Both Bison basketball teams finished off 2013 by participating in a non-conference tournament.
The women’s team travelled to Halifax to play at Saint Mary’s University for Thunder Selects CIS Holiday Classic. The Bisons managed a win over Dalhousie 71-69, but lost 57-84 to the hosts and 63-80 to the University of Western Ontario.
The men’s team stayed home for the holidays and played in the Wesmen Classic hosted by the University of Winnipeg. The Bisons came out strong and defeated Valley City 71-62, but lost to the Wesmen in the semifinals 61-73. The men would settle for bronze in the tournament after beating Regina 89-82.
Canada West basketball action resumes at Investors Group Athletic Centre this weekend, on Jan. 10 and 11, as Manitoba hosts Trinity Western and Fraser Valley.
The Bison women’s hockey team started the New Year with a pair of home victories over the University of Saskatchewan, and are working their way up the Canada West standings in the final stretch of the season. Manitoba looked to avenge a pair of road losses from the two teams’ first meeting back in October.
Kyleigh Palmer scored both Bison goals, her second coming as the game-winner, in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Cougars on Jan. 3. Palmer opened the scoring late in the second period on the power play, and Saskatchewan tied it up in the final second of the frame. Maggie Litchfield-Medd had an assist on both Bison goals on the night.
The following evening, Bison Meagan Vestby stepped up. Vestby opened the scoring on the power play in the first period, and knotted the game-winner unassisted midway through the third period. The Bisons completed the weekend sweep with a 3-2 win. Palmer notched her team-leading 10th goal of the season, while Dee-Ana Marion was solid in net for her second win of the weekend.
The Bison men’s hockey team had a tough time in Saskatoon, as they followed up a shootout loss with a regulation loss to the University of Saskatchewan.
Manitoba showed a lot of heart after Saskatchewan went up 3-0 midway through the game; the Bisons stormed back to take a 4-3 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the third. Unfortunately, the Huskies would force overtime and clinch the extra point in the shootout. Ian Duval had three assists and Aaron Lewadniuk had two goals for the Bisons during their third period surge that saw the herd score three goals within three and a half minutes.
In the rematch the following day, the Bisons were able to strike first, as Taylor Dickin scored on the power play in the first period. But the power play marker was effectively wiped out by two short-handed goals in the second period, and a third even strength goal that clinched the Saskatchewan victory 3-2.
The men return home to host the Mount Royal Cougars on Jan. 10 and 11 at 7 p.m., while the women travel to Mount Royal for their pair of weekend games.