It is definitely crunch time in CIS men's hockey, with teams only having five or six games left in their regular season schedule going into this weekend. I of course encourage you to bundle up and head out to the rink to watch local games, but if you can't, here's some choice games you can watch online:
AUS: First place and #2 ranked UNB hosts 2nd place and #4 ranked Saint Mary's. Last time these two teams tangled at the AUC in Fredericton it was a refereeing debacle. Hopefully this time the zebras let the top two teams in the AUS settle it even strength.
Refereeing was not an issue in a playoff-style game played in front of over 3400 (including 1200 schoolkids and teachers). UNB survived 2 PP goals against in second period and broke the tie in the third period for 4-2 win in "4-point" game versus the Huskies.
OUA: The top two teams in the OUA East meet in Trois-Rivières as UQTR hosts Carleton. The physical Ravens have been making some waves this year and this should be an interesting match against the historically dominant Patriotes.
Bit of a surprise score wise, as UQTR built up early lead and put the game away with three goals late in the third period for 5-1 win.
Canada West: The top ranked and 1st place Golden Bears slide down the highway to play the rival Dinos. Fourth place Calgary are an enigmatic team this season, but are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Close game decided by Alberta third-period power play goal for 2-1 win.
AUS: While the first recommendation might be 4th place StFX at UNB (as these teams really don't like each other), more excitement might be found in the UdeM-Dal game as the Tigers are in must-win territory if they have any hope to pass les Aigles Bleus for the 6th and final playoff spot.
StFX bounced back from a thumping the night before by UPEI to keep it close with UNB. The V-Reds didn't really pull away territorially until the third period and won 2-1. The UdeM-Dal games was a goalie's nightmare, ending 8-7 in OT for the Tigers. Dal won the battle but lost the war, as the one point for the overtime loss clinched the last playoff spot for les Aigles Bleus.
OUA: Going by the CIS website, there are not a lot of webcast options Saturday, but the Ottawa at UQTR game looks interesting.
Looks like I somehow misread the schedule as UQTR did NOT host Ottawa. Oops.
Canada West: Two choices on CanadaWest.tv: Dinos are at Golden Bears in the second half of their home and home while Lethbridge tries to salvage their season in their second night hosting Manitoba.
Exciting game in Edmonton as the Golden Bears ruled the shot clock but lost 3-2 in the overtime shootout to the Dinos. The Pronghorns were dominiated by the Bisons for the second game in a row and lost 5-1.