Hockey: University Cup Notebook ... the morning edition

Lots of talk this morning on local radio here in Thunder Bay pumping up the Cavendish University Cup that starts this afternoon. It has been pointed out that the Thunderwolves players were shut out from all of the awards last night.

UQTR had all sorts of road trip woes yesterday. For some reason some of their players couldn't get their connection from Toronto and spent all day there in the airport before the last nine or so arrived here around 5:00 p.m. Their gear also arrived in dribs and drabs, they missed the opening press conference and had to reschedule their afternoon practice yesterday, and had no goalies dressed for the session. A bit of a distraction considering you're playing favourite Alberta tonight.

The Mike Danton circus was definitely in town yesterday, with media all trying to get their one-on-ones. TSN flew in a reporter (sorry, I forgot her name) and a cameraman yesterday just to get an interview and B-roll footage of Danton and his SMU teammates. Local media also got interviews and photos. Hopefully everyone remembers that the Huskies are a pretty good team without him, and Danton isn't even the best player on their team. To be fair, the coverage on Danton here so far has been pretty even (yes, we Maritimers can be a bit overprotective ...).

UNB coach Gardiner MacDougall the hockey dad couldn't wait to leave the banquet last night and get back to his room to watch online the QMJHL playoff game between Cape Breton and Moncton. The Screaming Eagles staved off elimination in the series as Luke Adam had a hat trick sandwiched around Taylor MacDougall's game winner in the 4-1 victory.

Lots of talk last night, and a little grumbling, about how regional politics might be affecting some of the major award winners as the recognition could be perceived as being distributed across the CIS. This is an annual debate/discussion. Having two new national awards, for top goalie and top defenceman in the CIS, helps give more slots if you follow that logic. If you take the high road, you could interpret the rumblings as the fact that there are great nominees in all of the conferences, and the runner ups are as deserved as the winners, which in turn in a great bill of health for CIS hockey.

Consensus among everyone here is that this year's University Cup is wide open with UNB not making it out of the AUS. SMU's Trevor Steinburg got lots of laughs with his shout out to StFX in the press conference yesterday. On a personal note, I'm starting to get tired of explaining how UNB lost to StFX ... maybe I can just make up a one-page FAQ to hand out to all of the other media here.

Time for another title (Reuben Villagracia, Chronicle-Journal)
Danton arrives (Leith Dunick,
Anybody’s game (Leith Dunick,
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  1. TSN Reporter on site was Katherine Dolan. Piece appeared on TSN Thursday evening on Sportscentre