The Bears won two more shutouts against the University of Winnipeg this past weekend to improve to a record of 5-0.
The Bears have allowed zero goals so far this season, and with the 23 Alberta goals scored, the team was able to maintain their top spot in the national rankings.
Despite this early success, Bears head coach Len Vickery and his players aren’t letting their play be affected by the news of their top spot in the national ranking.
It’s the Bears’ first appearance at number one since 2007, but Vickery and his team knows that this early in the season, the rankings are altered by teams’ performances from last year, the overall inexperience of the Bears’ first three opponents of the year and the unfortunate luck and poor performances of their opponents.
“It’s more of a reflection that we finished fourth in the country last year, so we started out as fourth this year and of course, with the schedule that we’ve had so far, we haven’t done anything that would cause anyone to demote us,” Vickery said.
“Unfortunately for the two or three teams ahead of us, they perhaps lost a game or two here or there, so we’ve been promoted in the rankings and one or two of the teams ahead of us have been demoted.”
Up to this point, third-year striker Marcus Johnstone has led the way for the Bears. His seven goals and 10 points are good for first place in both categories in the Canada West conference this season.
The Bears’ schedule thus far has pitted the team against more unknown opponents new to the CIS. All three schools the U of A has competed against in conference play — Mount Royal University, UNBC and the U of W — are newcomers to the Canada West conference.
The Bears will face a tougher test this weekend when they play two of their more traditional rivals from the University of Victoria and the University of Fraser Valley.
“They’re the people that we’ve been playing against for numerous years,” Vickery said.
“Victoria are the reigning national champions and they were ranked ahead of us until a tough road trip playing against Trinity Western and UBC.
Our other opponents next weekend are Fraser Valley who have been around the league for four or five years, so they know the demands of the CanWest and what it takes to be competitive at this level.”
Although Victoria is attempting to repeat as national champions and UFV is looking to make the playoffs this season, the two schools have gotten off to disappointing starts.
Both the B.C. schools sit at losing records in the standings below UBC and TWU that have been more dominant in the CanWest’s Pacific Division this season.
However, Vickery expects his players to rise to the challenge against these more experienced schools.
“We’ve got to be in midseason form. Fraser Valley are making a push to make the playoffs this year and Victoria is always thereabouts — they’ve got a great number of players returning from last year’s championship team,” Vickery said.
“Given that we’re on the road against both Victoria and Fraser Valley, we’re going to have to be at minimum at midseason form.”
On this special short edition of The Gateway Presents, we celebrate the Gateway’s 103rd birthday by telling some birthday stories and talking about The Gateway’s history.
Since this is a music blog and not an exhausted-consideration-on-moments-in-my-life Tumblr blog, what better way to gain some clarity to what I’ve listened to in the past 11 months than order and number songs (one for each month) that I’ve found to be the best and most worthwhile from the past eleven months?
Lister Hall Students’ Association President Samuel Wright provided an update to Council on the status of the levied investigation between the student residence and the university.