Friday, 22 January 2016

Finish eludes Huskies

UBC goalie Danielle Dube set up to stop  U of S winger Kaitlin Willoughby.
    It seemed like everyone on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team had the hands of stone around the net.
    On Friday night at the ancient Rutherford Rink, the Dogs had to lament their missed chances in a 2-1 setback to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The Huskies, who lost their third in a row, had numerous opportunities to score, but the ability to finish eluded them in the up tempo contest.
    The rotten luck started late in the opening frame when feisty forward Marley Ervine rang a shot off the crossbar of the UBC goal.
    After a fairly even opening 20 minutes, the Thunderbirds seemed to score out of nowhere at the 4:53 mark of the second, when fourth-year forward Katie Zinn potted her third goal of the season to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
    Just over five minutes later, the Thunderbirds went ahead 2-0 on some nice work down low in the offensive zone. Third year Thunderbirds forward Melissa Goodwin slipped a pass to the front of the Huskies goal from the left corner boards in the U of S zone, and linemate Haneet Parhar tucked home her fifth of the season past Huskies goaltender Cassidy Hendricks.
    The Huskies, who are rated eighth in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport top ten rankings, proceeded to make a big push back, which saw them buzz the UBC zone. During one surge of pressure, Huskies standout winger Kaitlin Willoughby found herself alone at the right side of the Thunderbirds goal, but she was unable to put a backhanded chance past UBC netminder Danielle Dube.
The Thunderbirds celebrate a goal from Haneet Parhar (#12).
    In the final seconds of the second, another big scoring chance eluded the Huskies. After crossing into the Thunderbirds zone, Willoughby wired a shot on the UBC goal.
    The puck hit Dube and fell to the ground bouncing loose in the crease area. Ervine crashed into the area but was unable to bat the puck into the net.
    Despite the missed chances, a third period rally seemed possible for the hosts, when Lauren Zary scored on the power play just 46 seconds into the frame to cut the deficit to 2-1.
    From that point, both teams proceeded to trade scoring chances as action went back and forth up and down the ice. A couple of scrums also ensured after stoppages as the intensity on both sides increased.
    The Huskies best chance to net the equalizer came with under two minutes to play, when Hendricks was pulled for an extra attacker.
    On a rush into the offensive zone, Huskies third-year forward Kori Herner slipped a shot through a screen. Dube made the stop but gave up a juicy rebound.
    Herner slipped past a UBC defender but fanned on an attempt to shovel the loose puck home.
Dube made 25 stops to help the Thunderbirds win their fourth in a row and improve to 13-6-2. UBC is rated 10th in the CIS top ten rankings. Hendricks made 16 stops for the Huskies, who fell to 11-7-3.
    The Huskies and Thunderbirds will go at it again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Rutherford Rink.
    NOTES – Ervine played in her 129th career regular season game for the Huskies on Friday night to match Chelsey Sundby for second on the team’s all-time list. Kandace Cook sits first in the Huskies career regular season games played list having suited up for 131 contests.
    Huskies captain Paige Anakaer left Friday’s game in the second period with a leg injury.

U of S men’s team remains undefeated on the road

Kohl Bauml had a goal in the Huskies road win.
    The U of S Huskies men’s hockey team continued to cement their reputation as road warriors.
    On Friday night in Vancouver, standout rookie forwards Kohl Bauml and Levi Cable potted singles in the first period to power the Huskies to a 2-0 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds. Netminder Jordon Cooke made 25 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season.
    The win allowed the Huskies to improve to 10-0 on the road this season. U of S has also won six straight and is rated second in the CIS top ten rankings.
    The Huskies upped their Canada West leading record to 18-3. Friday’s win allowed the Huskies to ensure they can finish no lower than third in Canada West, and they will host at least one playoff series at the Rutherford Rink.
    The Thunderbirds fell to 9-9-3 to sit fifth in Canada West.
    Both teams go at it again on Saturday in Vancouver at the UBC campus.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to