Canada West: Emotional weekend for many reasons at Lethbridge

A confluence of events from several different angles have put this weekend’s final two games of the season for the Lethbridge Pronghorns in a very emotional context.  To start, a pair of wins over last place Trinity Western would clinch 4th place in the Pioneer Division and a first-round bye in the playoffs – although at present it appears that the Horns would be travelling to Vancouver for a Best-of-3 vs. UBC Thunderbirds.  On top of locking in Lethbridge’s best finish in several years, a number of other happenings added to the celebration including:

  • the return to the gym of 6’11” Brent Watkins, who was a victim in a near-fatal automobile accident last summer and after much rehab is getting back to normal – this piece from the Lethbridge Herald describes how inspiring Watkins’ return was
  • 5th year wing Rob Olsen, who missed last weekend’s trip to Winnipeg, celebrated the birth of his daughter last weekend and last night was his first game back since becoming a proud Papa
  • Tonight is Senior’s Night for Olsen, Jared Baker and Brandon Brine, who is poised to be a Canada West First Team all-star selection
  • On the not-so-positive side and likely the biggest story of last night’s game 6’1″ Dejon Burdeaux who went down with an ankle injury 1:45 into the game and did not return.  His status for this evening is uncertain.

Lethbridge needs tonight’s game to finish 4th.  Below are the CW standings at present.

Canada West Pioneer Playoff Seedings/Standings

Calgary 16-3

UBC 15-4

Manitoba 15-5

Lethbridge 11-8

Winnipeg 10-9

Alberta 10-9

Regina 10-9

Explorer:  Thompson Rivers clinched 1st, Fraser Valley clinched 2nd, MacEwan needs to defeat last place UNBC to claim third and final playoff spot.

Assuming:  Calgary, UBC, Lethbridge, MacEwan and Regina (at home over Saskatchewan) win this evening, the following would be the Canada West playoff set-up as I understand it:

Seeding: #1 Calgary, #2 Thompson Rivers #3 UBC #4 Manitoba #5 Fraser Valley #6 Lethbridge #7 Regina #8 MacEwan #9 Alberta #10 Winnipeg
Week 1: Play in Series (Best 2 of 3) at higher seed
Series 1: Alberta (#9) @ MacEwan (#8) (Battle of Edmonton)
Series 2: Winnipeg (#10) @ Regina (#7) 
Week 2:  1/4 Finals (best 2 of 3) at higher seed
A) Winner of Series 1 @ Calgary (#1)
B) Winner of Series 2 @ Thompson Rivers (#2)
C) Lethbridge (#6) @ UBC (#3)
D) Fraser Valley (#5) @ Manitoba (#4)
Week 3: Final Four (at highest remaining seed)
E) Winner of A vs Winner of D
F) Winner of B vs Winner of C
G) Bronze: Loser of E vs Loser of
F H) Gold: Winner of E vs Winner of F



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