Hockey: Canada West weekly roundup

Friday wasn’t a night to write home about for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — the conference’s three nationally ranked teams — with those teams all losing, before bounce back performances Saturday by both the Huskies and Bisons.

Here’s our weekly look at the weekend that was in the Canada West conference.

Dinos back from extinction

With a pair of wins over the number-eight ranked Alberta Golden Bears this weekend, the Calgary Dinos proved that maybe they are the team everyone thought they were heading into the regular season.

Calgary managed a sweep of Alberta this weekend, improving their record to an even 3-3-0, getting two much needed wins. Goaltender Dustin Butler got the start both games, backstopping his team to the victories.

The Dinos will play another home-and-home series this coming weekend, this time with the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

Friday – Calgary 4 at Alberta 3 (2OT)
Saturday – Alberta 1 at Calgary 2

Cougars use PP to split

Six goals on Friday night, with four of them coming on the powerplay, lifted the Regina Cougars to a surprising 6-1 win over the number-three ranked Bisons in Winnipeg. Brett Leffler led the way with a pair of goals, one coming on the PP and the other at even strength.

While Regina lost the following night 5-1, the split against Manitoba has to be considered a successful trip to Winnipeg, although the fact that the offence was again minimal Saturday is still cause for concern. UBC heads to Regina this coming weekend for a pair of games at Co-operators Centre.

Friday – Regina 6 at Manitoba 1
Saturday – Regina 1 at Manitoba 5

Huskies follow the pack

Just like Alberta (#8) and Manitoba (#3) the number-five ranked Saskatchewan Huskies suffered a loss Friday night. Saskatchewan didn’t put on much of a show for the 1,200 fans who showed up to Credit Union Centre Friday night in a 3-1 loss to Lethbridge. It wasn’t much better Saturday night for Saskatchewan, earning a 3-2 OT win at CUC.

While the fact that Saskatchewan only earned a split is disappointing for the Huskies, so too were the crowds they drew at CUC – the home of the Saskatoon Blades. The Huskies, who usually plays at the dump that is Rutherford Rink on the campus of the U of S, drew around 1,200 fans both nights at CUC. It will be interesting to see how many people come out for Saskatchewan-Alberta in January when the Huskies host the Bears for a game at the home of the Saskatoon Blades.

Friday – Lethbridge 3 at Saskatchewan 1
Saturday – Lethbridge 2 at Saskatchewan 3 (OT)

Power outage in Edmonton

Four straight losses for the number-eight ranked Alberta Golden Bears have people wondering what’s going on in Edmonton. Alberta’s 2-2-2 start has largely been due to an underwhelming powerplay.

The Bears are last in the conference on the PP clicking at under 15%, with Friday night’s loss to Calgary summing up the special teams woes this season, going only 1-for-7, while giving up a short-handed goal as well.

Saskatchewan comes to Edmonton this weekend.

Friday – Calgary 2 at Alberta 1 (2OT)
Saturday – Alberta 1 at Calgary 2

Bisons take issue with decision

Dustin Nielson and myself hit on the topic during our broadcast of the Calgary-Alberta game Friday night, but it’s worth mentioning here as well concerning that disputed game between Manitoba and Alberta from back on October 15.

The Bears won their complaint this week, but Manitoba has appealed that decision — which was made by a committee that unanimously voted in favour of Alberta. I have no idea when a decision will be made official, but I doubt the Bisons will win their appeal. Also the fact this hasn’t been sorted out already makes the conference’s process of dealing with it look bushleague.

Manitoba has a bye this coming weekend.

Friday – Regina 6 at Manitoba 1
Saturday – Regina 1 at Manitoba 5

Strong weekend in Saskatoon

It was a strong showing this weekend by Lethbridge against Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, earning a trio of points against the nationally ranked Sled Dogs. The performances were far better than the five periods the two teams played opening weekend when the Huskies outscored the ‘Horns 8-2.

Rookie Cass Mappin had a pair of PP goals Friday night to lift his team to victory, while goalie Scott Bowles stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.

Lethbridge has a home-and-home this weekend with Calgary.

Friday – Lethbridge 3 at Saskatchewan 1
Saturday – Lethbridge 2 at Saskatchewan 3 (OT)

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