Bears Move On

The Bears won their series against the Dinos 2-0. Torrie Dyck has the most points for the team with 4. Johnny Lazo got 2 goals in the first game and an assist, but was silenced on Saturday giving him three points in his two games. On top of Greg Gardner scoring an amazing goal (post below) the Bears would not allow a goal throughout the series, continuing Mucha’s shut-out streak to 14 periods. An incredible streak that would be made more amazing if it continued against the Saskatchewan Huskies. The Bears will play the Huskies this week-end at Clare Drake, three games, first team to get two wins. Last year the Bears we’re nocked out of the play-offs and Nationals by the Huskies. The Bears won the first game and then lost the next two. That pattern shouldn’t repeat.

Ferguson Fight

“An Absolutely Dirty Dangle!”

Greg Gardner Scores in the second with style to build the lead. The Bears would win the series with a 2-0 game. They didn’t allow a goal all series. Mucha has had a shut-out in his past 14 periods played (excluding shoot-outs).

Captain

Greg Gardner is in his fifth season and second year of captaincy here at the UofA. So who would know better what to expect come playoffs? Greg Gardner isn’t one of the top scorers on team, his role is his great leadership. He understands hockey and is very good at communicating what he thinks to his teammates (A job harder than it sounds).

Greg also has the ability of not standing at the dot when the puck is dropped but still winning the face-off. This amazes me every time. He’ll be skating around before swooping in and grabbing the puck just before the opposing center.

[audio:http://bearspandascam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Greg-Gardner.mp3]

Pandas play Huskies

The pandas lost in OT. Three unanswered goals by the Thunderbirds. The Pandas will stay in fourth place and play the UofS Huskies next week-end at Clare Drake. The games will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Pandas vs UBC

Final score after the overtime winner

The Good and the Bad

The Bad: This will be the worst ever finish for the Pandas, third.

The Good: The Pandas will play their first play-off series at home (either Saskatchewan or Manitoba) Plus the Pandas will finish third IF they win tonight. They have a better GF/GA by +11.

The third placed UBC Thunderbirds will play the fourth placed Pandas tonight at six.

One point, two games

The Pandas, 33 points, are facing the UBC Thunderbirds, 34 points, in a battle for third place. Right now it appears as though the Pandas will finish the season in the lowest seed ever. Third. Or fourth. The Pandas need two wins this week-end to propel themselves into potentially second but most likely third. If the Regina Cougars lose one of their games agaisnt the fifth placed Manitoba Bisons, and the Pandas lock down two wins at Clare Drake arena. Then second place belongs to the Pandas.

Great Uniforms, Great Cause, Great Game!

The Pandas have a hugely important week-end agaisnt the first placed Dinos. The Dinos, who currently sit atop the Pandas by six points, have become a very popular team after the addition of Hayley Wickenheiser. The Former Captain of Canada’s womens team captain has not played the full the season this year, (trying to rest, not due to injury) yet she still manages to dominate the scoring table. The Pandas could cut the lead to just two points if they can manage a regulation time sweep.

Now the exciting part! Sarah Hilworth (injured this year) has always been the star of the Pandas team. Even in her first season. This year the Panda’s are hosting a special game to commemorate Sarah’s mom who died of ovarian cancer. The Pandas will be wearing these teal blue jerseys, the colour of ovarian cancer research, and teal blue socks. They even got teal laces!

The Bossman

That is the demeanor of Ian Herbers. The Golden Bears coach has quite a lengthy list of teams that he has played for. This includes the Golden Bears from 88-92 and then even the Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the New York Islanders! Over his time with the Bears and the three NHL teams Ian averaged over a penalty a game. In his first season with the Bears he was averaging 3 minutes in the box each night! Ian played a long career of pro-hockey lasting 20 years. In that time he played for 14 teams, including the Guildford Flames. A team that’s familiar. This is because Stan Marple, former coach and now General Manager of the Bears, played for the Flames as well. In fact the two played on the team at the same time!

Ian has the advantage of having already earned the players’ respect by having been one of them and succeeding after that, making the NHL. Ian knows what the players are going through, although the league was almost nothing like it is today. Ian understands competitive hockey and has made it very clear to the team what he expects. In terms of goaltending I’m not so sure…

[audio:http://bearspandascam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Ian-Herbers.mp3]

Consistency is Key

After talking to the head coach of the Pandas, Howie Draper, I learned that the Pandas most improved area is consistency, yet they need to put most of their effort into improving the consistency of their play. It may seem to be a mixed message, but I believe what he says is true. The Pandas recently have been far less consistent than they were at the start of the season, they have lost 6 of their last 11 games. That’s not how a team is going to win in Nationals. The Women’s league has become a lot more competitive over the past few years and the young Pandas team still has a lot to learn.

 

Howie is the best fit for a coach that the Pandas could dream of. That’s why he’s stayed with the team throughout their 16 years. With 11 first placed Canada-West finishes we discussed what it’s going to take for this team to get back to that point in this diminishing season. Also this season could easily turn sour, Howie has never finished lower than second place. The Regina Cougars are looking to change that. With 7 CIS National championships let’s hope Howie can get the team to do it again.

[audio:http://bearspandascam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Howie-Draper.jpg]

A Show of Skill

The Bears took it to the Team Canada Juniors beating them by a solid 4-1 margin. This was a huge game for the Bears as it was a chance to show Canada just how much talent they really have. Playing against Canada’s best 19 and 20 year olds. The Bears squad (Ranging from 19 to 25 years old) put it to them early scoring three goals in the first 9:45 of the game. Due to  four of their stars missing (captain Sean RIngrose, Ian Barteaux and James Dobrowolski) the Bears relied on the new sensation Torrie Dyck to light it up against the Nugent-less team Canada. Dyck scored two goals in the game and Ferguson contributed two assists. The Bears have to be feeling good after a victory to the most-hyped team in the country.

Go Canada Go!

Bears got a good win, but now it’s time for team Canada to win