While the University of Saskatchewan Huskies enjoy their final weekend off of the season they will take great interest in what is happening on the ice around Canada West.
One province West the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Golden Bears hook up for a home and home series that will be the highlight of the weekend. Two of the elite teams in Canada West hook up tonight in Edmonton and Saturday night in Calgary. If I'm not mistaken, Dustin Nielsen of The Team 1260 in Edmonton will have the webcast of tonight's game online.
The Dinos trail the Huskies by 2 points for 2nd place in Canada West but have one game in hand. I would think a split would be the order of business setting up a critical weekend series at the end of the month in Saskatoon.
On the flip side, the Huskies are still in a position to catch the Bears for first place trailing by just 6 points. After this weekend the Huskies will have a pair of games in hand on Alberta.
Here's Gateway sports writer Evan Daum's take on the Bears from his South Campus Sports blog:
It's hard to say that a season is defined by a weekend series in January, but for me that's what this weekend against Calgary is for the Alberta Golden Bears. Splitting their last four series hasn't been good enough, and while the rest of the conference has improved, the Bears have not.
I think the weekend series that may be the most important for the teams involved is the series in Winnipeg.
The Lethbridge Pronghorns will be in Manitoba to take on the Bisons for a pair of games beginning Friday. Manitoba has a slip 2 point lead for the final playoff spot over the Horns and hold a game in hand so this 2 game set should be a big one.
Lethbridge just took 3 of a possible 4 points last weekend against Alberta and this this team is in a position to enter the playoff picture. Let's also note that the Bisons trail Saskatchewan by just 2 points with two games in hand. Those games in hand get used up this weekend and they need to make them count.
UBC will take on Regina in the other weekend set and with UBC 4 points back of the Huskies and just 2 points back of a playoff spot they could enter the picture although both Manitoba and Calgary have games in hand and after the weekend so will the Huskies.
It'll be interesting to see what takes place and what the scenario is come next weekend when the Huskies get back on the ice.
I'll be following the CW picture here on the blog and also over on twitter at Twitter.com/DarrenDupont.