Hockey: Canada West weekly roundup

With conference leading Saskatchewan on the sidelines this weekend, the Alberta Golden Bears managed to leapfrog the Sled Dogs for top spot in the conference with a sweep, while nationally ranked Manitoba also took care of business.


Ringrose helps Bears bring T-Birds back to Earth

With their third sweep of the season, the number-six ranked Golden Bears showed why they're back inside the top 10 after a brief absence. Alberta skated away with two convincing 4-1 wins over the weekend at home against UBC, with Sean Ringrose leading the way. Ringrose has been on a tear as of late, with goals in his last five games including a pair this past Saturday against the T-Birds. Ringrose is now tied for tops in Canada West scoring with 15 points (tied with Sask's Kyle Bortis), and has a conference high 8 goals.

Friday - UBC 1 at Alberta 4
Saturday - UBC 1 at Alberta 4

Bisons handle 'Horns

It was a strong weekend for Manitoba at home against Lethbridge, earning a pair of 5-2 wins. The victories showed the Herd can score with some consistency, finding the back of the net five times for the third and fourth times this season. Contrasting the five goal outbursts with the two prior - Oct. 14 in a 5-4 win over Alberta and Oct. 22 in a 5-1 victory over Regina - the Bisons lost both games following their five goal performances, but managed to avoid an offensive letdown this time around against a struggling Lethbridge team.

Friday - Lethbridge 2 at Manitoba 5
Saturday - Lethbridge 2 at Manitoba 5

Would the real Calgary Dinos please stand up

The most hot and cold team in CIS hockey this season has been the Calgary Dinos. There's not figuring this team out this season, as their roller coaster ride of a first half continued this past weekend in Regina. A split against the Cougars, losing Friday by scoring only a single goal before a six goal outburst Saturday, shows this team hasn't figured out what it takes to play 120 minutes a weekend with any regularity. They'll need to rectify the issue sooner rather than later, as this type of play is now officially a dangerous trend.

Friday - Calgary 1 at Regina 4
Saturday - Calgary 6 at Regina 1

More turbulence ahead for Thunderbirds

Their weekend trip to Alberta wasn't a success, and if they're not careful it could be a very quick descent down the standings for the UBC Thunderbirds as they head into the month of December. The T-Birds surprised through the first five weeks of conference play going 4-2-2, but began an unforgiving stretch of games this past weekend in Edmonton. Now UBC hosts Manitoba, before finishing off the first half with a trip to Rutherford Rink. Talk about a crummy early Christmas present for T-Birds head coach Milan Dragicevic.

Friday - UBC 1 at Alberta 4
Saturday - UBC 1 at Alberta 4


Strueby finds his scoring touch

The Matt Strueby everyone in Regina was hoping to see with the Cougars last season has finally arrived. After an underwhelming rookie season in which he recorded only 9 points in 26 games, the former Pat had a breakout night this past Friday against Calgary recording his first career Canada West hat-trick in a win against the Dinos. Strueby now has seven goals to go along with four assists. His seven goals are tied for second most in the conference with Manitoba's Blair Macaulay.

Friday - Calgary 1 at Regina 4
Saturday - Calgary 6 at Regina 1

Lonely at the bottom for Lethbridge

The Pronghorns nightmare of a first half continues. It's been tough times for the Southern Alberta squad sitting in the conference basement since day one, and with only five points through 11 2/3 games the 'Horns have dug themselves a hole. Luckily for Lethbridge Regina is still in striking distance only two points up on Lethbridge (albeit the Cougars essentially have two games in hand at this stage). In goal Scott Bowles has struggled mightily this season, sitting last in conference GAA at 4.09, and SV% at .883. The veteran netminder gave up four goals on 11 shots Friday against Manitoba, meaning that by the time Brendan Rowinski scored the Bisons fourth goal only 5:27 into the first, the game was all but lost for the Pronghorns. Bowles, who got the start again Saturday, has been a key member of the 'Horns for many years, but perhaps it's time to go with rookie Dylan Tait.

Friday - Lethbridge 2 at Manitoba 5
Saturday - Lethbridge 2 at Manitoba 5

Evan Daum is The CIS Blog's national hockey editor. Contact him at evandaum@gmail.com
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