Five to Ponder: Gold medal rematch and some potential playoff previews

A cross-country array of matchups to watch this weekend ...

1. Calgary 3-3 at Trinity Western 1-0 (men's volleyball)

The first game wasn't the closest one played out west last night (that would be this one, almost as exciting as you can get), but it was still pretty good: TWU won the first set but lost the next three (by at most a 25-20 margin). The single most important play, in terms of win probability, was Graham Vigrass's kill in the third set that put Calgary up 24-22 and increased their chances of winning the match by 10 percentage points. The second game was more one-sided, giving Calgary a three-set win and sweep of the hosting Spartans. Perhaps they will be back in Langley for nationals.

2. Lakehead 78-81 at McMaster 76-77 (men's basketball)

Game 1 was definitely what you'd call a close one (it wouldn't have been if either team could score from the line), though Game 2 may be tougher with Scott Brittain out indefinitely (well, he should be, at least) after his head hit the hardwood, hard. Big win for Lakehead: they moved up from 11th to 9th in the RPI after last night. Game 2 was "a different night but the same story" with Mac losing again, in part because of "some costly errors and missed free throws."

3. SMU 1 at UNB 4 (men's hockey)

Bill Hunt (in the Gleaner) and David Kilfoil (in the comments) have covered this one. It was 2-0 after 210 seconds of play, and 3-0 after one, but SMU kept on.

4. Brock 1 at Guelph 0 (women's hockey)

It's goaltender Beth Clause's last game before the FISU Games, and she's going to miss the next four Badgers contests. This is the last meeting in the regular season between these teams (the first two were split, even on score as well), and Guelph is six points behind for that No. 2 seed and first-round bye. Losing this game to Brock will probably clinch it.

And they did: 1-0, Clause with the shutout on 23 shots. The only goal was in the third, Kelly Walker from Melissa Geary. The Badgers play Laurier next Saturday, so we already have one of the next five to ponder.

5. Alberta 2-1 at Calgary 1-0 (SO), Calgary at Alberta (women's hockey)

As we skate past the "age" debate that nobody seems to care about unless a famous older player joins a CIS team, we see that the Dinos are a point behind Alberta for first place in the west with a game in hand. The first game of this home-and-home went to a coin-toss, and with Hayley Wickenheiser being involved in a knee-on-knee collision in the third, she wasn't in the shootout lineup. You can guess how that went. Calgary lost the shootout 1-0 and the game 2-1. In the second game, Calgary didn't score at all, losing 1-0.

Honourable mention: Alberta at Manitoba (men's volleyball), CBU at Dalhousie (men's basketball).
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  1. Inconsistent refereeing took away a bit from the much anticipated UNB-SMU hockey game. That and the winter storm that reduced what probably would have been a really good crowd down to just over a thousand die-hards.

    UNB got an early power play goal, and added two more goals in the first to put them in the driver's seat. Second period the momentum shifted to the Huskies, with strong play on both the PP and PK. They had numerous good chances on Travis Fullerton, but only managed one goal.

    Third period the Huskies came unraveled, particularly d-man Andrew Hotham, their leading point man, and were wrapped up in calls and non-calls. Hotham was already sitting 10 minutes in the box for chirping when 4 or 5 minutes later he got tossed for arguing another call. From behind the glass. In the penalty box. Rabbit ears on the zebra or what? UNB did have a strong final period to close out the 4-1 win.

  2. The goal highlights from SSN's webcast of last night's UNB-SMU hockey game are now online: