Behind the terrific play of Aaron Lewadniuk, Joe Caligiuri and Jordan DePape, the University of Manitoba Bisons have a 7-9-2 conference record and will open the home portion of the second half of the schedule this weekend at the Wayne Fleming Arena at Max Bell Centre.
It’s the first home weekend series in the second half as the 6-9-1 Mount Royal College Cougars come to town. It’s a big weekend for the Bisons who are only two points out of a Top 4 spot in the West.
Manitoba has a 3-4-1 record so far this season at home and split with Mount Royal earlier in the year on the road (the Bisons won 1-0 on Oct. 18 and lost 3-2 on Oct. 19). The Bisons have not played at home since the Nov. 15-16 series against Lethbridge when they swept the Pronghorns.
The Bisons started the second half last week on the road at Saskatchewan and gained one point in a shootout loss during the two game weekend series. The Herd now sits in fifth spot with 16 points but only two points back of fourth-place Regina and five back of third-place Saskatchewan. Mount Royal sits in the final playoff position in sixth place with 11 points.
In Canada West scoring, forward Aaron Lewadniuk (eight goals, 11 assists) leads the team and is tied for fourth in the conference with 19 points. Forwards Ian Duval (6-8-14) and Jesse Paradis (6-8-14) are tied for 22nd in conference scoring and are second on the team. Lewadniuk is tied for fourth in conference goals with eight and is tied for ninth in assists with 11. Forward Luke Cain is tied for sixth with two game-winning goals.
Jordan DePape (2-12-14) is tied for sixth in Canada West rookie scoring with 12 points while defenceman Jeremy Schappert (one goal, seven assists) is tied for 13th in Canada West scoring among defensemen.
Goalie Joe Caligiuri is eighth in Canada West with a 3.27 Goals Against Average, seventh in Save Pct. at .900, tied for fourth with two shutouts and tied for fifth with five wins.
The weekend series with Mount Royal starts on Friday at 7 p.m. CT and then on Saturday at a special time of 1 p.m. CT.
(With files from Chris Zuk, University of Manitoba Bisons)