John Ferguson Jr. garnered lots of attention in the rink yesterday. He was here to scout for San Jose and didn't get a lot of privacy in the stands ...
It certainly hasn't been spring like in Thunder Bay the last two days. -20 with the wind chill yesterday and around -13 today. I know, boo hoo ...
Dustin Friesen, the captain of last year's champions UNB, was called up this week by Bridgeport in the AHL. Former Tommies forward Jean Borbeau was also called up by the Sound Tigers.
Some chatter in the hospitality suite last night, and on the agenda in the coaches meetings this morning, about bringing back the bronze medal game at the University Cup. I haven't discovered a CIS hockey coach yet who likes the idea, but apparently there's some in the CIS that think the men should have a bronze game like the women. Good luck with that ... have they not seen the tape for UNB-Alberta bronze game in 2003?
The crowds have been underwhelming so far -- the rink has not been more than half-full for each of the first three games. Should be a sell-out for Lakehead's first game tonight. It it interesting that so many of these local folks will buy tournament passes and only show up for LU games. The same thing happened last year but the excuse was that fans wanted the option of buying day passes, which they do have this year. That might explain why the Lakehead games didn't sell out last year, but doesn't account for why so few fans come to non-Lakehead games.
McGill coach Jim Webster complained about the officiating again today after their afternoon game against Saint Mary's. They had five minors compared to SMU's four, but Francis Verreault-Paul picked up a ten minute misconduct in the third period when he lipped off to the ref on a non-call. Webster thought V-Paul was being targeted by SMU (do you think that might happen to the OUA's top player?) and felt that V-Paul's two minors came as he was trying to stick up for himself. He then went on to admit that McGill is the most penalized team in the OUA, but explained that as the fact that they compete so hard for the puck. I dunno, if you are the most penalized team you think it might be something other than the refs, like perhaps sucking it up in big games?
Not that I'm trying to egg on the regional chauvinism among CIS hockey fans, but so far this week the OUA is 0-3, Canada West is 2-0, and the AUS is 1-0. Just sayin'. The OUA has to get a win tonight since Lakehead is playing UQTR.
The SMU players are finally admitting that they were overconfident going into their semifinal last year, since they had beat McGill who it turn had beat Western earlier. They also said that in that fatal third period they were thinking too much about the math and not about simply winning the game.
Ever smiling Michel Belanger from the CIS tells me today that Sportsnet's television broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday will be picked up by Eurosport TV. Kinda cool.
Ferguson Jr. still in the game (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com)
Ferguson in the house Reuben Villagracia, Chronicle Journal)