Monday, 30 January 2006

Tommies statistics

If you haven’t checked the AUS web page for Tommies team statistics, please follow the link below and have a look. Running over them quickly, there was one statistic I did the math on, which was quite interesting. The Tommies have scored first in ten (10) of their 24 games to date. Their record when scoring first - 7-1-1-1. Their only loss coming last Friday night against X.

Fourteen (14) times the opposition has scored first. The Tommies record is 4-7-1-2. If the boys score first there is a good chance they will win.

Sunday, 29 January 2006

Lady Tommies muzzle Huskies

St Mary’s 1 Tommies 2

In what can only be called an upset, the Lady Tommies defeated the number 8th ranked Huskies. The Tommies were drastically out shot 43-24 but Emily Hobbs was amazing. Scoring for STU was Caroline Hammerheim unassisted and Hannah Muir from Kelly Matthews. Both goals were in the third period. WAY TO GO LADIES!! Next game for the Tommies is this coming Friday night at home. The girls will be hosting the UNB Doe Squirrels in the female version of the “Battle of the Hill”. You won’t want to miss it!

Saturday, 28 January 2006

Tommies pull out victory over Dalhousie

Tigers 2 Tommies 3. The Tommies scratched out a hard fought 3 to 2 win tonight at the LBR. The Tommies took a late first period lead on a goal by Miguel Delisle with an assist going to Jean Bourbeau, only to have the Tigers score seconds later to tie it. If anything, the late goal by Dal was a sign of things to come in possibly the worst period of AUS hockey in history.

The 2nd period of the game was marred by penalty after penalty after penalty being called by the referee. Both teams felt the wrath of the man with the whistle. One of the strangest calls was a charging penalty assessed to Thatcher Bell when he couldn’t have skated more than 2 feet to the opposing player. Dal took a 2 -1 lead on the power play but the Tommies finally managed to tie it when Captain Kyle McAllister got the proverbial monkey off his back by scoring a power play goal to tie the game, assists to Anthony Butera and Andrew Sim. It felt as if the goal would never come after several minutes of 5 on 3 and 5 on 4 power play elapsed with no success. Two thirds of the Tommies “Grind line” was ejected from the game in the second when Mark Cody got the gate for checking from behind and Jean Bourbeau followed him for elbowing. Not to criticize, but the calls were almost as poor as the period.

The third period saw the Tommies take the lead for good when Miguel Delisle scored on a pretty set up by Kyle McAllister the other assist (his second of the night) went to the goalie Andrew Sim. “Simmer” shut the door and ended the night with 18 saves. The Tommies hit the road next weekend and play the Tigers and X in Nova Scotia.

In women’s action this afternoon the Lady Tommies lost 3 to 2 against Mt A. at the LBR. The Lady Tommies out shot and out chanced the opposition but couldn’t pump home the tying goal. The first goal was scored by Stacy Beer with the assist going to Michelle Goguen. Goal 2 was scored by Hannah Muir with assists going to Ashley Duguay and Kelly Hogg. The Lady Tommies are in action tomorrow afternoon against St. Mary’s. Game time is 2 PM at the LBR. Come on out and cheer on our Lady Tommies.

Friday, 27 January 2006

Un-X-pected bounces do in Tommies

The Tommies couldn’t follow the bouncing puck and it kept finding it’s way behind Aaron Molnar. St. FX scored a late first period goal on the power play that was deflected. Then scored it’s second goal in the exact same fashion, on the PP and deflected. The Tommies scored first to take the lead on a goal by Mike Couch with assists going to Brent Varty and Alex Gilbert. The lead was short lived because the puck seemed to favour the X-men all night.

X scored their 3rd goal with 2 seconds left in the 2nd period to take a 3 to 1 lead and again the puck took a bad bounce into the Tommies net. The icing on the cake was a third period shorthanded goal to end the scoring.

With the win tonight and a UPEI loss to Acadia (3 - 4) the X-men secure a playoff berth and move to within 2 points of STU for 5th place. The Tommies out shot the X-Men 37-31. The next men’s game is tomorrow night against Dalhousie. Game time is 7 PM at the LBR. Tomorrow afternoon the Lady Tommies play Mt Allison, 2 PM at the LBR. Come out and support your St. Thomas Tommies.

Monday, 23 January 2006

Best and Worst of AUS Hockey

Matthew Wuest, a reporter for the The Daily News in Halifax, has released his coaches poll listing the best and worst players in 24 categories. This has become somewhat of an annual tradition in the AUS men’s hockey conference and it’s a fan favourite. If you would like to read the article in it’s entirety there is a link at the end of this entry.

Kyle McAllister was voted by the AUS coaches as the best faceoff guy in the league and Nick Theriault was voted the dirtiest player. Bruce Gillis tied with seven others as the best defensive forward and Andrew Sim received a vote as most improved player, as well as a vote for best goalie. Nick also got a vote for best shot.

There is only one comment to be made by STU before you exit the site to read the article. I was fortunate to hear an interview last season with Nick Theriault during a CHSR broadcast in Antigonish, NS. Nick made a comment on the difference between the ECHL and the AUS. (He has played in both) In the AUS smaller players love to use their stick and act like they are big guys. In the ECHL the smaller guys don’t as much because they will get the snot beat out of them in a fight. Nick stands up for his team and gives what ever the Tommies get, right back in spades. Not to mention that Nick can back up what he does on the ice. Maybe he has given some cheap shots but he’s got them also.

Sunday, 22 January 2006

Tommies send Moncton home blue

U de M 2 Tommies 3
After a disheartening loss to UPEI on Friday night the Tommies rebounded with a big win tonight against U de M. The win guarantees the Tommies a trip to the post season as UPEI cannot make up the difference. The number 7th ranked Aigles Bleus played a good road game but the rejuvenated Tommies looked strong on this night.

The Tom Cats got 2 first period goals by Thatcher Bell and Miguel Delisle. Assists on the first goal went to Justin McCutcheon and Nick Theriault, with the later going to Kyle McAllister and Chris Cook. Les Aigles made it a one goal game in the second but the boys replied early in the third with a goal from Nick Theriault, assists to Miguel Delisle and Anthony Butera. Moncton made it close with under a minute to play but could not beat Aaron Molnar to complete the come back.

The team looked especially strong tonight with the new lines Coach Eagles played. All the lines seemed to be effective and played more even minutes then in other games. The “grind line” of Jean Bourbeau, Matt Seymour, and Bruce Gillis played a gutsy game. Jeff Bateman, Aaron Lobb and Brent Varty really seemed to balance the attack by allowing the other lines a couple of extra minutes of rest. Aaron Molnar was at his usual best and stopped 31 pucks for the win. Nick Theriault was the Hilltop Bar and Beverage Company player of the game.

The Tommies will be playing for playoff position on Friday night 7 PM at the LBR when they face St FX X-Men. This will be the first trip back to “The Beav” for X since November 12th, when the Tommies posted a 4-3 win in a chippy game. You won’t want to miss the rematch. Come out and support your St. Thomas Tommies

Saturday, 21 January 2006

Lady Tommies defeat U de M

Nicole Ernst, Caroline Hammerheim, and Ashley Duguay scored as the Lady Tommies downed the Aigles Bleus 3 - 2 in Moncton. Hannah Muir had 2 assists and Liette Arseneault stopped 18 shots for the win. The Tommies record improves to 6 wins - 7 losses, 1 point behind Mt Allison for 5th.

Men’s Magic Number at 1/2 Game.

The UPEI Panthers lost an afternoon game to the Squirrels 7-3. With the loss the Tommies magic number is reduced to 1 point. St. Thomas is back in action tomorrow night against Moncton. Game time is 6 PM at the LBR. Come out and support yourSt. Thomas Tommies.

Friday, 20 January 2006

Panthers hold on and beat Tommies

Panthers 6 Tommies 5. The UPEI Panthers showed tonight why you never take any AUS team for granted. The Panthers raced out to a 5 - 1 lead by the end of the second and when the Tommies finally woke up in the third, it was to little to late. It’s not that UPEI dominated STU, quite the contrary, STU probably had as many chances as them in the first 2 periods. The difference was capitalizing on your opportunities, and the Panthers did this in spades.The Tommies were down 4 to 0 at the half way point of the game. Justin McCutcheon scored shortly after to make the deficit 3 but the Panthers replied before the end of period 2 and went to the dressing rooms up by 4.The Tommies didn’t quit and scored 4 minutes into the third on the PP. Chris Cook from Kyle McAllister and Nick Theriault but UPEI really took a strangle hold half a minute later by making it 6 to 2. Jean Bourbeau made it interesting again unassited and Matt Seymour scored with 4 1/2 minutes to show some fight, assists to Justin McCutcheon and Anthony Butera. It was to little to late when Chris Cook scored his second of the night with less than 2 seconds left. Jeff Bateman and Kyle McAllister, with his third assist of the night, got the helpers.The Tommies magic number remains at 1.5. Next up is U de M on Sunday, not Saturday, at 6 PM LBR. Let’s hope the productive third period pumps some life back into the troops.

What’s a Tommie? This page has been updated. 01/20/06

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

Squirrels continue to frustrate Tommies

Tommies 1 UNB Squirrels 3.In a close game tonight, the Tommies came up on the wrong end of a 3 to 1 score. UNB’s goalie stole several sure goals and certainly deserved the first star in this game. Miguel Delisle scored on a break away in the second half of the first period to tie the game at one. Assists to Chris Cook and Mike Couch.The Tommies certainly deserved better tonight but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Jeff Bateman and Kyle McAllister had glorious chances to score but got robbed by the Squirrel net minder. UNB’s final goal was scored on the empty net to seal the deal. Final shots on goal 34 for UNB and 27 for the Tommies. The Tommies next game is Friday night against UPEI. Note the time, it is a 6 PM start. The Panthers lost tonight 2 to 0 against Moncton. This means the Tommies magic number is 1.5. With a win on Friday night the Tommies clinch a playoff spot. The game will be broadcast over the internet by UPEI radio, please see the broadcast page for more details. In other AUS action tonight, Acadia pounded St FX 8-3 and St. Mary’s handled Dalhousie 5 -2. UNB, Moncton and Acadia have all clinched a playoff berth.As soon as time permits the “What’s a Tommie?” page will be updated with information about the Tommies mascot “Tommy the Tom Cat”. Thanks to the St. Thomas Student Union for lending a photo of our beloved mascot.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Game against UdeM rescheduled

Saturday’s game originally scheduled for 7 PM against U de M has been rescheduled to Sunday, January 22nd at 6 PM. The reason for the postponement is to allow STU to host it’s sixth annual Gala Dinner and Auction in support of the Millennium bursary fund.The game was originally scheduled to be broadcast on CHSR but had to be canceled. They would have liked to broadcast it but it couldn’t be rescheduled on such short notice. Thanks to CHSR, Dave Ritchie, and Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza for broadcasting Tommies games the rest of the year. It is truly appreciated.

Saturday, 14 January 2006

Molnar...Super star.

Acadia 1 Tommies 3. The first place Acadia Axemen were probably pretty happy to leave the LBR tonight and not have to worry about facing Aaron Molnar again this regular season. Aaron made 30 saves for the victory and many of them were of the huge variety. Acadia’s high powered offense could only solve him once and the rest was history.Scoring for the Tommies early in the second on the power play was Paul Giallonardo from Kyle McAllister and Justin McCutcheon. This held up until early in the third when Mark Cody got the eventual game winner unassisted. Thatcher Bell added some insurance mid way through the period with Jean Bourbeau getting the well earned assist digging the puck out from behind the net. Acadia got one with less than 10 minutes to go but Molnar Super Star closed the door. With the win the Tommies magic number falls to 2.5. The surprising UPEI Panthers beat ST FX in O/T tonight 3-2. Dalhouse lost 6-4 to the Squirrels and Moncton beat St Mary’s 3 to 1.The Tommies next game is against the Squirrels on Wednesday January 18th at the Aitken Centre. Game time 7 PM. Come out and support your Tommies and be prepared to make some noise to show those Squirrel fans a thing or two. The game will be aired over the internet by CHSR, see the broadcast page for more information. It can also be viewed by webcast for a fee.

In Ladies action the Tommies lost a heart breaker to Mt Allison 4 to 3. Mt A. scored with 6 seconds left in the third. Caroline Hammerheim, Ashley Duguay, and Nicole Ernst scored for the Tommies.

Friday, 13 January 2006

Unlucky Friday the 13th? You Bet!

St. Mary’s 3 Tommies 1. In a game where the Tommies out shot and out chanced their opponent, they didn’t out scrore them. The final shots on goal were 30-28 favouring the home team. The only goal came late in the second period and was scored by Jeff Bateman with assists to Kyle McAllister and Miguel Delisle.The Tommies were down 2 at the end of the first but came out firing in the second period. The team must have had 5 or 6 great chances to score but lady luck turned her back. Midway through the period the boys hit the post twice in the span of 10 seconds. Andrew Sim got the start in net and made some great saves in the loss and looked sharp on several occasions.The team gets another chance at lowering their magic number tomorrow night against first place Acadia. The game will be broadcast by The AVR Network, please see the broadcast page for more details. The Tommies magic number is at 3.5 with UPEI’s win tonight against Dalhousie. See you tomorrow night at the LBR. Show up and support your St. Thomas Tommies.

In Ladies action the Lady Tommies were also defeated 6-3 by St. Mary’s in Halifax. The game was close but the Huskies scored 2 goals in the final minute. Scoring for the Lady Tommies was Hannah Muir, Caroline Hammerheim, and Amy MacLennan.

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Tommies fall from top ten

The CIS rankings were released today and the Tommies fell out of the top ten for the first time since November 15th.

Monday, 9 January 2006

Lady Tommies lose in exhibition play

The Lady Tommies came up on the short end of a 2 to 1 score against John Abbott College of Montreal in exhibition play on Saturday night. Scoring for the Tommies was Kelly Matthews. The Lady Tommies next game is Friday night 7 PM in Halifax against Saint Mary’s.

For those of you wondering what the calculation is for computing the Tommies magic number, here it is. Dalhousie and UPEI each have 6 points and 11 games remaining. 11 games x 2 points per game + 6 points = 28 points maximum for both teams. 28 points subtract the Tommies 21 points = 7 points or expressed in games 3.5 (3 wins and a tie/OT loss). Actually the Tommies magic number against DAL would be 4 (29 points max.) and 3.5 for UPEI because the Tommies have already beat them 3 times this season and if the teams ended up tied for points, the first tie breaker is head to head games.

Saturday, 7 January 2006

Acadia outlast Tommies 2 - 1

In a hard fought game on the Olympic ice surface of Acadia Arena the Tommies drop a close one 2 to 1. Scoring for the Tommies on the power play was Nick Theriault with assists to Kyle McAllister and Miguel Delisle. Aaron Molnar took the tough loss in net but played a fabulous game. He kept the the score close and made many great saves. Thatcher Bell missed most of the game and according to reports on EASTLINK suffered some broken teeth.With the loss the Tommies magic number remains at 3.5. Dalhousie was victorious tonight over the Squirrels 6 to 5. This was Dal’s 3rd win of the year, 2 of them against UNB. The Tommies are now 4 points behind Acadia for first place but fall to 4th in the standings tied with Moncton. U de M lost tonight 6 to 3 against SMU, who is now in sole possession of third. In other AUS action UPEI picked up it’s second win in a row, third of the year, beating ST FX 4 to 2.The Tommies are home next weekend with the back half of the home and home against SMU and Acadia. See you at the LBR or if your out of town you can listen to the Acadia game on the Internet compliments of the AVR Network. See the Broadcast page for the link.

Friday, 6 January 2006

Tommies tie Huskies 3 - 3

The Tommies had a strong game in Halifax tonight but had to settle for the tie against St. Mary’s. Thatcher Bell scored twice, the 1 st goal to tie the game at one. Justin McCutcheon drew the only assist. The Tommies took the lead in the second period on an end to end rush by Anthony Butera. The assist to Mark CodySt Mary’s tied it but not before Aaron Molnar made several big stops on a 2 man disadvantage mid way through the second period. Thatcher Bell restored the lead with his 2nd of the game late in the second with the assists going to Justin McCutcheon and Paul Giallonardo. St. Mary’s tied it early in the third with their third power play goal but Aaron Molnar closed the door the rest of the way for the tie. Molnar made 33 saves tonight.With the tie tonight, coupled with Dalhousie’s loss (5 - 3) to UPEI, the Tommies magic number is at 3.5 for a playoff spot. The Tommies are at Acadia tomorrow night at 7:30. See the broadcast page for more information.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006

St Thomas Tommies first half review [2005]

Jan 4th, 2006. First Half Review.

The regular season started October 14th in PEI on a positive note with a 3-2 win. PEI native, Thatcher Bell, saved the day with the winning goal mid way through the 3rd period. Aaron Molnar picked up the win. The team returned home the next night to play their cross campus rival the UNB Squirrels.

The game was interesting right from the opening face off. After the horn went to end the 1st, a fight between rookie defenceman Anthony Butera and 3rd year forward Stacey Smallman brought the fans to their feet. Smallman, in true Squirrel fashion, surprised Butera (in his second AUS game) by starting the fight. After the initial fleury of 5 or 6 punches thrown by Smallman, the STU rookie landed some great upper cuts and soon after brought the instigator down. Give Stacey the win based on his surprise attack and Mr. Butera a lesson on Squirrel tactics.

UNB kept taking one goal leads only to have the Tommies tie it up 3 times. The game was decided in overtime on a UNB breakaway goal and Aaron Molnar took the OT loss. After the game Tommie defenseman Mike Couch gave an honest statement to a local paper when he said “they hate us and we hate them”. It was nice to see some emotion as opposed to the standard post game drivel.

The Tommies home opener was on Friday, October 21st against Acadia. The Tommies came out victorious 5 to 1. Nick Theriault had 3 points in the win and Ryan Card scored less than a minute into the 2nd with the eventual game winner. Andrew Sim played a great game and got the win.

On Saturday night the St Mary’s Huskies invaded the LBR and the Tommies started out strong. They took the early lead only to have the Huskies fight back to tie it. The game went to overtime where an unlucky bounce off the referee and onto the stick of a SMU player led to the game winner. Andrew Sim took the OT loss. With the 3 points on the weekend the Tommies would end up being nationally ranked at #7.

The following weekend the 7th ranked Tommies were on the road to face Acadia and SMU. The Tommies were down 3 to 1 half way through the third period and things weren’t looking good for the Green and Gold on the Olympic size ice of Acadia
Arena. Out of the blue local boy Matt Seymour and Mark Cody caught fire and scored two goals in less than a minute to tie the game at 3. Acadia came back and scored with 50 seconds remaining in the third with what appeared to be the winner. Coach Eagles pulled the goalie and hoped for the best. With 11 seconds left in the third Captain Kyle McAllister potted his second of the game to tie the score. This was Kyle’s first game back after missing the previous 3 games with an injury. Good to have you back! Unfortunately for the Tommies, Acadia scored with less than a minute remaining in overtime to hand the boys their third overtime loss in 4 games. Aaron Molnar took the OT loss but was solid in net facing 50 shots.

The next night in Halifax the Tommies went into the first intermission tied 0 - 0 but it was all downhill from there. The Huskies scored the next 5 goals and eventually took the game 5 to 2. Andrew Sim took the loss.

On Wednesday, November 2nd the Squirrels infested the LBR with their presence and Part 2 of The Battle of the Hill. Less than 2 minutes into the game Anthony Butera was hit from behind by Nathan O’Nabigon. Once again the rookie defenceman learned to never turn your back on a Squirrel. O’Nabigon got 5 minutes and a game misconduct. The PP however was short lived thanks in large part to the Captain of the UNB dive team, Craig Mahon.(AKA Captain Squirrel) Rookie Miguel Delisle had a run in with Mahon in front of the UNB bench and touched him in the gut with his stick. Mahon went down like he was shot and Miguel was assessed 4 minutes for spearing. Good old Craig had to be helped from the ice but somehow found the strength to be back out on the point by the end of the power play. That guy is a trooper and true leader of our furry tailed rodent friends on the other side of the hill. The Tommies scored twice in the first and took a 2 goal lead into the second period.

The Tommies came out fast and furious and really took it to UNB early. Justin McCutcheon just missed making it 3 to 0 midway through the second while killing a penalty. The puck squirted out of the Tommies end and down the ice towards the UNB goalie, who proceeded to go out to his blue line to get the puck. The race was on and Justin was just barely first to the puck but whiffed on the deke and UNB got away with one. Shortly after this, momentum swung and UNB scored 3 quick goals to take the lead.

The third period was uneventful until the final minute. With the Tommies still down by a goal Coach Eagles pulled Molnar. The team couldn’t seem to organize in the UNB end and most of the chances were UNB’s into the open net. Two very near misses on the Tommie net started to send some of the doubters to the doors. With less than 15 seconds on the clock and the puck missing the open net by inches, UNB was called for icing. With their last chance to tie, the Tommies fought furiously in the UNB end for puck possession. With 5 seconds left Miguel Delisle found himself behind the net and sent the puck out front. It hit the UNB goal keeper and with 2 seconds left, it bounced in to tie the score and send the LBR faithful into fits of joy. In the overtime frame Nick Theriault came within a goal post of winning it for the Tommies but they had to settle for the tie. Aaron Molnar was the goalie of record with the tie.

Friday, November 4th U de M was in town to play the Tommies. This was the first game in Fredericton for the Aigles Bleus since Sebastian Savage was injured in an October 28th game against Acadia. The Tommies donated the 50-50 proceeds of this game and the UNB game to the Sebastian Savage Fund. STU also sold blue and white ribbons to help support this worthy cause.

The Aigles Blues played well and literally dominated the Tommies in a 4 to 1 win. The Tommies went 1 for 11 on the power play. Ryan Card scored the lone goal and Aaron Molnar took the loss in net.

Saturday, November 5th the team was on the road for their final trip of the regular season to PEI. This would also be the last game of the first half for newcomer Jeff Bateman and 3rd year forward Matt Seymour because of injury. Those two did not disappoint and both of them had a 2 point night. Chris Cook scored 3 points and the game winner in a 4 to 0 win. Andrew Sim recorded the shutout for his second win of the season.

The Tommies were back at home for their next 2 games. The Dalhousie Tigers were in on Friday, November 11th and St. FX X-men on the 12th. The Tigers looked hungry and came out swinging and held a 3 - 2 advantage going into the third. The Tommies responded by scoring 2 quick goals in the third to take the lead but Dalhousie tied the game less than a minute after that. The tie was short lived as Oromocto native Nick Theriault wired home the game winner on the PP with 15 minutes to play. Andrew Sim shut the door from there to the final whistle to get his third win of the year.

The game against X on the 12th was an interesting affair. The first goal scored by X was questionable as the puck squeezed between Simmer’s pads and slid slowly toward the goal line. It sounded like the Referee had blown the whistle before the puck went over the line but he didn’t think so and the goal counted. The Tommies countered with a goal by Nick Theriault less than a minute later.

The second period would see the remaining 5 goals of the game scored on the power play. First Ryan White of X took 2 minor penalties, one for holding and one for roughing. Just a few seconds later Miguel Delisle was skating past the penalty box and was hit in the face by Ryan White’s stick that was protruding over the penalty box and into the playing surface. Delisle went down on the ice for several minutes and White got issued 2 more minor penalties and a game misconduct for the stick infraction. Several minutes into the 2 man advantage, Delisle comes back onto the ice and ends up taking a face-off against Ryan Walsh, who takes exception to Miguel being back on the ice so quickly after being hurt. Walsh takes a poke at Delisle and gets assessed a 2 minute minor for roughing. The Tommies are on an extended 2 man advantage and find the back of the net 3 times on the PP.

X scored 2 more goals before the 2nd period was over but they would get no more in the third as Andrew Sim came up big time and time again for his 4th win and 3rd in a row. At the end of the game both coaches were assessed game misconducts for not obeying the referee’s directions as the teams left the ice. Coach Eagles would end up being suspended for 1 game because of this. Right or wrong, injured or not, Miguel Delisle was the catalyst behind the win on this night.

The following weekend would see the boys on the back end of the home and home games against Dal and X. On Friday November 18th the Tommies tamed the Tigers 3 to 0 with Coach Eagles in the press box sitting out his 1 game suspension. Assistant Coach Danny Grant didn’t miss a beat and Andrew Sim recorded his second shut out of the season, his 5th win of the year, and 4th in a row. Paul Giallonardo recorded the winning goal and Miguel Delisle had 2.

The rematch of the November 12th game between X and STU would take place in Antigonish. The same Tommie who gave them fits the week before did his thing again. Miguel Delisle came through with a big 4 point game including 2 goals (1 on a penalty shot). Andrew Sim stood large in net and stopped 33 St FX shots for his 5th win in a row. With the win the Tommies were back in the National rankings at #8.

The final weekend of the season saw the Tommies on the road in Moncton on Friday and back home for a Saturday night battle against the Panthers. Andrew Sim started for the 6th game in a row but just like their first game against U de M, the boys came up flat. Moncton thumped the Tommies 4 to 0 and the inability of the PP unit to beat the Moncton goalie, really hurt.

The final night of the first half had the Tom Cats back home in the friendly confines of the LBR. The Panthers scored first but couldn’t control the Tommies Captain in the third and the home side walked into the dressing room at the end of the game on a high note. Kyle McAllister scored 2 goals in the third including the winner. Aaron Molnar finished the first half just as he had started it, with a win against UPEI. With the win the Tommies cemented 3rd place in the AUS and would remain nationally ranked at #9.

So after the first 15 games of the season the Tommies are 2 points out of first place and their magic number is 5. With 13 games left for all teams, any combination of Dalhousie losses and St. Thomas wins, equalling 5, will see the Tommies in the playoffs.

On a related note, a comment was made in the local paper to the effect that it was about time the AUS was gaining some respect in the national rankings. Over the course of the first half up to 5 AUS teams have cracked the top 10 in the same week. While it is agreed that it is nice to see, it reflects poorly on the parity that we all know and love about the AUS. The national rankings are almost solely based on a team’s record and because of this, the AUS has historically shown poorly nationally. Why? All the AUS teams could beat each other on any given night. The best team wasn’t that much better than the worst team. Their records would be closer to .500 than the Ontario and Western teams, who had much easier fodder to feed off of. This year the AUS has two teams with 3 wins between them, each against one another, and the UNB anomaly against Dal. (The Tigers thumped UNB 7 - 1 on Oct 21st) This has translated into 4 or 5 extra points per team this year that they never usually get. For instance the Tommies and St FX have 10 points because of a perfect 5 and 0 record against Dal and UPEI. Acadia, St Mary’s, and Moncton have perfect records and 8 points apiece against the two bottom teams. All of these teams are ranked or have been ranked this year.

So while it is nice to see our Atlantic schools getting noticed nationally, it has come at the expense of 2 respected hockey programs and the parity that drives the league. In the short term I think we should be happy about it but in the long term let’s hope the national rankings include a few less AUS teams and the AUS standings show 8 vibrant, competitive teams.

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

Tommies finish 5th at Pete Kelly Tournament

Jan 3, 2006. The Tommies finished 5th out of 6 teams competing at the Pete Kelly Classic. The Tommies lost both games to fellow AUS teams SMU and Dalhousie by the identical 5 to 2 score. The second half of the regular season starts Friday on the road at St Mary’s and the following night in Acadia. Both games will be broadcast over the internet by CHSR. Saturday’s game can be viewed over the internet courtesy of EASTLINK cable. See our broadcast page for more information.