Canada West Communications
CALGARY - The plays that ignite your spirit amid bone-chilling temperatures are set to return for another season Friday. And with Canada West's top skaters set to hit the ice, coaches from across the conference have weighed in on who they think will be the men's hockey champion this year.
MacEwan was voted eighth in the annual Canada West coaches' poll ahead of their home opener vs. Regina, who have been voted seventh, on Friday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV).
With 64 points, and first-place votes from every other coach in the conference, it's the Alberta Golden Bears that are favoured to run it back for their astounding 30th CW title. But a full season of games, and teams hungry to avenge last year's disappointments stand in their way.
Mount Royal and British Columbia were voted in at two and three respectively, separated by only seven points. The Thunderbirds narrowly edged out the Cougars in the conference semi-finals last season, despite MRU boasting the league's top two scorers. Both teams appear poised to make their push for first this season as they both chase down their first-ever men's hockey conference banner.
The full Canada West schedule can be found here.
MEN'S HOCKEY ON CANADA WEST TV
2022-23 CW MHKY PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Team - Points (First-place votes)
- Alberta Golden Bears - 64 (8)
- Mount Royal Cougars - 53 (1)
- UBC Thunderbirds - 46
- Saskatchewan Huskies - 45
- Calgary Dinos - 42
- Manitoba Bisons - 25
- Regina Cougars - 24
- MacEwan Griffins - 17
- Trinity Western Spartans - 8
Kole Gable is set to lead the Griffins into the 2022-23 Canada West season (Joel Kingston photo).
MacEWAN GRIFFINS TEAM PREVIEW
2021 CW regular season record: 3-17-0, 8th
2021 post-season record: Missed playoffs
Interim Head Coach: Zack Dailey, 1st season / 0-0-0
Last CW championship / total CW championships: None
Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: None
2021 CW regular season ranks:
Offence: 45 goals, 8th
Defence: 97 goals against, 8th
2021 CW regular season leaders (returning):
Goals: 4 – Zach Webb, forward
Assists: 8 – Zach Webb, forward
Points: 12 – Zach Webb, forward
Key additions (name / position / eligibility / hometown / last team):
Daniel Baker / D / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Medicine Hat (WHL)
Neithan Salame / D / 1 / Edmonton, AB / Regina (WHL)
Marc Pasemko / F / 3 / Edmonton, AB / Colorado College (NCAA)
Carter Chorney / F / 1 / Sherwood Park, AB / Medicine Hat (WHL)
Ashton Abel / G / 4 / Fort McMurray, AB / Boston University (NCAA)
Key losses (name / position / hometown / years with program):
Riley Brandt / F / Trail, BC / 1
Ethan Price / F / Lincoln, NE / 3
Ty Taylor / G / Richmond, BC / 1
Brett Magee / D / Edmonton, AB / 3
Jordan Davies / D / Sherwood Park, AB / 1
Key performer (pictured above):
Fort McMurray, AB
2021 Stats: (3G / 5 ASTS / 8 PTS)
Entering his third year of eligibility in the program, Gable has grown into a key leader for the Griffins on and off the ice.
The former Fort McMurray Oil Barons forward, who also played for the WHL champion Swift Current Broncos in 2017-18, sets the tone for the Griffins in terms of attitude, commitment and effort.
He also brings offence, coming off producing eight points in 18 games in his first season in U SPORTS after previously playing one year for the Griffins in their ACAC era.
Gable will be among a group of veteran forwards set to guide a young, promising Griffins team into its second season at the Canada West level.