Sunday, 21 June 2015

So long Wolfpack, Bring on the Riot

A trio of Valkyries gang tackle a Wolfpack receiver.
    Now the Saskatoon Valkyries can look forward.
    Entering a Western Women's Canadian Football League Prairie Conference semifinal playoff game as a heavy favourite over the Winnipeg Wolfpack, the Valkyries had to avoid looking forward to the possibility of playing their provincial rivals the Regina Riot in the Prairie Conference final.
    On Sunday at Saskatoon Minor Football Field, the Valkyries stayed focused on the task at hand. They scored touchdowns on three of their first four offensive plays and romped over the Wolfpack 66-7.
    In Regina on Sunday, the host Riot thumped the winless Manitoba Fearless 73-0 at Mosaic Stadium in the other Prairie Conference semifinal. As a result, the Riot will host the Valkyries in the Prairie Conference final this coming Sunday at 2 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
    Before looking towards playing the Riot, Valkyries quarterback Stacey Boldt was pleased her side stayed focused on the task at hand against the Wolfpack.
    "We just take it game by game," said Boldt. "The minute this game ended that is when we start preparing for Regina."
    Early in the semifinal clash at SMF, the Wolfpack did have success moving the ball offensively collecting a number of first downs. The Valkyries halted the visitor's momentum with the big play.
    After the Wolfpack failed to score on their first drive, Boldt hit veteran receiver Marci Kiselyk on a 61-yard touchdown strike to put the hosts up 7-0 after just their first offensive play of the game.
Valkyries receiver Marci Kiselyk hauls in a big-play catch.
    Saskatoon's second offensive play resulted in a 63-yard touchdown run by tailback Julene Friesen. On the Valkyries fourth offensive play, Boldt connected with receiver Carly Dyck on a 48-yard touchdown strike.
    Boldt said the early scores allowed her side to settle into the game.
    "It takes a lot of weight off the defence's shoulders and us as an offence going along the rest of the game too," said Boldt. "It was a great way to start the game."
    Before the first quarter ended, Friesen put the Valkyries up 28-0 scoring on a 96-yard touchdown run.
    The big plays kept coming in the second quarter, as Saskatoon built a 56-0 lead. Boldt hit Kiselyk on a 35-yard touchdown strike, running back Kelsey Murphy ran in a major from 27 yards out, Boldt found Dyck for 77-yard score through the air and Friesen ran in another major from 76 yards out.
    By halftime, Boldt completed all 10 of her pass attempts for 292 yards, and the Valkyries combined for 345 yards rushing.
    "It is a huge confidence booster for us," said Boldt about all the big plays. "We are seeing lots of different people play different positions right now. We are just gaining confidence game after game.
    "I just think we just came together as a team. We had a lot of injuries and bruises along the way here. We knew we had to bring our best game, and I think we did that."
    After a scoreless third quarter, Rienna Rueve kicked a 22 yard field goal to put Saskatoon up 59-0.
    The Wolfpack finally got on the scoreboard, when quarterback Amy Mohr connected with receiver Char Mash-Hadlow on a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Valkyries QB Stacey Boldt fires a strike downfield. 
    Valkyries tailback Sam Matheson ran in the game's final score from 26 yards out.
    The Valkyries and Riot meet in the Prairie Conference final for the fifth consecutive year. Saskatoon won the four previous encounters and proceeded to move on and win the WWCFL title in each of those campaigns.
    This season, the Valkyries slipped past the Riot 28-19 on May 19 in Regina. The Riot then bombed the Valkyries 49-9 in Saskatoon on May 30. The third encounter might be the most anticipated head-to-head match between the two squads.
    "It is going to be a great game," said Boldt. "We look forward to playing them every year. They are our rival.
    "We need to bring our A-game. We need to make up for kind of the last time we played them."

    If you have any comments about this blog post, feel free to email them to Check out more photos of the Valkyries win on twitter @StanksSports.