Golden Bears Want More

 

Bears With Bright Outlook

Alberta were primed for last season’s play-off series, and came away with the Canada West crown.  With 10 returnees, including 5th year stalwarts, Mamadou Gueye, Lyndon Annetts, and Geoff Pippus, the Bears bring playing experience and great depth.  Without doubt, this is a top 3 team in Canada West for the upcoming year.

Brody Clarke                         Photo – Bears Athletics

U of A has Canada West All-stars, Brody Clarke, and Austin Waddoups, as well as Rookie of the Year, Andre Kelly.  Oh, and, very likely their best clutch performer in the 6-7 Gueye, a genuine ‘Prime Time Performer’!   Last season Mamadou led Bears scorers at 15.9 ppg / 6 rebs, with Clarke at 14.4 ppg/ 7.1 rebs, and   Waddoups scoring 13.7 ppg/ 3.7 assists.

Alberta utilizes the 3 point shot most effectively with Waddoups hitting  46.8%, Kelly 44.7%, along with Pippus , Ivan Ikomey  and Gueye all over 40% from downtown during the last campaign. Coach Barnaby Craddock, who has the distinction of taking 3 different teams to the National Championship Tournament ( Brandon, Fraser Valley, Alberta), has the talent to get back to Halifax this coming March.

He has added 2 more players in 6-4 wing, Nolan Woodward (Montreal), a powerful offensive threat, and, from France, Hugo Cluysen, a 6-7, 18 year old  forward with club and international experience. Coach Craddock says, “We do have depth, and we think we’ve added some good contributors, as well as some young guys.”

Bears last season 14-6  … Canada West champs … Prognosis – Could well go 16-17 wins … schedule has Alberta at home for key series’.

 

Gueye – “We want to be the best!”

The Alberta Golden Bears, the 2017 Canada West Champions, are blessed with a strong array of veteran returnees, but none so indispensible as their lynchpin wing-man, 5th year star, Mamadou Gueye.  In successive playoff years, Gueye has produced his best basketball when all the chips are on the table.

Mamadou Gueye – Photo Bears Athletics

Last season, after what he himself suggests was a ‘less than spectacular’ regular campaign, Gueye propelled the Bears to their 12th Canada West title with a stellar 30 pts/ 8 rebs in a semi-final win over Saskatchewan, then  20 pts/ 8 boards in the final vs Manitoba. “ Says Gueye, “I was trying to see where to best fit in with our team system as the season progressed.”  “When it came to the play-offs, I knew it was ‘go-time’, and I was confident and ready to play hard”.

Coming to U of A in 2013 from Cegep Ste. Foy in Quebec, Gueye was Canada West Rookie of the Year, and 5 years later he is poised to get his Bachelor of Arts degree this coming Spring.  When asked why he would come West to play his university ‘ball, Gueye explained, “I was impressed with the team, with Jordan Baker and that group who were at Nationals.  And I wanted to see the rest of Canada.  Alberta has the College St. Jean, which has allowed me to use my French in my studies.”

Gueye cites the ‘family feeling’ surrounding the Golden Bears team. “We get great alumni support, and the atmosphere from the fans in our new gym is something we really love.”  Mamadou, a dynamic, slashing scorer, has fed on this positive climate, especially in the play-offs, where he has, unfailingly produced 4-5 more points per game, and taken more of the leadership role in the team’s fortunes.

In this final season, Gueye, who is likely headed for a pro career (Europe?), has some lofty goals; after 2 Canada West titles with U of A (2014 and 2017), he says, “I plan to play with a chip on my shoulder.  We want to be the best, and we want to play our hardest when it matters the most.”   With an outstanding group of returnees, and with Mamadou Gueye’s play-off preparation, we expect to see the Bears in the middle of a title run again in March 2018.

 

Alberta Claims Big Win Over Montana State

 

 

Bears Shoot Their Way to Impressive Win 

The Alberta Golden Bears made a ‘Summer statement’ with a  decisive 97-72 win over the touring Montana State Bobcats in Calgary on Sunday afternoon.  Bookend 26-12  opening and closing quarters sealed this win for the reigning Canada West champs, and handed the Bobcats (NCAA Div. 1 – Big Sky Conference) their only loss in 4 games in Canada.

Lyndon Annetts is hot from the outside in Bears win over MSU.  photo – U of A Athletics

The Bears shot the ball very well, and that improvement over their Friday night loss was a major factor … 49% from the floor vs 41% for MSU, and 74% (17/23) from the free throw line.  The veteran – laden U of A line-up had 4 players in double figures, led by 3rd year post man, Brody Clarke, with 24 pts/9 rebs, and 18 points on 6/9 from 3 point range by wing man, Lyndon Annetts.  2 other starters, Mamadou Gueye and Austin Waddoups, tallied 14 apiece.

These Summer games may just be exhibition tilts, but they can reveal the potential for the upcoming season.  MSU had played 4 games in 4 days, and chose to rest or limit a few of their top players, but let’s not discount a strong showing by an obviouly deep Alberta team.  Coach Barnaby Craddock has another definite contender for League honours this season.   Box Score

 

Scores from other Sunday games –

at Brock 85  Jacksonville (FL)  95

Binghamton (NY)  74  Toronto 61

Some upcoming games this week – McGill is in Costa Rica to play Kent State (OH), Lamar (TX) , and 2 games vs Texas – El Paso.  Carleton travels to the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Vanderbilt (TN)  of the SEC (2 games), N. Colorado (Big Sky), and James Madison (PA).  Brock is also in the USVI  to play those same 3 teams.  Trinity Western is at home for a single game on Wednesday vs Saint Martins , a Div 2 NCAA school from Lacey, WA.

 

Overtime –

  • The Manitoba Bisons announced the signing of Riki Zimbakov, a 6-1 guard from John Taylor Collegiate in Winnipeg.
  • Marc Dobell, Head Coach at  Mt. Royal, was disappointed earlier this summer upon learning that talented recruit Diew Moses (Calgary, Bishop McNally) failed to qualify academically, and will not be with the Cougars after all.
  • The Calgary Dinos have reportedly signed 6-1 guard, Angelo Mbituyamana (Calgary – Bishop O’Byrne).  ““We like Angelo’s quickness, pace of play, and ability to get defensive touches”, said Head Coach Dan Vanhooren.

 

 

Tigers Nip Bears in the Final Seconds

 

 

Lawrence carries Dal into the semi-finals with his clutch hoop

Dalhousie’s Kashrell Lawrence was the 1st round’s top story, with his 28 points vs Alberta

 #5 Dalhousie 67   #4  Alberta  65 – This feature game has so many stories, not the least of which is the foul problem for Bears ace, Mamadou Gueye.   The hero of the Canada West Final 4 sits with 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, having amassed 3 fouls.   But the real hero on the night will be the local legend, Kashrell Lawrence, who saves his best for last.

Alberta wins the 1st quarter, with Lyndon Annetts starting quickly, but the Tigers take the ball inside in the 2nd frame, led by the solid form of Lawrence, who has 14 points at the break, tying U of A’s Annetts.

The 2nd half is a frantic slug-fest, as Alberta clings to a tenuous lead, and  Gueye comes back in to turn things around with 10 points in the 3rd quarter.  The Bears are up 3, but Dal are known as the ‘Come-back Cats’, and they did not disappoint. The amazing Lawrence, has a ‘monster game’ with 28 points, 10 rebounds,  and 4 big steals.  After Richie Kaza-Mata ties it for the Tigers on a 14 ft jumper,  the Bears get nothing, and, sure enough, Lawrence cuts to the hoop with 2 seconds left to bank in the winner at the low angle.

The fans go wild, as, for the 2nd week in a row, Dalhousie turn a last minute deficit into a winning celebration. Kanza-Mata tallies 16 pts/ 5 assists, and big Sven Stammberger is one of many Dal defenders who turn up the heat , and force 22 Alberta turnovers, which proves decisive.

Gueye leads the Bears with 18 points/ 6 rebs, while Annetts finishes with the 14 he had at half-time.  Brody Clarke manages just 8 points’ 8 rebs, as he gets extra attention for Tigers defenders.   Box Score 

Dalhousie will play the #1 seed, Ryerson in the 2nd semi-final on Saturday; Alberta were the last of the 3 Canada West teams relegated to the consolation side today.  The Bears take on Saint Marys Friday at 5 pm Mountain time (8 pm – Atlantic)

Ryerson rides Ammanuel Diressa to a win over Saint Marys     (photo – Trevor MacMillan)

#1 Ryerson 79  #8 Saint Marys 70  –  The opening quarter was a quiet one for the Huskies, but the home side came back with 25 points in the 2nd stanza to trail by just 4 at the break.  Ammanuel Diressa scored 16 points in that opening 20 minutes for the Rams, and they looked the more confident club.

But Saint Marys would not roll-over, and they continued to respond to every Ryerson surge with one of their own. The Maroon closed it 1 in both the 3rd and 4th quarters, but never took the lead. After Theon Reefer made it 68-69 with 2 free throws for SMU at the 2:46 mark, 6 straight points by Adika Peter-McNeilly staked the Rams to a 7 point advantage, and that was the ball game.

Diressa, the 6-5, 4th year wing man from Toronto, collected 24 points to lead both teams, as well as adding 7 rebounds and 4 assists.  Peter-McNeilly scored 17 pts/ 7 rebs as Ryerson hit 7 treys to just 4 for the Huskies.

SMU gave it a real run in the 4th quarter, but could not make the big play when the chips were on the line. 5 Huskies were in double figures, led by 14 points/ 15 rebounds from Achuil Lual, and 17 points / 11 boards by Reefer.       Box Score  

Ryerson will play home-town favourites, Dalhousie,  in the 2nd  semi-final on Saturday, and Saint Marys go to the consolation side for a game with Alberta  at 8 pm on Friday.

________________________________________________________________________

 

   Overtime –

  • 3 Canada West referees in the Ryerson-Saint Marys contest tonightRiley Kerrison and Michael Weiland from Calgary, and Neil Donnelly from Regina.
  • Great Halifax crowd for the Dal-Alberta game, as the numbers grow through the local teams playing back-to-back on the nights draw. The atmosphere has to be a big plus for those Atlantic teams.  (Attendance announced as 6,500)
  •  In First Round Games from the Women’s Nationals in Victoria – 

Queens 60  Cape Breton 51 Laval 69 Saskatchewan 59 –   the defending champions go down. Later games …  McGill 72   Regina 62,  Carleton 77  Victoria 66

Go to U-Sports – Women’s Basketball     for results and schedule.

 

2017 Women’s Individual Awards  – 

Nan Copp Award (Player of the Year): Danielle Boiago, McMaster 

Defensive Player of the Year: Antoinette Miller, Winnipeg

Kathy Shields Award (Rookie of the Year): Kyanna Giles, Regina

Peter Ennis Award (Coach of the Year): Dave Wilson, Queen’s

Sylvia Sweeney Award ( Academics & Community service): Katie Ross, Acadia

Tracy MacLeod Award (Courage overcoming adversity): Vanessa Pickard, McMaster

 

 

 

 

Cascades Inch Closer With Sweep of TRU

 

Fraser Valley Finds a Way, as Dhillon Hits from Outside

Vijay Dhillon's outside shooting carries UFV to a 2nd win over TRU on Saturday in Abbotsford.

Vijay Dhillon’s outside shooting carries UFV to a 2nd win over TRU on Saturday in Abbotsford.  photo – Fraser Valley Athletics

at Fraser Valley  67   #9 Thompson Rivers  62 –  If the Wolf Pack (14-4) look in their rear -view mirror, they may see the Cascades’ (12-6) bus closing in rapidly !  UFV fight back in the last 2 minutes for the win after TRU had tied the game at 60.  The ‘Pack hit a dismal 27% from the floor, with UFV just a bit better at 36%, as the rims get smaller in this battle of 1 and 2 in the Explorer Division.  Kevon Parchment has 20 points/ 7 rebounds for the Cascades, while Vijay Dhillon hits 17 on 6/11 and 5/8 from outside the arc. Josh Wolfram records a double of 16 points / 15 rebounds for the ‘Pack, and Volodymyr Iegorov also doubles, with 12 points/ 10 boards. UFV travels to Mt. Royal next weekend, while TRU are at home vs UBC-O.  Box Score

MacEwan  71  at UBC-Okanagan 62 –  MacEwan grabs a huge sweep on the road vs Okanagan with a 24-12 final quarter seeing them roar by the Heat.  Mac is now alone in 3rd place at 9-9, while UBC-O falls back to 8-10, with their playoff chances slipping away. The Griffins shoot 51% from the floor vs 39% for the home team, and 22 turnovers from the Heat pretty-well seal their fate tonight. Thadius Galvez posts a 20 pt / 7 reb/ 4 steal game to lead the Griffs, with Denzel James adding 16 points / 5 boards/ 4 helpers.  Okanagan get 16 points apiece from Aldrich Berrios and Cameron Friesen (7 rebounds).   Mac is at home next week vs UNBC. Box Score

MRU's Derek Wolfe bombs UNBC with xxx points

MRU’s Derek Wolfe bombs UNBC with 39 points, as the Cougars win 2 this weekend.

Mt. Royal 87 at UNBC 80   –   Derek Wolfe has the game of his CIS career on Saturday in Prince George, as his MRU Cougars get a sweep.  Wolfe hits 8/12 from 3 point range, including a couple in the 4th quarter, as  the Cougars shoot 53% from the floor to just get by the stubborn T’Wolves. Brett Layton has another double-double, with 15 points/ 11 boards for Mt. Royal, who are 8-10, and still chasing a playoff chance.  Rhys Elliott scores 27 ( 7 rebounds)  and Marcus MacKay 20 for UNBC.   Box Score

 

Wesmen Rebound for Key Win Over Lethbridge

Ryan Oirbans powers Winnipeg to a 'must-win' home victory vs Lethbridge.

Ryan Oirbans powers Winnipeg to a ‘must-win’ home victory vs Lethbridge.

at Winnipeg 79 Lethbridge 70   –   The Wesmen come through with a crucial win on Saturday with more aggressive play on both ends of the floor. Their offense takes it directly at the ‘Horns’ ‘D’ , and UW cashes 18/28 free throws vs 5/9 for Lethbridge.  The Winnipeg defense forces 23 UL  turnovers , resulting in 23 UW points. Ryan Oirbans has a stellar game for the home team, with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Jelane Pryce finds his touch, scoring 17 and grabbing 9 boards.  Denzel Blair-Lynch who returned after a 1 game absence, tallies 15 points, 4 red, 6 asst, 4 steals to breathe new life into the Ws. Lethbridge is not as sharp, and they give up too many offensive possessions, and look less confident in the attacking zone. Both Brandon Brine and Dejon Burdeaux claim 10 rebounds, and Brine leads UL scoring with 19, while Burdeaux adds 12 and 5 rebounds. These 2 teams are tied at 10-8, with Lethbridge at home to Trinity next week, and Winnipeg traveling to UBC in the final League games.    Box Score

Alberta  85 at Saskatchewan  80 –  Not wanting to do anything the easy way, the Golden Bears come close to frittering away a 16 point 4th quarter lead, as both teams treat  the ball like it was a grenade on late-game possessions. Lyndon Annetts hits 4 free throws for the Bears down the stretch to secure the win. Credit U of A with bouncing back from a rough game on Friday for a road win which may cement a playoff spot for them. Mamadou Gueye has a big 33 point/ 12 rebound game for Alberta, and he gets help from Brody Clarke (20 points / 6 boards, with Annetts tallying 16 points.  Saskatchewan are just 37% from the floor, as they have Shane Osayande hit 19 points plus 9 rebounds.   Alberta has a single game at home next Saturday vs Calgary, while the Huskies go to Regina for a pair.   Box Score

#7  UBC 84  at Brandon  68 –  After conceding a 4 point Brandon lead at the half, the Thunderbirds ‘get it in gear’ in the 2nd, with much sharper shooting, and more aggressive defense, which forces 26 deadly turnovers from the ‘Cats. Jordan Jensen-Whyte attacks the rim for UBC (14-4), and gets rewarded with a double of 14 points (11/12 from the line), 10 rebounds, plus 5 assists ; Conor Morgan also benefits from free throws, going 8/11 on his way to 20 points, the same as guard Phill Jalalpoor (4/7 from 3 point range). The Bobcats (1-17) look at some new faces in their line-up tonight, but still rely on their top 2 point-getters, D.J.  Jordan (21 points in as many minutes), and Earl Thompson Jr. ( 10 points / 4 assists).  Box Score

Manitoba  91  at Trinity Western  87-   The Bisons prevail in a wild game which almost ignored the defense both ways. The game is tied after 3/4s, and Manitoba wins with a 53 point 2nd half. A trio of Bisons in the 20s, with Keith Omoerah the leader with 24 / 13 rebounds, then A.J. Basi scoring 22, and Justus Alleyn 20. TWU get 24 from Vartan Tanielian off the bench, as he hits 6/12 from 3 point range.. Lucas Mannes has another strong game with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Spartans. Manitoba finishes their regular season at 15-5, in 3rd place, awaiting their playoff match-up. Box Score

 

 Other CIS Scores Saturday –
Atlantic – at St. Marys 77 Cape Breton  58 , at UPEI 97 Memorial 87, at UNB 96 St FX 70
Ontario – #3 Carleton 74 at #6 McMaster 65, #2 Ottawa 89 at #5 Brock 82 , at Laurentian 84 Nipissing , Western 81 at York 80 ,  at #1  Ryerson 98 Algoma  56, Windsor 93  at Queen’s  87 ,  Guelph 90 at Waterloo 75 , Lakehead 89 at Laurier 85


Overtime –  

  • Tribute words from Coach Adam Friesen, Fraser Valley Cascades, about his 5th year star Kevon Parchment , “He’s had to step up this year in terms of leadership because of all of our injuries and he’s provided a lot of stability for this group. We can always look to him to perform and give everyone a sense of calm. He keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win.” From a nice article in the Abbotsford News by Ben Lypka. 
  • U of L Coach Mike Hansen, after their Friday win at Winnipeg, “It’s scary to know we still haven’t clinched,” said Hansen. “We could still finish as high as fourth, but we could drop to seventh.”  The Pronghorns made the trip without senior guard Rob Olsen, whose wife is expecting.  From the Lethbridge Herald  ( With Saturday’s loss, U of L will be happy to return home for their final 2 League games, after going 1-3 on the road the last 2 weekends.)

‘Horns Trample Bears in Second Half

 

Brine Burns Bears … huge 2nd half for the 5th year Aussie

Brandon Brine's career night carries Lethbridge to a win over Alberta.

Brandon Brine’s career night carries Lethbridge to a win over Alberta.    photo – UJ Athletics

at Lethbridge 93  Alberta  61 –  A decisive 32-14 Lethbridge outburst in the 3rd quarter breaks this one open after U of A led 39-38 at the half. Alberta all but disappears in the 4th, with Bears starters on the bench and the ‘Horns running free. Brandon Brine has a field day for UL, with 37 points on 7/9 from 3 point range;  Lethbridge (8-5) is 51% from the floor to 36% for an over-matched U of A crew, who are playing with an obvious lack of depth.   Dejon Burdeaux returns to the line-up for UL, and tallies10 points along with an amazing 8 steals, 8 assists,  as his defense puts heavy pressure on the Alberta guards.  Lyndon Annetts started well for the Bears (7-7), and was their high man, with 20 points, while Colby Jackson scored 10 and counted 5 assists. Both of U of A’s ‘scoring forwards’, Mamadou Gueye and Brody Clarke played limited minutes, and were well below their usual offensive totals.  Box Score

 

at Manitoba 89  Regina 82 –   The Bisons  get the big hoops in the 4th from

A.J. Basi pilots the Bisons to their 10th win, as they defeat Regina.

A.J. Basi pilots the Bisons to their 10th win, as they defeat Regina.     photo – Bisons Athletics

Jonathan Alexander,  A.J. Basi, and Keith Omoerah, and Regina cannot hit from the outside to overtake the Herd.  Basi seals it with free throws, as UM moves up to 10-5, and still in the race for top spot.  Regina (8-5) mount a determined come-back, after trailing 50-35 at the break, and they come within 2-3 points on several occasions, but never get the defensive stops in the final minutes. Basi riddles the Cougars defense with 27 points, with 5/10 from outside, while Omoerah is strong with his 16 point / 14 rebound / 6 assist effort.  Big Stephen Shields holds the Cougars in the game with his 21 points and 8 rebounds (10/11 from the floor), and Brandon Tull scores 15 / 9 boards / 3 assists.  Jonathan Tull, Will Tallman, and  Aaron McGowan, all keys to Regina’s fine play recently, had off- nights in this one, as they shoot a combined 6/28 from the field.  Box Score

at Winnipeg 81 Saskatchewan  77 –  It was nervous time for the Wesmen, as they got everything that Saskatchewan had, except for the free throws.  The Huskies, with a depleted line-up , played one of their best games of the year, but could not convert on free throws down the stretch, and it allows Winnipeg (8-5) to wriggle off the hook.  UW hit 11 treys to 10 for Sask., and cashed 14/18 from the line vs 9/16  for the Dogs. Saskatchewan was a solid 46% from the floor, and narrowly won the rebounding, but were hurt by 18 turnovers to just 10 from the home team. Ryan Oirbans was huge for Winnipeg with his double of 14 points, punctuated by 11 valuable rebounds, while Jamar Farley also had 14 points plus 6 boards and 5 assists. The high scorer for the Wesmen was Denzel Lynch-Blair with 22, and he added 7 rebounds and 7 assists to post another impressive game.  The Huskies  (4-9) had 4 in double figures, with 12 points / 9 rebounds by Shane Osayande, and 18 points by rookie guard Chan DeCiman.  Box Score

 

# 9 UBC 79 at Victoria  51 –   A  steam-roller job by the visiting Thunderbirds, as UVic’s offense struggles, and the ‘Birds (11-4) run away with it in the final 10 minutes. Seldom has a Vikes team looked as shaky at the defensive end, and the T-Birds’ 45-26 control of the boards was a big factor as well.  It was UBC 48% and UVic 36% from the floor, and the T-Birds getting the ball inside for 18/24 free throws vs just 7/13 for UVic. Four UBC starters in double digits, with Phil Jalalpoor hitting 16 points plus 7 rebounds, and Conor Morgan scoring 15 plus 7 rebounds as well. The Vikes Grant Sitton scored 13, but played only 17 minutes, as Victoria drops to 7-8 on the year.  Box Score

Brandon 98 at Trinity Western 87 –  A blitz by the Bobcats in the 2nd half, as their offense clicks for 51 points, and all 5 starters hit double figures.  The ‘Cats shoot 49% to 41% for Trinity, and it’s a demoralizing defeat for the home team, as they now sit as the only ones without a Canada West win this year.  Earl Thompson Jr. is the top ‘Cat with his 24 points and 10 big boards for a winning double-double. Big forward, John Paul, has a strong game in the paint, with 5 blocked shots and 9 boards to go with 12 points for Brandon (1-12) .  Kelvin Smith laid it all out for TWU, as he posted 31 points on 11/21 from the floor, while Lucas Mannes added 20 points, but shot only 7 for 24 on the night. Box Score

 


 

CIS Scores –
Quebec on Thurs –  McGill 79  Bishops 66,  Laval  90  UQAM  77

 Friday –  Ontario – # 1 Ryerson  86 at Laurentian 62, at #2 Ottawa 76 Queen’s 60 ,               at # 3 Carleton 96  York 53 , at Lakehead 73  # 4 Mc Master 67  (From afar, one gets the impression that playing at Lakehead  may be giving away 10-15 point right off the top.  We know they have great fans, and it’s a tough atmosphere. ‘Down go the Marauders’ !   We might equate it with the AUS ‘Mainlanders’ making the road trip to ‘The Rock’.  Memorial has a wee bit of a home advantage as well ! )  Toronto 73 at Nipissing 69,


Overtime –   

  •  UBC Coach, Kevin Hanson announced the signing go top recruit, Izaiah Ugoalah, 6-5 wing man, who is playing at Winston Churchill HS (Vancouver), after having spent  a ‘prep year’ at Sunrise Christian Academy, Kansas. “We are thrilled to announce the signing of Izaiah. He is a blue chip athlete with huge potential,” said Hanson. “With his length and athleticism, he has the ability to be an impact player at both ends of the court.”  With options to play and study in the U.S. and Canada, the young man chose to remain home, and play at UBC.  Izaiah said, “I’ve been at Drive (Academy, Richmond/Vancouver)  since the fourth grade with Pasha Bains, and he’s a coach at UBC. It felt right. I left my Grade 11 year (for Kansas) and I found out how much l really loved the city of Vancouver and how much I missed it.”          (From UBC Athletics)
  • Manitoba Bisons’ Coach, Kirby Schepp, talking about his team’s pursuit of a playoff spot in an ultra-competitive Pioneer Division, “You know it from the beginning, because of the parity of our league,” Schepp said. “You try to impress that on the players in the very first weekend of the year… now it’s sort of setting in. There’s a loss or two separating about five teams.”   In this article by Melissa Martin in the Winnipeg Free Press.