Ice Chips: Playoff races going down to the wire

Ice Chips: Playoff races going down to the wire

Canada West Communications

To get you set for the final regular season weekend of Canada West women's hockey action, here are some storylines from around the conference in the latest edition of Ice Chips.

 

Cougars to battle Huskies for playoff positioning

Regina Athletics

REGINA - The University of Regina women's hockey team is set for its final Canada West regular season games this weekend, as the Cougars will battle the Saskatchewan Huskies in a home-and-home set. Friday's contest will take place at The Co-operators Centre before Saturday's rematch in Saskatoon.

Nothing has been set in stone for the Canada West playoff picture entering this weekend, as the Cougars could finish anywhere from first to fourth place. Regina is a point behind UBC for first place, and a point ahead of Alberta. Saskatchewan currently sits in fourth place but could work its way up as high as second with this weekend's results.

"Even though we've clinched a home playoff game these ones are still pretty important to us - earning a first-round bye was one of our goals at the start of the season and we're really close to that," head coach Sarah Hodges said.

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Cougars and Pandas play home-and-home with the playoffs on the line

MRU Athletics

CALGARY - This weekend's games against the Pandas are must wins for Mount Royal. The Cougars are seeking their first ever playoff berth but sit two points out of a playoff spot with only two games to play. However regulation wins count for 3 points in the women's division so Mount Royal is very much alive. However the Cougars have never beaten the Pandas in regular season play.

THE SERIES:

Alberta has won all 14 of their matchups against Mount Royal, 13 of which in regulation. They are the only team Mount Royal has yet to beat after entering Canada West.

MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS (8-12-3-3)

The Cougars got four of a possible six points off Lethbridge last weekend, narrowing the Pronghorns' seventh place lead to just two points. The Pronghorns have a tough weekend ahead as they play the surging Calgary Dinos. It looks like Head Coach Scott Rivett will turn to Jess Ross in goal to try and save the Cougars season. After platooning with sophomore Emma Pincott for most of the season, Ross has taken the reigns as of late. 

ALBERTA PANDAS (13-9-1-3)

The Pandas clinched a home playoff date last weekend but are now in search of a first round bye. The Pandas are only two points out of first place and are looking to get into one of the top two positions. They have consistently stayed atop the standings this season battling with UBC and Regina since October. The Pandas have scored by committee this season and it is a rookie who is leading the way. Alex Poznikoff leads the Pandas with 16 points (11G, 5A) this season. 

 

Bisons, 'Birds collide in final regular season weekend

Bisons Athletics

WINNIPEG - The Bison women's hockey team finishes the 2015-16 conference regular season at home as they host the #9 UBC Thunderbirds at the Wayne Fleming Arena during the February 12-13 weekend. Puck drop versus the Thunderbirds will be 7 p.m. CT on Friday and 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. 

This series is crucial as Manitoba is in fifth spot in the Canada West standings entering the weekend with a 12-12-0-2 record for 38 points but only two points out of fourth place, held by Saskatchewan, and hosting a playoff round. The Bisons have not yet clinched a playoff spot. UBC leads Canada West with a 12-8-4-2 record for 46 points (Canada West women's hockey rewards three points for regulation win).

This is the second weekend series between the two teams this Canada West season as they played earlier in October at UBC and the Bisons split the weekend (L 2-1 on Oct. 23/15 and W 4-1 on Oct. 24/15).

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Pronghorns in town for final playoff push

Donna Cumming, Dinos Athletics

CALGARY - In the final weekend of the regular season, the University of Calgary Dinos will face the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in a home-and-home series, February 12-13. The two teams will face off in Calgary on Saturday, February 13 at 6 p.m. MT at Father David Bauer Arena.

With the play-offs just around the corner, both teams are on the bubble to qualify in the top six. Lethbridge currently sits in sixth place with 34 points, while the Dinos remain in eighth place with 31. The Dinos would need to win both games this weekend in order to surpass Lethbridge for the final play-off spot.

Calgary has had a very strong second half of the season, with a 7-3 record over their last 10 games, while the Pronghorns have struggled at 3-5-1. Both teams are coming off a split series last weekend, as the Dinos split with Manitoba and the Pronghorns with Mount Royal.

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Women's hockey weekend schedule:

Fri. 12 UBC   Manitoba   7:00 PM CST
  Saskatchewan   Regina   7:00 PM CST
  Calgary   Lethbridge   7:00 PM MST
  Mount Royal   Alberta   7:00 PM MST
Sat. 13 UBC   Manitoba   1:00 PM CST
  Regina   Saskatchewan   7:00 PM CST
  Alberta   Mount Royal   6:00 PM MST
  Lethbridge   Calgary   6:00 PM MST

Catch all the action on Canadawest.tv