Alberta Golden Bears 2018-19

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by Bob Stauffer, Aug 28, 2018.

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  1. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    The reigning USports National Champion Alberta Golden Bears opened training camp today with medicals and physicals.
    Ian Herbers, who spent the last three seasons as an Assitant on Todd McLellan's staff with the Edmonton Oilers, has returned to the program as Head Coach after being on sabbatical.
    Herbers has gone 119-19 in three seasons at Alberta (2012-15), winning back-to-back University Cup's in 2014 and 2015.
    The Bears return the core of the team that Serge Lajoie coached to the school's 16th National title last March losing only top 6 forward Jamie Crooks and swing man Dylan Bredo to graduation-Bredo played mostly defence, but moved to center after returning from a shoulder injury last season.
    (FYI, Lajoie is now the Head Coach of the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL.)
    To start the season the Bears will be down a couple key bodies up front.
    Top-6 forwards Stephane Legault (2018 University Cup MVP, 5th in Canada West scoring last season) and Tyson Baillie (tied for 12th in Conference scoring) will both be unavailable to start the year.
    Bottom-6 forward Cole Linaker will also be out a while as he still recovering from a significant lower body injury that limited him to eight Conference games last season.
    That said the Bears do return the prolific trio of Trevor Cox-Luke Philp-Cole Sanford.
    All three were dynaminc players in the WHL.
    Philp was an All-Canadian last season and the Canada West MVP after leading the Conference in scoring with 40 points in 28 GP. This will be Philp's third season at Alberta and it could be his last as multiple NHL teams were scouting him last Spring.
    Cox, who scored 109 points with Medicine Hat in '14-15 last season was 4th in Canada West scroring last season.
    Sanford has yet to take his game to the next level since coming to USports. He scored 50 and 41 goals in back-to-back seasons in the WHL. Herbers had terrific Powerplays at Alberta before leaving for the Oilers; Sanford, who is a shooter could benefit the most from Herbers return.
    In the wake of the early season absence of both Legault and Bailllie (who had 43-52-95 as a 20-year old with Kelowna) the Bears will expect Steven Owre and Brandon Magee to be consistent top-6 performers.
    Owre was on the USports All-Rookie team last season.
    Magee is spirited player with offensive upside but has a reputation for being undisciplined in Junior and in USports-he was suspended for the University Cup last season; but could take his game to the next level under Herbers.
    Team Captain Riley Kieser will center the Bears third line, and has been the same glue guy for Alberta that he was on the WHL's last Memorial Cup Champion, the Edmonton Oil Kings back in 2014.
    General Manager Stan Marple has recruited two forwards out of the WHL who will play immediately:
    Curtis Miske, is a 6'3", 205 pound center who had 27-37-64 in 72 GP last season for Prince Albert and was the best Raiders forward in a hard-fought 7-game series loss to WHL regular season Champion Moose Jaw.
    Grayson Pawlenchuk, is a grinding bottom-6 forward who had 52 points in 72 GP last season playing for Brent Sutter in Red Deer,
    A wild-card for the Golden Bears is Jayden Hart. The 6'2" RW, scored 4 goals in 11 AHL GP for Rochester before coming to Alberta.
    He had a strong second season, but core issues have derailed his game and he was non-factor last season.
    Marple and Herbers still have lines in the water on at least three strong graduating WHL forwards who are headed to NHL camps without NHL deals.

    Whereas the Golden Bears will be lacking a little depth up front at least out of the gate, Alberta is as good as anyone in Country on defence and in goal.

    Alberta has three right shot D that ran powerplays in the WHL.
    Jason Fram was the USports Defenceman of the Year last season and an All-Canadian after registering 9-14-23 in 28 GP and going +25.
    Clayton Kirichenko heads into his second season at Alberta, he had 12-52-64 as a 20-year old with Medince Hat.
    Sawyer Lange was a 50-point man with Prince Albert before coming to Golden Bears.
    Left shot D Graeme Craig scored 9 goals in 27 GP last season with former NJ pick Ryan Rehill and Ben Carroll rounding out a Bears d corps that can really transition the puck.

    Herbers will also have the best goaltenders he has worked with at Alberta.
    Zach Sawchenko bypassed his 20-year old season in the WHL after winning back-to-back Eastern Conference Goalie-of-the-Year Awards with Moose Jaw to come to the Golden Bears last fall.
    Many believe that had Moose Jaw had Sawchenko as a 20-year old in goal last season that they would have been the WHL Champions instead of Swift Current. The Broncos beat the Warriors in a 7-game series.
    Ultimately after splitting time with incumbent Brendan Burke last season, Lajoie turned to Sawchenko in the USports Semi-Final OT win over Saskatchewan and the 4-2 U Cup Final win over St. FX.
    Both Sawchenko and Burke are #1 goalies at the USports level.

    The dominance of Herber's teams at the last two National Championships that he coached suggests that the Golden Bears might have the best Coach in the Country back in the fold.
    Marple has being relentless in his efforts to recruit the best players.
    Alberta will be good to start the season, they could be scary good by the end of the year assuming both Legault and Baillie return to full health and if the program adds at least one impactful forward at Christmas who wil be trying his luck at Pro in the Fall.

    Expectations are always high for the Golden Bears program, but the pieces could be there for a very dominant Alberta team (especially after Christmas).
     
  2. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta opens their Canada West regular season this weekend at home against the team they beat in the Canada West Final and the University Cup Semi-Final, long-time rival Saskatchewan.
    The Golden Bears are really banged up.
    At minimun the Bears will be down three top-6 forwards as University Cup MVP Stephane Legault (achilles), Tyson Baillie and Brandon Magee are all going to miss significant time in the 1st Half along with 4th line checking C Cole Linaker.
    Those four are all expected back after Christmas.
    The Bears are coming off of 10-0 and 9-1 routs of ACAC schools' Augustana and NAIT.
     
  3. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    Bears not playing any NCAA opponents this year?
     
  4. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    They go to Denver next week to play the Pioneers and CC
     
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  5. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Down 8 players total
     
  6. Drummer

    Drummer Better Red than Dead

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    It's good think that CW doesn't have a roster cap.
     
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  7. mikeandI

    mikeandI Registered User

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    Come on bob, starting to sand bag early!
    8 guys.....
    Have a great trip to Germany!
     
  8. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta earns a split with rival Saskatchewan with a convincing 5-1 victory Sunday Night in Edmonton as the Golden Bears outshot the Huskies 35-15 and scored 2 SHG's in the win.
    I missed Saturday night's game as a flying from Edmonton to Cologne but by all reports Saskatchewan took over the game in the second period en route a 5-2 win.
    Alberta played this weekend with just 9 healthy forwards as 2018 USports MVP Stephane Legault and top 6 forwards Tyson Baillie and Brandon Magee are all out for a while along with 4th line C Cole Linaker.
    Watched the 2nd and 3rd periods tonight and the Bears were on another level than Saskatchewan as it was the Huskies who looked fatigued as the game wore on.
    Huskies' netminder Taran Kozun stopped two clear cut breakways in the third period or it would've been worse.
    I will be very intrigued to see how these teams match up in the second half of the season; once Legault, Baillie and Magee are available and there is also the possibility of the Golden Bears adding a player out of minor pro as well.
    Alberta travels to Denver and Air Force next week-end and then at Manitoba the week after.
    I would suggest this is the toughest 6-game stretch of the season for the Golden Bears.
     
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  9. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta outshoots Denver 40-34 but loses to DU 6-4 in Colorado.
    Not a great night from Zach Sawchenko who gave up 6 goals on 34 shots.
    Bears played without 3 top 6 forwards as Legault, Baillie and Magee are injured as well as middle six forward Jayden Hart and 4th line C Cole Linaker.
    Golden Bears in Air Force tomorrow
     
  10. AUS Fan

    AUS Fan Registered User

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    You forgot to mention that 3 of the 4 goals were on the PP. Quite a few PIMs in the game. A good number of shots by both teams. A good effort if DA Bears were short staffed as you say.
     
  11. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Enduring their toughest stretch of the season Alberta returns from difficult Denver/ Air Force trip with a split in WPG against Manitoba.

    A few thoughts.
    #1. No way to truly evalaute the Golden Bears vs Denver/AFA.
    Not having three forwards who would be in top 6 on any team in the Country (Stephane Legault, Tyson Baillie and Brandon Magee) short-changed Alberta's depth, which was needed in high altitude in Colorado. I have made the trip to Denver at least 15 times in the last decade. Tough to deal with and zaps your energy level.
    #2. Bears almost always split in Winnipeg.
    #3. An under-staffed Alberta outshot Manitoba 40-20 in the 2nd game of their series and outshot Saskatchewan 35-15 in Game 2 of their seires in 4-1 and 5-1 wins. I will be very interested to see how Alberta matches up against Saskatchewan in the last week of November and Manitoba in early January.
     
  12. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta beat Mount Royal 4-3 in OT in Calgary tonight.
    The big boys got it done for the Golden Bears as a pair of All-Canadians each had three-point nights.
    Jason Fram, who was selected the top D-man in Usports Hockey last year scored the winner in OT off a deflection, and also added a pair of PP assists.
    Luke Philip scored the 2 PP goals in the second and added an assist on Fram's winner.
    Freshman Grayson Pawlenchuk tied the game in the third on an excellent net drive.
    The Bears continued to play with-out a trio of top 6 forwards as Stefan Legault, Tyson Baillie and Brandon Magee remain out.
    It showed IMO as MRU was quicker on pucks 5v5 for large stretches of the game.
     
  13. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    For the 2nd consective night Alberta rallies for an OT victory over Mount Royal.
    Captain Riley Kieser tied it with just :14 left in regulation, before freshman Curtis Miske scored his 2nd of the game in OT to give the Golden Bears the 3-2 win.
    Bears third-string goaltender Kenny Cameron got the win as Alberta domianted the shot clock for the 3rd consecutive Canada West week-end in the 2nd game of the series...40-20.
    Alberta improved to 4-2 with the win
     
  14. RED ARMY EAST

    RED ARMY EAST Registered User

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    Late comeback for UBC, upset the Bears 4-3 Friday night.
    Alberta has split with U Sask, Manitoba and now at least a split for UBC this weekend. Mount Royal lost to Alberta last weekend, but both games went into overtime.
    "Oilers Now show" has a interview with Ian Herbers on the Bears season so far-Oct 26.
     
  15. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta splits with UBC.

    Despite outshooting UBC 37-21 Friday night the Golden Bears squandered a 3-2 lead and lost 4-3 Friday night.
    Tonight, I watched the 2nd and 3rd period online after the Oilers landed in Chicago and it wasn't close.
    Alberta outshot UBC 51-10, that's right 51-10!
    Brandon Magee scored twice to pace the Golden Bears attempt tonight, after scoring last night in his return to the Alberta line-up. Magee had missed the 3 previous weeks with an upper body injury.
    All-Canadian forward Luke Philip, was injured in the first period of Game 2 of the Mount Royal series, did not play this weekend.
    Nor did 2018 U CUP MVP Stefan Legault, Tyson Baillie and Cole Linaker.
    All 4 forwards should back up and in the line-up by the start of the second half.
    But no question Alberta is struggling to score right now!
     
  16. AUS Fan

    AUS Fan Registered User

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    Duh. If you're missing that kind of talent from your roster, scoring will be a problem. A 5-3 record is not terrible. When they get healthy I'm sure they'll get back to their winning ways.
     
  17. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    After a Conference -wide bye last week, #3 ranked Alberta walloped Regina 6-0 Friday night in Edmonton.
    The Golden Bears outshot the Cougars 58-16 to run their home unbeaten streak to 45 games, dating back to 1996, over Regina.
    Freshman Grayson Pawlenchuk paced the attack with 2 goals, Brandon Magee (who has been terrific since returning from an upper-body injury), Jason Fram and Riley Kieser added 1-1-2 each.
    Alberta is now 6-3 in Conference play.
    The two teams meet again tomorrow night.
     
  18. RED ARMY EAST

    RED ARMY EAST Registered User

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    With Alberta's talent, no surprise to run up the shot clock on a team like Regina.
    They have struggled to sweep a few series early in the season, but will be the team to go through in Lethbridge. It will take a team like UNB, maybe SMU at Nationals to knock them off, if it happens!
     
  19. Bob Stauffer

    Bob Stauffer Registered User

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    Alberta sweeps Regina with a convincing 6-1 victory Saturday night in Edmonton.
    The Bears outshot Regina 60-18, for a combined 118-34 over the two games.
    Lukas Nickles, a 4th liner for the Golden Bears scored twice.
    Tyson Baillie played his first game of the season since hip surgery.
    All-Canadian Luke Philip and U Cup MVP Stefan Legault did not play, but both are close to returning.
    I am starting to see greater structure in Alberta's game.
    Starting to look like Ian Herbers' teams for 2013-15 that exerted tremendous forechecking pressure.
    Bears had become quite reliant on scoring off the the rush witrh Serge Lajoie.
    Alberta in Lethbridge next week
     

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