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Canada West Quarter-Finals Preview

 

This season, the Canada West playoffs have heated up with first round games set for this weekend. The Mount Royal University Cougars will look to continue their impressive play over the re-surging University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the first round. Also matching up are the University of Calgary Dinos who host the University of Manitoba Bisons in their first round series. Earning first-round byes were the University of Alberta Golden Bears and University of Saskatchewan Huskies who finished in the top-two spots in the conference. Across the conference, WHL Alumni have slotted into key roles for these playoff clubs all battling for a chance to compete for the Dr. W.G. Hardy Trophy in Canada West’s 100th season. This week we take a look at the quarter-final match ups.

For Canada West men’s playoffs coverage, visit CanadaWest.org

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  • Game 1: Friday, February 14 – 7 p.m. MT
  • Game 2: Saturday, February 15 – 7 p.m. MT
  • *Game 3: Sunday, February 16 – 6 p.m. MT

Regular season meetings:

  • Oct. 18 @ Manitoba: 3-2 Dinos win
  • Oct. 19 @ Manitoba: 5-4 Bisons win
  • Jan. 10 @ Calgary: 6-3 Dinos win
  • Jan. 11 @ Calgary: 2-1 Bisons win

Top Dinos WHL Alumni: Matt Alfaro – 36 points (15G-21A) in 27 games

Top Bisons WHL Alumni: Adam Henry – 22 points (11G-11A) in 28 games

Dinos Recap: In a race to the finish, the Dinos 5-0-0-0 start to their 2019-2020 campaign showcased the team would be one to recon with. The Dinos rallied most of their scoring from Lethbridge Hurricanes alumni Matt Alfaro, who led the Canada West conference in scoring with 36 points (15G-21A) in 27 games. Also playing a big role for the Dinos has been Moose Jaw Warriors alumni Brodan Salmond who finished the season with a record of 9-2-3-0 in 15 appearances. The Dinos finished their season with a 4-2-0-0 record in the team’s last six games, including a weekend sweep over the first seed University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Bisons Recap: The Bisons face an up-hill battle heading into the first round of the Canada West playoffs, closing the campaign on a five-game losing streak. Leading the Bisons this season was power-play threat Adam Henry, who finished third in scoring among defenceman in Canada West with 22 points (11G-11A). Henry also finished tied for second in power-play goals with five in Canada West action. The Bisons, although not having the best record in the league, split the season series with the Dinos, winning two out of four games. One thing that is apparent, this is not a team the Dinos can write off.

WHL Alumni on the Dinos: 

Matt Alfaro (Lethbridge Hurricanes),Graham Black (Swift Current Broncos), Brendan DeJong (Portland Winterhawks), Kaden Elder (Calgary Hitmen), Logan Fisher (Victoria Royals), Ryan Gagnon (Victoria Royals), Coda Gordon (Swift Current Broncos), Ryan Graham (Swift Current Broncos), Luke Harrison (Prince George Cougars), Dallas Hines (Vancouver Giants), Jordan Henderson (Medicine Hat Tigers), Sahvan Kharia (Everett Silvertips), Brodan Salmond (Moose Jaw Warriors), James Shearer (Brandon Wheat Kings), Tim Vanstone (Prince Albert Raiders), Lane Zablocki (Kelowna Rockets)

WHL Alumni on the Bisons: 

Connor Barley (Portland Winterhawks) Tyler Brown (Regina Pats), Adam Henry (Portland Winterhawks), Riley Lamb (Swift Current Broncos), Brady Pouteau (Regina Pats), Liam Schioler (Regina Pats), Devon Skoleski (Prince Albert Raiders), Lucas Skrumeda (Everett Silvertips), Matthew Stanley (Swift Current Broncos), Colton Veloso (Kootenay ICE)


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  • Game 1: Friday, February 14 – 7:30 p.m. MT
  • Game 2: Saturday, February 15 – 7:30 p.m. MT
  • *Game 3: Sunday, February 16 – 7:30 p.m. MT

Regular season meetings:

  • Nov. 22 @ Mount Royal: 4-1 Cougars win
  • Nov. 23 @ Mount Royal: 4-1 Cougars win
  • Feb. 7 @ UBC: 3-2 Thunderbirds win
  • Feb. 8 @ UBC: 4-2 Cougars win

Top Cougars WHL Alumni: Ryley Lindgren – 31 points (18G-13A) in 28 games.

Top Thunderbirds WHL Alumni: Tyler Sandhu – 23 points (12G-11A) in 28 games.

Cougars Recap: The Cougars head into the playoffs with momentum on their side, winning seven of the clubs last eight games. This season third year forward Ryley Lindgren has taken over as one of the perennial offensive threats in Canada West. The forward finished the season tied for the Canada West lead in goals (18), including leading the league with seven power-play markers. Also playing a key role for the Cougars is Calgary Hitmen alumni Connor Rankin, who finished tied for the Canada West lead in power-play assists with 11. The Cougars took the season series over the Thunderbirds, winning three of four games.

UBC Recap: The Thunderbirds will have to battle this post season as the team head’s on the road against the MRU Cougars. The Thunderbirds will lean heavily on the scoring of former Tri-City Americans captain Tyler Sandhu, who led the team with 23 points (12G-11A) in 28 games. Another threat for the Thunderbirds will be Maxwell James who tied Sandhu’s four player-play goals this season. The two were teammates with the Americans so look for the forwards to find the scoreboard if they gain a man advantage.

WHL Alumni on the Cougars:

Brandan Arnold (Swift Current Broncos), Kurtis Chapman (Kootenay ICE), Connor Chartier (Spokane Chiefs), Andrew Fyten (Edmonton Oil Kings), Taylor Green (Moose Jaw Warriors), Tyson Helgesen (Spokane Chiefs), Wyatt Hoflin (Kootenay ICE), Keegan Iverson (Portland Winterhawks), Kade Jensen (Victoria Royals), Jesse Lees (Prince Albert Raiders), Ryley Lindgren (Swift Current Broncos), Mitch Lipon (Spokane Chiefs), Connor Rankin (Calgary Hitmen), Sean Richards (Seattle Thunderbirds), Riley Shamray (Lethbridge Hurricanes), Nolan Yaremko (Tri-City Americans), Jamal Watson (Swift Current Broncos)

 WHL Alumni on the Thunderbirds: 

Austin Adamson (Swift Current Broncos), Kyle Becker (Medicine Hat Tigers), Quinn Benjafield (Edmonton Oil Kings), Anthony Bishop (Tri-City Americans), Joe Carvalho (Prince George Cougars), Brett Clayton (Regina Pats), Patrick Dea (Tri-City Americans), Shaun Dosanjh (Portland Winterhawks), Tanner Faith (Moose Jaw Warriors),  Austin Glover (Red Deer Rebels), Maxwell James (Tri-City Americans), Colton Kehler (Edmonton Oil Kings), Jake Kryski (Calgary Hitmen), Dryden Michaud (Saskatoon Blades), Carter Popoff (Vancouver Giants), Ryan Pouliot (Swift Current Broncos),  Matt Revel (Portland Winterhawks), Tyler Sandhu (Tri-City Americans), Jonathan Smart (Kootenay ICE), Jerret Smith (Seattle Thunderbirds), Rylan Toth (Seattle Thunderbirds), Jarret Tyszka (Seattle Thunderbirds), Austin Vetterl (Kootenay ICE)

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