2012 University Cup - Friday Roundup

Temperatures were back to normal in Fredericton, ice conditions were good, and we had a surprisingly lopsided game to start the day, followed by the most exciting game so far at the 2012 Cavendish University Cup to close off the evening.

Once again, the CIS had comprehensive stories (with video clips) on the Moncton 5-1 win over Saskatchewan and the Western 3-2 overtime win vs. UQTR. I expected UdeM's P.A. Marion to bounce back and be more like the goalie that stoned the Saint Mary's Huskies, and after giving up a goal on the Huskies' first shot he shut the door the rest of the way. UofS were surprisingly flat in the first and third periods and their top line was near invisible. Les Aigles Bleus for their part rebounded nicely from that loss to McGill and played their game. Major W.J. "Danny" MacLeod, founder of the University Cup and an honoured special guest at this year's 50th edition of the tournament, summed it up nicely in today's Daily Gleaner:
“What I’ve seen to date, the two teams that have stood out for me are McGill and the Varsity Reds,” he said. “Don’t discount that Moncton club, because they play an NHL-style game. They’re tough and rough, and they’ve earned their stuff back as of today. I think of Saskatchewan and Moncton, the Huskies had the speed, they had the stick handling, but they were out muscled.”
With the win, les Aigles gave themselves some life, and captain Dean Ouellet said they'd be saying their prayers for a Huskies win against McGill this morning. If the Redmen win, or only lose by one or two goals, they advance to Sunday's championship game. However if the Huskies win by three, four or five goals the CIS tie-breaking system would advance Moncton to Sunday. Saskatchewan need to win by six goals if they hope to keep playing. Improbable, but not impossible.

The evening game saw another rebound game by a team that lost on opening day. UQTR had a dominant first period, but Western's Josh Unice made 21 saves to keep the teams tied at one. The teams traded goal in the second period, there were none in the third, and then Julian Cimadamore got the overtime winner at 4:21 with a wrister from the top of the left circle after taking a sweet pass from Steve Reese. Les Patriotes probably deserved a better fate, playing so well while Unice stood on his head at the other end of the ice, but the University Cup can be a cruel tournament.

This morning's McGill-Saskatchewan game starts at 11:30 am ADT (10:30 am EDT), and we'll have the liveblog up here on the CISblog and you can watch the game on ssncanada.ca. This afternoon's UNB-Western game at 4:30 pm ADT (3:30 pm EDT) will be carried live in most of Canada on Rogers Sportsnet as well as SSN.

I'll post more links to the tournament coverage here later today.
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