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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bisons, Wesmen carry post-season hopes

Hockey, two basketball teams last local squads standing

Posted: 02/19/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 02/19/2013 2:35 PM | Updates

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Then there were three.

The University of Manitoba Bisons men's hockey team, the Bisons men's basketball team and the University of Winnipeg men's basketball team are the remaining local teams moving on in the post-season this week.

The U of W's Duckworth Centre gets its first taste of playoff action in more than a decade: Coach Mike Raimbault's Wesmen (14-8) will host the Trinity Western Spartans (12-10) this weekend in the best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series. The Wesmen emerged from a three-way tie to earn second place in the Prairie division by having won the season series against both the Alberta Golden Bears and the crosstown rival Bisons.

"It's huge for us to finish second and host the series at home," said Raimbault. The last time a Wesmen men's basketball playoff series was played at the Duckworth Centre was in the 2001-2002 season when the Wesmen beat the Regina Cougars 2-0 in the division semifinal.

"Really the last three games have been playoff-type games for us. We needed to win our last three games to give ourselves a chance to get into the playoffs and we did that."

The 14-8 Bisons men's basketball team, third in the Prairie division, will travel to Victoria (16-6) this weekend for its best-of-three quarter-final series.

"There's been a lot of years that it (14 wins) gets you in but might even win you the league," said Bisons head coach Kirby Schepp, referring to the three-way tie for second place. The Bisons' last post-season appearance was 2010-2011.

Schepp noted the Bisons are coming into the playoffs after having led the 16-team conference in turnover margin, a statistic that shows the Bisons force their opponents into more turnovers than the Bisons themselves commit.

"We're pressuring the ball better. We take care of the ball and we're forcing more turnovers in the league and that's the biggest thing that we've improved as the year has gone on," Schepp said. "In the second half, we've done a lot better defensively. We're just a little more patient in the type of shot that we're taking."

Victoria has a 10-1 home conference record this season while Manitoba had a 7-4 away record.

Coach Mike Sirant's Bisons men's hockey team made a definitive statement over the weekend with home wins of 6-2 and 5-0 over the Regina Cougars to win that best-of-three quarter-final series 2-0. In Saturday's victory, Bisons goaltender Jesse Deckert had a 24-save shut out and recorded an assist while Tyler Dittmer scored four of Manitoba's five goals and linemate Ian Duval had three assists.

The No. 7-ranked Bisons will head on the road to face the No. 6-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies next weekend in the best-of-three conference semifinal series.

Coach Garth Pischke's Bisons men's volleyball team were defeated 2-0 in the best-of-three quarter-final series over the weekend by the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at Vancouver while coach Ken Bentley's Bisons women's volleyball team also saw their season come to an end on the road at Edmonton with a 2-0 loss in the best-of-three quarter-final series to the Alberta Pandas.

The Wesmen men's volleyball team, coached by Larry McKay, were beaten 2-0 in that best-of-three quarterfinal series over the weekend against Trinity Western at Langley, B.C.

Coach Jon Rempel's Manitoba women's hockey team saw its season end with a 2-0 loss to UBC in their best-of-three quarter-final series at Vancouver.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

 

In the hunt

 

IN TOWN

 

Men's Basketball: Winnipeg Wesmen vs. Trinity Western Spartans, Duckworth Centre, best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series, Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and (if necessary) Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

ON THE ROAD

 

Men's hockey: Manitoba Bisons vs. Saskatchewan Huskies at Saskatoon, best-of-three Canada West semifinal series, Friday, Saturday and (if necessary) Sunday.

Men's basketball: Manitoba Bisons vs. Victoria Vikes at Victoria, best-of-three Canada West quarter-final series, Friday, Saturday and (if necessary) Sunday.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2013 C5

History

Updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM CST: corrects score to 6-2

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