The Bison women’s hockey team opened their regular season at home, sporting pink on their sticks and skates as part of the “Shoot the Cure” event taking place in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The reigning Canada West champions hosted a familiar foe in Alberta for their first two games of the season. The first game was close, but was ultimately won by Alberta 4-3. Down by two in the last minute of the third, Jessica Carwell scored to cut the Pandas’ lead in half but it was simply too little too late.
The women’s hockey team didn’t fare much better the following night in their follow-up game against the Pandas, dropping a second game 4-1 at home. The Bisons had some highlights, including captain Addie Miles’s lone goal for the Bisons and goalie Leiette Klassen’s 22 saves of the night as the Bisons fell to 0-2-0 to start the season.
Meanwhile, the men’s hockey team were on the road, travelling to Edmonton to face off against the U of Alberta Golden Bears. In the first five minutes of the first game Blair Macaulay converted on a wraparound that got past the Bears’ goaltender. Following the strong start the Bisons continued to put pressure on the Bears, which paid off at 15:07 in the first period when a point shot by Myles Rumsey ricocheted its way into the net. The lead was extended to three in the second, thanks to a successful slapshot by Tyler Dittmer at 6:44. At the end of the second period, it looked as if the Bisons had it in the bag, with a score of 4-1.
Undisciplined play from the Bisons resulted in a few penalties and misconducts in the third, with Chad Erb being sent off the ice. The third was all Bears as they scored three goals all within approximately five minutes of each other. On shaky ground, the Bisons rallied together and team captain Mike Hellyer led by example, scoring a great top-shelf goal with 93 seconds left on the clock. The final score broke the potential tie and clinched the game, 5-4 for the Bisons.
In their second game of the series, the Bisons once again came up big. The game remained scoreless through the first period, until the Bisons got on the scoreboard first 19 minutes into the second period. The Bears scored in the third at the 13:34 mark to tie the game and force overtime. During a 3-on-3 play in the second OT period, a Bears goal was nulled due to a “too many men” penalty. The controversial call allowed Bison forward Blair Macaulay to score the game-winning goal as the Bisons left Edmonton with a perfect 4-0-0 record.
This upcoming weekend, the Bison men host Regina for a pair of games while the women look for their first win of the season on the road against Regina.
The women’s basketball team hosted the “Shoot for the Cure” invitation non-conference tournament (Oct. 14-16) to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and promote the cause. The tournament has been ongoing for the past four seasons, with over $390,000 raised by the CIS Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Six games took place between four teams during the tournament. The teams were: University of Manitoba Bisons, University of Winnipeg Wesman, Lakehead University Thunderwolves and Trinity Western Spartans.
The Bisons played the Trinity Western Spartans in Friday’s second game. The Bisons lost 66-58, but the game was far from a lopsided. While the score remained close in the first half, Trinity took a big lead in the third. In the fourth, the Bisons fought back from a 14-point deficit to get to within one of tying, and it seemed as if they might pull out the victory. Unfortunately, Trinity would rally and sink some crucial three-point shots as they managed to hold off the Bisons.
Three Bison players had double-digit performances: forward Mubo Ilelaboye scored 15 points in 26 minutes, leading the team; forward Vanessa De Vries scored 13 points in 32 minutes, and guard Lauren Mortier scored 11 points in 29 minutes.
The following day saw the Bisons and Thunderwolves clash. Despite the game being tied 41-41 in the third, the Bisons lost 64-53 in another close game. The Thunderwolves overtook the Bisons in the fourth and proved to be too much for the Bisons as they won their first game of the tournament.
On the last day the Bisons took on their familiar city rivals, the Winnipeg Wesmen. The Wesmen took the lead in the first half and held onto it for the remainder of the game, winning by a 16-point margin, 59-43. Melanie Edel and Mubo Ilelaboye were the Bison standouts, scoring eight points each.
By the tournament’s end the Bisons were 0-3, the Thunderwolves 1-2, the Wesmen 2-1 and the Trinity Western Spartans emerged victorious in all of their games, finishing with a perfect 3-0 record.
All ticket sales from Saturday’s games went to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, as did the sale of pink “Shoot for a Cure” t-shirts. At the end of the weekend, the tournament was ultimately about raising money and awareness for the breast cancer cause; in that regard, it was a success.
On Oct. 15 the Bisons women soccer team played the University of Victoria Vikes at Centennial Stadium in Victoria, B.C.. After the Bisons took a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Vikes came storming back in the second to tie the game, with the final score 2-2.
The Bisons followed up that close game with another the following day against Fraser Valley. Bison goalie Chloe Werle was forced to make 10 saves as the Bisons held on to a 1-1 draw. The Bisons come home from their B.C. road trip with two points as they prepare to take on Calgary (Oct. 22 at 11 a.m.) and Lethbridge (Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.) at University of Manitoba West Field this weekend.