Jordan DePape, the Canada West Men’s Hockey Second Star of the Week for the week ending Feb. 9, will lead the University of Manitoba Bisons onto the Wayne Fleming Arena ice against the UBC Thunderbirds this weekend. And it’s a huge weekend for DePape and the Bisons. The U of M is trying to clinch fourth place and a home playoff series.
With two games remaining in the 2013-14 Canada West conference regular season, the Bisons will play host to the seventh place Thunderbirds (10-14-2) at 7 p.m. CST on Friday and a special time of 6 p.m. CST on Saturday. Earlier this season, Manitoba swept at UBC, winning 6-3 on Nov. 22, and 6-4 on Nov. 23.
Heading into weekend series, Manitoba is in fourth spot in Canada West with an 11-11-4 record. The top six teams in the conference make the playoffs with the Top 2 earning first round byes. The third and fourth place teams will play host to the two 2014 Canada West Quarter Final series. The spots from fourth to sixth are still up for grabs as the Herd can finish as high as fourth or as low as out of the playoffs and in seventh place if the T-Birds should sweep. Fifth place Mount Royal and Regina (24 points each) and seventh-place UBC (22 points) are all battling for the final three playoff spots this weekend.
In the second half of this season so far, the Bisons have a 4-3-3 record and have secured points at home in seven of the last ten games.
Meanwhile, third year forward Aaron Lewadniuk (12 goals, 15 assists) leads the team in scoring and is tied for 11th in Canada West scoring with 27 points. Second year forward Jesse Paradis (10 goals, 16 assists) is tied for 14th in the conference and is second on the team with 26 points. Lewadniuk is tied for eighth in conference goals with 12 while third year forward Brendan Rowinski is tied for 10th in Canada West with 17 assists.
DePape, who has eight goals and 22 points, is third in Canada West rookie scoring while rookie defenceman Luke Paulsen (three goals , eight assists) is tied for 16th in Canada West scoring for defeneemen with 11 points. Goalie Joe Caligiuri is eighth in Canada West with a 3.17 goals against average and is tied for eighth in save percentage at .897, tied for fifth with two shutouts and also tied for fifth with ten conference wins.
Last week, the Bisons swept the Lethbridge Pronghorns and stayed ahead of a tight race for the fourth spot. Rookie forward DePape made an impact in both games. During the two game road series, DePape had a hat trick and added three assists for consecutive multi-point games while adding a plus/minus mark of plus-six along with being named second star for both contests.
The Winnipeg product started the weekend as a second star selection when he potted a hat trick and added four shots and a plus-three mark in an 8-2 win on Friday. Manitoba won 6-3 on Saturday as DePape added three assists, a plus-three mark, had an amazing eight shots on goal and earned another second star selection.
Bison Notes: Jordan DePape is the fourth Manitoba player to earn this conference weekly honour during the 2013-14 season: First Star: Joe Caligiuri on Nov. 17; Second Star: Ian Duval on Jan. 5; Second Star: Adam Jonckheere on Feb. 2.
(With files from Chris Zuk, University of Manitoba Bisons)