For the first time this season the Manitoba Bisons found a way to pick up two wins in as many nights with their sweep of the Regina Cougars over the weekend in Winnipeg, while the other two Canada West series went the way of the split.
Bisons take care of pesky Cougars - After splitting their opening series of the sesaon against Regina, Manitoba came out this weekend and stifled the Cougars offensively both nights surrendering only a lone goal in each contest.
Steve Christie didn't see a lot of rubber Friday, stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced in a 4-1 Bisons win that saw Manitoba score two goals in 2:06 late in the third period for the victory.
Saturday night would prove a more one sided affair, with Regina's lone goal sandwiched between a trio of Manitoba markers in a 6-1 Bisons win. Manitoba pelted Regina netminder A.J. Whiffen with 51 shots including 20 in the final 20 minutes, as the Bisons dominated the Cougars.
The sweep of Regina was a good sign for a Manitoba team that got out of the gate rather slow in October, splitting their previous three series to open the season. The Herd won't have much time to rest on these two results with Calgary coming to town next weekend. That matchup will be a good measuring stick for Manitoba to see if they really have hit their stride.
As for Regina, this weekend was a setback, and things won't get any easier next weekend with Alberta headed to the Queen City. The Bears struggled earlier this season coming off a bye when they lost to UBC, and Regina will be hoping that scenario repeats itself.
Huskies manage split in Stampede City - The number-nine ranked Calgary Dinos played host to the number-seven ranked Saskatchewan Huskies this weekend in Calgary, with the two sides each earning a win.
Friday night was the Reid Jorgenson show, with the Calgary sniper's three unanswered goals the difference in a 4-1 Dinos win. Jorgenson leads the conference in goal scoring with 10 on the season through as many games.
Calgary goaltender Kris Lazaruk was once again stellar for the Red and White Friday making 24 saves to secure his third win of the season.
Saturday night Saskatchewan would need only two second period goals to earn the split, in a 2-1 win. The Huskies directed 36 shots on Calgary's Dustin Butler, with the veteran getting the start in goal for head coach Mark Howell who continues to rotate his 'tenders.
The series split was what one would've expected heading into the weekend, with the only real answer coming out of this weekend series being that both these teams are good squads who have yet to separate themselves from the pack.
T-Birds keep tallying points - UBC may have come out on the wrong end of a 5-4 overtime result Friday night, but with their win Saturday night the T-Birds picked up three of a possible four points this weekend to put themselves in a three-way tie for third in the conference.
In an entertaining game Friday night, last year's second half dynamic duo for Lethbridge of Brian Matte and Winston Day Chief propelled the Pronghorns to a thrilling win. Matte and Day Chief combined for seven points, including hooking up on the OT winner when Day Chief scored only 49 seconds into the extra frame to lift the Pronghorns to the 5-4 victory.
Saturday would prove to be all UBC on the scoreboard, with the T-Birds firing 41 shots the way of Reese St. Goddard, with five of those shots beating the Lethbridge goalie.
It was a penalty filled affair between the two sides, with each team taking eight penalties, but neither side capitalizing on their man advantages, as the conference's two worst powerplays (Leth. 9.1% and UBC 7.7%) continue to struggle.
The weekend was a success for UBC, picking up three points, while again Lethbridge struggles to reach their full potential without starting goalie Scott Bowles in the lineup. This split wasn't all that unexpected - it's been the result of choice this season out west.
UBC heads to Toon Town next weekend to take on the Huskies while Lethbridge has a much needed bye, as they hope the extra week will be enough to get Bowles healthy.