears going 2 for 5. Dale Mahovsky scored two of the Bears four second period goals, while Real Cyr made 34 saves to secure the 6-2 win. Saturday night was a tight affair, as the Bears needed OT to defeat the Pronghorns. Lethbridge took a two goal lead into the third, but let that lead slip away as the Bears eventually tied the score at 3-3 with less than four minutes to play on the power play when Ian McDonald scored his ninth of the season. In OT the Bears would get the game winner from Jesse Gimblett on a two man advantage after Jason Roberts and Adam Chorneyko took penalties.
The Bears will head into the break with a nine point lead on second-place Manitoba, while Lethbridge will enter the break at best seven points behind fourth-place Calgary who plays two more games before the break. Alberta will welcome McGill December 28th and 29th in their next action.
Iowa State @ #6 Manitoba
The Manitoba Bisons skated away with two easy victories over the Iowa State club team this weekend in a pair of exhibition games. The Bisons skated to an 8-3 win Friday and 10-2 victory Saturday.
Manitoba heads to Thunder Bay December 29th and 30th for a pair of non-conference games against Lakehead. Like the Huskies, the Bisons will head to Lakehead hoping the trip is the first of two visits to Thunder Bay in the 2009-10 season.