Hockey: 'Husgars' (or is it 'Cougskies) beat Canadian juniors in exhibition

Gee, as someone who wants both a world junior hockey gold medal and a higher profile for CIS hockey, how are you supposed to feel?
"Steven DaSilva scored twice in the third period as the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Saskatchewan All-Stars upset the Canadian junior team 4-2 in exhibition play Tuesday night before 3,329 at Brandt Arena.

Chris Durand had a goal and two assists and Brennan Bosch also scored for the CIS.

Philippe Cornet of Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and defenceman Dylan Olsen of the University of Minnesota-Duluth scored for Canada, who outshot the students 38-23 but were stoned by their own goaltenders, who played for both teams."
It was a one-off event, but the combined Regina Cougars/Saskatchewan Huskies squad did get praise for their "experience and energy." Really, that should happen when collegiate hockey players in their early 20s going up vs. 17- to 19-year-old juniors. You just can't convince 95% of their hockey fans in Canada of this reality.

Canadian juniors fall to CIS all-stars in exhibition play (The Canadian Press)
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  1. Funny to read some of the comments on this one, with people expecting a bunch of U-20s to walk over men who almost all played major junior hockey. Hopefully the 3,000+ in attendance gained an appreciation for the CIS game. This is another one of those moments where people who follow CIS hockey bang their heads against the wall because of the ignorance of so many hockey fans out there. Same thing when CIS teams play NHL rookie teams in training camp and beat them. People expect the prospects to walk all over a bunch of university kids without realizing the two squads are comprised of very different players as far as where they are in their development.

  2. Great exposure for CIS! People claim that a regular major junior team would crush "washed up" CIS players, and here we are, basicallly the University of Saskatchewan with some added players from Regina beats a hand picked team of all the best major junior players in Canada. The banging the head on the wall is so true. 99% of hockey fans in Canada likely consider this a massive upset, or are terrified that our WJC team is not going to have a good tournament. Almost none realize the quality of CIS hockey.

  3. FWIW, a Calgary-Lethbridge team won a couple years ago (5-4) and Manitoba split a pair of games in the lockout season.

  4. Daniel Da Silva12/16/2009 1:04 am

    In fairness, the fact that the junior goalies were playing for the joint Saskatchewan team did help (as can be seen from the shot total of 38-23).

    Of course, the argument can be made that both teams played the same goalies, and the CIS guys got it done on the scoreboard.

    Either way, I don't know why people see this as a shock. In almost every town with both a CHL and CIS team, I'd say that the CIS team would win in a head-to-head. Like Evan said, most of these guys are former CHL guys with more experience.

  5. I love the "CIS all-stars" label by CP for a team made up half from the underperforming Huskies and half from the not-ready-for-primetime Cougars. "Sask. University All-Stars" would be more accurate, but of course pretty wordy for a headline.

    To me the win was completely predictable, especailly as these games normally have the Team Canada goalies in both nets.

    I know it was a short story, but I'm surprised that no takes the motovation angle of the CIS players in these games - CHL stars (for the most part) who didn't get picked for Team Canada when they played Junior, and didn't get drafted high or signed to an AHL or NHL contract up against the younger "Golden Boys", Nope, no motivation there.

  6. The comment about the goalies is a valid one. The goalies were the same for both teams, but the CIS squad maybe did get a bit of fortune, as they were outshot 38-23, and 14-1 alone in the second period. They scored on their only second period shot.

    I have to admit, while I did post above that it wasn't a "massive" upset, I was a little bit surprised that they did win. I think for me, the head banging is that casual fans likely expected the WJC to destroy the CIS team. To be honest I was expecting a WJC win, but I figured it would be a 1 or 2 goal game, and thought that the CIS team might be able to pull it off. Thus, I am impressed no doubt, but my world has not been turned upside down. In my mind, this was a very possible outcome.

    The reason I probably expected a WJC win was that in 2000 and 2003, the WJC played an actual "All-star" team from the AUS, and won both series 2 games to none. Thus, looking at the teams that are #4 and #7 in the Canada West, I was a little apprehensive that they could do it. Still, it looks as though some of the Saskatchewan players have found their groove. I think the second half of the CW season will be a great one.

    As Hollywood posted the records, it seems the Canada West teams seem to do best against Canada. While Manitoba splitting with the lockout team is a huge feat, it should be noted that Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Jeremy Colliton, Sidney Crosby, Nigel Dawes, Ryan Getzlaf, Dion Phaneuf, Michael Richards, Brent Seabrook and Shea Weber were out of the lineup. I think that is why I find yesterday's win for the CIS team a good one, as they were playing against basically the team that Canada will be sending.

    As for David's comments, I had to laugh. The "CIS all stars" label does seem a little overblown, especially when there are only 2 of 34 teams involved, each of whom donated 10 players, and the teams involved were picked for geographic/economic reasons. I do not know any of the players, so I do not know their motivations, but I can tell you that if I had put up massive junior numbers and was passed over every draft and cut from NHL and AHL teams, I would be pretty pumped to beat a bunch of "Golden Boys" who receive national support, praise and media coverage.

  7. I was at one of those AUS Al Star-Team Canada series, and while they didn't win those games they dominated the play, especially physically. They just didn't seem to have the better Team Canada goalies. That series was a bit of a coming out party for UPEI's Joel Ward, who was the best forward on the ice and of course worked himself into the NHL after graduating.

    That being said, if the CIS really wanted to win these exhibition games I think you're better off with one good CIS team, or a 50/50 team like they did in Regina so you have player familiarity and linemates who know each other.

    I do think you can't underestimate the conditioning difference between CIS players who have "shut it down" for exams and younger Junior players who are battling for roster spots at an intense training camp.

  8. David your a beauti!!

    I love your under performing and not ready for prime time comments!

    You dont even respect the CIS!

    Two teams for any of the divisions regardless of their national ranking (or the handle you have given them) would compete just fine versus the WJC prospects!

    Get a little perspective Vred boy!

  9. Well that was an attacking and a stupid comment. I'd love to see U of T and brock put together a team for a night and play with their own goalies and see how they do with a fully dressed team canada. Teams like Alberta, UNB, Western are the only teams that would actually have a chance at beating the true WJC team and they could probably do it 8 out of 10 times.

    Keep your attacking comments to yourself.

  10. Don't forget that the Huskies play Slovakia next.

    I have always rated Team Canada slightly ahead of CIS teams. But Team Canada also dominates the WJC. I have also considered my A and B level teams in CIS to give a calibre of hockey on par with the WJC. (BTW, the WJC is my favourite tournament.)

    As an aside, wouldn't it be great to see conference all-star teams and overseas teams play a Christmas tournament? I thought that Winnipeg would support an annual event where Team Canada would be either from the CW or whole CIS (if everybody's on board). Team USA would be from the NCAA. Add some second tier national teams (e.g. Denmark, Japan, Britain, Ukraine, etc.). A four team round-robin and gold medal game from December 26th to 30th would draw well and give the CIS exposure. SportsNet could show it. The annual Team Canada (CIS) vs Team Canada (WJC) game would be a nice warm-up for both events.

    It's interesting to note that the U of S Huskies accounted for ALL of the scoring against Team Canada, with Steven DaSilva and Chris Durand leading the way . . . The Regina Cougars, alone, would have had a tough time against the Baby Nats because they don't have much of a scoring touch, but, having said that, the Cougars did a fine job in all other areas Tuesday night . . . Saskatchewan will play Slovakia in the old Rutherford Barn next Tuesday night. Word is that the Huskies will be without two of their top four defencemen (Chad Greenan and Jesse Zetariuk) who will be going home for a short Christmas break) as well as forward Mike Kaye. Slovakia finished fourth at the 2009 world juniors and have more returning players than Canada. I wonder how the Slovaks will like Rutherford or maybe it will be nicer than what they have to play back home!

  12. Seems to me like we could get Gabe Desjardins on this, figuring out how players from the CHL do when they join the CIS the next year.

  13. @ 11:39: With all due respect, I didn't read that as a dig by David ... you could read it as him saying these weren't even the cream of the crop from CIS hockey, just the top half of two teams' rosters.

    Like I say, the result was almost expected given that the goaltending was controlled for using Team Canada guys.

  14. I would suspect too, that the WJC coaches were treating the game for what it was -- a first exhibition game, experimenting with penalty killing, line combinations, etc. No doubt they'll be tinkering right into the medal round.
    They controlled the goaltending, but the kid who is projected to be the starter, Jake Allen, didn't even dress.
    I appreciate the CIS brand as much as anybody, but I wouldn't take the result as an endorsement of how great CIS hockey is, or any kind of indictment of the junior team.
    It's like trying to pick the Stanley Cup winner out of the NHL exhibition season. The Leafs had a great pre season didn't they?

  15. Hey I don't mean to be attacking or stupid again, but I see the under performing Huskies beat the Slovakian juniors last night with out the help of the not ready for prime time Cougars?
    Still can't believe a responsible journalist wrote that!
    i am sure... the bears vreds and the was it the mustang sally's....would have mercied them by the end of the second period!
    merry christmas to all of you CIS bloggers!!

  16. Happy Holidays. They did beat the Slovaks 6-2. From a broader perspective, Slovakia's in Canada's pool, too!