Monday, March 23, 2009

University Cup Seedings and Schedule Announced

Just posted on the CIS website:


All times Eastern.



1. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West champions / 22-4-2 regular season, 4-1 playoffs)
2. Saint Mary's Huskies (AUS champions / 20-7-1 regular season, 5-2 playoffs)
3. Western Ontario Mustangs (OUA champions / 19-7-2 regular season, 7-1 playoffs)
4. UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists / 21-4-3 regular season, 4-2 playoffs)
5. McGill Redmen (OUA finalists / 18-8-2 regular season, 6-2 playoffs)
6. Lakehead Thunderwolves (Championship hosts / 18-8-2 regular season, 3-2 playoffs)

Pool A
1. Alberta
4. UNB
6. Lakehead

Pool B
2. Saint Mary's
3. Western Ontario
5. McGill


Wednesday, March 25
13:00 Media Conference (Fort William Curling Club - Fort William Gardens)
18:00 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Fort William Historical Park)

Thursday, March 26
14:00 Pool B #1: No. 2 Saint Mary's vs. No. 5 McGill (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Pool A #1: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 4 UNB (SSN Canada webcast)

Friday, March 27
14:00 Pool B #2: No. 3 Western vs. Loser Pool B #1 (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Pool A #2: No. 6 Lakehead vs. Loser Pool A #1 (SSN Canada webcast)

Saturday, March 28
14:00 Pool B #3: No. 3 Western vs. Winner Pool B #1 (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)
19:00 Pool A #3: No. 6 Lakehead vs. Winner Pool A #1 (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)

Sunday, March 29
14:00 Final (Rogers Sportsnet / SSN Canada webcast)


Anonymous said...

So Lakehead is in the Pool of Death with UNB and Alberta. A reliable source tells me that yesterday the conference committee tried to have SMU seeded #1 (which would have put Lakehead in with them in Pool A), but it didn't fly.

Therefore what could be the biggest game of the UCup goes Thursday night, with Lakehead hoping to knock of a worn out and dispirited loser on Friday night.

Anonymous said...

If they put SMU in with Lakehead then UNB/SMU would have been paired together...which I assume was never really an option...either way, UNB is in tough with that pool...very, very surprised they put Lakehead in with both Alberta and UNB but I guess those are the guidelines...can't really do too much about it.

When is UNB flying to T'Bay anyways??

Anonymous said...

The CIS regs do say that the "third ranked team", when there are three representatives at Nationals, has to go in the Pool with the #1 seed, with the two higher placed teams from the same conference go in Pool B. So if they follow those rules, UWO and McGill had to be in the same pool, Pool B, with either UNB or SMU, as they have to be separated as well.

When you're host and you don't win your conference (or be runner-up) they you're 'doomed' to get the 6th seed and be in Pool A with the #1 seed, just like UdeM last year.

IIRC, UNB and SMU fly out Tuesday. UNB is taking WestJet from Moncton.

Anonymous said...

Worst of all worlds - evening draw, and in addition to arch nemesis Alberta, they get a pumped-up host squad!

But they have to win three games regardless, may as well start with the best and then face the rest!

If UNB can stay out of box they will be hard to beat 5 on 5.

Anonymous said...

Not only that...but for some reason the finals are at 2pm on Sunday this if they happen to come out of the pool they will probably playing to atleast 9:30 the night before...that's a quick turnaround between the semi's and the finals...

Anonymous said...

It's happened before and I have all the confidence in the world in the boys this year. They're probably the best conditioned team in the AUS so playing back to back games shouldn't be a problem. Did I say AUS? Whatever - I meant CIS. But don't discount SMU - they'll be in the finals with us!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to UNB as they embark on another great ride to the National Championship. Really hope that Hunter and Jimmy are 100% so we can bring the cup back to our campus. I think a lot of people are jumping on the smu bandwagon just a little to quickly. I do recall not to long ago that UNB won a national championship after losing the aus to moncton and struggling all year against them even though UNB could have one any one of those games. One thing is for sure once you get to the national tourny all the records and past get thrown out the window and the only teams that people remember are the teams that win it all not who won their leagues.
So bring it back boys

Anonymous said...

Just for fun while we wait for the next game to be played I was wondering what people think is the best team at unb over the past three years? 2007 nat champions, last years runners up or this years team(even though the season isnt over)?

Anonymous said...

If I have to choose a team over the past three years, it was last year's team. However, the 1998 team was still better than any of the past three years - that team had scoring on every line. The '98 team had 167 goals vs 68 against. The last three seasons have been 135/67, 136/59 and 109/93.

Anonymous said...

The Finals are early because Sportsnet East is showing the Ottawa-Tampa Bay game during prime-time. You take what they give you.

Anonymous said...

The team left Monday night and stayed overnight in Moncton to leave on Tuesday morning (6:30am) on Westjet, along with SMU. Alberta also has a 6:30am departure either on AC or Westjet, probably Westjet as AC routed them through Toronto. All three teams have a 7 hour travel day, but I have found going West easier.

Anonymous said...

I am too young to remember the 1998 team that well but from all accounts they were dominant and stacked at every position (9 guys averged over a point/game, both goalies had GAA's under 2.4)...they dodged a few huge bullets along the way though..they were almost eliminated in the first round of the conference playoffs against PEI (lost game 1 9-4, won next two 4-2 and 5-4), almost lost in the finals to Acadia (lost the first game and then won the next two by identical 3-2 scores including game 2 in OT), and then barely got by Windsor (3-2 in OT) in the first game at Nationals...but I suppose even the best teams are pushed to the brink a few teams.

As for the last three definitely has to be last season's squad...despite the ending that team just always found a way to be one goal better than the opposition...they always found a way to win. Actually over the last three years I would probably rate the Championship team as the worst, especially when you consider GF/GA differential...

Anonymous said...

I'm with Eric on this one. The 1998 team was the best when you consider the quality of the goaltending with Ken Carroll, the defence led by Darryl Rivers and Chris Zanutto and four forward lines that were actually nickaned 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D. Think of guys like Dax MacLean, Bill lang, Jeff Andrews, Jason Campbell, Jason Campeau, Ryan Lindsay, Peter McKellar and the list goes on. It was a stacked lineup. Brian Stewart never played as well on defence after 1998. Chris Van Dyck, etc. By all accounts, Mike Kelly was a difficult person to play for, but he had that team in the proper mind-frame considering how close it had come the previous year. The 2008 team is probably closest because of Mike Ouzas and the year Hennigar had. The 2007 team wasn't nearly as strong. This year with the addition of Stamler and Harty on defence, I believe this team is as good as that 2007 squad but the goaltending issue is still very much up in the air. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

What's troubling about this team is, they had two cracks to wrap up the AUS title and failed. And in a must win, on home ice, with a full house cheering them on, they got hammered. The goaltending is suspect, never mind the numbers, and the power play is invisible. And they start off against the toughest team in the tournament, one coming off a dominating 7-0 win and full of confidence. It doesn't bode well, friends. It doesn't bode well.

Anonymous said...

1998 was the best of the bunch. Lines 1A, 1B, 1C, great goaltending and a solid D.

The big difference between this year and the last few years - there is perhaps more talent but not near as much sandpaper. This is time of year that Johnston, Nabber or Marach would bleed for you in the crease to get the grunge goals.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that the past three teams would have beaten the 98 team. Nothing against that team cause they were great but look at the pedigree and quality of competition now, tier II guys can barely crack an aus team and the 98 team had a bunch of them. Go to hockeydb and check the difference of players from the years before they played at unb from the 98 team to anyone of the teams in the past 3 years and its hard to argue that the players playing in the cis are better then that of teams in the 90's. On top of that last years team set the record for most wins ever by one team in aus history. However 98 did win it all and did win the aus so they are still unbelivable.

Anonymous said...

Yea that's kind of the catch...the '98 team dominated but I would argue that the AUS is a much tougher conference now then back then...the level of competition and the overall skill of the AUS (and CIS) has increased quite a bit over the last decade or so...but, while I agree teams nowadays could probably do very well against teams from the past, it's still hard to overlook just how dominant that '98 team was...

Anonymous said...

I am inclined to agree with the last 2 comments. This was tough. I think if we were to magically transport the 1998 team to play the 2008 squad, I would expect the 2008 Reds to be much better conditioned, faster, and more dominant on the puck. The 2008 team's forwards were better defensively too.

The 98 season was the first I followed full-time religiously and it was pretty amazing to see. Back then the school was complaining about "school spirit" and had endured years of being also-rans in the AUS. That all changed in 1998 when those guys put UNB on the map...and I'll never forget seeing the Darryl Rivers UNB Jersey in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto when I visited.(is it still there?) I'll take Ouzas over Carroll a hair.

In terms of who was the most dominant team in their respective era - the 1998 team was. End of story. Last year's conference was a 3 horse race, in 1998 the AUS was a bit more competitive overall as I recall. And ultimately the team won a National Championship so you have to go with them. Neat topic.

Anonymous said...

Guys, it's not like 1998 is another generation. The hockey hasn't evolved that much. I'd be willing to bet that a couple of those Acadia teams in the early 90's would still be a viable contender nowadays. Ryan Lindsay was named CIS rookie of the year in 1998 and he was 3rd line centre. Carroll over the long term is much more accomplished over Ouzas, who gave up a very soft goal in last year's national final. Carroll had a cocky way about him that exuded confidence, most importantly, among his teammates. The '98 team wasn't perfect by any means, and there were a couple of guys who could never play today, but I'd be willing to wager that many of those players would be playing prominent roles if they were transported to present time. A previous post talked about the sandpaper quality of the 2007 team. Why isn't Josh Hepditch playing now? The guy is versatile, he plays the agitator role as well as anybody, and doesn't take a lot of penalties despite that. He should be in the lineup. Let's hope that Travis Fullerton can be as good as they say he was with the Sea Dogs in playoff time. Goalies at the national level tend to determine wins and losses. Too bad but that's the reality.

Anonymous said...

- To the anonymous poster above my last post: Actually many of the players on the '98 team played in the OHL before coming to UNB...according to the hockeydb page there were only maybe 4 or 5 guys who hadn't and none of them contributed much point wise to UNB that season.

- The last time I was at the HHOF River's jersey was still there...but that was 3-4 years ago now.

- As for Hepditch, I agree, I think they would be better with him in he has the experience of two University Cups...

Anonymous said...

I dunno, 11 years ago was a completely different time in terms of players' commitment to training and diet, they probably never heard of protein shakes certainly weren't as well conditioned. NHL players comment on this all the time, the players got bigger in the 90's, they got leaner and have become far better athletes the last few years 2000...faster, stronger hockey now. This has trickled down to the amateur levels too. I wouldn't say it's a night and day difference but it's pretty hard to ignore. Now there's other aspects - hockey smarts, instinct, grit, heart, and some of the intangibles that wouldn't have change much at all so it's not a huge difference.

But overall yeah, I think the calibre of hockey across the CIS is higher now. Again, not night and day, but enough so that we're seeing more major juniors on every team, more are opting to delay their pro-careers in favor of the now more available education packages. On the whole I think CIS hockey is a bit better than it was.

As for Carroll vs Ouzas, yeah Carroll has been a stud in the CHL for a long time, though Ouzas hasn't been bad in his rookie year, and I don't remember Carroll winning "OHL goalie of the year" so I guess you could argue either way until both careers are done and we can look back on the whole picture. I can remember Carroll having some rough nights too, every goalie at this level has their share.

The comparison isn't quite fair because if the 98 squad had the benefit of the "times" they'd probably have been that much better off for it too?

Anonymous said...

I checked the Westjet site and it looks like the team's flight was cancelled this morning (Westjet 659). I wont bother speculating on what the backup plan is/was but Westjet has no other flights out of Moncton to Toronto today. Lets hope I mis-read the Westjet website. All of the Westjet flights from Edmonton to Thunderbay arrived without incident - of course.

Anonymous said...

I checked out the Championship website and today's flicker team pictures - all of the teams were there other then UNB, hummm.

Anonymous said...

From a neutral source your 2008 team was better than the 1998 team.

In 1998 the Golden Bears had you on the ropes up 2-0 in the second. The game changed when the referee tossed Alberta captain Troy Hjertaas and shutdown "d" out for a check-from-behind.
Not that Hjertaas drilled someone into the boards mind you, he was clearing the front of the net!
It was a tough call and Alberta self-destructed having to play an inexperienced Tim Donnelly for the first time all tournament.
The V-Reds rallied and Dale Masson couldn't make a save.
But until that time it was the Bears game.
Last year, UNB dictated pace and flow. They were the better team. But Alberta got the saves.
My guess is that these things have a way of balancing out.
UNB got the breaks in '97 and '98. The Bears in 2000.
In 2004, UNB at home pulled off the upset at home against the best Bears team I have seen in the last 30 years.
In 2008 UNB had their best team maybe ever, and the second-chance Bears got the win.
On Thursday either team could win, but it might be the V-Reds time.

Bob Stauffer
Oilers Radio Network

Bears Play-by-play 1989-92, 1998-2008.

Anonymous said...

We're in T-Bay finally ... leave Fredericton at 6:00 am and arrive in T-Bay at 12:30 local and rush to the press conference.

If it's a good sign, Gardiner probably scored the most laughs at the presser.

Now we're waiting for our room to be ready at the Victoria Inn ... Kevin Dickie arrived after us and got his room, while Maureen Sparks is waiting like us.

We will be doing both SMU and UNB games on CHSR this week ... hopefully we're busy right through Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave... be sure to keep us posted on the "behind the scenes" stuff.

Anonymous said...

We're at the rink now ... we wanted to get all the bugs our early. We'll be doing the SMU game this afternoon and then UNB tonight. My first time in the building and hey, the seats are all a nice tasteful dark UNB red a la the Aitken Centre.