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2018-19 Manitoba Bisons/USports Thread

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U-SPORTS/CIS BOOKMARKS

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
NAIT Ooks
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)
TSN CIS Page
SportsNet CIS Page - SNU
The Attacking Zone
CISblog.ca
ChrisD.ca
MyToba.ca
Winnipeg Hockey Talk
Boxscore News - CIS Hockey Page
Independent Sports News
Hockey Scene - AUS
UNBHockeyFans.com
AcadiaAxemenHockey.com
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
sportscanada.tv
AUSTV.ca
OUA.tv
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

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 - AUS/AUAA/AIAA/MIAA
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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CW SCHEDULE RELEASE AND OTHER OFF-SEASON NEWS

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.

 

CW-2017-_Manitoba-50x50.jpg

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]

[CanadaWest.tv]

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.

 

Manitoba-50px.gif

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?

 

BISON HOME SCHEDULE

 

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

 

ELSEWHERE

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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Default June 24: UMFM EXPANDING RADIO COVERAGE

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:

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.

Link:
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.)

Links:
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.

Links:
Mitch Dyck at eliteprospects.com
MITCH DYCK AWARDED RBC JUNIOR A SCHOLARSHIP – APRIL 24
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.

Links:
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.

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

Done by Android.

Edited by Hollywood

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June 25: THE RUMOURED GOALTENDER

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.

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

reginapats012418-4-jpg1.jpg?qua 

IMGP1779.JPG

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:

https://youtu.be/S_pZpYWSAz4

https://youtu.be/GjzKrBQcjW8

https://youtu.be/S_hxzsqNKVk

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.

Links:
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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[IMG] June 26: ANOTHER TERRIER JOINS THE BISONS

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.

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


[IMG]

[IMG]

Done by Android.

Edited by Hollywood

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icon1.png June 27: Miscellaneous Tidbits

CW-2017-_Manitoba-50x50.jpg

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:

Links:
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)

CWTV-2017-50x50.jpg

Link:
► [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
TBA

U-_Sports-50x50.jpg

Link:
► [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.

Mike_Babcock-_Mc_Gill.jpg

Lakehead-2017-50x50.jpg

Links:
► [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.

Lethbridge-50x50.jpg

Links:
► [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

CW-2017-secondary-50x50.jpgLethbridge-50x50.jpgUBC-wo-birds-50x50.jpg

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.

Links:
Canada West Schedule
Lethbridge
UBC

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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.

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

Devon_Skoleski-_Prince_Albert.jpg

Devon_Skoleski-_Blues.jpg

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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.

Links:
► [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]
 

Keaton_Jameson-_Swan_Valley.jpg

Keaton_Jameson-_Swan_Valley_Grads.jpg

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icon1.png July 1: U.K. TOUR: BELFAST SIGNED TWO HUSKIES

EIHL-50x50.jpgBelfast_Giants-50x50.jpg

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.

Links:
► [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_Mc_Faull-_Sask.jpg
Kendall McFaull - Putting away his banjo in order to move to Belfast.

Josh_Roach-_Sask-400h.jpg
Josh Roach - Also giving up the moonshine of Saskatown.

Belfast-_SSE-_Arena.jpg
The fancy digs in Belfast sure are a step up from The Rutherdump!

Edited by Hollywood

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icon1.png July 2: TAKING A PEEK AT THE ROSTER

Manitoba-brown-50x50.png

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

Recruits:
- Tyler Brown

Graduates:
none

Outlook:
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

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

Graduates:
4 Channing Bresciani

Outlook:
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

Recruits:
- Jeremey Leipsic
- Devon Skoleski
- Keaton Jameson

Graduates:
17 Warren Callis
23 Joel Schreyer
24 Justin Augert

Outlook:
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.

180203-_UM-_UL-_Grads-_Bresciani-_Schrey
2017-18 Graduates: Bresciani - Schreyer - Augert - Callis

Links:
►[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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icon1.png July 2: U.K. TOUR: LOOKING AT THE BRAEHEAD CLAN

EIHL-50x50.jpgBraehead_Clan-50x50.jpg

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.

Links:
► [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]

Braehead_Arena.jpg
The Braehead Arena and vicinity at night.

Braehead_Arena-interior.jpg
An interior view of the Braehead Arena.

Braehead-2017-18-action.jpg
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.

UBC-wo-birds-50x50.jpg

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.

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

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icon1.gif July 12: BISON RECRUITS FROM MJHL

Manitoba-50px.gifMJHL-50h.jpg

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.

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

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icon1.gif July 13: SCHEDULING CHANGES, AND BIG RECRUITS ON THE COAST

Manitoba-head-_R-50x50.gifManchester_Storm-50x50.jpgFife_Fylers-_FF-2017-50x50.jpg

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.

UBC-wo-birds-50x50.jpg

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.

PEI-2012-50x50.jpgMc_Gill-50px.jpg

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

Links:
► [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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