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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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MANITOBA BISONS 2009-10

Next year country has started early in the university off-season. Two announcements have already been made. In addition, the league announced that four, rather than six, teams will qualify for this year's playoffs.

SAINTS GRAD RECRUITED

BLAIR MACAULAY (formerly of Tri-City and Saskatoon of the WHL and the Saints of the MJHL) has committed. The [LINK] at GoBisons.ca has his stats and also points out that Mike Sirant is back to coach after 3 years in Denmark. Frankly, I would not mind if Don McGillivray stuck around. Recruiting seemed to be going well under him. A blurb is also at [CJOB.COM] and at [WINNIPEGSUN.COM]. The 2008-09 thread is [HERE].

GOALTENDER AND D-MAN RECRUITED

The Bisons have announced the commitment of two more WHL grads for 2009-10 [LINK]. The goaltender is JESSE DECKERT, who played 4 games in the CIS for Lethbridge back in 2007-08. In the WHL he played for Prince Albert, Tri-Cities, and Regina. The d-man is BRANDON LOCKERBY, who played for Edmonton and Brandon. He is seemingly somewhat of an offensive d-man (35 points in 72 games).

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Discussion Starter #2
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SCHEDULE RELEASED

Canada West announced the schedules for all sports. The men's hockey schedule is [HERE]. Here's the Bison schedule:
  • Oct 2-3 Saskatchewan at Manitoba 7:00 PM
    Oct 9-10 Lethbridge at Manitoba 7:00 PM
    Oct 16-17 Manitoba at UBC 9:30 PM
    Oct 23-24 Calgary at Manitoba 7:00 PM
    Oct 30-31 Manitoba at Alberta 8:30 PM
    Nov 6-7 bye
    Nov 13-14 Manitoba at Regina 7:00 PM
    Nov 20-21 Saskatchewan at Manitoba 3:00 PM
    Nov 27-28 bye

    Jan 8-9 Manitoba at Lethbridge 8:00 PM
    Jan 15-16 UBC at Manitoba 7:00 PM
    Jan 22-23 Manitoba at Calgary 8:00 PM
    Jan 29-30 Alberta at Manitoba 7:00 PM
    Feb 5-6 Manitoba at Regina 7:00 PM
    Feb 12-13 bye
    Feb 19-20 Manitoba at Saskatchewan 7:00 PM
    Feb 26-27 Regina at Manitoba 7:00 PM

    PLAYOFFS
    Mar 5 - 7 Canada West Semifinals 4 @1 / 3 @ 2 Best 2 of 3
    Mar 12 - 14 Canada West Final Winners at highest finisher Best 2 of 3
    Mar 25 - 28 CIS Championship at Lakehead
Expect a schedule of non-conference games to be announced soon. In recent years they have played away at North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, and Bemidji and have played the Moose prospects out in Steinbach.

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Discussion Starter #3
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FROM MEMORIAL CUP TO BISONS

The Bisons have landed IAN DUVAL from the Kelowna Rockets [LINK] and at [CJOB.com]. He is from Winnipeg and played for Central Plains in AAA midget before going on to the WHL. His stats are at the link. He had a good playoff:
Duval was tied for ninth in 2009 WHL playoff scoring with 18 points (ten goals – tied for fifth highest in WHL, eight assists) in 22 games. In the 2009 WHL playoffs, he added a +14 plus/minus rating while notching two game winning goals and two power play goals.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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TWO MORE RECRUITS

The new recruits are TROY CROWLEY and TRAVIS MEALY. Their stats and background are at the [U OF M LINK].

Crowley is a former Saskatoon Blade but played with the Phoenix Polar Bears in the Western States Hockey League. He scored lots down there but seems like a shot-in-the-dark. He was coached by former Bison Harry Mahood.

Mealy is a d-man who played for the UPEI Panthers and is a grad of the QMJHL.

Meanwhile, Don MacGillivray will be GM/Coach of the Winnipeg South Blues. [FREE PRESS LINK]

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Discussion Starter #5
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BISONS GET WHEAT KING D-MAN

The Bisons announced the commitment of CHAD ERB from the Brandon Wheat Kings. His numbers are at the [U OF M LINK]. He was a high +/- d-man for the Wheat Kings.

This is a lot of new recruits in a year where not many spots should be open. I expect the next announcement should be for pre-season and non-conference exhibition games. Two usual opponents - Nebrask-Omaha and Bemidji - have been confirmed as WCHA teams commencing in 2010-2011.

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)


NON-CONFERENCE GAMES ANNOUNCED

The complete Bison schedule is [HERE]. The newly added non-conference games are:
Code:
Sep. 11	v Regina @ Whitewood, SK
Sep. 18	v Carleton (7:00pm @ Max Bell Arena)
Sep. 19	v Carleton (12:00pm @ Max Bell Arena)
Sep. 25	@ Brock
Sep. 26	@ Brock
Oct.  4	@ UND (this follows a home series against Sask)
Nov. 27	v Iowa State (3:00pm @ Max Bell Arena)
Nov. 28	v Iowa State (1:00pm @ Max Bell Arena)
Dec. 29	@ Lakehead
Dec. 30	@ Lakehead
There is no Bisons v Moose game in Steinbach this year. Also gone are trips to Bemidji and Nebraska-Omaha.

However, the nice new feature is that they will play two new opponents at home (Carleton and Iowa State). I don't care for that 3rd game in 3 nights game at UND. It is too bad that on Sept 19 they will be playing Carleton whilst at 2:00 pm the Bison football homecoming game will be played next door. No doubt Carleton has a tight travel schedule.

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
CONFERENCE RECRUITING SUMMARY

With all due credit to Berrcave at HF Boards, here is a compiation of what has transpired so far in Canada West:
Code:
REGINA COUGARS

Carter Smith F Red Deer Rebels WHL
Craig Cuthbert F Bonneyville Pontiacs AJHL

MANITOBA

Ian Duval F Kelowna Rockets WHL
Blair Macaulay F Winnipeg Saints MJHL
Chad Erb D Brandon Wheat Kings WHL
Travis Mealy D UPEI CIS
Brandon Lockerby D Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
Jessie Deckert G University of Lethbridge CIS
Troy Crowley F Phoenix Solar Bears WSHL

UBC

Justin McRae F Spokane Chiefs WHL

CALGARY

Eric Frere D Kootenay Ice WHL
Graham Potuer D Everett Silvertips WHL
Luke Egener D Red Deer Rebels WHL

LETHBRIDGE

i have not heard anything from Lethbridge

SASKATCHEWAN

Kyle Bortis F Calgary Hitmen WHL
Brennan Bosch F Medicine Hat Tigers WHL
Brendan Dowd F Edmonton Oil Kings WHL
Andrew Bailey F Kootenay Ice WHL

ALBERTA
lots of rumours
My suspicion is that the Evil Monkeys will make a host of announcements all at once.

I also see that Alberta is hosting an exhibition series on September 18th and 19th and Sask hosts a similar event September 25th and 26th. The Bisons will be playing Carleton and Brock on those weekends.

To follow up you can click the logos for the other CW hockey websites:
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Discussion Starter #8


LAKEHEAD DITCHING CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENT

It seems that Lakehead is scrapping the 4 team round-robin tournament format. They had two players injured last year. [TB NEWSWATCH STORY] The teams played a round-robin over 3 days and then 1st played 2nd in the final, for a 4th game in 4 days. I know that when the Bisons won the tournament one year they were dead the next weekend.

So this year's 2 game series between the Bisons and Thunderwolves may become a regular feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's too bad... I always enjoyed watching the Varsity Cup. I don't really care to watch any glorified exhibition games if there's nothing on the line.
I guess that at the end of the day a tournament is a non-conference game. But I see the point. I know one year the Bisons won the tournament but were wasted the following weekend when regular play resumed. I believe that due to where the holidays fell they had a very short week of rest following four games in four days.

Maybe they should have had a 2 game straight knockout tournament with 4 teams involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #12


EVIL MONKEYS ANNOUNCE RECRUITS

[Thurston adds six to the Golden Bear mix] - The story comes from the U of A site. Thurston is the head organ grinder for the Evil Monkeys. No word on how many of these 6 guys make a living stealing wallets in the off-season, or if that's a skill they will now have to learn. Anywho, the story says that Sorochan is gone from the Monkeys' net. The replacement goaltender, Travis Yonkman, is coming off a 4 year WHL stint with Swift Current. The juice of the story is this:
Faced with the loss of eight players, including two CIS All-Canadians, University of Alberta Golden Bears’ hockey coach Eric Thurston has added six players for the upcoming 2009-10 season, five hailing from the province of Alberta and five with Western Hockey League experience.

Recruited to the program are three defencemen, two forwards, and one goalie, including five players from the Edmonton area, five former WHL skaters, and one former NCAA student-athlete.

Joining the Bears’ blue-line will be Colin Joe, Ian Barteaux, and Reade Wolansky. Sean Ringrose and Michael MacAngus add to the forward core while Travis Yonkman becomes Alberta’s new netminder.
I also see that the Evil Monkeys' non-conference action starts with the usual game against the Greasers' prospects, followed by the usual two pre-season exhibition quasi-tournaments (in Edmontown and Saskatown).

The unique addition is a home Christmas series against the McGilligutties. In the 2008 nationals it was an upset by the already eliminated McGilligutties over Moncton which vaulted Saudi Alberta into the final.
 

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Discussion Starter #13


PRE-SEASON UPDATE

The various team sites are slowly confirming the pre-season schedules. Here's a synopsis:

Sept 11 Edmonton Oilers @ Alberta
Sept 11 Manitoba @ Regina (at Whitewood)

Sept 12 Regina @ Saskatchewan (at Yorkton)

Sept 15 New York Islanders @ Saskatchewan (at Prince Albert)

Sept 18 Carlton @ Manitoba
Sept 18 Regina @ Alberta
Sept 18 TBA @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)

Sept 19 Carlton @ Manitoba
Sept 19 Regina @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
Sept 19 TBA @ Alberta

Sept 25 Manitoba @ Brock
Sept 25 Lethbridge @ Regina (at Saskatown)
Sept 25 Alberta @ Saskatchewan

Sept 26 Manitoba @ Brock
Sept 26 Regina @ Saskatchewan
Sept 26 TBA @ Alberta (at Saskatown)
Sept 26 TBA @ Lethbridge (at Saskatown)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
MORE NEWS


The Evil Monkeys have added an exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks rookies on September 9th. No update on the Brick Invitational being hosted by them September 18th and 19th.


Jered Aulin is trying out for the Columbus Blue Jackets. [LINK] He had a big year for the Dinos 2 years ago. They may have won the CW had he not been injured in the playoffs.

 

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Discussion Starter #15


GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS IN BLOGGERS' RANKING OF BISONS

I came across a CIS blog from Edmontown called The Pipeline Show [LINK]. They ranked the top 5 recruiting classes in CIS hockey this season.

The good news is that an outside observer ranks the U of M Bisons 4th in all of Canada! The bad news is that the traditional top two in the CW (Sask and The Evil Monkeys) rank 2nd and 3rd. UNB (with a crop of WHLers) and St F-X rank 1st and 5th respectively.

It is hard for me to comment on the strength of recruits across the country, but where did the Ontario players go?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)


UPDATED PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

The UBC and Lethbridge sites don't yet have schedules posted. And the "Huskie Invitational" in Saskatown has not released a full schedule (they just have their own games). But here's what there is:

Sept 9 Vancouver Canucks @ Alberta

Sept 11 Edmonton Oilers @ Alberta
Sept 11 Manitoba @ Regina (at Whitewood)

Sept 12 Regina @ Saskatchewan (at Yorkton)

Sept 15 New York Islanders @ Saskatchewan (at Prince Albert)

Sept 18 Carlton @ Manitoba
Sept 18 Regina @ Alberta
Sept 18 Saskatchewan @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)

Sept 19 Carlton @ Manitoba
Sept 19 Regina @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
Sept 19 Saskatchewan @ Alberta

Sept 25 Manitoba @ Brock
Sept 25 Lethbridge @ Regina (at Saskatown)
Sept 25 Alberta @ Saskatchewan
Sept 25 SAIT @ Calgary

Sept 26 Manitoba @ Brock
Sept 26 Regina @ Saskatchewan
Sept 26 TBA @ Alberta (at Saskatown)
Sept 26 TBA @ Lethbridge (at Saskatown)
Sept 26 Mount Royal @ Calgary

Oct 3 Calgary @ Colorado College
Oct 4 Calgary @ Denver
Oct 5 Calgary @ Air Force
 

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Discussion Starter #17
September 9, 2009

THE PUCK HAS DROPPED!


VANCOUVER CANUCKS 4
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 3

|> [GAME STATS]

The Canuckleheads' rookies edged the Evil Monkeys in a game at Edmontown. The Evil Monkeys have played the Greasers' rookies for several years now and this year add the Canuckleheads. Kind of a slap in the face for UBC.

The Canuckleheads had two goals each from Kellen Tochkin and Kevin Connauton. Also dressed were P.C. Labrie and Mario Bliznak, both of whom played lots for the Manitoba Moose last year.

Next up:
Sept 11 Edmonton Oilers @ Alberta
Sept 11 Manitoba @ Regina (at Whitewood)
Sept 12 Regina @ Saskatchewan (at Yorkton)
Sept 15 New York Islanders @ Saskatchewan (at Prince Albert)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
September 11, 2009

HERD NETS VICTORY


MANITOBA BISONS 3
REGINA COUGARS 2

|> [U OF M STORY]

I can't find stats anywhere and the U of R site does not even have a score, let alone a story. So all I know is what the blurb says, which is basically that Bison goals were scored by Tyler Dittmer, Stewart Thiessen and Riley Dudar.

It's only exhibition, sure, but still counts as a measure of revenge after last season's playoff defeat.

The Bisons will have an inter-squad game on Sunday at 12:00 noon at the Max Bell Arena. They then host the Carleton Ravens of the OUA next Friday and Saturday. I won't be able to attend on Saturday but hope to be there Friday. It's high time the hockey season started!


EDMONTON OILERS 3
ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS 4

|> [GAME STATS] ~ [U OF A STORY]

The Evil Monkeys took apart the Greasers' rookies in this one. They oiutshot them 43-24, including 17-9 in the 3rd period where the Evil Monkeys scored 3 goals. The links have good in-depth coverage of the game.

NEXT UP:
  • Sept 12 Regina @ Saskatchewan (at Yorkton)
    Sept 15 New York Islanders @ Saskatchewan (at Prince Albert)
    Sept 18 Carlton @ Manitoba
    Sept 18 Regina @ Alberta
    Sept 18 Saskatchewan @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
    Sept 19 Carlton @ Manitoba
    Sept 19 Regina @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
    Sept 19 Saskatchewan @ Alberta
OTHER NEWS:
  • The UBC Thunderbirds will host the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL on September 30th. [LINK]
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
September 13, 2009

INTER-SQUAD GAME


BROWN 3
GOLD 4

|> [U OF M STORY (link not active as I post)]

What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than watching inter-squad hockey! My son and I got some chores done and decided to take this one in and got there with about 3 minutes left in the first period.

The Bisons had nice practice jerseys. The Gold were light gold (NOT yellow) and would look great as a regular jersey.

One surprise is that former captain Rob Smith (who played pro in Germany last year) is on the training camp roster. He also was at the Manitoba Moose camp in 2006.

Here's the roster (since it is not on-line :x )
  • GOLD

    Goaltenders:
    1 Jessie Deckert (PA, WHL)
    34 Steve Christie
    35 Sonny Albert (Dryden, SIHL)

    Defensemen:
    2 Chad Erb (Brandon, WHL)
    3 Travis Mealy (UPEI, CIS/AUS)
    4 Kip Workman
    5 Stewart Thiessen
    9 Patrick Flynn (Phoenix, WSHL)
    12 Stephane Lenoski

    Forwards:
    8 Terrance Delaronde
    11 Riley Dudar
    14 Joey Moggach (Bemidji, NCAA)
    15 Troy Crowley (Phoenix, WSHL)
    16 Jared Walker - did not play
    18 Travis Kornelsen
    19 Ian Duval (Kelowna, WHL) - did not play
    20 Steve Obelnicki (Twin City, SPHL)
    22 Kyle Howarth
    23 Tyler Dittmer


    BROWN

    Goaltenders:
    1 Gavin McHale
    35 Ben Lobb

    Defensemen:
    2 David Brown
    3 Brandon Lockerby (Edmonton, WHL)
    4 Rob Smith (German pro) - did not play
    6 Dane Crowley (Houston, AHL)
    8 A.J. Spiller
    9 Bryn Lindsay

    Forwards:
    11 MIke Hellyer
    14 Greg Beller
    15 Cole Hunter
    16 Nick Stelmack (Neepawa, MJHL)
    17 Chris Benias
    18 Blair Macaulay (Saints, MJHL)
    19 Nolan Waker
    21 Calin Wild
    22 Jon Cara
    23 Rick Wood - did not play
The Gold went with 5 d-men per period, loaning Mealy to the forwards in the 2nd period and Thiessen in the 3rd. They then rotated the 5 d-men. The Gold forward lines were:
Howarth - Kornelsen - Moggach
Delaronde - Crowley - Obelnicki
Dittmer - Dudar - d-man

The Brown also rotated their 5 d-men, though Crowley ahd at least one shioft at forward. Brown and Lockerby were togther a lot. The forward lines were:
Hellyer - Beller - Hunter
Macaulay - Wild - Waker
Stelmack - Benias - Cara

The first period was scoreless, and I only saw the ending. Christie was in goal for the Gold and McHale for the Brown.

The Brown scored two late 2nd period goals, by Lockerby and Lindsay. Both were shots from d-men at the point and may have been deflected. (There was no PA announcement.) Albert was in goal for the Gold and Lobb came in goal for the Brown mid-way through.

The Gold broke the game wide-open with a four goal third period outburst. They really dominated the whole period and scored 3 times to take the lead, with Delaronde, Dudar, and Moggach getting the goals. Stelmack for the Brown equalized. Deckert played goal in the 3rd period for the Gold and preserved the tie in the late-going when he made a pair of great saves off Macaulay and Waker. It looked like a draw was going to happen but Delaronde scored with about 16 seconds left for the win.

Delaronde was active, scoring twice and getting into a fight with newcomer Dane Crowley (there are 2 Crowleys on the roster). Crowley's stats are [HERE]. He seems to be a grinder and a decent enough d-man.

The players not returning this year are few and far between. They are:
Myles Rumsey
Mark Olafson
Nick Hotson
Pierre-Paul Lamoureaux
Tyler Mistelbacher

On balance, I would say that the newcomers are better than the players they are replacing. There is a load of competition for spots. Therefore, I would expect some strong effort from the on-the-bubble players next weekend against Carleton.


SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES 2
REGINA COUGARS 3

(in overtime)

All I have on this one is the score from the U of R site. [LINK]

NEXT UP:
  • Sept 15 New York Islanders @ Saskatchewan (at Prince Albert)
    Sept 18 Carleton @ Manitoba
    Sept 18 Regina @ Alberta
    Sept 18 Saskatchewan @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
    Sept 19 Carleton @ Manitoba
    Sept 19 Regina @ Lethbridge (at Edmontown)
    Sept 19 Saskatchewan @ Alberta
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Discussion Starter #20
COACHES ANNOUNCED

Links: [CJOB LINK] ~ [U OF M LINK]

- They are Larry Bumstead and Brent Zelenewich. Both have local roots and are teaching-oriented. In contrast, Calgary has two new coaches with NHL playing experience and not much in the line of coaching, namely Cory Cross and Brad Isbister. [LINK]
 
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