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This is it.

At the beginning of the year we told you we needed to see two things for this to be a successful year for the Carleton University Hockey program.

1) Progression from the men’s team. Can they be that team that competes with McGill to advance to nationals. Last year they lost to UQTR. This week they have a shot at redemption. A win means success, a loss means no progression.
2) Nationals for the women’s team. A second or third place finish meant a playoff series with an opponent to advance to Nationals. They’re here. A date with the Montreal Carabins. Winner goes to the nationals. So much at stake.

Joey Manley scored a game three 2OT winner in Toronto last weekend to send the Ravens to round two. He joined Eric in the first half the show. Women’s captain Sara Seiler rounded out the half-hour to talk about what Nationals would mean for this program. Give a listen.

Great interview with Manley. Suprised he actually used the word “hate” multiple times to describe those UQTR Patriotes.

PRIZE TIME:
Tweet us (@CURavenshockey) reasons why Carleton will beat UQTR and/or Montreal. Our favourite response wins a couple prize passes to see an advanced screening of Project X courtesy of Warner Brothers Ottawa…so get on that.

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Playoff time means prize time

First off. Don’t forget to watch the game tonight on http://www.ssncanada.ca. Puck drop at 7. Go Ravens.

And Be sure to listen to our upcoming shows on 93.1 CKCU FM for your chance to win passes to the Ottawa advance screening of Project X, courtesy of WarnerBros Warner Bros. Ottawa.

Episode 21: PLAYOFFS

Getting you all set for the first round of the Men’s OUA playoffs, which begin Wednesday night at the Ice House vs. the U of T Varsity Blues. First line centre Andrew Glass, head coach Marty Johnston and Blues coach Darren Lowe help Mitch preview the big series.

 

Episode 20: The Good, the Sad(ie) and the ugly

Not too much ugly in this edition since Eric Balnar’s exiled in Thunder Bay, just some silky smooth hockey talk. Two great guests and a return to the studio for Jeff Krever after a month hiatus make for an awesome 20th show. With only one weekend left in the regular season, we break down what the men’s tea has to do to clinch a playoff berth. And for the women, what they have to do in the final 2 weeks to earn a home playoff series.

Ravens forward Sadie Wegner stops by the studio to talk about her big weekend, and former men’s team Captain Brad Good joins us from Kansas City to talk about his professional hockey career since graduating last year.

Ravens battle for playoff positioning this weekend

by Eric Balnar

Both the Carleton University Ravens men’s and women’s hockey teams have their fans wondering just what kind of group they are.

At times, both squads look like one of the most talented teams in Canada. Both dismantled the top ranked team, both convincingly downed the second place team and both sit in a playoff position heading into the stretch run.

But a consistent series of puzzling losses against teams well below them in the standings, and probably less talented, have the 2011/2012 editions of the Carleton University Ravens hockey teams looking like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Perhaps after this weekend’s contests, Carleton students and fans alike will have a better idea of where their hockey teams stand.

The men have one game on the weekend – a road date with the No. 1 ranked McGill Redmen on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. The Ravens are in fifth place in the OUA East with 29 points, but only four points clear of the ninth place Ryerson University Rams.

Ravens centre Jeff Hayes says for playoff positioning, this game is a must win.

“The standings are so tight right now. We have to approach every game like it’s a playoff game. If we don’t play well the next two weekends we may not even make it,” he says. “Every shift matters.”

Carleton will have to contend with two former CIS players of the year on McGill. Francis Verreault-Paul is a speedy, gritty forward, who has popped pucks by opposing goalies at a torrid pace the last few years. They also boast Alex Picard-Hooper, arguably one of the best playmakers in the country.

But the Ravens have faired well against the dominant first-place Redmen. They lost 1-0 in a shootout two weeks ago on the road and then beat them 4-2 at home last Saturday.

But great games against McGill have been coupled with tough losses against teams that are lower in the standings. The Ravens lost 3-2 to the then ninth-placed Queen’s Gaels on Tuesday, and then fell 4-1 at the hands of the sixth-placed Gee-Gees on Sunday.

Defenceman Christian Bourdeau-Mifflen is just as confused as everyone else.

“If I knew why this was happening I’d give you an answer. The effort is there but for some reason we can’t beat the teams we should,” he says.

The women have their own searching to do. On January 22, the lady Ravens shut down the McGill Martlets 4-3 in a shootout to grab their first ever win against that school.

They followed that with two of their biggest losses of the season last weekend: 10-0 to the Martlets and 6-2 to the UdeM Carabins.

The losses left the Ravens with a record of 5-6-3 for third place in the RSEQ.

Now, they will host the Concordia Stingers on Saturday at 7 p.m. before heading to Montreal for a rematch with the No. 9 ranked Carabins on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.

Carleton is a perfect 3-0 against the Stingers this year, and that trend needs to continue. If they can take two points from Concordia, the Ravens will book their ticket to the playoffs.

On Sunday, Carleton tilts with Montreal – a potential playoff opponent.

“In my opinion they have the best power play in the game,” says second year goalie Tamber Tisdale. “They have a good system.”

Carleton needs to shut down the Montreal power play and talented forwards like Kim Deschenes. Tisdale also says they need to get pucks to the net.

“I know this team can score…they do it all the time to me in practice,” she says.

Both teams think they’re national championship contenders, but need to prove it.

Inconsistency, inconsistency, inconsistency. This has to change.

Both the men’s and women’s hockey teams showed how frustrating they can be after a tumultuous week.

The men beat the best team in the country, McGill, but also lost to ninth place Queen’s and the struggling uOttawa Gee-Gees.

The women followed up their own upset win over McGill with a 10-0 loss to the same team and than an embarassing road loss to Montreal – a team they’re chasing in the standings.

And Jeff’s game report:


Both teams are still in good position…but what’s wrong? Find out on Ravens Hockey Live.

 

Episode 18 – Tisdale recaps epic McGill win

The best show yet! We recap the Lady Ravens upset win over the McGill Martlets and star goalie Tamber Tisdale stops by to explain how they did it. Lots of features in this one, including a recap of the Queen’s/Carleton match up to get you set to tonight. Check it out!

This is the most important week of hockey for the Carleton University Ravens men’s hockey team.

We thought they could contend for top spot in the OUA East but a costly losing streak has made that task impossible. Even second place is out of reach.

But this week, the Ravens have a chance to make a statement: That they, like we thought they would be, are one of the best team’s in the country.

These three games this week, against tough competition, will in all likelyhood help determine the playoff positioning for Carleton.

It seem’s like every week a player comes on our show and makes a reoccuring statement. Newest recruit Tim Billingsly was the latest to proclaim, “It’s about peaking at the right time.”

Well gentleman, it’s now time to ascend the mountain and assert yourselves as a dominant force.

Tonight, the Ravens tilt against the Queen’s University Gaels – a team that has provided all kinds of problems for Carleton the last few years. Here’s a review of the last few classic battles:

Queen’s has a game in hand over the fourth place Ravens, and are only five points and in ninth place. If Carleton loses this game, they will slip into danger of missing the playoffs knowing they have two huge weekend contests.

Fresh off stealing 3/4 points on the road, the Ravens have a date with one of Canada’s best on Saturday.

The McGill Redmen pay a visit to the Ice House, and the team seems confident they can beat them.

“We stayed with them the whole way,” said defenceman Mike Lomas. “Our work ethic increases when we play better teams.”

But perhaps Carleton has the chance to BE the better team. They have shut out the Redmen in regulation in three straight contests…something never done by any team against Mcgill – ever.

“That was the best game of the year we played,” he said after last week’s 1-0 shootout loss to McGill. “I thought our guys were up to the challenge.”

Then, on Sunday, the Ravens play the U-Ottawa Gee-Gees. This rivalry always entertains and this season the teams are intertwined in an intense playoff battle. In fact, there’s a good chance they meet in the first round, so this has to be a statement game for Carleton.

This week offers a chance for Carleton to a) bury a team outside the playoff picture b) prove they are just as good as the country’s second ranked team  and c) beat a cross town rival and a team with a similar point total.

An opportunity that can’t be wasted.

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Fans can follow all the action at http://www.ssncanada.com

 

 

Episode 17 – Meet the Ravens’ new ‘Bill’

Ottawa-born Tim Billingsley began his season in the Central Hockey League after a long OHL Career, but over the break decided to come back to school, which means the Ravens mens hockey team added a big, skilled defenceman to their lineup. Tim comes into the studio to chat with Mitch and Eric, and then they preview a big weekend for both teams in Montreal to face McGill and Concordia.

Episode 15: Exam Time

Blaire MacDonald, Joey Manley, and Shane Bakker all took a study break to join Jeff Krever and guest host Pam Fabbro to talk about the men’s upcoming road trip, the two big wins for the women’s team, second half expectations, Twitter, and concussions.