Monday, 20 October 2014

Huskies finally light lamp

Kandace Cook takes a draw for the Huskies.
            The University of Saskatchewan Huskies Women’s Hockey team was definitely fond of red for one night.
            The Huskies players might never have felt so relieved than to see the red lap behind the opposition net light up three times like it did Saturday night.
            During the early portion of the regular season, the defending Canada West champs struggled to put the puck in the net. Those struggles continued during their home opener on Friday night, when they raised their conference championship banner at the Rutherford Rink. The Dogs fired 31 shots on goal and came away falling 4-0 to the University of Alberta Pandas.
            After that loss to the Pandas, the Huskies had scored six goals in five games.
            On Saturday night, the Pandas took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Ashley Morin early in the first period. The Huskies then broke their jinx around the opposing goal scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
            Rookie Chelsea Wilson popped home the first goal, while Kandace Cook slid home the second tally on a nice individual rush. Those goals really seemed to give a lift to the Huskies side.
            Jessica Kampjes scored for the Pandas at the 8:09 mark of the second to force a 2-2 tie. Cook put the Huskies ahead for good scoring on the power play before the second ended putting her side up 3-2, which stood as the final outcome.
            Lindsey Post stopped 32 shots suffering the loss in goal for the Pandas (4-2), while Cassidy Hendricks made 36 stops earning the win in goal for the Huskies (3-3).
            While three goals isn’t a huge number to post on the scoreboard, it is a big number to put up on the Pandas, who are a traditional CIS powerhouse in women’s hockey. The surge marked the most goals the Huskies put in the back of the net since downing the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 5-4 in a shootout in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 3 in Vancouver.
            The surge against the Pandas doesn’t totally eliminate the Huskies scoring woes. Only six different players have found the back of the net so far this season, so there is still a whole host of other players in search of their first tally of the season. As a collective, the team has to feel a gorilla was slammed to the ground.
            Now the task is to duplicate and improve on Saturday’s effort this coming weekend against another tough opponent.
            The Huskies host the 4-0-2 University of Calgary Dinos at 7 p.m. on both this coming Friday and Saturday nights. The Dinos roster contains Hayley Wickenheiser, who is an icon on Canada’s national women’s team.
            Wickenheiser, who is in her fourth year of eligibility, completed her kinesiology degree last year and is enrolled in graduate studies. She had been attempting to get into medical school. 

Victory costly for Hilltops

Wayndel Lewis (#22) on the run for the Hilltops.
            Let the Wayndel Lewis watch begin.
            The Saskatoon Hilltops blasted the Winnipeg Rifles 43-13 on Sunday in what was a costly playoff victory at the Saskatoon Minor Football Field. The Toppers advanced to host the Prairie Football Conference final against the Calgary Colts this coming Sunday at 1 p.m. at SMF.
            In the win over the Rifles, the Hilltops lost Lewis, who is their star tailback, on their first offensive series of the second half. Lewis rushed for 90 yards on 14 carries before leaving with an injured left ankle.
            He had an outstanding regular season leading the PFC with 1,063 yards rushing on 130 carries, while scoring nine touchdowns.
            If Lewis in unable to go against the Colts, Logan Fischer will likely carry the bulk of the load at tailback against the Colts. 

Home sweet home for Huskies soccer

Jenelle Zapski of the Huskies.
            It will be playoff Sunday on the soccer pitch at PotashCorp Park.
            Both U of S Huskies soccer teams will host Canada West single-elimination quarter-final matches. The men’s team entered the final weekend of regular season play already guaranteed first place in the Prairies Division.
They closed the regular campaign on a stumble falling 2-1 and drawing 2-2 against the Mount Royal University Cougars last Saturday and Sunday respectively. The Huskies posted their best regular season finish ever at 9-1-2, while the Cougars were tied with Thompson Rivers for last overall in Canada West at 2-8-2.
The women’s team finished up posting 3-0 and 3-1 victories over the U of Regina Cougars on Saturday and Sunday respectively at PotashCorp Park. The wins vaulted the Huskies to second in the Prairies Division with a 7-2-3 mark.
In the two wins, third year Huskies striker Jenelle Zapski scored four goals to finish the regular season with a team record 14 tallies. The previous regular season record for goals was 11 scored by Elizabeth Hudon in the 2010 campaign.
This coming Sunday, the Huskies women’s team hosts the MacEwan Griffiths (7-3-2) at 12 p.m., and the Huskies men’s team takes on the University of Winnipeg Wesmen (4-7-1) at 2:15 p.m.

Riders looked better with Joseph

Kerry Joseph (#5) calls signals for the Roughriders.
            Oh, the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
            The CFL team everyone in Saskatchewan loves, and a team that appears to also have a million general managers, when you read various social media feeds or listen to call-in shows.
            There was definite dejection by the green and white faithful, when the Riders dropped their fourth in a row, with the latest setback being a 24-19 decision to the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium.
            The Roughriders dropped to 9-7, but the offence looked better with 41-year-old veteran quarterback Kerry Joseph at the controls. Joseph’s statistics weren’t going to blow you away. He was 17-for-36 passing for 213 yards, two touchdown throws and two interceptions.
            The starting signal caller for the team’s 2007 Grey Cup championship season looked a lot more in control and poised compared to Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege.
            The Roughriders lost starting quarterback Darian Durant due to an arm injury in a 30-24 road victory over the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg on Sept. 7. Saskatchewan was 8-2 after that victory.
            Since Durant went down, the quarterback position was influx, which lead to Joseph’s signing. The loss to the Eskimos was Joseph’s first start this season, and his stats would have been a lot better outside of a number of drops by the receivers. The drop problem also occurred this season with Durant throwing pinpoint passes as well.
            Joseph, who had originally retired in the off-season having last suited up for the Eskimos, gives the Roughriders their best chance to win now. If Durant can’t return this season, the Roughriders would be best advised to go with Joseph, who was the CFL’s most outstanding player in 2007, the rest of the way. With Joseph, the Roughriders have a more realistic shot of making a championship run this season as an underdog as opposed to Sunseri and Doege, who have been inconsistent.
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