Bisons football look to lock down playoff spot vs. No. 4 Calgary

WINNIPEG – With one playoff spot left up for grabs in Canada West, the Manitoba Bisons (3-3) will fight to clinch it as they face the No. 4 ranked Calgary Dinos (5-1) on Saturday, October 19 at IG Field.

Kickoff will be 2 p.m. CDT and fans in Manitoba can watch the game on CanadaWest.TV (fee required) or listen on 101.5 UMFM. Tickets are available to purchase online.

Two games ahead of Regina (1-5) and UBC (1-5) with two games left in the regular season, Manitoba would clinch a playoff spot this weekend with either a win or a Regina loss. The Bisons already have the tiebreaker over the Thunderbirds courtesy of their Sep. 21 win at IG Field.

To take matters into their own hands, they’ll have to break some history against the nationally ranked Calgary Dinos, a team that Manitoba has lost their last eight games against dating back to 2014. That includes a game at McMahon Stadium this season, when the Dinos won 24-10 on Sep. 6.

In that game, Manitoba’s defence played great, holding Calgary to their first scoreless half in three seasons. All season, fifth-year defensive end Derek Dufault has anchored the Bisons’ defensive unit, as he sits third in the nation with six sacks. Dufault was named the Canada West Defensive Player of the Week following a Week 1 win over Saskatchewan. Nick Thomas has also come on strong in the linebacker corps, amassing a team-high 31 tackles (5.2 per game) with 28 of those coming solo.

The Bisons will look to offset another strong defensive game with production from their offence, who were held without a touchdown in that Sep. 6 loss. The ground game, led by starter and fourth-year back Michael Ritchott, seek a bounce back performance after two straight games with their quarterback as the leading rusher. Ritchott is averaging 61.8 yards per game and 10.6 yards per carry, while third-year Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette has received the most carries — 48 and averaging 6.3 per touch.

A win on Saturday would also secure Manitoba their first 4-0 season at home since 2014 and only their second overall at IG Field. The team began play at the new stadium in 2013.

At Saturday’s game, the Bisons will be honouring the career of famed alumnus Israel Idonije, who was inducted into the Canada West Hall of Fame earlier this week. Idonije will receive his award at halftime as the team celebrates his career and community work.

In addition, it’s the last regular season home game for Manitoba’s senior student-athletes: DL Jeremie Drouin, DL Derek Dufault, REC Trysten Dyce, DL Kent Hicks, OL Reid McMorris, K/P Matt Riley, and OL Ryan Wengelinski.

Manitoba’s final regular season game will be on the road, as they face the Regina Rams on Friday, October 25 at 8 p.m. CDT.

MATCHUP HEADLINES

  • With a record of 5-1, the Dinos lead Canada West in the standings but are ranked lower than the No. 3 Saskatchewan Huskies (4-2) who won a head-to-head matchup with Calgary in Week 5.
  • The Bisons no longer have a chance at a home playoff game, as Saskatchewan and Alberta both hold the tiebreaker over them. Manitoba can vault into the third seed, though, if they win out and either the Huskies or Golden Bears lose both their last two games.

HOOFPRINTS: MANITOBA BISONS (3-3)

LAST WEEK: L 21-49, Oct. 4 at Saskatchewan
NEXT WEEK: @ Regina, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. CDT

  • Sack Specialist: Fifth-year defensive end Derek Dufault is putting together one of his best campaigns in brown and gold, tallying 6 sacks through six games this season (3rd in U SPORTS). If he were to continue the trend and finish the season with 8 sacks, it would be the most by a Bison since Israel Idonije in 2002 (9).
  • Des in the Books: After cementing his starter status, QB Des Catellier is making his mark in the program record books. He’s currently 5th all time in passing yards at 4,708, 565 behind John Makie (2005-080 and is 4th in pass completions (406), five behind Brett Watt (1990-94).

HOOFPRINTS: CALGARY DINOS (5-1)

LAST WEEK: W 34-16, Oct. 5 vs. Alberta
NEXT WEEK: vs. UBC, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. MT

  • Passing Attack: As many expected before the season, the Dinos’ passing game under fifth-year quarterback Adam Sinagra has been a deadly weapon. Calgary is 3rd in the nation in passing yards per game (304.7), 4th in passing first downs (93), and 4th in touchdowns through the air (14).
  • Sophomore Impact on the Line: Leading the Dinos’ defence in a couple statistical categories is second-year lineman J-Min Pelley. The Calgary native has 2.5 sacks for 19 yards along with four tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

#GOBISONS –

TEAM WHL ROSTER ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 CIBC CANADA RUSSIA SERIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2019

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League, in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey League and Hockey Canada, announced today the roster for Team WHL, which will compete against Team Russia at the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series on November 13 and 14 in Saskatoon and Prince Albert, Sask.
 
Returning to this year’s roster are seven members of Team WHL from the 2018 event, including three of the top-10 selections from the 2019 NHL Draft in Kirby Dach of the Saskatoon Blades (Chicago Blackhawks, Round 1 – Pick 3), Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants (Colorado Avalanche, 1-4), and Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (Buffalo Sabres, 1-7). Returning forward Nolan Foote of the Kelowna Rockets (Tampa Bay Lightning, 1-27 – 2019) will add to the team’s strength at the forward position while a trio of 2018 NHL Draft selections, including Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs (New Jersey Devils, 1-17), Jett Woo of the Calgary Hitmen (Vancouver Canucks, 2-37), and Calen Addison of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-53), will once again bolster the team’s blue line.
 
Team WHL will feature a strong Saskatchewan flavour, including Regina product Carson Focht of the Calgary Hitmen (Vancouver Canucks, 5-133 – 2019), Estevan product Cole Fonstad of the Everett Silvertips (Montreal Canadiens, 5-128 – 2018), Yorkton products Kaedan Korczak of the Kelowna Rockets (Vegas Golden Knights, 2-41 – 2019) and Nolan Maier of the Saskatoon Blades (NHL Draft Eligible, 2020). Finally, a trio of hometown stars join Team WHL, including Saskatoon products Adam Beckman of the Spokane Chiefs (Minnesota Wild, 3-75 – 2019) and Connor Zary of the Kamloops Blazers (NHL Draft Eligible, 2020), along with Prince Albert product Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings (NHL Draft Eligible, 2020).
 
NHL Central Scouting identified both Schneider and Zary on its ‘Players to Watch’ list as top-ranked prospects for the 2020 NHL Draft.
 
Team WHL will face Team Russia in Game 5 of the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series in Saskatoon on Wednesday, November 13, before continuing on to Prince Albert for Game 6 to conclude the series on Thursday, November 14. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will host Games 1 and 2, while the Ontario Hockey League will host Games 3 and 4. For the first time since 2013, the event will close with two games in the WHL.
 
Team WHL Roster:
Forwards

Player Name Hometown DOB WHL Club NHL Draft
Beckman, Adam Saskatoon, Sask. 2001-05-10 Spokane Chiefs MIN 2019 (3-75)
Burzan, Luka Surrey, B.C. 2000-01-07 Brandon Wheat Kings COL 2019 (6-171)
Chyzowski, Ryan Kamloops, B.C. 2000-05-14 Medicine Hat Tigers Eligible 2020
Cozens, Dylan Whitehorse, Yukon 2001-02-09 Lethbridge Hurricanes BUF 2019 (1-7)
Dach, Kirby Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. 2001-01-21 Saskatoon Blades CHI 2019 (1-3)
Focht, Carson Regina, Sask. 2000-02-04 Calgary Hitmen VAN 2019 (5-133)
Fonstad, Cole Estevan, Sask. 2000-04-24 Everett Silvertips MTL 2018 (5-128)
Foote, Nolan Engelwood, Colo. 2000-11-29 Kelowna Rockets TBL 2019 (1-27)
Hamaliuk, Dillon Leduc, Alta. 2000-10-30 Kelowna Rockets SJS 2019 (2-55)
Krebs, Peyton Okotoks, Alta. 2001-01-26 Winnipeg ICE VGK 2019 (1-17)
Tracey, Brayden Calgary, Alta. 2001-05-28 Moose Jaw Warriors ANA 2019 (1-29)
Zary, Connor Saskatoon, Sask. 2001-09-25 Kamloops Blazers Eligible 2020


Defenceman

Player Name Hometown DOB WHL Club NHL Draft
Addison, Calen Brandon, Man. 2000-04-11 Lethbridge Hurricanes PIT 2018 (2-53)
Byram, Bowen Cranbrook, B.C. 2001-06-13 Vancouver Giants COL 2019 (1-4)
Korczak, Kaedan Yorkton, Sask. 2001-01-29 Kelowna Rockets VGK 2019 (2-41)
Schneider, Braden Prince Albert, Sask. 2001-09-20 Brandon Wheat Kings Eligible 2020
Smith, Ty Lloydminster, Alta. 2000-03-24 Spokane Chiefs NJD 2018 (1-17)
Woo, Jett Winnipeg, Man. 2000-07-27 Calgary Hitmen VAN 2018 (2-37)

 
Goaltenders

Player Name Hometown DOB WHL Club NHL Draft
Hofer, Joel Winnipeg, Man. 2000-07-30 Portland Winterhawks STL 2018 (4-107)
Maier, Nolan Yorkton, Sask. 2001-01-10 Saskatoon Blades Eligible 2020

The 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series will represent the event’s return to both Saskatoon and Prince Albert. In 2005 and 2014, the event made an appearance in Saskatoon, while Prince Albert played host in 2008.

The six-game CIBC Canada Russia Series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. Team CHL has won 12 times in event history, with Russia emerging victorious on four occasions.

The 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series is supported by title sponsor CIBC, the Official Bank of the CHL, along with associate sponsors Kia Canada, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada.  All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

Tickets for Games 5 and 6 of the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series are available now. Complete ticketing options available at the links below.

2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series Schedule
Game 1 – Monday, November 4 at Saint John, N.B.
Game 2 – Tuesday, November 5 at Moncton, N.B.
Game 3 – Thursday, November 7 at Kitchener, Ont.
Game 4 – Monday, November 11 at London, Ont.
Game 5 – Wednesday, November 13 at Saskatoon, Sask. – TICKETS
Game 6 – Thursday, November 14 at Prince Albert, Sask. – TICKETS

For event information, please visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca

16 WHL PLAYERS SELECTED TO REPRESENT CANADA AT WORLD UNDER-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2019

Calgary, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced its 66-player roster, including 16 players currently playing for or drafted by one of the Western Hockey League’s 22 member Clubs, to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, November 2-9 in Medicine Hat, Alta. and Swift Current, Sask.

The 66 players will be divided into three teams representing Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White when they compete against the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States in their quest for a gold medal.

Featured among the 16 WHL players named to the roster are the top five selections from the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft – forwards Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings), Sean Tschigerl (Whitecourt, Alta. / Calgary Hitmen), Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C. / Kamloops Blazers) and defencemen Carson Lambos (Winnipeg, Man. / Winnipeg ICE), Nolan Allan (Davidson, Sask. / Prince Albert Raiders).
 

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. DOB   Hometown WHL Club
Jayden Grubbe F 6-2 189 2003-01-12   Calgary, Alta. Red Deer Rebels
Dylan Guenther F 6-0 167 2003-04-10   Edmonton, Alta. Edmonton Oil Kings
Conner Roulette F 5-10 158 2003-05-13   Winnipeg, Man. Seattle Thunderbirds
Matthew Savoie F 5-9 181 2004-01-01   St. Albert, Alta. Winnipeg ICE
Cole Sillinger F 5-11 185 2003-05-16   Regina, Sask. Medicine Hat Tigers
Logan Stankoven F 5-7 167 2003-02-26   Kamloops, B.C. Kamloops Blazers
Sean Tschigerl F 6-0 181 2003-04-11   Whitecourt, Alta. Calgary Hitmen
Kai Uchacz F 6-1 190 2003-06-24   De Winton, Alta. Seattle Thunderbirds
Nolan Allan D 6-1 188 2003-04-28   Davidson, Sask. Prince Albert Raiders
Nolan Bentham D 6-3 186 2003-06-12   Victoria, B.C. Victoria Royals
Carson Lambos D 6-0 204 2003-01-14   Winnipeg, Man. Winnipeg ICE
Kyle Masters D 5-11 159 2003-04-09   Edmonton, Alta. Red Deer Rebels
Graham Sward D 6-2 168 2003-09-12   Abbotsford, B.C. Spokane Chiefs
Olen Zellweger D 5-9 165 2003-09-10   Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Everett Silvertips
Tyler Brennan G 6-3 193 2003-09-27   Winnipeg, Man. Prince George Cougars
Thomas Milic G 5-11 154 2003-04-14   Coquitlam, B.C. Seattle Thunderbirds

In July, 112 players were invited to participate in Canada’s national under-17 development camp and introduced to the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. The players chosen to represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge were selected by Brad McEwen (Whitewood, Sask.), head scout for Hockey Canada, with assistance from U17 Program of Excellence management group lead Martin Mondou (Grand-Mère, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL), as well as regional scouts Rob Simpson (Ontario), Jason Smart (West), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic), Shaun Sutter (West) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario).

“After a successful development camp with the top young players in the country, there were many difficult decisions made to select the 66 players that will compete at this year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” McEwen said. “We feel this group exemplifies the values of the Program of Excellence and will represent Canada with pride as we compete for a gold medal this November.”

The tournament opens with all three Canadian teams in action Saturday, November 2 (7:00 p.m. MT); Team Canada Red takes on Russia at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex in Swift Current and Team Canada Black faces off against Team Canada White at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will air the semifinal in Medicine Hat on Friday, November 8, as well as the bronze and gold medal games on Saturday, November 9; please check local listings for details. Media accreditation for the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge can be requested online.

Prior to the start of play, the teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament games on Thursday, October 31, (7 p.m. MT). Team Canada Black will match up against Finland at the Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre in Shaunavon, Sask., Sweden will play the Czech Republic at the Centennial Regional Arena in Brooks, Alta., Team Canada White will face off against Russia at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex in Swift Current and Team Canada Red will meet the United States at the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat.

After a successful ticket launch, event organizers have announced that single-game tickets will be available for purchase starting at $10 for youth and $15 for adults on October 16, and can be purchased online at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.

Medicine Hat and Swift Current will receive the net proceeds from all ticket sales as a legacy of the event to support grassroots hockey within their communities. Additionally, recent editions of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge have resulted in as much as $6 million in economic impact within the host communities.

More than 1,800 NHL draft picks have suited up since the inception of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, including 14 first-overall draft picks since 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013; Aaron Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; Auston Matthews, 2016; Jack Hughes, 2019).

For more information on the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

The Winnipeg ICE’s week saw them have a weekend road trip out west

By Thomas Neufeld

The Winnipeg ICE’s week saw them have a weekend road trip out west, with a loss and win to show for their efforts. Coming off a tough week where they were shutout in both of their games and outscored by a total of 11-0, the ICE were eager to get back on the ice and get back in the win column.

Medicine Hat Tigers:

The ICE’s first game of their road trip came against the Medicine Hat Tigers on October 11th

. Returning goaltender, Jesse Makaj, was set to make his season debut in net for the ICE, after coming down with an illness before the season started. The game didn’t get off to the start Makaj and the ICE were hoping for, as the team was down 3-0 before the game reached its midpoint.

The ICE would get some momentum going in their favor when Jakin Smallwood scored his first of the season not long after the Tigers made it 3-1, followed by a Connor McClennon goal early in the third to draw the ICE within one. But the comeback was not meant to be, as Cole Sillinger scored to give the Tigers back their 2 goal lead, and Tyler Preziuso got a late empty net goal to seal a 5-2 Tigers win. Makaj stopped 27 of 31 shots in his season debut.

Swift Current Broncos:

The ICE’s next game would come the next night against the Swift Current Broncos in what turned out to be a wild game.

Rookie goalie Gage Alexander would be starting in net for the ICE. The ICE opened the scoring on Isaac Johnson’s third goal of the year to take the lead, just 46 seconds into the game.

It didn’t take the Broncos long to respond, as they tied the game up just 2 minutes later. Later in the period, the ICE experienced a tough minute, as the Broncos scored 3 goals in under a minute to take a 4-1 lead. Makaj came in to replace Alexander in net after the fourth goal, but the Broncos managed to extend their lead to 5-1 before the period was over.

Despite the large deficit, Makaj would not surrender another goal, and the ICE started a comeback. Two goals 33 seconds apart early in the second brought the ICE within 2, and another 2 goals under 2 minutes apart midway through the third, brought the game to an even 5-5 score. Overtime would be required, and eventually a shootout. Connor McClennon scored for the ICE in the shootout, and Makaj stopped all 3 shots that he faced, and the ICE came away with a thrilling 6-5 come from behind shootout win.

Week in review and a look ahead:

The comeback win has the ICE sitting in a playoff spot through their first 9 games, with a .500 record of 4-4-1.

Jesse Makaj’s first 2 games of the season in net for the ICE included exceptional play in the comeback win, and the team must be encouraged to have him back in net.

The ICE will play back to back games this Friday and Saturday; both against the Saskatoon Blades, whom they defeated earlier in the season in another wild game that saw the ICE win by a 7-6 score

What was to be a busy week for the Pistons with 4 games,

By Thomas Neufeld

What was to be a busy week for the Pistons with 4 games, had to be shortened to 2 games, as their October 11th and 12th games both had to be postponed due to the winter storm that hit Manitoba.

League best Terriers:

The Pistons first game of the week came at home against the undefeated Portage Terriers who entered the game with a perfect record of 8-0-0. This would be the two teams second meeting of the season, after Portage squeaked out a 4-3 overtime win back on September 25th in Portage.

The Pistons came out racing in this game, as 3 first period goals and an early marker in the second, gave the team a 4-0 lead that they would not relinquish. Matt Lenz would stop 20 of the 21 shots he faced, and the Pistons handed the Terriers’ their first loss of the season by a score of 5-1. Max Neill scored 2 powerplay goals for the Pistons in the win, while Carter Loney picked up 2 assists

Postponement and Winnipeg Blues:

The Pistons back to back home games against the Dauphin Kings and Swan Valley Stampeders were both forced to be postponed due to the winter storm that raged through Manitoba. This meant that the Pistons next game would be back on the road against the Winnipeg Blues.

This would be the Pistons and Blues first matchup of the season, and the first time Ty Naaykens, Codey Behun, and Dylan Cassie played against their former team, after a blockbuster trade in the summer brought them to the Pistons.

The Blues opened the scoring early in the first period, and held a 1-0 lead through 2 periods. Kyle Bettens tied the game for the Pistons at 8:38 of the third, and Jackson Kobelka, acquired from the Steelers earlier this season, gave the Pistons the lead at 14:09, with his first goal of the season. 57 seconds later, former Blues forward Codey Behun got what proved to be the game winning goal for the Pistons. The Blues came within one 35 seconds later, but another former Blues forward, Ty Naaykens, scored the insurance goal 33 seconds later, and the Pistons came away with the 4-2 win. Matt Lenz started in goal for the Pistons and stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced.

Week in review and a look ahead:

The 2 wins for the Pistons this week have vaulted them into a tie for second place with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, and three points back of the Portage Terriers for first place.

The 3 acquisitions from the Blues in the offseason have already been key contributors for the Pistons this year. Ty Naaykens has 3 goals and 6 points in 9 games, Dylan Cassie has 2 assists and 3 points in 10 games, and Codey Behun has 5 goals and 6 points through 10 games. Kyle Bettens and Carter Loney lead the team with 11 points each, while Matt Lenz has started 9 of the team’s 10 games, and owns a 7-1-1 record.

Through 10 games, the Pistons have a 7-2-1 record, adding up to 15 points.

The Pistons next game will be come on Friday the 18th at home against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, in a game between 2 teams with identical records. It will be the 2 teams third matchup of the year, with each team picking up a win in the season series so far.