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2018-19 Manitoba Bisons/USports Thread

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This season's new thread is starting a lot later than usual. Not only the Bisons, but the whole CW, are off to a slow start on new announcements. Well, that changes a bit because the schedule came out today. So I open with a 2-parter. This post has the links, which will be updated as the season draws closer, and the next one brings us up-to-date with announcements.

League Sites:
U Sports Men's Hockey Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Standings : Schedule/Results : Playoffs : U-Cup
Canada West Men's Hockey Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Schedule/Results/Links : History and Records : Media Stats
OUA Men's Hockey Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Schedule/Results
AUS Men's Hockey Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Schedule/Results
ACAC Men's Hockey Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Schedule/Results : CCAA History : ACAC Hockey
BCIHL Site - Tw - FB
... sub-links : Schedule

Canada West Team Sites:
Alberta Golden Bears - Tw - FB
Calgary Dinos - Tw - FB
Lethbridge Pronghorns - Tw - FB
Manitoba Bisons - Tw - FB
Mount Royal Cougars - Tw - FB
Regina Cougars - Tw - FB
Saskatchewan Huskies - main - Tw - FB
UBC Thunderbirds - Tw - FB

AUS Team Sites:
Acadia Axemen
Dalhousie Tigers
Moncton Aigles Bleus- Google Translate
New Brunswick Varsity Reds
UPEI Panthers
St. Francis-Xavier X-men
Saint Mary's Huskies

OUA-West Team Sites:
Brock Badgers
Guelph Gryphons
Lakehead Thunderwolves
Laurier Golden Hawks
Ryerson Rams
Toronto Varsity Blues
Waterloo Warriors - Tw - FB
Western Ontario Mustangs
Windsor Lancers
York Lions

OUA-East Team Sites:
Carleton Ravens
Laurentian Voyageurs
Nipissing Lakers
Ottawa Geegees
Queen's Golden Gaels
RMC Palladins
UOIT Ridgebacks

RSEQ (OUA-East) Team Sites:
Concordia Stingers
McGill Redmen
UQTR Patriotes - Google Translate - Tw - FB

ACAC Team Sites:
Augustana Vikings
Briercrest Clippers
Concordia Thunder
MacEwan Griffins
Portage Voyageurs
Red Deer Kings
SAIT Trojans

BCIHL Team Sites:
Eastern Washington Eagles - withdrew
Selkirk Saints
Simon Fraser Clan - Tw
Trinity Western Spartans
Vancouver Island Mariners
Victoria Vikings

Media Sites/Blogs:
Canadian University Sports Network
Breakin News 'N Crackin Brews (online radio)
SportsNet CIS Page - SNU
The Attacking Zone
Winnipeg Hockey Talk
Boxscore News - CIS Hockey Page
Independent Sports News
Hockey Scene - AUS
Ryerson Rams Hockey Alumni
Horns Hockey Alumni (Lethbridge)
RedmenHockey.com (McGill)
Bison Men's Hockey (Manitoba unofficial)
Golden Bears Hockey Alumni (Alberta)
Hockey Blog in Canada (includes Manitoba)
The Manitoban (student paper)
The Varsity (Toronto student paper)
Regina Cougar Hockey Alumni
Bison Men's Hockey Twitter (Manitoba unofficial)

Online video/audio:
CanadaWest.tv - YareTV link
CITR.ca - UBC radio
Rock 94 FM - Lakehead away games
UMFM.com - all Bison home games
SSN Canada

Canada West stats and data:
CW LeagueStats - Media Stats
CW LeagueStats - Standings
CW LeagueStats - Daily Schedule
CW LeagueStats - Rosters
CW LeagueStats - Skaters' Stats
CW LeagueStats - Goalies' Stats
CW LeagueStats - Team Schedules
CW Website Season Schedule - links to summaries
CW Website Stats
CW Hockey Tech Daily Schedule
CW Hockey Tech Stats

Elite Prospects - USports Page - individual player stats on everybody
Internet Hockey Data Base (IHDB) : CWUAA Page - like Elite Prospects
USports/CIS Stats - 2009-10 to 2018-19
USports/CIS Schedule/Results - 2009-10 to 2018-19
USports/CIS Standings - 2010 to 2018
USports/CIS Playoff Schedule/Results - 2010 to 2018
AUS Archive
OUA LeagueStat
ACAC LeagueStat (inactive link)
Bob Adams' Archives - CIS hockey from 1995-96 to 2008-09
Wikia - U Sports
... sub-links : University Cup
Wikia - CWUAA
... sub-links : GPAC : WIAA : WCIAU
Wikia - OUA/OUAA
... sub-links : QUAA : OSLC : OIAA : QOAA : CIAU Central
Wikia - North American Championship
Wikia - Universiade
Atlantic Canadian Hockey History

Old threads:
OHT34 2009-10
OHT34 2010-11
OHT34 2011-12
OHT35 2012-13
OHT36 2013-14
OHT36 2014-15
OHT36 2015-16
OHT36 2016-17
OHT36 2018-19
Manitoba Bisons 2007-08
Manitoba Bisons 2008-09
Manitoba Bisons 2009-10
Manitoba Bisons 2010-11
Manitoba Bisons 2011-12
Manitoba Bisons 2012-13
Manitoba Bisons 2013-14
Manitoba Bisons 2014-15
Manitoba Bisons 2015-16
Manitoba Bisons 2016-17
Manitoba Bisons 2018-19
2018-19 Exhibition Schedule

Edited by Hollywood
updated for 2018-19

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There has not been as much off-season news released thus far in 2018-19 as is normal. But today we got the new schedule, and the Bisons also have their exhibition games on their page.



First, here are the off-season links from the CW:

● [Puck drops on 2018-19 men’s season Sept. 28, women’s opens Oct. 5]

[2018-19 Conference Schedule]


The men's season starts a week earlier than the women's because on the weekend of October 5-6 the annual deluge of games against NCAA teams will take place. The passes for CanadaWest.tv will go on sale June 21st.



And here are the Bison links:

● [Bisons reveal 2018-19 schedule, will start season on the road vs. Calgary]

[2018-19 Team Schedule]

[Former head coach Barry Trotz wins first Stanley Cup]

[Golf fundraiser invites golfers, sponsors to June 15 tournament]

[UND 2018-19 Schedule]

The Bisons open on the road in the Town of Bedrock against the Dinosaurs on September 28-29. The home opener follows October 12-13 against the Evil Monkeys, dubbed "Pandas" by the folks running the website.

There are two "conference byes" early on. The October 5-6 weekend is to accommodate NCAA exhibition games. The Herd will be off to the Ralph to face the UND No-Longer-Fighting Sioux on Saturday, October 6th. That game is not on the Bison schedule, but is on the UND schedule. The second conference bye is November 2-3.

One thing I don't like is that the Bisons have road series on either side of the second bye week, meaning 4 weeks between home games.

The season starts with a trip to the UK, as it did last year. The golf tournament in the above link is a fundraiser for the trip. Three games are announced, but the golf tournament announcement indicated that there would once again be four games against the same three opponents. Here's the tour schedule thus far:

Aug 22 Manitoba Bisons at Braehead Clan

Aug 25 Manitoba Bisons at Belfast Giants

Aug 26 Manitoba Bisons at Belfast Giants


I expect an announcement of a game against the Edinburgh Capitals to be played August 23rd.

Upon returning to North America, the Bisons will play in Regina on September 14-15 and then Regina will visit here on September 21-22. The Regina trip is presently listed as games against Regina, however they usually face two different teams in a tournament format.

The story on former Bison coach Barry Trotz winning the Stanley Cup adds a level of conjecture. Maybe for old times sake he'll do some work with the Bisons until the NHL firing season begins. Wouldn't that be something?




Sept 21-22 v Regina Cougars (exhibition)

Oct 12-13 v Alberta Golden Bears

Oct 19-20 v Regina Cougars

Nov 16-17 v UBC Thunderbirds

Nov 30-Dec 1 v Calgary Dinosaurs

Jan 11-12 v Mount Royal Cougars

Jan 25-26 v Lethbridge Pronghorns

Feb 8-9 v Saskatchewan Huskies



As we enter the last half of June, there are no official recruiting announcements anywhere in the CW. Here are the various links on other topics:

[Alberta Schedule] (not updated)

[Calgary Schedule] (regular season only)

[Lethbridge Schedule] (2017-18)

[MRU Schedule] (2017-18)

[Regina Schedule] (regular season only)

[Saskatchewan Schedule] (2017-18)

[UBC Schedule] (2017-18)

Alta: [Ian Herbers returning to coach Golden Bears Hockey]

Alta: [Bears join Thunderbirds, Canucks and Jets for Young Stars Classic]

Alta: [Bears hockey alumnus Derek Ryan captures IIHF bronze]

Alta: [Clare Drake celebration of life to be webcast on Canada West TV]

Alta: [Canada West final rematch kicks off 2018-19 men's hockey season]

Cal: [Puck drops on CW season on Sept. 28]

Leth: [Pronghorn Family mourns the passing of former captain Hirsche]

Leth: [Laplante’s gift to propel Pronghorn men’s hockey program]

MRU: [Lanigan signs ATO with Komets]

MRU: [Hockey seasons open with Battle of the Cougars]

Reg: [Cougars’ 2018-19 Canada West schedule unveiled]

Sask: [Huskie hockey season tickets launched]

Sask: [Schedules released for first season in Merlis Belsher Place]

UBC: [Former T-Bird Anthony Bardaro named Alps Hockey League MVP]

UBC: [‘Birds join Canucks, Jets and Golden Bears for 2018 Young Stars Classic]

UBC: [Canada West unveils 2018-19 men’s and women’s hockey schedules]

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UMFM will have all Bison hockey men's and women's home games on their 2nd stream, if not on the 1st stream and 101.5 itself. And they will also be the audio for CanadaWest.TV broadcasts. We can now renew subscriptions, by the way.

I quote:


Starting this season, the UMFM broadcasts will be simulcast over the Canada West TV broadcasts! There will be some modifications, but all the graphic overlays and information present on Canada West TV will also be discussed on the radio broadcast. In its most basic of explanations, Canada West TV and UMFM will have the exact same broadcast going out over the respective mediums. This way, listeners on both mediums will get the knowledgeable information and reporting that UMFM provides on the radio broadcasts that was previously unavailable on the Canada West TV broadcasts. As you probably know, UMFM does a lot of work in getting stories about the players last season to ensure high-quality broadcasts, and the feedback received by Bisons Sports suggested that this was missing on the Canada West TV broadcasts.

Hockey Blog In Canada: It's Banner Time

Edited by Hollywood

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Default June 24: BISON ROSTER NEWS

Although not confirmed on the team webpage, Elite Prospects has sourced out confirmation of  three Junior A acquisitions.

Jeremey Leipsic - Portage Terriers (MJHL) - LW

At 5'8", Leipsic may not be a prototypical Bison. However, a player capable of winning a scoring title is an eye-opener. In 2017 he led the MJHL (33-67-100) and in 2018 as assistant captain he was 28-53-81. In 2017 he was runner-up in the selection for top forward in all Canadian Junior A hockey. Generally there is a season of adjustment from Junior A, especially for goalscorers. He will also be the 3rd Bison with a brother in the NHL. (Brendan Leipsic of the Vancouver Canucks is his sibling.)

Jeremey Leipsic at eliteprospects.com
20 Questions with Jeremey Leipsic
Terriers’ Leipsic runner-up for CJHL Top Forward

Mitch Dyck - Winkler Flyers (MJHL) - D

The Bisons were short-staffed on the blue line last year so any announcement of a new defenceman makes me happy. Here we have 6'4", 220 lbs of solid southern Manitoba country boy. He was a 2nd team MJHL all-star. I'll take it. His dad played for the Bisons under coach Barry Trotz.

Mitch Dyck at eliteprospects.com
Flyer’s Mitch Dyck Commits to University of Manitoba
Dyck Joins U of M Bisons

Thomas Lenchyshyn - Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) - LW/D

Now here's a player who has been around. When he came out of midget he had one game in the Dub with Lethbridge and then played for 5 different teams in the MJHL. Midway through the 2017 season he landed in Nipawin, where he finished his junior career as assistant captain and with a provincial title. He is much better known for toughness than finesse. His best offensive season in juniors was 5 goals, and he had 215 pims last year. The links have two unique stories. First, the Hawks were scheduled to play the Humboldt Broncos the night of the fateful crash. Also, his brother Jack played for Steinbach (MJHL champs) and they faced each other in the Anavet Cup.

Thomas Lenchyshyn at eliteprospects.com
∆ "A Nightmare You Couldn't Wake Up From"
"You Guys Got To Go Win It For Us Now" - Steinbachonline.com
Δ Sibling rivalry: Steinbach brothers face off on opposing teams in battle for ANAVET Cup | CBC News

Meanwhile, Channing Bresciani, a graduated defenceman from last year's squad, has been signed by CBR Brave of the Australian Ice Hockey League. Goaltender Matt Hewitt from UBC is also on the squad. The seasons are opposite down under so they are well underway in a new season. In 10 games Bresciani has 2 goals and 16 assists.

Channing Bresciani at eliteprospects.com
CBR Brave - Powered By esportsdesk.com

Done by Android.

Edited by Hollywood

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It's usually the recruits from the WHL who create off-season interest. Thus far, nothing much in that regard around the CW, and just one rumour around Manitoba.

Tyler Brown - Saskatoon Blades (WHL) - G

The rumours of a new blue-chip goaltender prospect have been around since reported at  CUSN at the end of March. The Bisons have had the same set of 3 goaltenders for 3 years now. I'm not sure if Byron Spriggs is returning. If so, great. If not, a new recruit is a must. Brown is a Winnipeg boy who pursued a major junior career in Regina before a mid-season deal sent him to Saskatown. So I have a photo in each jersey.

Last year, Brown was 19-17, .889 S%, 3.44 GAA, and the Blades missed the playoffs. In past seasons his playoff numbers were better, i.e. .915 save percentage.

The other potential goaltenders are Justin Paulic and Dasan Sydora. At one time Paulic and Spriggs both spent stretches as starter. However, last year Paulic seldom dressed. Sydora is a reasonable #3. I look forward to seeing the roster page in August.

Tuesday Morning Skate Offseason Week 1: March, 29th 2018 | Canadian University Sports Network
Tyler Brown at eliteprospects.com
WHL Network



Done by Android.

Edited by Hollywood

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 June 26: FROM THE U.K.

The Belfast Giants have a press release for their series against the Bisons. The online release also has video highlights of the 2nd game from a year ago.

The Giants once had the Boston Bruins over for an exhibition game, and here are those videos:




One team the Bisons will not be facing is the Edinburgh Capitals. Their EIHL team folded, although they will continue to operate a team in the SNL, a lower league. Their site has a linked story from the EIHL press release.

The Capitals were in last place a year ago and were last in 4 of the last 5 years, and 2nd from last the other. Another local team (Murrayfield Racers) also acquired the lease on their arena. The Racers applied for but were denied membership in the EIHL. Must be a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on there.

As a result, there exists room for another game for the Bisons. There are two other Scottish teams in the EIHL, the Dundee Stars and the Fife Flyers. The Flyers have been around a long time and returned to the UK big leagues the same year the Jets returned to the NHL.

Giants Take On Manitoba Bisons In August Double Header — BelfastGiants.com
Edinburgh Capitals
Edinburgh Capitals - Wikipedia
THE EIHL | Elite Ice Hockey League - Pointstreak Sites

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Mackenzie Dwyer - Portage Terriers (MJHL) - Everett Silvertips (WHL) - D

Another defenceman! Good. One year the Bisons finished first when forced to dress 7 to 9 d-men almost every game due to injuries. The reverse would have been impossible.

And Dwyer has some credentials. He bounced between the MJHL and WHL, so he'll have some scholarship money to cash in. He's a Winnipeg boy returning home, as is fairly common. At 6'3' and 194 lbs he will have the size the Bisons need. He also wore an "A" for Portage. In his last two seasons in Portage he was getting close to point-per-game as well.

► [Mackenzie Dwyer at eliteprospects.com]
► [20 Questions with Mackenzie Dwyer]
► [Dwyer to Join Leipsic at U of M] & [rp @ MJHL]



Done by Android.

Edited by Hollywood

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icon1.png June 27: Miscellaneous Tidbits


In the off-season, teams update their schedule page at different times and in different measures. Some teams are in 2017-18, some have 2018-19 with regular season only, and only Manitoba has added the pre-season. Here's the summary of where we stand:

Alberta (no update)
Calgary (regular season only)
Lethbridge (regular season only)
Manitoba (updated)
MRU (2017-18)
Regina (regular season only)
Saskatchewan (2017-18)
UBC (regular season only)


► [Canada West TV launches 2018-19 season passes]

I know that the argument for payments will rage on, but IMO the conference has tried making TV coverage better and steps are being made. Hopefully, there will be more free on-line radio coverage available. Sometimes that's all I want when watching HNIC, or another game on CWTV.

Last year I bought the hockey package, but this year I'm thinking of getting the all-inclusive at early bird prices. There isn't football on Shaw any more, so I might get some value from that aspect of things. Here's the prices:

All-Access pass - includes playoffs and non-conference
Early bird price: $67.99
Full price beginning Aug. 25: $89.99

Regular season SCHOOL pass
Early bird price: $36.99
Full price beginning Aug. 25: $44.99

Regular season SPORT pass
Early bird price: $29.99
Full price beginning Aug. 25: $35.99

Single event pass
Regular price: $6.99

2018-19 post-season packaging and pricing


► [Mike Babcock: The art of being all in]

The USports site has a rarity - an actual story is posted! A pretty good one on Mike Babcock, former defenceman for McGill.



► [McDonald retires; Wilkins named Thunderwolves' head coach]
► [rp @ OUA.ca]
► [Team Schedule]

Head coach Bill McDonald has retired. He has coached several Thunder Bay teams, including the Thunder Bay Twins (in 1986) and the Thunder Bay Thunder Hawks and Senators of the Colonial and United Leagues. He has been with Lakehead since 2013. His replacement is assistant coach Andrew Wilkins. Lots of his coaching past was in Manitoba-based competitions back in the day.

Their schedule includes non-conference games, all at home but one:
Fri Sep 21    vs Lethbridge Pronghorns   
Sat Sep 22 vs Lethbridge Pronghorns   
Fri Sep 28    vs Nipissing Lakers   
Sat Sep 29 vs Nipissing Lakers   
Sat Oct 06 at Bemidji State Beavers   
Fri Dec 28 vs Laurentian Voyageurs   
Sat Dec 29 vs Laurentian Voyageurs

They seem dedicated to ensuring annual games against their northern Ontario brethren from Nipissing and Laurentian.


► [Pronghorn Athletics releases full conference schedule for 2018-19 season]
► [U of M Ticket Prices]

Everybody else had their schedule announcements when the hockey schedule came out. Lethbridge did an all-sport announcement. I see that an all-sport pass is $100. By comparison, Manitoba's is just $60, or $90 to include football. I better get the all-access CWTV pass, just to avoid accusations of being a tight-wad.

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icon1.gif June 28: Scheduling Question Mark


There is a discrepancy about the scheduling of the season-opening series between UBC and Lethbridge. The CW and Lethbridge schedules both say the games are Sept 28-29. However the UBC schedule says the games will be Oct 5-6.

Since Oct 5-6 is a "conference bye" to accommodate NCAA play, it would make sense for the teams to push back their opening if they are not participating in such games. So this is something to look for in future updates.

Canada West Schedule

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icon1.png June 29: Bisons Sign Another Blue

Devon Skoleski - Winnipeg Blues(MJHL) - Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) - RW

The Bisons have another decent forward on the way. Devon Skoleski split last season (his overage season) between P.A. and the Blues, after having spent two seasons with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. He is a smaller (5'11" 161 lbs) winger from St. Adolphe, Manitoba. In the WHL he had 70 points in 169 games, but in 17 MJHL games he was 12-13-25.

► [Devon Skoleski at eliteprospects.com]
► [MJHL Player Page]
► [Skoleski commits to Bisons]



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icon1.gif June 30: BISONS SIGN A STAMPEDER

Keaton Jameson - Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) - F

I stumbled upon notice of this signing via Twitter. Jameson was the Swan Valley captain last year. He is 6', 190 lbs. and is a Brandon native.

Along with fellow Bison recruit Jeremey Leipsic, Jameson was one of three nominees for the MJHL's Frank McKinnon Memorial Trophy, awarded for hockey ability and sportsmanship. He was apparently a popular player. In the linked story from the Star & Times, coach/GM Taurean White said this:

I can’t say enough good things about him – he’s a special young man. He’s very driven and was committed to this program.

On the numbers front, Jameson's numbers through three MJHL seasons have been trending upwards. He's gone from 7 points in 2016, to 44 points in 2017, and then 70 points (22 G 48 A) in 59 games in 2018.

► [UofM Tweet] : [Player's Tweet]
► [Keaton Jameson at eliteprospects.com]
► [MJHL Player Page] : [Swan Valley Player Page]
► [YouTube Highlight Video]
► [GX104: Stampeders’ Jameson and Osadick among 2018 MJHL League Awards Nominees]
► [Star & Times: White Busy Despite Hockey Season’s End]



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In their upcoming tour of the U.K., the Bisons will play twice against the Belfast Giants. Ironically, two new recruits for the Giants this season are graduated Banjo Mutts: Kendall McFaull and Josh Roach. Both played their full five seasons for the Mangy Ones.

McFaull (defenceman) is 26 years old and in 2010 was drafted in the sixth round by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Roach (forward) is 25 years old and last year was a CW all-star. In 27 games he had 13 goals and 24 assists. He previously played three seasons for the Humboldt Broncos (from 2009-10 through 2011-12).

Returning to coach the Giants is former Manitoba Moose Adam Keefe. He was kind of a useless player but found his niche in Belfast. He was a popular player over there and so they kept him on as a coach.

The links include a couple of news stories, plus Giants' pages at various web sites. So those can be checked periodically for updates as the series draws closer.

► [Belfast Giants] : [Kendall McFaull] : [Josh Roach] : [Adam Keefe]
► [Belfast Live] : [Belfast Giants announce signings of Josh Roach and Kendall McFaull]
► [Wikipedia] : [Twitter] : [Facebook]
► [YouTube]
► [Elite Prospects] : [PointStreak]
► [SSE Arena] : [Eurohockey.com]
► [Rosetown's Kendall McFaull Signed with Belfast Giants on One Year Contract]
► [Dog Watch: Josh Roach]

Kendall McFaull - Putting away his banjo in order to move to Belfast.

Josh Roach - Also giving up the moonshine of Saskatown.

The fancy digs in Belfast sure are a step up from The Rutherdump!

Edited by Hollywood

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As we have now celebrated our country's birthday, summer feels like it is in full swing. And with a large batch of recruiting announcements (albeit from unofficial sources) coming last week, it is worthwhile to look at how the roster is shaping up for 2018-19. As I always say, you never know how good of a recruiting class you have until you know who is returning.

Here's the summary:

Goal (4)

Eligible to return:
1 Justin Paulic
34 Dasan Sydora
35 Byron Spriggs

- Tyler Brown


It is unusual for a team to have the same three goaltenders for three seasons in a row. But that's what happened to the Bisons last year. The news of Brown being recruited was good news, just to ensure that new blood was coming if nothing else. So who's leaving? Spriggs finished his 4th year and was the starter. However, he was not listed as a graduate at the senior game (see link and photo). Paulic and Sydora are coming off their 3rd seasons. At one time, Paulic was challenging Spriggs for #1 but seldom dressed last year. Sydora is well acquainted with the role of a #3 goaltender. So this is a wait-and-see scenario.

Defence (9)

Eligible to return:
2 Adam Henry
3 Sean Christensen
9 Austin Douglas
11 Victor Sharonov
16 Blake Heinrich
25 Lukas Skrumeda

- Mitch Dyck
- Mackenzie Dwyer
- Thomas Lenchyshyn (D/F)

4 Channing Bresciani

The team had some good performances on the blueline, but the shortage of numbers was a problem. Rene Hunter vanished after the pre-season, Sharonov never dressed for a regular season game, and Douglas was a mid-season recruit. As a result, captain Stovin had to shift from the forwards to the defence for several games. If even one of the three newcomers pans out, they should be improved this year.

Forwards (17)

Eligible to return:
8 Liam Bilton
12 Nick Zajac
13 Remi Laurencelle
14 Kamerin Nault
15 Shawn Bowles
18 Michael St. Croix
19 Calvin Spencer
20 Geordie Keane
21 Brett Brooks
22 Brad Bowles
26 Quintin Lisoway
27 Zach Franko
28 Brett Stovin
29 Jonah Wasylak

- Jeremey Leipsic
- Devon Skoleski
- Keaton Jameson

17 Warren Callis
23 Joel Schreyer
24 Justin Augert

The Bisons had lots of forwards last year. The players they are losing were 8th, 16th, and 17th in team scoring. The new recruits look to be at least on-par with the graduates. Also, last year Wasylak was injured in the pre-season and never dressed for a regular season game. His return would therefore be like getting a new recruit.

The wild-card is always the extent of improvement of Junior A graduates. They face a steeper learning curve than Major Junior grads. Last year Nault wound up as a key player on a great first line (with St. Croix and Franko), yet two years ago he was a frequent healthy scratch. Maybe the Bowles brothers are candidates to play that role this year.

The key could be the second line. Last year Stovin kept switching from defence to forward, Laurencelle missed half the games, and Zajac never settled in with stable line-mates. Those three could be the best second line in the CW. All three have been at or close to a point-per-game in past seasons.

2017-18 Graduates: Bresciani - Schreyer - Augert - Callis

►[No. 10 Bisons sweep Lethbridge in weekend series in men's hockey]
►[2017-18 Men's Ice Hockey Roster]
►[Team Stats @LeagueStat]

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After a glimpse of the Belfast Giants, I should also take a look at the Braehead Clan. The Bisons will start their tour against the Scots, based in Glasgow, on August 22nd.

Two years ago the owner of the franchise was rumoured to be seeking a KHL franchise. Those rumours have cooled, and the club is trying to develop into at least a UK-level contender. Last season they just missed the playoffs, finishing 9th in what was a 12-team league. (The Edinburgh Capitals folded, leaving 11 teams this year.)

They play at the Braehead Arena, which holds 4,000 for hockey and is reminiscent of a WHL arena. It seems to be part of a nicely designed entertainment zone, as illustrated in the photos. The building also hosts Disney on Ice, concerts, and the like.

EIHL teams have a fair amount of turnover, and import lots of players. Right now, the team has 15 players signed, and announcements of new signings should keep apace until the game is held. Unlike Belfast, I don't yet see anybody with a CIS/USports connection.

In April the team announced a four-game pre-season schedule against a selection of international opponents. This Bison game adds to that international flavour. Here's the other teams they will play:
Aug 18 Fischtown Pinguins (Germany)
Aug 19 Dresden Eislowen (Germany)
AUg 25 Lyon Lions (France)
Aug 26 Stavanger Oilers (Norway)

The various links will have new stories as the season approaches, and the team seems to have pretty good local coverage.

► [Braehead Clan] : [Roster]
► [EIHL] :[EIHL: Braehead Clan]
► [Braehead Clan Official Supporters Club]
► [Evening Times] : [Braehead Clan announce four-game summer series in Glasgow this August]
► [Wikipedia] : [Twitter] : 0[Facebook]
► [YouTube]
► [Elite Prospects] : [PointStreak]
► [Eurohockey.com]

The Braehead Arena and vicinity at night.

An interior view of the Braehead Arena.

The purple uniforms are clearly a very colourful look.


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icon1.gif July 10: U.B.C. RECRUITS ANOTHER FROM THE W.H.L.


The T-irds announced a commitment from Maxwell James, from the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. He's a big winger with low scoring numbers. However, this is a team perennially short of size and toughness. If he shores up those problems, he'll be a welcome addition.

Also, the UBC schedule is now consistent with Lethbridge's and the league's, in that their opening series is shown as Sept 28-29 instead of Oct 5-6.

► [Maxwell James joins the Blue & Gold]
► [Maxwell James - Elite Prospects]
► [UBC Schedule]

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The MJHL website has a linked story on their connections to the Bison recruiting class. No new names were disclosed. Coach Mike Sirant is quoted as claiming that 60% of the roster once played in the MJHL. Seems correct, albeit many of those also played WHL. The story goes over past Bisons as well, and points out that Kevin Saurette, a one time CW all-star, is now the MJHL's Director of Operations.

This quote has some new information of interest:

[Keaton] Jameson joined several Bisons for weekly on-ice sessions last week and is excited for the upcoming season.

“I think it’s going to be a good change of pace for me. I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

Bisons training camp will take place early this year (begins Aug. 13) because the team will be heading to Europe Aug. 19 to play exhibition games against professional teams in the British Elite League. The Bisons will return on Aug. 29 and will play in exhibition games mid-September before getting their regular season underway late September.

► [Strong Bond Continues with the University of Manitoba Bisons and the MJHL]

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Bison Zach Franko was on the CUSN's radio show "Breakin News 'n Crackin Brews". Amongst the topics was an update to the UK tour. Instead of facing the Glasgow Clan, they will instead face the Manchester Storm and Fife Flyers. And Franko will not be making the trip because he is taking summer courses.

I dug up some links (see below). The game in Manchester will be on August 21st. Manchester had a team called the "Storm" from 1995 to 2003, and then a team called the "Phoenix" from 2003 to 2017. Their teams were back and forth between Britain's top and 2nd tier leagues as those changed over time. The Storm were back in the EIHL in 2015-16 and improved each year so that they were 35-16-5 last year.

The Fife Flyers will host the Bisons on August 23rd as part of their 80th anniversary festivities. They have operated since 1938 and are Britain's oldest hockey team. The returned to the top tier EIHL the same year as the Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL, 2011. The team has steadily been on the rise, going from last in 2011 to mid-table in 2017-18.


The T-irds landed two big names, both forwards.

Steven Hodges last played for San Antonio and Portland in th AHL and Cincinatti and Manchester in the ECHL. He was a 3rd round draft pick for the Florida Panthers. He has not played since 2015-16, and had three 20+ goal seasons in the WHL with the Victoria Royals.

Colton Kehler comes from the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. He's coming off a 30+ goal season in the WHL, after two seasons of 17 and 18.


The UPEI Panthers and McGill Redmen have both added their exhibition games to their posted schedules:

Sep 14 Moncton at U.P.E.I.
Sep 22 Dalhousie at U.P.E.I.

Sep 14 New Brunswick at McGill
Sep 15 New Brunswick at McGill
Sep 26 McGill at U.Q.T.R.
Sep 28 R.M.C. at McGill

► [Breakin News 'N Crackin Brews: Ep. 8]
► ManchesterStorm.com: [#4Nations – Welcome to University of Manitoba Bisons!]
► [Manchester Storm EIHL Stats Page]
► FifeFlyers.co.uk: [Fife Flyers Add Manitoba to Preseason Schedule]
► [Fife Flyers EIHL Stats Page]
► [Steven Hodges, Colton Kehler join the T-Birds]
► [UPEI Schedule]
► [McGill Schedule]

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With the schedule changes on the Bison UK Tour, I posted a few links last week. Now it's time to give some more background on the newly announced Bison opponents, starting with the Fife Flyers.

As mentioned, they are celebrating 80 years of operation this year and are the UK's oldest franchise. They also returned to the upper echelons of UK hockey in 2011, the same season as the Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL.

Also, two former Jets, Doug Smail and Laurie Boschman, also played for the Flyers. In almost 2 seasons (1993-94 and 1994-95) Smail had 82 goals and 89 assists in 56 games before being dealt to Cardiff. Meanwhile, Boschman played just 7 games in 1994-95 and scored 9 goals and 9 assists. In those seasons, the Flyers were in the BHL, a forerunner league to the new and improved EIHL.

You might think Smail dominated the league. But he was second on his team in scoring, and 8th in the league. British legend Tony Hand won the scoring title with 72 goals and 150 assists in 44 games. On the Flyers, Mark Morrison had 78 goals and 77 assists. (He played 10 games over two seasons with the Rangers.) Current EIHL stats numbers are no longer so gawdy. The scoring leader last year had 83 points in 56 games.

This is also their arena's 80th season. It is used for all hockey, curling, and ice skating in the area. I saw pictures of the ice and it has curling houses painted onto it. There are some interesting vintage photos out there. One I liked is the one of their old clock (below). Anybody remember the old Chicago Stadium?

British hockey is a hodge-podge of different competitions. Although the Flyers were mid-pack a year ago (7th of 12 teams, 33-21-2 record), they did win the "Gardiner Conference", in which the Scottish teams played. They also consider the "champion" to be the best team over the regular season. The Flyers came on in the less-prestigious playoffs and finished 4th in the final tournament where they end with something like the Frozen Four or Memorial Cup.

I also found some video highlights of past games between the Manchester Storm and Fife Flyers.



► [Fife Flyers Team Site]
► [Wikipedia]
► [Facebook]
► [Twitter]
► [Elite Prospects]
► [Fife Flyers EIHL Stats Page]
► [YouTube Channel]
► [Highlights; Manchester v Fife (2018)]
► [Highlights; Manchester v Fife (2016)]
► [Doug Smail - Elite Prospects]
► [Laurie Boschman - Elite Prospects]

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The Bisons will start their exhibition schedule in the home of more top-notch bands than any city in the world. When you think of Manchester you think of the Buzzcocks, Joy Division/New Order, The Smiths, Oasis, and The Stone Roses. And if that isn't enough there's always James, Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, and The Charlatans. I could post a video link for a classic Manchester tune every day until the game!

There are/were a lot of USports/CIS grads on the Storm roster. Shane Bakker (C) and Matt Stanisz (D) were with Carleton (Bakker from 2008-09 to 2012-13 and Stanisz from 2011-12 to 2014-15). Felix-Antoine Poulin (D) was with St. Thomas from 2011-12 through 2014-15. Linden Springer (D) was with Lakehead in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Former Bison Taylor Dickin also played for the Storm in 2016-17, but split last year between the Dundee Stars (EIHL) and Birmingham Bulls (SPHL).

Hockey in Manchester has been up and down, going back and forth between Britain's first and second tier leagues, and rotating between the Storm and Phoenix franchises. At one time, they drew a crowd of over 17,000 to a game, then had to fold a couple years later. Seems expense management is the problem. They now play in a small rink of 2,400 capacity, called the Altrincham Ice Dome.

Altrincham Ice Dome - current home holds 2,400.

Manchester Arena - over 17,000 fans at this game.

► [Manchester Storm Team Site]
► [Wikipedia]
► [Facebook] : [Event]
► [Twitter]
► [Elite Prospects]
► [Manchester Storm EIHL Stats Page]
► [YouTube Channel]
► [Highlights; Manchester v Fife (2018)]
► [Highlights; Manchester v Fife (2016)]
► [Manchester Hockey History]


CUSN had another Tuesday Morning Skate this week. It goes over the recruiting announcements previously reported.

In other news, Ian McNulty has finally escaped Regina and is off to the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL.

► [Tuesday Morning Skate: July 17th, 2018]
► [Ian McNulty - Elite Prospects]
► [Elite Prospects - USports Transactions]

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icon1.gifJuly 23: BISONS ADD A GAME

Manitoba-50px.gif   Nebraska_Omaha-2011-50x50.jpgNorth_Dakota-2016-green.jpg

The Bison schedule has been updated with an additional exhibition game on Sunday, October 7th in Omaha against the UNO Mavericks. That makes for a double-header that weekend, following a Saturday night game in Grand Forks against the UND Fighting Hawks. I do not see any space for more games for the Bisons this season, unless they add something in the Christmas/New Year's season.

The updated Bison schedule is now like this:

Aug 21 Manitoba at Manchester Storm (EIHL)
Aug 23 Manitoba at Fife Flyers (EIHL)
Aug 25 Manitoba at Belfast Giants (EIHL)
Aug 26 Manitoba at Belfast Giants (EIHL)
Sep 14 Manitoba v TBD (in Regina)
Sep 15 Manitoba v TBD (in Regina)
Sep 21 Regina at Manitoba (MTS Iceplex)
Sep 22 Regina at Manitoba
Oct 06 Manitoba at North Dakota (NCAA)
Oct 07 Manitoba at Nebraska-Omaha (NCAA)

Note that regular season games will be played September 28-29 in the Town of Bedrock against the Dinos.

► [Manitoba Bisons - Schedule]
► [UNO Team Site]
► [UND Schedule]


MRU now has the 2018-19 team schedule posted, but without exhibition games. From what other teams have posted, we have these three exhibition games:

Sep 15 Mount Royal at Alberta
Oct 06 Mount Royal at Minnesota State (NCAA)
Oct 07 Mount Royal at St. Cloud State (NCAA)

The team also had the only recruiting announcement of the week, coming from the Okotoks Oilers' Twitter. Goaltender Riley Morris has been added to the lineup.

Also, from the MRU site we have this announcement:

Mount Royal's men's hockey Director of Hockey Operations, Nathan Higgins, was named as the Equipment Manager for the U SPORTS Women's Hockey All-Star team. The team is set to attend Hockey Canada's Summer Showcase in Calgary, Aug. 2-11.

► [MRU Cougars - Schedule] (regular season only)
► [Okotoks Oilers Tweet]
► [Higgins joins staff for U SPORTS Women's Hockey All-Star team]

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icon1.png July 27: A FEW LINKS TO END THE WEEK


The Bison website posted a story which contained nothing new and had errors.

The story points out the Bison trip to the UK, which is accurate, and says they'll play in England and Northern Ireland, which is accurate, but omits their game in Scotland! No haggis for the author!

It also says the team record was 17-14 last year. I don't know how they get that. The records were:
Conference record: 16-10-2
Non-conference record: 4-4-1
Playoff record: 0-2-0
Overall record: 20-16-3

The story also has the regular season starting in Calgary on October 5th, when in fact it starts one week earlier on September 28th. Also, the team schedule has the opening tour game on August 22nd, but the Manchester Storm have it scheduled for August 21st.


There is one fewer Mutt in the doghouse. Defenceman MacKenzie Johnston is going back to the Rosetown Redwings after one season in Saskatown. He played for Mount Royal in 2014-15 and 2015-16, redshirted for a season (where he played for Rosetown), then went to Saskatchewan last year.


The Ottawa Gee-Gees have no schedule page on their site. They are the only team in USports which links to their conference site for their team schedule. That schedule has just one game (Sept 22 against St. F.X.), but their Twitter announced two games in the Big Lemon, against Ryerson on Sept 14 and Toronto on Sept 15.


Episode 9 of the on-line radio show of Breakin News 'N Crackin Brews is up, but I haven't heard it yet.

► [Bison Men’s Hockey Team heading to the UK]
► [MacKenzie Johnston - Elite Prospects]
► [Rosetown Tweet]
► [Ottawa Gee-Gees Team Site]
► [Ottawa Team Schedule at OUA.ca]
► [Ottawa Twitter Announcement]
► [Breakin News 'N Crackin Brews: Ep. 9]

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There are a couple of links coming in now, from sources outside the CW. The Alberta Golden Bears and Manitoba Bisons remain the only CW teams with non-conference games on their schedule and no team has a 2018-19 roster page. The UBC Thunderbirds are the only team to have made official recruiting announcements.

So what news is there?

First, Bison pre-season opponent Belfast Giants have re-signed their captain, Blair Riley. He's a 32-year-old Canadian boy who peaked at the AHL before heading to Europe. This will be his 3rd season over there.

Second, Red Deer College and the ACAC schedules have announced that the Red Deer Kings will visit the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Sept 7-8. Other sources have the 'Horns off to Lakehead Sept 21-22, starting the regular season against UBC on Sept 28-29, then going to the States Oct 6-7 to wrap their non-conference season. That just leaves Sept 14-15 empty, and Edmonton and Regina appear to be hosting events that same weekend.

Third, Monkey graduate Jamie Crooks is off to the EIHL. He will just miss the Bisons because he's playing for the Guildford Flames.

► [ITV: Blair Riley returns to captain Belfast Giants]
► [Elite Prospects - Blair Riley]
► [Red Deer College Schedule]
► [ACAC Schedule]
► [Flames Add Offence with Crooks]

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Welcome to August!

This is the month where the Bisons will start playing hockey again. Finally! No news from the Bisons, but there is some news from elsewhere.

First, the UBC T-irds have updated their schedule to include exhibition games. However, they did not include the Sep 7-8 games announced by the Evil Monkeys to be played in Penticton. The announced games are:

Sep 14 N.A.I.T. (ACAC) at U.B.C.
Sep 15 N.A.I.T. (ACAC) at U.B.C.
Sep 21 Simon Fraser (BCIHL) at U.B.C.

The Regina Cougars have a new recruit, but not announced by them. Keith Anderson's commitment was announced by the Battlefords North Stars on Twitter. The right winger previously played in the WHL where he had 1 goal and 5 assists in 46 games. In 43 games in the SJHL he was 18-20-38.

Meanwhile, the doghouse continues to empty up the road in Saskatown. The Rosetown Redwings have landed another defenceman, Jordan Fransoo, from the Saskatchewan Huskies. He had used up 4 years of eligibility.

► [UBC Team Schedule]
► [Battlefords North Stars Twitter]
► [Elite Prospects - Keith ANderson]
► [Rosetown Redwings Twitter]
► [Elite Prospects - Jordan Fransoo]
► [Allan Cup Hockey West]

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I wasn't expecting much in new news as we head into the long weekend, but instead there is shocking news from Lethbridge. The Hørny Ones are in the market for a new head coach because Spiros Anastas has tendered his resignation. Despite hosting the University Cup this year, the team is now having to find a new coach at the last minute. This might also explain the slow rumour mill on new acquisitions for the Hørny Ones.

I have searched high and low but don't see where Anastas is going. Before Lethbridge, he was an assistant with Grand Rapids in the AHL.

In four seasons since taking the helm from Greg Gatto, Anastas had a spotty record. They were in a prime position to make a playoff run last year but folded in sthe stretch to finish 7th yet again. Anastas has not devoted full time to the Horns. In his first two seasons, he also worked with South Korea and in the last two seasons he has helped out with Estonia, not to mention Alberta youth squads.

Here's Anastas's record with Lethbridge:

2015 05-23-0 10 8th
2016 11-15-2 24    7th
2017 11-14-3 25 7th
2018 09-16-3 21 7th (got 2 points for Calgary forfeit)

So was Anastas mailing it in this off-season? Does that explain the lack of recruits for the U-Cup host team? Or did he jump ship after failing to land some quality recruits he wanted? Did the UofL issue an ultimatum? Did the UofL try to convince him to stay? Or are they ticked off? Lots of questions and speculation.


Meanwhile, the Regina Cougars have added their pre-season games. The games are:

Sep 14 Saskatchewan at Regina
Sep 15 S.A.I.T. (ACAC) at Regina
Sep 20 York v Regina (in Lumsden)
Sep 22 Regina at Manitoba

Since the Bisons are in Regina for the tournament on Sep 14-15, I infer that the Bisons will be facing S.A.I.T. on Sep 14 and Saskatchewan on Sep 15. Unless, of course, somebody like Lethbridge is also included in the tournament.

The York game on Sep 20 is odd. What's happening for the previously announced Bison home game against Regina on Sep 21? The Banjo Cats likely won't be coming. Will York come instead? They have yet to announce a schedule.


The Belfast Giants announced two signings of AHLers, Kyle Baun and Francis Beauvillier. Baun was with the Toronto Marlies and Berauvillier was with the Manitoba Moose. Previously, Beauvillier played for the UNB Varsity Reds of the AUS.

Also, Kendall McFaull (recruited from Sask) will be wearing #27 in honour of the late Troy Gasper, deceased in a vehicle collision.


Over at CUSN the Tuesday Morning Skate was delayed to Thursday. It runs down the recruiting news, including the blue-chip 6-pack of recruits at St. F.X. The only new part from a CW perspective is the news that Colton Bobyk will not be on his way to the Town of Bedrock. The Dinos announced him a year ago and he had to red-shirt last year.

► [UofL: Anastas resigns as Pronghorns coach]
► [Victor Findlay's Tweet]
► [Wikia: Lethbridge Pronghorns Page]
► [Elite Prospects: Spiros Anastas]
► [Elite Prospects - Greg Gatto]
► [Regina Cougars Schedule]
► [Belfast Giants announce double signing as Kyle Baun and Francis Beauvillier agree deals]
► [Giants #27 Jersey To Be Worn In Memory Of Troy Gasper]
► [Thursday Morning Skate: August 2nd, 2018]

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