2017-18 Alberta Golden Bears

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by Bob Stauffer, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    After winning back-to-back National Championships in 2013-14 (in Saskatoon vs Saskatchewan) and 2014-15 (in Halifax vs UNB) Canada West power Alberta has crashed out early in the last two University Cups.
    The reigning Conference Champions had as many as 11 freshman playing last season and will only be adding three or four recruits; likely two forwards, one D and a goalie.
    All the recruits, who will be announced late August or early September have extensive WHL experience.
    Interim Head Coach Serge Lajoie enters his third season as Alberta Head Coach as Ian Herbers (who went 119-19 with the Bears-same record as Alabama's Nick Saban) remains with the Edmonton Oilers.
    Alberta who were a team in transition last season, after significant graduation following the 2015-16 season, should be a top 2 team in the Canada West this season.
    The Bears will benefit from a full season from right shot PP D Jason Fram, and former 50 goal scorer from the WHL Cole Sanford, who both joined the program after Christmas last season
     
  2. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Loaded for Bear

    Alberta announced their recruits last week:

    https://www.ualberta.ca/athletics/t...rs-add-three-more-to-2017-18-recruiting-class

    I have followed this program since the last 1970's.
    Did 13 seasons of PxP and was Alberta's SID for eight years: on paper this is the best Golden Bears team the 15-time University Cup Champions have ever had!

    The Bears added two forwards that will play in their top nine.

    Steven Owre, who is head to Oilers Rookie Camp in Penticton, will likely be reunited with his former Medicine Hat Tigers' teammates Trevor Cox and Cole Sanford.

    Owre had 88 points last season, Cox had 109 points in '14-'15 the same year Sanford registered 50-45-95.

    Hard-nosed Brandon Magee redshirted at Alberta last season and will provide some bite down the middle as well, he registered three 60+ point seasons for Victoria in the WHL.

    Tyson Baille was Alberta's best freshman last season and he will certainly play in the Golden Bears top six up front. In 2015-16 Baille put up 43-52-95 with Kelowna after scoring 37-39-76 in the Rockets WHL Championship season in 2014-15.

    Another 2nd year Golden Bear Luke Philp had 82 and 77 point seasons in the WHL and should be better this year after fighting through injuries in freshman season.

    Jamie Crooks, who twice scored 30+ goals in the WHL is the Bears lone 5th year forward, he tied for the team scoring lead last season with Baille with 26 points.

    Jayden Hart and Stefan Legault who finshed 3rd (25) and 4th (24)in scoring will likely round the Golden Bears top three lines.

    This means that Cole Linaker and Taylor Cooper, both of whom had 50+ point seasons in the WHL, likely will be on an Alberta 4th line centered by Riley Keiser who was the 3rd line C for the Edmonton Oil Kings when they won the 2014 Memorial Cup.

    Defensively the Bears recruited another elite right shot puck-mover Clayton Kirichenko who had 12-52-64 and was +50 last season with Medicine Hat last season to go along with Jason Fram (57 and 62 point seasons with Spokane) who joined the program halfway through last season.

    Dylan Bredo led the Bears D in scoring last season (20 points in 28 games, 46 points, +33 as a 20 year-old in the WHL ) and he is joined by hulking Graeme Craig and Ryan Rehill-both with extensive WHL experience on a deep Bears back end.

    Alberta upgraded in goal as well!

    Zach Sawchenko elected to not to play his 20-year season for the Moose Jaw Warriors and the two-time WHL Eastern Conference Goaltender of the Year (30-14-6-1 with a 2.79 GAA, .917 SV% last season) will battle former Phoenix Coyotes draft Brendan Burke (8-3, 1.70 GAA, .934 as a freshman last season) for the #1 job in between the pipes.

    Suffice to say GM Stan Marple, who heads up Alberta's recruiting, has given Interim Head Coach Serge Lajoie a lot of horsepower to work with.

    Lajoie enters his third season with Ian Herbers remaining on leave with the Edmonton Oilers.

    Herbers posted a stellar 119-19 record in three seasons at Alberta winning back-to-back National titles in 2014 and 2015.

    Lajoie has gone 57-30 as Bears Head Coach as Alberta played with as many as 12 freshman last season en route to winning the Conference title in Saskatoon over rival Saskatchewan.

    Anything short of a 22 win regular season, a Conference Championship and advancing to the University Cup Final 4 would be considered a dissapointment in my opinion, especially after the Bears were knocked over the last two years in the USports Quarter-Finals.
     
  3. RED ARMY EAST

    RED ARMY EAST Registered User

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    Looking very dominant in CanadaWest.
    Blew out the Huskies at the dump on friday, but the National silver medalist's, from last year turn the table on Saturday 4-0 shutout. Regardless, Sask has had little turnover from last year and a couple of good recruits, especially on the backend, so dominating them 6-1 in Saskatoon is an eye opener. It looks like the Bears are better than the team we saw in Freddy in March?
    Freshman Sawchenko and Burke have basically split the games, any favourite so far?
    Surprised Kozun, one of Adolph's prized recruits hasn't seen more action with the Huskies, especially with Cooke getting lit up on Friday.
     

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