Pandas, Bisons clash in CWF rematch to open 2015-16

Pandas, Bisons clash in CWF rematch to open 2015-16

Evan Daum, Canada West Communications

Nothing like getting some bad blood out of the way opening weekend.

That’s the position the Manitoba Bisons and Alberta Pandas will find themselves in to start the 2015-16 Canada West season, as last year’s Canada West finalists meet October 3-4 to open a new season.

Alberta, who downed the Bisons in a thrilling three-game series last year to claim the Canada West banner, travels to Winnipeg opening weekend, while a trio of other series are also slated to kick off the regular season, as announced Monday.

Regina hosts Calgary, Mount Royal visits Saskatchewan, and Lethbridge travels to UBC in other opening weekend action.

There will be no shortage of speed bumps for the Pandas over the course of the 2015-16 season if they hope to repeat in a conference that has seen the gap between top teams shrink considerably in recent years.

Matchups against UBC (Nov. 20/21, Jan. 15/16) and Saskatchewan (Oct. 30/31, Feb. 5/6), who along with Manitoba all downed the Pandas twice in the regular season in 2014-15, are just some of the highlights of the 2015-16 schedule.

Both the men’s and women’s regular seasons conclude February 12-13, when teams will have their final chance to secure one of six postseason berths.

The Canada West best-of-three quarterfinal series open February 19-21, with the winners moving on to face the regular season’s top two teams – who will once again receive first round playoff byes – in the conference semis.

It all culminates with the Canada West Finals March 4-6, and finally the CIS national tournaments March 17-20, when the Dinos will play host to the event for the second consecutive year.

Key Dates Women’s Hockey:

  • Friday, October 2 and Sunday, October 4: Conference opening weekend, featuring a rematch of 2015 Canada West Final between Alberta and Manitoba in Winnipeg
  • Friday, January 8 and Saturday, January 9: First weekend of the second half
  • Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13: Final regular season weekend
  • Friday, February 19 – Sunday, February, 21: Canada West quarterfinals (best-of-three); top two regular season teams receive byes
  • Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28: Canada West semi-finals (best-of-three)
  • Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6: Canada West Final
  • Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20: CIS national tournament hosted by Calgary

Canada West Schedule Release Dates

June 22: Volleyball (men's and women's) / June 29: Basketball (men's and women's) / June 30: CW championship sports