Having played the Mount Royal Cougars last weekend, the University of Alberta hockey teams are hosting another set of Cougars this weekend. This time from Regina. And if that’s not confusing enough, Regina has a green and yellow/gold colour scheme as well! The Pandas will host the Cougars at Clare Drake Arena at 7pm on Friday January 25th and 2pm on January 26th. The Golden Bears will travel to Regina and play the Cougars on the road.
After splitting their series against Mount Royal, the Pandas fell to second place in the Canada West standings and fourth in the U Sports Top 10. However, this weekend is an opportunity to challenge the University of Manitoba for first in the Canada West. Only one point separates the two teams right now.
The Pandas have played one series against Regina this season. With two victories (and two shutouts) to show for it, the Pandas have had considerable success against Regina this year. With only two wins since returning to action at the start of January, Regina is one of several teams which are still in the playoff hunt but haven’t secured their spot yet. Regina’s Jaycee Magwood and Emma Waldenberger lead the team in offensive production with 16 and 14 points respectively. Regina is not without threats of their own despite their somewhat poor results recently. With goaltenders Baker and Kish splitting the workload fairly evenly, it is likely the Pandas will play one game against each. Kish, who made quite the splash for the Cougars last year, has struggled a bit this season and currently sits last for qualified goaltenders in goals against average.
The Pandas have had steady offensive contributions from their defensive core and relied on three goaltenders this season (Owen, Chamberlin, and Oswald). With a 0.51 goals against average in eight games played, rookie Halle Oswald’s success put her at the top of the qualified goalie standings. Whichever combination of goaltenders or single goaltender the Pandas choose to play, they have a solid selection of netminders to consider.
After this weekend, the Pandas have just one more home game making this an excellent time to take in some great hockey.
The Golden Bears will also play the Regina Cougars this weekend. However, Regina finds themselves at the very bottom of the Canada West standings with only nine points while the Golden Bears are in second. The Golden Bear who had dominate wins in both games of the home and home series will be looking to continue winning with authority.
Tyler Soy, who joined the Golden Bears in Janaury, notched his first goal last weekend while Cole Sanford added four assists and two goals in two games. Golden Bears players, much like the Pandas, occupy the top two spots in the Canada West scoring race. While Philp and Sanford highlight the Golden Bears list of offense, there have also been considerable contributions from Cox, Fram, and Kieser. Despite struggling early in the season, the Golden Bears have stabilized and now look like a team that is capable of challenging for both the Canada West and National titles.
As The University of Saskatchewan plays the recently playoff qualified University of British Columbia, the Golden Bears will be hoping that they may find themselves in first place in the Canada West come Sunday.
The action gets started at 7:00pm on Friday night at Clare Drake Arena… go down catch some great hockey and maybe buy a raffle ticket to support scholarships for Pandas Hockey players…