Ice Chips: MRU, Alberta set to clash in battle for second

Ice Chips: MRU, Alberta set to clash in battle for second

Canada West Communications

To get you set for the final regular season weekend of Canada West men's hockey action, here are some storylines from around the conference in the latest edition of Ice Chips.

Bears chase first-round 'bye' in regular season finale

Connor Hood, Bears and Pandas Athletics

EDMONTON - Coming off a massive sweep of the previous CIS No.1 Saskatchewan Huskies, the University of Alberta Golden Bears hockey team will now set their sights on the Mount Royal Cougars, with the conference’s second seed on the line. 

The No.5 Bears and the Cougars will kick the series off in Calgary on Friday, with the second half of the home-and-home series slated for 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Clare Drake Arena, in the final home regular season game of 2016.

Alberta enters the series trailing MRU by one point for second place. The Golden Bears can clinch second with a sweep (overtime/shootout wins or regulation), or an overtime/shootout win, coupled with a regulation win. The winner of the second seed will earn a first-round playoff ‘bye’, as well as host a Canada West semi-final series. 

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Cougars close season with matchup against Huskies

Regina Athletics

REGINA - The University of Regina men's hockey team will close its 2015-16 season this weekend with a pair of games against the provincial rival Saskatchewan Huskies. The weekend will feature Friday night's game in Saskatoon and Saturday's game at The Co-operators Centre. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.

Regina (6-20) has been eliminated from playoff contention, and is coming off a split against the UBC Thunderbirds. UBC handed the Cougars a 5-3 loss on Saturday but Regina snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday night with a 2-1 win. Sanfred KingCody Fowlie and Austin Bourhis scored goals on Friday before Stephen Langford scored his first Canada West goal as a part of Saturday's win. Bourhis also scored on Saturday, notching his fourth of the season for the game-winning goal.

"I thought we played well enough to win on both nights – we just had a couple unlucky bounces on Friday," head coach Todd Johnson said. "I was really impressed with the resiliency of the guys, it's a tough spot to be in when you know you're not making the playoffs but they kept the motivation high and they didn't quit."

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T-Birds look to clinch playoff spot on final weekend of regular season

Aaron Martin, UBC Athletics

VANCOUVER - A Canada West men's hockey playoff spot will be on the line for the UBC Thunderbirds (10-12-4) when they host the Manitoba Bisons (12-12-2) this weekend in Vancouver.

It is the final weekend of regular season action in the league. The puck drops on Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 at 7 p.m. (PT) at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbirds Sports Centre.

UBC currently occupies the sixth and final playoff spot in Canada West, and can clinch a postseason berth with two points - from either a win or a pair of overtime/shootout losses - to ensure they aren't overtaken by the Lethbridge Pronghorns, who trail by three points coming into the weekend. UBC can finish as high as fourth in the league standings at season's end and as low as seventh, and out of the playoffs.

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Senior night marks Dinos' last weekend of regular season

Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Athletics

CALGARY - In the final weekend of regular season action the University of Calgary Dinos will be playing a home-and-home series against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. The two teams will face-off Friday evening in Calgary, puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. at the Father David Bauer Arena before the Dinos head south to Lethbridge on Saturday.

 Despite having secured a playoff spot the Dinos haven't secured home-ice advantage for the first round…yet. If the Dinos win both games this weekend and UBC defeats Manitoba in just one game, then the Dinos will be playing on home-ice for the quarterfinals.

 "Home-ice is huge for us because we play on a different ice surface, we like to run our systems and catch teams off guard that can't play the way they like to in their smaller rinks," stated Dinos' fifth-year defensemanMax Ross.

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Men's hockey weekend schedule:

Fri. 12 Regina   Saskatchewan   7:00 PM CST
  Alberta   Mount Royal   7:00 PM MST
  Lethbridge   Calgary   7:00 PM MST
  Manitoba   UBC   7:00 PM PST
Sat. 13 Saskatchewan   Regina   7:00 PM CST
  Mount Royal   Alberta   6:00 PM MST
  Calgary   Lethbridge   7:00 PM MST
  Manitoba   UBC   7:00 PM PST

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