Friday, 2 November 2007

Friday Night's Action in Canada West

The Canada West regular season opens in earnest this weekend with a full slate of games which began last night with Winnipeg's dramatic last second victory against Manitoba in the Duckworth Challlenge. There are six more regular season games tonight including several interesting matchups, beginning with UVic Vikes visiting Calgary and Simon Fraser, which gave the 'Cats a solid game a few weeks ago at the Brandon Super 8 tournament, visiting Brandon.

9:00 pm Simon Fraser (0-2) at #8 Brandon (0-0) Preview: 8th Ranked Bobcats Set To Open Regular Season Against SFU, TWU; Written by: Jeremy Sawatzky, BU Sports Information; BRANDON, MB – The Brandon University Bobcats are ready for some games that matter. After a month of exhibition tournaments and meaningless pre-season contests, the 8th ranked ‘Cats will open their 2007-08 conference schedule this weekend when they host the Simon Fraser Clan on Friday and the Trinity Western Spartans on Saturday. “We were happy with the way our pre-season schedule turned out,” said first year head coach Mike Raimbault, whose team went 4-2 against CIS competition and 3-0 at a tournament in North Dakota during the month of October. “We learned some lessons, we looked at the mistakes we were making and were able to make improvements. Now we’ve got two talented teams coming in here, and we’re excited for the challenge.” Both teams enter this weekend with identical records of 0-2, but Raimbault says the Bobcats won’t be taking either squad lightly. “We played Simon Fraser during our Super 8 Tournament (a game Brandon won 89-82) and they’re a big, tough, physical team,” noted Raimbault. “And Trinity knocked us off in their gym last year, so we know what they’re capable of. We have to come out ready to play.” This weekend kicks off a favorable first-half schedule for the ‘Cats, who play 7 of their first 10 games at home

10:00 pm Victoria (2-0) at Calgary (0-0) Ron Rauch of the Victoria Times-Colonist has an article on Vic freshman Ryan MacKinnon From Dino News by Wayne Thomas... Opening Games Big For Dinos; Put all other plans on hold ... cancel the shopping, movies, quiet night at home, buffing your nails, and any other less urgent activities. The Dinos opening weekend of Canada West action screams for your attention. The traditional opening games with UVic and UBC, usually played on the west coast, are in Calgary this Friday and Saturday, and they match these two Pacific powerhouses with an ambitious Calgary squad ready to take a first step to national prominence. Both the Vikes, Friday's opponents, and the Thunderbirds, who visit Saturday tipped off their regular season last weekend with a pair of wins in the Pacific Division. Alumni players are all aware of the challenges when facing these two teams, who have been strong in Canada West for many years. The Dinos get Henry Bekkering back on the court, as he is almost fully recovered from an ankle injury, and Assistant Coach Matt Skinn is back from a quick jaunt to Ontario... More from Wayne Thomas from the Dinos... Vikes Tough Defense Keeps Them At The Top The Victoria Vikings have, since Craig Beauchamp has taken the coaching reins, been the best defensive team in Canada West ... 2004-05 averaged 68.7 pts against ... 1st in CW; 14-6 , Canada West Finalists, CIS Consolation Champs; 2005-06 70.2 against, again 1st, while last in CW scoring avge at 71.2; 15-5, Canada West Champs, CIS Finalists; 2006-07 20-3, lost out in CW Final Four, 11th in CW scoring avge. at 75.9. The Vikes have proven that defense wins games and championships, and despite having lost four key starters from last year, they have started 2-0 in Pacific Division play with wins over Trinity Western ( 71-56 ) and Simon Fraser ( 79-66 ) last weekend. That's a pts. against average of 61 pts. a game and an indicator that their defense won't let them down this campaign. Victoria is looking to replace the scoring of Josh Whyte and Jacob Doerksen, who both left for 'personal reasons' along with grads Graeme Bollinger, their top rebounder, and Brandon Ellis their lights out 3 pt. shooter. They will rely heavily on Tyler Haas and Mitch Gudgeon, a pair of 4th year forwards, along with Cyril Indome, a quick 3rd year guard from Winnipeg. They have added a couple of talented 6'4" freshmen guards in Julian Spear Chief Morris from LCI Lethbridge, and Ryan MacKinnon from Comox. Also a 1st year on the Vikes roster is 6'7" post Pierce Anderson, who played for Romel Raffin at Central HS in Calgary. The Dinos will return Henry Bekkering from injury this weekend, and he will likely team with brother Ross, point guard Jeff Price, two guard Cody Darrah, and post man Robbie Sihota in the starting line-up. Look for big (6'9") Joe Schow to see lots of action in the post, and Tyler Fidler to get a good look on the perimeter. Darrah and Jeremy Odland are the only two 5th year seniors on the Dinos, and Odland says he wants to do whatever it takes to win this season. Calgary is 1-3 over the last 5 seasons .... last year was a 66-54 loss at Victoria.

10:00 pm #4 UBC (2-0) at Lethbridge (0-0)
10:00 pm Trinity Western (0-2) at Regina (0-0)
11:00 pm Alberta (0-0) at Thompson Rivers (0-2)
11:00 pm Saskatchewan (0-0) at UCFV (2-0)

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