Returning after a brief hiatus for minor, almost imperceptible re-tooling, here are our ballots for this week (in order after the official listing: Neate Sager, myself, Andrew Bucholtz):
  1. Western — 1st, 1st, 2nd. Will Western win by more over Mac, or Laval by more over Sherbrooke? The two spreads are within a safety for those games. And is a Western-Laval Vanier any different than a Red Sox-Cardinals World Series?
  2. Laval — 2nd, 2nd, 1st. That was their fourth three-touchdown win over Montreal in as many years, if you were wondering about part of the reason why we sometimes call it "the Laval conference."
  3. Calgary — 5th, 4th, 3rd. Quirks in scheduling mean UBC has to fly right back for another game, maybe even another one with more rouges than touchdowns for them.
  4. Queen's — 3rd, 3rd, 4th. Hosting Guelph, and it may not be a close one.
  5. Guelph — 7th, 7th, 5th. Having settled the Windsor-Guelph debate (ok, that was never actually a debate) it's now time for Guelph to step up for the Guelph-Queen's debate.
  6. Bishop's — 8th, unranked, 6th. One of two teams hosting a playoff game this weekend who are the underdogs by my figuring (the other is Mount A, in the conference we don't talk about). This is the only team any of us did not rank this week; my other spot went to UBC, 9th. I don't have much justification for that.
  7. Montreal — 4th, 6th, 7th. Have surrendered half as many points on the year as the Gaiters; you gotta think that matters.
  8. McMaster — 6th, 5th, 9th. Sadly, Mac won't make it to London for their game, as their season was declared over almost two months ago and the team had to disband amidst the intense media hand-wringing.
  9. Manitoba — 9th, 8th, 8th. Back to some agreement among us. No shame in being fourth in points scored in the country, behind just Western, Queen's, and Calgary.
  10. Saskatchewan — 10th, 10th, 10th. That makes three playoff games with adjacent seedings, one per conference, and this one (at -3.5 for Manitoba) figures to be the closest of them all.
The second week of the AUS men's hockey conference saw the same match-ups as the first weekend, but in the other teams' barns. UNB remains the only undefeated team, Dalhousie the only winless team, and everyone else is evenly divided in groups of two in the middle.

New-look V-Reds are a lot like the old V-Reds

Despite returning only a dozen players from their national championship team, including University Cup MVP Tyler Carroll who is out indefinitely with an upper body injury and hasn't played since the preseason, the Varsity Reds are cruising along pretty well so far. Friday night UNB inserted another recruit into the line-up, Phillipe Maillet, and he picked up an assist on a Chris Culligan goal on his first shift in the first minute of his first game. In case you're keeping count, and I'm sure the rest of the AUS is, that is skater #20 for the V-Reds so far this season. Under the new AUS roster cap they've now got a spot left for Carroll plus just one additional skater this season. Saturday night Maillet picked up his third assist of the weekend on Cam Critchlow's game winner to cap a UNB comeback over the opportunistic X-Men.

Friday - UNB 4 @ SMU 2
Saturday - UNB 4 @ StFX 2

Axemen can win on road with fewer shots on goal

Trust me, I'm not the only one who questions the high shot counts at the Acadia Arena. Two weekends ago the Axemen recorded a combined 111 shots on goal against STU and UPEI. This past weekend Acadia was on the road against the same two teams and recorded a combined 58 shots on goal. Is the Olympic-sized ice in Wolfville the only difference? Acadia exploded in the third period against the Tommies just like the previous week, and then were able to squeak out a win on the Island the following night thanks to two goals from Liam Heelis, including a shorty in the third period. Heelis now leads the AUS scoring race with 6 goals and 2 assists after four games.

Friday - Acadia 7 @ STU 2
Saturday - Acadia 2 @ UPEI 1

Panthers have the early goaltending edge

While fans often comment on UPEI's quick transitional play, their goaltending tandem of Wayne Savage and Mavric Parks should not be discounted. Granted it is early in the season (and they've played a game in Wolfville), but the duo have a combined goals against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .949. Friday the Panthers had a 2-to-1 shot margin in a 2-1 home opener win, while Saturday they were on the wrong side of a close 2-1 game.

Friday - Dal 1 @ UPEI 2
Saturday - Acadia 2 @ UPEI 1

Moncton not as good on the road

Suddenly the high-flying and national ranked Aigles Bleus are a .500 team. The high and lows of the early season. Friday night they were down by two when they pulled their goalie, but could only manage one goal with 8 seconds left on the clock. Saturday they had a 3-1 lead early in the second period, but the Huskies woke up and rang off four unanswered goals. A bright spot for UdeM are the hot hands of 2nd-year forward Pier-Antoine Dion, who had two goals and an assist in the loss to SMU and has at least one point in every game so far, for a total of 7 points. Dion had 9 points last season.

Friday - UdeM 2 @ StFX 3
Saturday - UdeM 3 @ SMU 5

Tommies still in the .500 club

STU had 3 wins in a forgettable season last year. They've got two already in the first two weeks of this season, both times against Dal. On the flip side they've come undone against the Acadia in the third period in both of their games. On the plus side rookie Brendan Childerly is tied in the scoring race with UNB star Chris Culligan, each with 4 goals and 2 assists. On the negative side, frustrated Tommies goalie Jon Groenheyde made contact with an official in the third period and earned a match penalty and ejection, and is suspended "indefinitely". The good news on Saturday was that STU rookie goaltender Alex St-Arnaud earned his first career win in the annual Lou Chabot Memorial game.

Friday - Acadia 7 @ STU 2
Saturday - Dal 2 @ STU 5

Huskies find their missing power play

SMU was 0-for-3-games with the man advantage to start the season. Saturday they get their first power play goal and they earn their first win. Coincidence? More importantly perhaps, Curtis Black got his first win in the Huskies net. Black only had one start last season, the last game of the regular season, which the Huskies lost 4-3 to StFX in overtime. With all-star workhorse Anthony Peters on the shelf since the start of the season, all the weight is on Black's shoulders now. Friday night SMU was completely outplayed by UNB in the first period, down 3-0, and made a game of it in the last two periods. Saturday they dug a shallower hole against Moncton before managing a successful comeback, helped by Lucas Bloodoff's two second-period goals.

Friday - UNB 4 @ SMU 2
Saturday - UdeM 3 @ SMU 5

Yes, the X-Men are still better than their record

The first time StFX played UdeM they came up a goal short. This time they came away with the one goal win. On Saturday UNB dominated the territorial play and shot clock in the first period, but it was the X-Men with the intermission lead. UNB tied it up in the second, only to see Robert Slaney, with his third goal of the weekend, retake the lead for the home side in the third period. The V-Reds continued their customary push and were rewarded with two goals in a 30 second span, plus a late empty netter to seal the win.

Friday - UdeM 2 @ StFX 3
Saturday - UNB 4 @ StFX 2

Tigers in early trouble

Four games in and Dal has yet to win a game. They've lost both of their games against STU, which are must-wins. They managed to keep the score close against UPEI on Saturday only because goaltender Wendel Vye stood on his head. Without injured offensive leader Pierre-Alexandre Vandall in the lineup so far this season Dal's scoring has pretty much disappeared. Great time for some players to step up and make a mark.

Friday - Dal 1 @ UPEI 2
Saturday - Dal 2 @ STU 5

Upcoming in Week 3

Dal is at Acadia for our first Wednesday match of the season. On Friday, SMU takes their turn at the Axemen. Also, STU hosts cross-campus rival UNB and will try to end their long losing streak (35 games) in the Battle of the Hill, UPEI crosses the Fixed Link to renew their rivalry with Moncton, and the Tigers are at the X-Men.

On Saturday UNB hosts UdeM in another battle of rivals, SMU is at StFX and the Tommies visit the Panthers. 
OTTAWA — Eleven minutes and nineteen seconds.

That’s how long No. 5 McGill needed to keep No. 9 Carleton scoreless in Friday night's game to set a new OUA record for longest shutout sequence. If they made it to the end of the second period without allowing a goal, they’d overtake Alberta’s CIS record, set last season.

Carleton had other plans.

McGill looked poised to continue their three-game winning streak, which had propelled them to fifth in the national rankings after previously being unranked, when Cedric McNicoll opened the scoring on an early powerplay goal just two and a half minutes in.

Playing in front of a near-capacity crowd, the Ravens took over from there.

A quick even-up call put the Ravens on the powerplay, and Mitch Porowski quickly tied things up. Carleton kept the pressure up, and just over a minute later Damian Cross’ shot deflected off a defenseman’s stick and into the net to extend the lead.

By that point, Carleton had triple the shots of McGill, outshooting the Redmen 9-3. Once the no-longer historic 11:19 mark passed, Carleton had extended that shot count lead to 15-3.

Jeff Hayes added to the Ravens scoring, tapping the puck into the open net following a gorgeous cross-crease pass from Jordan Deagle. Just like that, the Redmen had allowed more goals in this game than they had in regulation in all four combined regular season games.

Unsurprisingly, head coach Kelly Nobes took a timeout to try to regroup. Out of the break, McGill was successful in stopping the bleeding.

The game became noticeably physical, with both teams looking for — and succeeding in landing — big hits all over the ice. McGill managed to get the puck on net, closing down the shooting disparity (somewhat), and were rewarded with a late goal in the last minute as Alexis Millette banged at the puck twice from the top of the crease to close the gap to a goal heading into the first intermission.

Special teams remained a key story in the second period, as Porowski netted his second of the game on a powerplay opportunity to extend the lead to 4-2. That marked the end of Andrew Flemming’s night, as he was replaced by Jacob Chouinard between the Redmen pipes after giving up four goals on 19 shots.

The two teams continued trading penalties, with each able to finally succeed in killing a penalty, before Carleton took their second trip to the box of the period on a close too many men on the ice call that made Carleton’s head coach Marty Johnson livid.

He became even less happy when McGill capitalized on the powerplay opportunity, as Millette scored his second of the game.

Less than a minute later, McGill took a skate to the penalty box – on another call that could be described as controversial – and Cross needed only six seconds on the powerplay to net his second of the game from the hashmarks and restore the two-goal lead.

Porowski completed the hat-trick in the final minute of the second frame, taking Carleton to the intermission with a surprising 6-3 lead.

McGill came out hungry in the third period, illustrated by the fact that their starting line was set-up for the face-off before Carleton had even left the dressing room.

Unfortunately, it was all for naught, as Carleton managed to withstand the intense pressure put on by the Redmen. As both teams realized the game was out of reach, things took an ugly turn in the final ten minutes as the name of the game became “run the player closest to you as hard as possible.” Tempers began to boil over, peaking when McGill’s Patrick Delisle-Houde had his stick broken on a slash while awaiting the puck to drop on a faceoff, and culminating in a double minor penalty to McGill’s Carl Gelinas for spearing Deagle, who had aggravated the Redmen all day.

Ryan McKiernan added one for the Redmen in the final four minutes, taking the final score to 6-4 in favour of the Ravens.

The win marks the third time in four games that Carleton has scored at least six goals, the others an 8-1 win over Windsor and a 6-2 victory over Nipissing.

Carleton improves to 3-1-0 following the win, while McGill falls to 3-1-1.

Updated: This week's "Game of the Week" will be Thursday's cross-Toronto matchup between 5-1-0 York and 4-1-0 Ryerson.
The headline in today's Fredericton Daily Gleaner (behind paywall) delivers the surprising news accurately: "Colborne drops bombshell and quits V-Reds." That would be Claire Colborne, sister of Joe who was recently traded to their hometown Calgary Flames.

According to Bill Hunt's scoop, Colborne said she "was not happy with basketball and hasn't been happy for a while." Out of the blue on Thursday she requested a meeting with coach Jeff Speedy where she announced she was done, stunning Speedy. "I was caught totally off guard. I had no idea."

Colborne, a 21-year-old six-foot wing, was the AUS and CIS rookie of the year in 2010-11, but the team has struggled in the two subsequent years, especially last season when they were 2-18. Not coincidentally, all-star post and team leader Amanda Sharpe graduated in 2011 after an AUS-MVP season and the V-Reds as yet have been unable to find as able a replacement.

Colborne was fifth in the CIS in scoring in her rookie season (18.6 points per game), and third in the country in her second year (20.6 PPG) and named a 1st Team AUS All-Star. Last season her shooting dropped to 17.1 points per game.

Colborne has two years of CIS eligibility left, and could start play for another school on Oct. 24, 2014, 365 days after her last preseason game with UNB. Colborne said she would stay in school at UNB for her fourth year in the Bachelor of Recreation and Sports Studies (BRSS) program.

That is not the only headache for coach Speedy. Karlen Majcher, a 4th-year wing and bench player, is a close friend of Colborne's from Calgary and she also quit the team Thursday. Worse, his Australian recruit who is reputed to be a fine shooter, Laura Bamford-Cleland, has been hobbled with a leg or foot injury and yet to play this season.

Speedy says he will hold the door open in case Colborne changes her mind and wants to return, "but every day that goes by, that gets a little tougher. That's not a Claire thing, that's a team thing."

Men's soccer are in their final few games before the AUS playoffs begin. Each game is becoming more and more crucial to get to the elusive playoff spot, and teams are battling it out to see who will be top six.

Let's see how some of the teams did this weekend, and where they now stand going into the final regular-season weekend.


Moncton 2 at Acadia 2
It was a 2-2 tie for the Aigles Bleus after they went back and forth, each trying to get a win. Ahmed Abdul-Rahman scored for Moncton at (9:00) answered by Acadia's Andrew Snyder (17:00). Moncton tried once again to take a lead, with a goal by Kouame Ouattara scoring at (43:00) but Acadia came back and Corey Cadeau scored at (65:00).


Cape Breton o at UNB 1
The Capers fell to the Varsity Reds, with the lone goal of the game scored by Robbie Park at 6:37.

UPEI 2 at Mount Allison 1
The UPEI Panthers took their only victory of the weekend against the Mounties. Mount Allison started off strong with a goal by Federico Mora (14:16), but UPEI's Lucas Holmes (25:20) and Harminder Singh (87:29) gave the Panthers their win.

Dalhousie 2 at Memorial 0
The Memorial Seahawks couldn't score in their game against the DAL Tigers, losing 2-0. No goals were scored in the first half, but DAL's Nathan Rogers scored at 62:26 and Bezick Evraire followed with the second and final goal of the game at 75:41.


Dalhousie 2 at Memorial 0
The Seahawks took another 2-0 loss to the Tigers this weekend. Nathan Rogers scored at (38:56) - his second goal against the Seahawks this weekend - and Tyler Lewars scored at the end of the first at 45:00.

Cape Breton 2 at Moncton 3
It was a close game for the Capers and Aigles Bleus, with a 3-2 win for Moncton.

Moncton's Amadou Fall scored at 17:16, followed by Caper Ian Greedy (43:52).

Moncton scored the first two goals of the second half at 82:06 by Philippe DeGrace and 86:43 by Jonathon Stephenson. Cape Breton tried to come back with a goal by Max Raab at 87:45.

Saint Mary's 0 at Mount Allison 0
It was a scoreless game for the SMU Huskies and Mount Allison Mounties.

UPEI 0 at UNB 3
The UNB Varsity Reds held on to first place in the AUS standings, defeating the Panthers 3-0.

All three goals were scored in the first half of the game Victor Karosan (6:50), Benjamin Law (18:50) — his eleventh goal for the Varsity Reds in his career — and Marcus Lees 26:20). 

UNB sits in first place going into the final regular-season weekend, followed by Dalhousie in second, Saint Mary's, Moncton, Acadia and StFX. 

Cape Breton, UPEI, Mount Allison and Memorial sit outside the playoffs seedings going into their final weekend.
So what did we learn from the first week of AUS men's hockey conference play?

Plus ça change ...

Even with only a dozen players back from their championship team UNB is still pretty good. Gardiner MacDougall is arguably the best recruiter in the CIS, and his new recruits from across the country were all front and centre this weekend. But most of the talk after the games was the play of two sometimes under-rated veterans: workhorse Antoine Houde-Caron who had success driving the net to spark the the V-Reds offence on Friday and captain Chris Culligan on Saturday, minus his two regular wingers, who put the team on his back in the second period in order to erase a two-goal deficit and skate to a hard-fought victory against a bitter rival.

Friday - StFX 2 @ UNB 5
Saturday - SMU 3 @ UNB 5

Panthers on the prowl

UPEI looked very good in the preseason, and were the only road team to win both their games this past weekend. No one should underestimate this team, who may have flown under the national radar due to being eliminated in the playoffs by UNB the last two years running. While beating Dal is no surprise, taking a three-goal lead in the first ten minutes against Acadia is.

Friday - UPEI 5 @ Dal 1
Sunday - UPEI 4 @ Acadia 2

Moncton "Sedin Twins" delivering as advertised

What an opening weekend for UdeM rookie twins Alex and Allain Saulnier. The Moncton natives were co-captains of their hometown Wildcats last season, and were renowned for their chemistry, particularly on the power play. Alex scored twice on Friday, assisted both times by Allain. On Saturday Alex scored without his brother's assistance, but Allain did assist on two other goals, including one for another Alex, Emond.

Friday: SMU 1 @ UdeM 5
Saturday StFX 3 @ UdeM 4

Axemen still need more finish around the net

Acadia led the AUS in shots on goal last year, although the shot count does seem to get inflated at Acadia Arena. 59 shots on Friday only yielded three goals. On Sunday afternoon they converted two goals out of 52 shots on net. On the other hand rookie Axemen netminder Brandon Glover might be happy if he never gets another Sunday afternoon start; he gave up four goals on 11 shots before getting the hook early in the second period.

Friday: STU 1 @ Acadia 3
Sunday: UPEI 4 @ Acadia 2

Hope in Tommies Land

As long as Jon Groenheyde can stand on his head, and the team can manufacture some scoring, STU has a chance to win. The Tommies 2nd-year goalie made 43 saves in the first 40 minutes as St. Thomas nursed a one-goal lead into the third period on Friday. Saturday's game was less one-sided and had a better outcome, as the two teams traded goals all night and the hard-working Tommies delivered the first win for their new coach Pat Powers.

Friday: STU 1 @ Acadia 4
Saturday: STU 4 @ Dal 3

Tigers drop must-win game

Like for STU, wins are probably going to be a challenge for Dal against the six teams who finished ahead of them last year. And the year before. And the year before that. You get the idea. So while one might shrug off getting clawed by the Panthers (I know, terrible pun), they have to win those games against the Tommies if they have any hope of making the playoffs.

Friday: UPEI 5 @ Dal 1
Saturday: STU 4 @ Dal 3

The X-Men are better than their record

Hard to believe that StFX didn't earn a point on the weekend. Friday they played a close tight-checking game with UNB that didn't get away from them until the last five minutes or so when X had to open up their play to try to tie the game. On Saturday they spotted les Aigles Bleus a three-goal lead before battling back and coming up one goal short.

Friday: StFX 2 @ UNB 5
Saturday StFX 3 @ UdeM 4

So how long is this Huskies slump going to last?

If anyone needs a pity party, it is SMU. Seriously. They were winless in the preseason. Assistant coach Tom Lee is battling cancer, again, and so far the bone-marrow transplants seem to be taking, fortunately. Head coach Trevor Stienburg is stepping back temporarily for health reasons. If that is not enough to stress out interim head coach Tyler Naugler, Huskies goaltender Anthony Peters (he of 26 starts last season) wasn't available this weekend due to injury so backup Curtis Black was thrown into the fire in New Brunswick.

Friday:  SMU 1 @ UdeM 5
Saturday: SMU 3 @ UNB 5

Next weekend

The same dance partners swap venues. UNB and UdeM are at SMU and StFX while Acadia and Dal are at STU and UPEI.

Most of the playoff teams have been determined in the OUA; only a small battle remains between Windsor and Toronto, but that is heavily tilted the Lancers' way. We also know who the top three teams will be: Western, Queen's/Guelph winner, Queen's/Guelph loser. That game alone can affect the playoff race considerably but it's not the only one with potential implications.

The fourth through sixth spots are still undetermined, and could be any of three or four teams. Toronto, should they qualify for the playoffs, will be 5th, which means the other three — McMaster, Ottawa, Windsor; all tied at 4-3 right now — have a home game on the line today.

There can't be a three-way tie with these teams, and the Marauders hold the tiebreakers over both, assuming nothing out of the ordinary happens. (They can sew up a point-differential tiebreaker over Windsor by beating Carleton by about 25 points, which should be simple enough to achieve.) So that home game is Mac's to lose.

Just in time for the games today, here are the odds for all four teams and each playoff position:

The CIS has just released the list of successful bidders to host men's and women's basketball, and men's hockey, for 2015 and 2016.

Women’s basketball
2015: Laval (Quebec City)
2016: UNB (Fredericton)

Men’s basketball
2015: Ryerson (Toronto)
2016: UBC (Vancouver)

Men’s hockey
2015: StFX & Saint Mary’s (Halifax)
2016: StFX & Saint Mary’s (Halifax)
For women's basketball  the choices are the shiny new PEPS varsity gymnasium in Quebec City and the shiny and still pretty new Richard J. Currie Center in Fredericton. For the men, the choices are the "sparkling" Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens in Toronto and the five year-old Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, which was used for hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

For men's hockey, the University Cup will be held for the first time in Nova Scotia, in the not-new and not-shiny 11,000-seat Halifax Metro Centre. In a novel partnership, StFX will be the official "host" in 2015 (and the all-important guaranteed spot at the 6-team tourney) while SMU will be the host in 2016.
We feel duty-bound, when we can, to point out when a CIS goaltender "appears" in the NHL, especially since so few of them ever actually appear in a game after their university days.

Thursday night in Toronto, it was Brett Willows' turn. This time, the "quick, find a goaltender" game was even more rushed, as the Leafs expected James Reimer to play and Willows was only called after the first-minute injury. Apparently he didn't even get there until the third period.

Willows, currently third among OUA goalies with a .943 save percentage for U of T (after a .930 last year), is probably disappointed he didn't get in the game, but after stopping 50 of 53 shots the night before in a 7-3 win over Ryerson, he might also be relieved that he didn't have to go back-to-back. Even if it was only against Carolina.

Invariably the amateur 'tender who gets signed is not a fan of the team who needs him — see UBC's Jordan White, a Canucks fan, putting on a Sharks jersey for a day — with Willows in this case being a Montreal supporter.

If you follow the strange logic expressed by some Leafs followers and media members lately, this now means the team might consider offering Willows for Nail Yakupov.
2013 CIS University Cup / Josh Schaefer Photography
AUS men's hockey kicks off for real tomorrow, while the rest of the CIS has been at it for a couple of weeks now. Saving the best for last! (Getting my trolling of OUA and Canada West supporters out of the way early). The truth is that AUS hockey is considered a pretty big deal in most local media markets out here in the Maritimes, plus the fact that the conference has the best fan attendance in the CIS. And their men's hockey teams do pretty well on the national stage.

The UNB Varsity Reds won their 13th AUS championship last season, followed by their 5th CIS University Cup (and 4th in the last 7 years) by the lowest score ever (2-0) in the national championship game against conference rival Saint Mary's. A good showing for the AUS in Saskatoon to say the least.

Only one team from the AUS gets a ticket to the 2014 PotashCorp University Cup, putting a lot more emphasis on playoffs this year. The conference schedule makers have responded this season, making both the semi-final rounds and finals best-of-five series.

So who's it gonna be? Hard to argue against the reigning champ Varsity Reds, but they've had another large turnover in players and of course anything can and does happen in AUS playoffs. Not to mention that the other teams have ganged up and trimmed UNB's legendary depth with the new 22-skater roster cap. So maybe they're beatable this season. Saint Mary's, Acadia, and StFX are all legitimate challengers for the AUS crown, and UPEI and Moncton could be in the mix as well (and perhaps not coincidentally the first four names are all bidding to host the 2015 and 2016 University Cups). [Update: The Halifax Metro is reporting that Friday the joint SMU/StFX bid will announced as the successful bidders.]

Dalhousie will need someone ahead of them to stumble for them to make the the playoffs. STU's rebuild program got interrupted when coach Troy Ryan left the team in the off-season, so it would be really surprising if they can climb out of the AUS basement.

A new wrinkle this year is that it is the AUS' turn to represent the CIS in men's hockey at the FISU World University Games in December in Trentino, Italy. UNB's Gardiner MacDougall plus UPEI's Forbie MacPherson and StFX's Brad Peddle will be the coaching brain trust. They have not yet made the cuts for the team roster, so there will be a lot of incentive for players to try to have a career first-half and force their way into a Team Canada jersey.

The AUS has stepped up their marketing and promotions this year, and hockey is getting more attention. Today, Thursday, the AUS has for the first time posted detailed team profiles for each of the teams on their website. Glenn MacDonald of the Halifax Herald has his annual preview of the four Nova Scotia teams in today's paper. The bible of AUS previews is still Bruce Hallihan's annual opus, which will be in tomorrow's (Friday's) Daily Gleaner in Fredericton.  And below, you'll find my much less detailed contribution (but it does have fearless picks!).


  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 17-9-2 (3rd place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 3-4-0. Got by Moncton is first round and lost to SMU in 2nd round.
  • Power play: 18.4% (5th in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 87.4% (1st in AUS)
  • Last Season: Good first half marred by three-game losing streak to start second half, and then .500 hockey the rest of the way. Hot goaltending almost undid them in the Moncton series (they outshot UdeM 68-39 in game 3 double-OT win) and did bite them in the Saint Mary's series.
  • Key Departures: F Andrew Clark, F Jonathan Laberge
  • Key Arrivals: F Michael Clark, F Scott Trask, F Taylor Makin, F/D Tyler Ferry, D Chris Buonomo, D Geoffrey Schemitsch, G Brandon Glover.
  • Coach: Darren Burns (13th season)
  • Key Player: Two-time All-Canadian defenceman Chris Owens is Acadia's version of Erik Karlsson.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: While Clark and Laberge are big losses, the Axemen do return 18 players, including AUS rookie of the year Mike Cazzola. This team should have learned a lot from their comparative second half slump last year that cost them a first-round bye. The only AUS team to play on Olympic-sized ice, they could maybe exploit their home rink advantage a bit more. If they can have a little more finish around the net (they led the AUS in shots on goal last year) this year and continue to get solid goaltending they are going to be dangerous.
  • Projected conference finish: 2nd place.


  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 8-17-3 (7th place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Power play: 16.7% (7th in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 76.1% (8th in AUS)
  • Last Season: The Tigers had another tough season. They had the largest roster in the AUS as Coach Donnelly tried different combinations of players to try to find some scoring. Bobby Nadeau had some good games in nets, but was only healthy enough to make 9 starts, while Wendell Vye struggled.
  • Key Departures: F Ben Breault, F Shea Kewin, F Daniel Bartek, D Jacob Johnston
  • Key Arrivals: D Wes Herrett, D Luke Madill, D Tyler Hart, F Andrew Rieder, F Fabian Walsh, F Alex Cote, F Mitch O'Neill
  • Coach: Chris Donnelly (3rd season).
  • Key Player: Pierre-Alexandre Vandall will be expected to continue to spark the offence.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: The still-not-released CIS report continues to hang over the Tigers like the Sword of Damocles, except no one is talking about it. While Dal may be better this year, and have had a decent preseason, they still don't look ready yet to make the playoffs unless their goaltenders can steal them a ton of games. Competition can be cruel in the AUS.
  • Projected conference finish: 7th place.

  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 12-10-6 (6th place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 1-1-1. Pushed Acadia to double-OT in game 3 of 1st round.
  • Power play: 16.9% (6th in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 83.9% (2nd in AUS)
  • Last Season: After a good start, including a rare win at UNB, les Aigles Bleus cooled off in mid-November and had a 7-game losing streak that extended into the first week of January. Overtime was not kind to Moncton last year; they lost 6 of 7 that went past regulation time. Despite being badly outshot in their playoff series, Moncton did put a scare into Acadia, taking them to the second overtime in Game 3.
  • Departures: F Christian Gaudet, D Mathieu Boulduc, F Marc-André Côté, F Francis Rochon, G Andre-Michel Guay
  • Arrivals: F Alex Saulnier, F Allain Saulnier, D Pierre Durepros, F Steve Lebel, F Danny Chiasson
  • Coach: Serge Bourgeois (5th season).
  • Key Player: Éric Faille really stepped up last year and became the team's offensive leader.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: 17 players are back. The Moncton power play should be lethal with the Saulnier twins, and the other new forwards should help them improve their overall goal scoring as well. UdeM look to be better, but good enough to pass the teams that finished ahead of them last year? It will be interesting to see where this team finishes.
  • Projected conference finish: 6th place.
  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 18-7-3 (2nd place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 6-2-3. Beat Acadia in four games in semis and lost to UNB 2-0 in game 3 of AUS finals. Lost to Alberta 4-3 in OT at UCup and beat Waterloo 5-1. Lost 2-0 to UNB in championship game.
  • Power play: 23.1% (1st in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 82.1% (5th in AUS)
  • Last Season: The Huskies had their typical slow start last season before rounding into fine form, including a 7-game winning streak that bridged across the Christmas break. After earning the first-round bye, they dropped the first game to Acadia before winning three straight (with Peters in nets twice named player of the game). They lost first game of AUS finals 1-0 in double-OT vs. UNB, and rebounded with solid 5-2 win at home, only to be shutout by the V-Reds in game 3 in Fredericton. The wildcard entry at the University Cup in Saskatoon, they lost in OT to Alberta while being outshot 2 to 1. Once again they rebounded, beating Waterloo 5-1, and thanks to the tie-breaking formula, advanced out of their pool to play UNB for the Cup. Unfortunately they got shutout by the V-Reds 2-0 for the second time in a row.
  • Key Departures: F Shawn O'Donnell, D Justin Wallingford, D Paddy O'Keefe
  • Arrivals: D Stephen Gillard, D Alex Cord, D Cam Wind, F Steven Shipley, F Francis Menard, F Steven Beyers, F Mitch Maynard, G Anthony Terenzio, 
  • Coach: Trevor Steinburg (17th season) *.
  • Key Player: All-star goaltender Anthony Peters started 26 regular season games last season and was often the difference maker for SMU, especially in the AUS playoffs and at the University Cup.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: News broke this week that Steinburg would be stepping back from the team and taking a sudden and temporary break from coaching for health reasons, with longtime assistant coach Tyler Naugler taking over behind the bench. This comes on the heels of a winless preseason. But this still a veteran squad that was in a one-goal game with UNB until late in the championship final when they pulled Peters. CIS player of the year Lucas Bloodoff arrived at the University Cup with a broken hand and was pretty much ineffective. He's healthy now, as is Michael Stickland who missed most of last season. While it might be natural to pencil them in at second place again, not having CIS coach of the year Stienburg around for awhile might cost them a spot.
  • Projected conference finish: 3rd place.
  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 3-24-1 (Last place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: N/A.
  • Power play: 6.5% (8th in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 78.6% (7th in AUS)
  • Last Season: The Tommies suffered a horrendous start (losing 12 in a row) and never recovered in a rebuild year. Their power play went missing, as did most of their offence. The only real bright spot was the play of rookie goaltender Jonathan Groenheyde, who weathered more rubber than any goalie in the AUS.
  • Key Departures: F Matt Eagles, F Alex Labonte
  • Key Arrivals: F Brendan Childerley, F Derek Froats, D Jordan Moore
  • Coach: Pat Powers (1st season).
  • Key Player: If they win games, it will because Jon Groenheyde saved the day in nets.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: The departure of coach Troy Ryan caught everyone off guard, and the late hiring of Pat Powers didn't leave him much recruiting time. Powers was head coach of Western last year while Clarke Singer was on sabbatical and did a good job, but he's inheriting a significantly different roster with the Tommies. Powers will make the Tommies a difficult team to play against, but they still look to be offensively challenged. It will probably be a long season for the STU faithful.
  • Projected conference finish: 8th place.
  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 16-10-2 (4th place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 0-1-1. Lost two 1-goal games vs. UPEI in 1st round (2nd in double-OT).
  • Power play: 22.1% (2nd in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 83.1% (3rd in AUS)
  • Last Season: While StFX wasn't the most consistent team last year, they had improved on the year before, and did finish just two points out of third place and on a three-game winning streak. However they lost two close games in the first round of the playoffs to UPEI and suddenly their season was over.
  • Departures: D Nick Pageau, G Joey Perricone
  • Arrivals: F Robert Slaney, F Blake Gal, D Nathan Chiarlitti
  • Coach: Brad Peddle (8th season).
  • Key Player: Forward Jason Bast was the CIS Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 and their go-to forward last season.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: StFX was fairly young last year, but they've returned 21 players this season and probably lost the least of any of the teams. Gal has been scoring in the preseason and former Leafs farmhand Slaney red-shirted last season and will be an impact player this year. X are a gritty bunch with good special teams and opportunistic scoring, and they never seem to worry about being out-shot in games with Drew Owsley in nets. A very dangerous opponent who could finish as high as second place.
  • Projected conference finish: 5th place.
  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 23-5-0 (1st place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 8-2-0. Took four games to knock off UPEI in semis and a deciding 3rd game in finals vs. SMU. At Nationals beat host Saskatchewan 3-1, UQTR 8-3 and then SMU 2-0 in UCup final.
  • Power play: 18.8% (4th in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 81.9% (6th in AUS)
  • Last Season: Only Acadia and SMU were .500 against the V-Reds in the regular season; their only other loss was to Moncton. In nets, Dan LaCosta was 15-1 with a .938 save percentage and 1.92 GAA and not named an All-Star; he then shut-out the Huskies 2-0 in both the AUS and CIS championship games. Other than a propensity to get into penalty trouble, and only average special teams, there were very few flaws with the deep UNB team last year.
  • Key Departures: F Colby Pridham, F Bryce Swan, F Matt Fillier, D Daine Todd, D Josh Kidd, D Ben Wright, G Travis Fullerton, G Dan LaCosta
  • Arrivals: F JP Labardo, F Mike Thomas, F Dylan Willick, F Cam Maclise, F Shea Kewin, D Matt Petgrave, D Jordan Murray, D Keevin Cutting, G Joel Vinneau
  • Coach: Gardiner MacDougall (14th season).
  • Key Player: Chris Culligan is the best, and perhaps most unselfish, playmaker in the AUS. If he took more shots on goal ...?
  • 2013-14 Outlook: Only a dozen players are back from last year's championship team. Under-rated Travis Fullerton won't be in the UNB nets for the first time in five years, and LaCosta is gone as well. Pridham and Todd will be particularly missed. But MacDougall added a number of new players last season and the team hardly missed a beat, so you might assume similar results this year. There will be a lot of pressure on former STU goalie Charlie Lavigne (who in effect red-shirted last season) to match his predecessor's success as the new number one, but at least he won't be required to steal games as was needed with the Tommies. The new defencemen have all got a lot of minutes in the preseason, and had a few adventures in their own zone, while there has been less pressure, so far, on the new forwards. D-man Matt Petgrave may have the biggest upside of the new recruiting class.
  • Projected conference finish: 1st place.
  • 2012-13 Regular season record: 15-11-2 (5th place in AUS)
  • Playoffs: 3-3-0. Squeezed by StFX in 1st round but could only manage one win against UNB in semis.
  • Power play: 19.0% (3rd in AUS)
  • Penalty kill: 82.9% (4th in AUS)
  • Last Season: The Panthers has a poor first half and were much, much improved in the second half, reeling off a 5-game win streak after the Christmas break. Over the last two seasons they have become a much quicker team, which still maintaining their Island hockey edginess. After getting by StFX in the first round of the playoffs, they then had the misfortune to run into UNB for the second year in a row, and it didn't go well.
  • Key Departures: F Jordan Knox, F Mike MacIsaac, D Dylan Quaile, D Matt Boyle
  • Key Arrivals: F Cody McNaughton, D Brock Beukeboom, D Derek Ryckman, D Casey Babineau
  • Coach: Forbes “Forbie” MacPherson (5th season).
  • Key Player: Chris Desousa is their top forward and key man in all situations.
  • 2013-14 Outlook: UPEI is returning 18 players, all with a burning desire to get past UNB. They have solid goaltending, led by 1st Team All-Star Wayne Savage. Their new defenceman have all looked good in the preseason, where UPEI went 5-1. The Panthers are hard to play against and very good on transition and should only be better this season. Finishing in second place is not out of reach.
  • Projected conference finish: 4th place.
The fourth and final week of preseason play in AUS men's hockey was a light schedule: Acadia hosted Dalhousie in Berwick, NS on Friday and Saint Mary's played StFX in Truro in what has become an annual charity game for minor hockey. Saturday night St. Thomas travelled up the St. John River to Grand Falls to play Moncton on Saturday night.

The Axemen cruised to a 5-1 win over the Tigers, while Drew Owsley made 27 saves in a 2-0 X-Men shutout of the Huskies. SMU are notoriously slow starters, but in six exhibition games they've had four losses in regulation, one in over-time, and an OT tie (when a game against Acadia was halted due to a player injury). Sure they've got a lot of injuries, but still.

The teething pains continue for the rebuilding Tommies under Pat Powers. Les Aigles Bleus blew out a close game in the second period and skated to a 6-2 win.

Off the ice, the big news in the AUS this week comes from Chris Cochrane's column in Tuesday's Herald: Stienburg taking break from SMU coaching duties. Trevor Stienburg is a passionate coach who guided his team all the way to last season's University Cup championship game against UNB. I certainly didn't see this coming, just days before the regular season starts.

It’s because he questions how he’s handled the coach’s responsibility to create the best environment for his players and to set a strong leadership example that he has decided to take a break from the Huskies.
Stienburg will retain his head coach position but will step away from the day-to-day operation for now. With a new AUS season opening Friday, assistant coach Tyler Naugler will direct the Huskies until Stienburg decides to return.
Who says AUS (all CIS?) hockey coaches aren't under a lot of stress to win and get the most from their players.
“I’m just taking a little bit of time, whatever is needed,” said Steinburg, who has plenty of praise for his veteran coaching staff and the potential of the team he’s assembled.
“I need that balance, I don’t know if I’ve ever had it. I don’t like myself the way I am (with his players) right now. I feel like I want to launch my stick in the stands every time a guy makes a mistake. I love every guy in the room; I recruited every guy in the room. I need to make it more enjoyable for them."
“I need to be a better friend to develop these players, first as people, then as hockey players.
“And I’ve got two kids. I don’t want to take this crap home to them. So I just want to step away and get my head straight.”
Hopefully Stienburg finds that balance quickly, not the least for the selfish reason in this corner that he is an emotional coach that makes every game, and post-game, more interesting (much like Torts in the NHL).

Back to the ice. All eyes will be on Fredericton opening night when UNB raises their two championship banners Friday while hosting StFX (who really should be ranked at least #10). Saturday the Huskies are in town for their first meeting with the V-Reds since that fateful game in March. Moncton hosts the same two visitors on the alternate nights.

Acadia hosts St. Thomas on Friday while Dalhousie hosts UPEI. The teams trade dance partners for Saturday night.

Bruce Hallihan's annual AUS hockey preview, a must read every year, will be in Friday's Daily Gleaner. The Gleaner is unfortunately behind a paywall, so make sure yourself get a copy of the paper. I will try to have my much less detailed season preview effort posted before the puck-drop on Friday, so that everyone can have fun second-guessing my predictions.
This week's ballots from our staff (in order after the official listing: Neate Sager, myself, Kevin Garbuio):

  1. Western — 1st, 1st, 2nd. They have clinched first place in Ontario [correction: assuming they beat York] no matter what you may read elsewhere about point differential coming into play with Guelph (by OUA rules, that is impossible). About to enjoy the coveted "bye week, York, bye week" portion of the schedule. There have been tougher times to be a Mustang, that's for sure...
  2. Laval — 2nd, 2nd, 1st. About a 2 to 1 split among voters who prefer Western to Laval up top. Hung a Waterloo score on Concordia. Kevin may prove to be the smarter one in the end here, and unless I'm mistaken he is the only one of the three of us who has personally lost to Laval.
  3. Calgary — 4th, 3rd, 4th. Considered moving them down after this week but couldn't find another team I liked better at 3.
  4. Guelph — 3rd, 6th, 3rd. Very difficult for me to assess where to put McMaster vs. Guelph. (Many reading this would say "Guelph's 6-0, don't overthink it" but that is underthinking it.) Thanks to scheduling quirks they will probably have only one common opponent who makes the playoffs. Last week I had Guelph 6th and McMaster 10th but after reviewing the evidence at hand I'm pushing them closer together. Still not sure I want to put the Gryphs above, say, Queen's or Calgary.
  5. Queen's — 6th, 4th, 5th. The all-important "playing for a bye week" game comes up one week after they roll out of bed 15 minutes before kickoff and beat Waterloo 54-12.
  6. Montreal — 5th, 5th, 8th. Maybe KG moved west to avoid the wrath of our blue-clad friends.
  7. Saskatchewan — 8th, 10th, 7th. I can report that actually watching an entire game of theirs didn't help figure out where to rank them.
  8. Bishop's — 7th, unranked, 6th. Have been outscored on the season, by nine points, though that will change after five minutes this week.
  9. McMaster — 9th, 7th, unranked. If only Neate and I could play as Bishop's and Mac on Madden and solve this. It's the only way these teams can play each other. However, that would require both of us to have a Madden game more recent than Tommy Maddox's career.
  10. Windsor — 10th, 9th, 9th. They've been on my ballot for the last five weeks in a row so this is either vindication or a coincidence.

Fun fact: the entire AUS received 0.4% [edit: not 2%] of the voting points available this week, all for SMU.
Four AUS teams went south of the border on the weekend, and only UNB came away with a single win. Not that much different from previous years since you have to factor in bus legs, sometimes very different officiating, and good NCAA opponents excited to play their first game of the season and in front of their own fans. Let's be honest, NCAA Division I teams are good, and many of them are stocked with NCAA draft picks and future draft picks.

On their way to Boston StFX stopped in Shediac, NB on Thursday night to play UdeM. The X-Men were up 2-1 after the first period, and 4-1 early in the second period thanks to Michael Kirkpatrick's second goal. Les Aigles Bleus outshot X 40-36 in the game, but were only able to score once in the third period in the 4-2 loss.

Saturday night in Beantown, StFX and Boston University exchanged power play goals in the first period, but it was the Terriers getting the only goal late in the third period for the 2-1 victory. BU outshot X 54-32 in the game. Sunday afternoon the X-Men faced off against a fresh Boston College team and X's Kirkpatrick continued to have the hot hand with two goals in the first period. The Eagles, NCAA champs two years ago, woke up in the second period and blasted five goals (including a penalty shot) and added three more in the third period for an 8-2 win.

Dalhousie were also in Boston Saturday, where they lost to Northeastern 5-0 while being outshot 46-19. The night before the Tigers were in Ottawa to play Carleton and lost 7-3. Sunday the Tigers weren't done traveling, as they played Maine in Orono in an afternoon game and lost 5-1. The Black Bears outshot them 42-18. A tough weekend on the scoreboard and a lot of bus time.

Dal's cross-rink rivals Saint Mary's were in Troy, NY on Saturday to play Rensselaer. RPI scored an early penalty shot and added a power play goal before Cory Tanaka got the Huskies on the score sheet in the first period. The Engineers added one goal on the PP and one even strength in the second period, and a third PP goal in the third period for the 5-1 win. SMU did have the 23-21 edge in shots on goal.

Sunday afternoon SMU was in Hamden, Connecticut to play Quinnipiac, who lost to Yale last year in the NCAA championship game. The Bobcats were up 2-0 after the 1st period, and then their special teams took over with three power play goals and a shorty in the second period. SMU did score one goal late in the second period, but QU replied with another PP goal early in the third period. Michael Stickland did score on the Huskies power play later in the period, but that was all the visitors could manage. QU outshot SMU 39-16 in the 7-2 win and were 4 for 9 on the power play.

Saturday Acadia was at the sold out Whittemore Center (Attendance: 6,501) in Durham to play the University of New Hampshire in a battle between two teams who play on Olympic-sized ice. UNH had a power play goal in the first period and another early in the second. A minute after another Wildcats goal, the Axemen's Scott Trask scored. Unfortunately for Acadia, UNH scored twice more in the last minute of the period. Liam Heelis scored twice for the Axemen in the third period, but the home side added another goal and won 6-3. Shots were 28 apiece. UNH was 3 for 7 on the power play while Acadia was 0 for 5.

On Sunday the Axemen were on the big ice in Burlington to play the University of Vermont. The Catamounts were 4 for 18 (!!!) on the power play (scoring twice while 5 on 3) while Heelis scored the only Acadia goal, also on the PP. Shots favoured Vermont 36-18.

The other tourists in the States where UNB, in mile-high country in Colorado. The Varsity Reds were down only 1-0 going into the third period Saturday night, with a 21-19 edge in shots against Colorado College. However UNB ran into penalty trouble in the third period, and Alexander Krushelnyski (son of the former NHLer) scored twice on the power play and added another even strength for a natural hat trick. The Tigers added another PP goal after that for the 5-0 win, and outshot UNB 15-9 in the final period.

Sunday night the V-Reds were in Denver, and veteran defenceman Ben Shutron scored twice in the first period to give UNB the 2-0 lead over the Pioneers. Midway through the second period the V-Reds were on a 5 on 3 power play when DU's Daniel Doremus came out of the penalty box, picked off an errant pass and scored on the shorthanded breakaway to draw within a goal. Denver poured it on in the third period, outshooting UNB 19-4 in the final 20 minutes but Charles Lavigne made big saves in the V-Reds net to preserve the 2-1 win.

Monday UNB was supposed to bus back to Colorado Springs to play Air Force, but the game was cancelled due to the ongoing federal government shutdown in the States. Thanks for nothing Tea Party!

UPEI weren't in the States, but they did make the long trip to Thunder Bay to play Lakehead. Friday night the Panthers spotted the Thunderwolves the first goal, and then replied with two goals in the second period and two more in the third. UPEI outshot LU 40-29 in the 4-1 win. Saturday night UPEI was up 3-0 after the first period, and stretched their lead to 5-0 in the second period before the home side got on the scoreboard.  The Panthers kept up the offensive pressure and added two more goals in the third period. The final score was 7-1 and UPEI had another healthy 40-29 margin in shots.

St. Thomas was the only AUS team playing in their own rink on the weekend. They hosted RMC and got a much needed 5-1 win, the first under new STU coach Pat Powers. Tommies scored in the first minute of the game, added a power play later in the period and another in the second period. STU was up 4-0 going into the third period, where the PP clicked once again. The Paladins' Scott Domenico scored shorthanded a few minutes late, but the Tommies came away with a solid 5-1 win.

This weekend is a pretty light schedule in the AUS to end the preseason.  Friday night Acadia hosts Dalhousie in  apple country in Berwick, NS. Also on Friday Saint Mary's hosts StFX in Truro, NS. Saturday night STU is upriver in Grand Falls, NB to play Moncton.
Now, usually I just throw on the scores — and of course the names that go with them — but before I do that, I want to say one thing ...

At this level of play there isn’t much of an excuse to have no goals scored for your team. It’s the CIS level and that should end with at least one goal in your favour, regardless of the game result. Twice this week, a team did not score, and in most cases, two goals would have been enough to win the game.

Now, I know it’s easy to sit here and say ‘come on, score!’ all comfy on the sidelines, but I’ve played soccer and I cover soccer, and I can tell you, you really should be getting goals.

Now that my rant is over ... here are the highlights of this past week for AUS men’s soccer.


UPEI 2 at Moncton 1
A 2-0 lead after goals by Cole MacMillan (16:50) and Mark Ashley (49:41) wasn't something Moncton could come back from in this one. They got one of their own from Ahmed Abdul-Rahman in the 63rd minute and three shots on goal in the last five minutes but it ended 2-1.


StFX 2 at Saint Mary’s 2
Randy Ribeiro scored for StFX in minute 38. They wouldn’t score again until minute 70, when Max Maund scored. The Huskies came back to tie it up, with Danny Bachar scoring two minutes after that, bringing the score to 2-1.

Pawel Gorski scored the tying goal in minute 78.

Moncton 4 at Mount Allison 1
Moncton’s Ahmed Abdul-Rahman scored an unassisted goal in minute seven, giving them an early lead. Adrian Crace headed the ball into the net off a throw-in, tying the game at 28:30, but the tie wouldn’t last long. Christian Yapi scored at 38:00, followed by Maxime Daigle at 74:38 and another header off a corner kick at 89:18 by Abdul-Rahman.


UNB 3 at Cape Breton 4
Most of this game was dominated by the Capers, with Zak Riley scoring in minute 21, followed by Kwabe Boateng at 47. Three minutes into the second half Boateng scored his second goal of the game, and Trey Durham scored the fourth goal for CBU at 71:00 after a UNB goal in the 61st by Diego Padhilha.

UNB came back strong with two goals after the 80th minute with Yassin Shehab El Din and Patrick Cormier.

Memorial 1 at UPEI 2
Scoring early at 5:31, Aaron Anstey gave the Seahawks hope. But Brett Hogan scored for the Panthers at 14:14, tying the game, then Cole MacMillan scored what would be the game-winning goal at 50:30.


Memorial 0 at UPEI 4
Cole Macmillan scored the first three goals for the Panthers at 23:32, 53:25 and 61:14. Hogan scored again a minute later, the fourth and final goal of the game.

Moncton 0 at Cape Breton 5
Another big lead and eventual win for CBU. Within 10 minutes they were up 2-0 on goals by Bruno Mota and Mark Stewart. Sandro Rajkovic scored in the 44th, followed by Jordan Evison in the 49th, and the final goal by Ian Greedy in the 73rd.

Dalhousie 2 at StFX 1
Aaron Hoyle scored for DAL in the first minute of the second half. StFX didn’t score until 88:22 by Jamie Tibbo, but DAL’s William Kafeero scored 22 seconds later, giving DAL the win.

UNB 2 at Mount Allison 1
Jason Rouse at 18:33 and Yousuf Mohammad at 39:02 shared UNB’s two goals, and Mount Allison’s lone goal was scored by Adrian Crace late in the first half at 36:37.

Acadia 1 at Saint Mary’s 1
Acadia and Saint Mary’s tied their only matchup of the year, Ishraq Hassan scoring at 10:37 for SMU, followed by Erik Merchant’s lone goal for Acadia at 20:04.
Keeping the Calgary Dinos out of the end zone for an entire half is a small victory. Unfortunately for the Huskies they couldn't go bigger than that.

In the week's only top-10 matchup in CIS football, Calgary took home their second win over Saskatchewan, again by a 12-point margin, this time 24-12 in Saskatoon. Mercer Timmis rushed for 172 yards, half the Huskies' entire output on the night as part of Calgary's near-600 yards of offence.

The Dinos were moderate favourites going into this one. I had them as about 7 or 10 points ahead, closer than it would theoretically have been in Calgary, but still enough to make the final result not terribly surprising even if we took a roundabout way to get there. We saw 10 total fumbles, three interceptions, four missed field goals, and a fake punt. There was drama, certainly, if nothing else.

Jim Mullin, broadcasting the game for Shaw along with former U of S QB Laurence Nixon, made the point that this game, from Saskatchewan's point of view, was similar to what the Carabins experienced two weeks ago, when they suppressed Laval on one side of the ball but couldn't put anything together on the other. It did have the same feeling as that game, especially about halfway through the fourth when it appeared the Dinos were heading directly for a 12-point lead after a fake punt succeeded but they then had a pass intercepted in the end zone. The Huskies' fate would be the same in the end but it did give us some uncertainty.

In fact, this was looking good for the home side early on. Calgary's two first-quarter turnovers meant they were fortunate to be down only 7-0 after one and 11-6 after two. They did not score a touchdown until 35 minutes into the game.

However, as so often seems to happen, an underdog's success in the first half does not continue into the second. Call it random chance, call it regression, call it updated instructions from the coaching staff ... I don't know which is true. Mullin pointed out that the Huskies have been greatly outplayed in third quarters against Calgary recently. Tonight it's enough to say Saskatchewan scored just one point to Calgary's 11 in this third quarter — and that one came on a typical situation for them: a first down deep in Calgary territory turned into just a rouge after they a) failed to advance further as well as b) missed a field goal.

Late in the fourth, Timmis rumbled 80 yards for the major that gave the Dinos a two-score lead for the first time: 24-12 with time running out and it did indeed run out at exactly that score. It was his 14th rushing touchdown of the season, far, far ahead of the next-closest running back in the country, and a Calgary record with two games to go to extend it. (No word yet on if his success is all part of a long-term strategy to restore to one the number of football stadia named after his family.)

I was looking forward to seeing Drew Burko play but he wasn't at his best at the helm of an underwhelming U of S offence, throwing for 269 on 17 of 38. (For that matter, Andrew Buckley didn't complete half his passes either.) There were no outstanding plays from Burko throughout most of the first half, partly because he had easily-open receivers whom anyone could find when he wasn't rushed and mostly because he couldn't find any of them when he was. His interception was really poorly overthrown; when the ball was first put in the air I saw one receiver, maybe five to ten yards away from Burko, and presumed there was no way he was the intended target ... until the camera continued panning and there wasn't another black jersey in the area.

Even his successful plays didn't help, though not really through any fault of his own. Burko found Mitch Stevens on a beauty of a pass, perfectly placed for 22 yards, and to open the third, he found Garrett Burgess for 25 that brought them inside the 20. Both of these very impressive plays, showing off his strength as well as field vision, resulted in exactly two points when the Huskies didn't capitalize. It's an easy narrative to say that was their undoing, but they needed more than "better situational offence" for this game to have an effect beyond the end of the regular season.

With the win, the Dinos clinch home-field advantage for the Canada West playoffs — sound familiar? — and they'll only have to leave home for the Vanier Cup should they get that far. (They probably won't, but that's an argument for our later Mitchell Bowl coverage.)
This week's ballots from our staff (in order after the official listing: Neate Sager, myself, Kevin Garbuio, Jared Book, Andrew Bucholtz):

  1. Western — 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd. It was their closest win of the season ... but they still beat a top-5 team by three scores.
  2. Laval — 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st. Second place overall for the first time all year. The last time Laval gave up as many as 38 points in a regular-season game was almost exactly ten years ago, though they did beat Concordia 59-7 a month after that. Also lost to McMaster 41-38 recently in a game you may remember.
  3. Calgary — 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th, 3rd. Good position to be in this week, with a road game vs. the second-place team with 12 points to give, then a pair of home games vs. below-.500 teams.
  4. Guelph — 5th, 6th, 3rd, 5th, 5th. Two of the five of us put them ahead of Queen's. They miss Western this year, so that helps inflate the record somewhat.
  5. Queen's — 4th, 3rd, 5th, 3rd, 6th. By our standards, this is disagreement. Personally I didn't think that much less of Queen's after losing to Western.
  6. Saskatchewan — 7th, unranked, 8th, 8th, 4th. See earlier comment about how I never know where to put this team. Their only loss is on the road at Calgary, but three of their wins are by just a combined 14 points.
  7. Montreal — 6th, 5th, 6th, 6th, 7th. No points in the second half vs. Sherbrooke and just a TD, rouge, and safety in the first half? I'm not sure why I have them 5th.
  8. Bishop's — 8th, unranked, 7th, 9th, 8th. As noted, only the third team (if my research is complete) who have put 38 on Laval; the other two went on to win the Vanier and lose the Dunsmore. You'd have to think the Gaiters would take even the latter result at the beginning of this year. A note of concern: with Concordia and McGill comprising half their schedule this year, and squeaking out two Sherbrooke wins, they are basically 6-0 in those games alone, when most teams on this list would be no worse than 5-1.
  9. McMaster — I was the only one to rank them, at 10th. I had Windsor higher, though, which leads me to note that, just as there is no such thing as a bad call that goes against the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays, there is no such thing as a bad call that goes against Laurier (he said, looking for some reason to justify spending five years at Waterloo).
  10. Manitoba — Only Andrew ranked them, and he put them 9th.
The second week of exhibition play has come and gone for AUS men's hockey, and now most of the teams are preparing for their annual American road trip weekends. Sure, off to the States where government workers (customs agents?) are sure to be a happy and co-operative bunch while wondering when they're going to get paid again.

UNB played mid-week in a mid-afternoon game against the AHL's Portland Pirates at their practice facility in Saco, Maine. This has become sort of an annual event, with the idea that the V-Reds would play the Pirates and then travel onto play whatever NCAA teams in New England they had lined up. The schedule didn't co-operate this year, so after losing 4-0 they had to bus back to Fredericton to host the Carleton Ravens on Friday. Of interest in the Portland game was that former UNB forward/d-man Daine Todd was playing defence for the Pirates while former X-Men defenceman Mark Louis plays forward (they apparently were short size when they signed him last year, so they converted the speedy 6'4" Louis to forward). The first scorer for Portland was Phillipe Halley, who was announced at one point this summer as a recruit for UNB (and obviously has decided to turn pro instead).

Carleton came out with a lot of jump and truculence Friday night against UNB, and after scoring the first goal the V-Reds took five straight selfish reactionary penalties and gifted the Ravens two 5-on-3 power play goals. UNB eventually hauled their heads out of their posteriors and took advantage of a Carleton penalty string in the second period to tie the game, and a beauty play by their big line in the third period to re-take the lead and then out-skate the flagging Ravens for the 3-2 win.  V-Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall made no bones to the fact that in the first period "Carleton was hungry on every puck and we had a sort of entitlement to us and we've got to be better than that."

Saturday night went better for the Ottawa visitors a few blocks away at the Grant-Harvey Centre, the St. Thomas rink. CU's Francis Dupuis made 26 saves in the 3-0 shutout win while STU's Jon Groenheyde was much busier (as he has become accustomed to) dealing with 44 shots. The Tommies didn't have the luxury of waiting at home for the Ravens; Friday night they were in New Glasgow, NS to play StFX and lost 4-1.

The other OUA team taking a swing through the Maritimes was the Brock Badgers. On Friday they were in Halifax to play Saint Mary's. After being down 4-0 at one point in the game, Brock used a bit of a Hail Mary style trick-play in the last minute to score just after their penalty ended, drawing within a goal. Eight seconds later they scored again to tie the game and effectively force overtime. The Badgers then went on to win the game 6-5 in OT*.

The Badgers were back in overtime on Saturday, this time against the Dalhousie Tigers in a game played in East Hants, NS. This time the visitors came up short, with Dal winning 2-1. The previous night Dal was over on the Island to play UPEI and were thumped 5-1.

The only other game saw Moncton play Acadia in Berwick, NS, and the Axemen squeezed out the 5-4 win.

Looking ahead, the Varsity Reds leave Wednesday for their first-ever trip to Colorado where they'll play an extended weekend of three games in three nights against NCAA opponents: Colorado College on Saturday, Denver University on Sunday and the Air Force Academy on Monday.

The Saint Mary's Huskies will be making their first trip in a while to the States; they play RPI on Saturday and Quinnipiac on Sunday. StFX spends the weekend in Boston and have BU on Saturday and BC on Sunday (arguably the toughest match-ups). Acadia is playing State schools: New Hampshire on Saturday and Vermont on Sunday. Dal has dance dates with Northeastern on Saturday and Maine on Sunday after first playing Carleton in Ottawa Friday night.

Not everyone in the AUS is heading to the States for the weekend. Thursday night Moncton hosts StFX (en route to the US) in Shediac, NB. UPEI makes the long trip to Thunder Bay for two games against Lakehead on Friday and Saturday. STU stays home and host RMC on Saturday night, which is sure to attract a bit of a crowd from down the road at CFB Gagetown.

Saint Mary’s 1 at Dalhousie 0
It was a 1-0 victory for the SMU Huskies with a lone goal scored by Kyle Denbrook at the 45 minute mark.


Saint Mary’s 1 at UPEI 0
Kyle Denbrook scored at 18:56, the only goal of the game.

StFX 1 at Cape Breton 1
CBU scored first in the 61st minute on a goal by Ian Greedy - who is sitting in first in the AUS for goals scored – followed by Serge Dossou in the 74th minute for the X-Men, tying the game.

UNB 3 at Moncton 1
At 16:36 Yousuf Mohammed scored the first goal for UNB, but it was matched by Amadou Fall at 30:39, tying the game. Rookie Kenneth Van Aarle scored UNB’s second goal at 54:35, followed by fellow rookie Diego Padhilha at 79:18.


Dalhousie 1 at UPEI 1
DAL’s Sangmuk Choi scored at 35:27, but four minutes later UPEI’s Harminder Singh scored, tying the game.

Acadia 1 at Memorial 0
Acadia defeated Memorial 1-0, the lone goal scored by Zachary Shaffelburg at 66:29.

Mount Allison 2 at Moncton 2
Mountie Kevin Seely scored less than six minutes in, but Moncton’s Philippe DeGrace scored at 12:18, tying the game. Moncton scored again at 43:41 by Christian Yapi, but Mountie Kevin Seely scored his second goal of the game at 81:28.


Acadia 2 at Memorial 1
Acadia came away from MUN with a split, losing their second game 2-1. Andrew Snyder scored the first goal at 3:35 for Acadia, but Jordi Slaney scored at 20:32 for the Seahawks, followed by a second goal for Slaney at 82:01.

Cape Breton 2 at Mount Allison 0
Justin Maheu scored at 19:02, and another goal wasn’t scored until second half by Mark Stewart at 57:08.
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