Friday, 29 January 2016

Huskies bash Bisons, pile up milestones

Andrew Johnson scored twice in the Huskies runaway victory on Friday.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men's hockey team looked every bit like a club that tops the Canadian Interuniversity Sport top ten rankings.
    For the second time this season, the Huskies were voted number one in the weekly CIS top ten rankings entering play this weekend. Hosting the University of Manitoba Bisons at the ancient Rutherford on Friday night, the Huskies actually fell behind 1-0 just 31 second in, when Bisons forward Warren Callis potted the rebound from an Adam Henry point shot.
    The Huskies roared back with five straight goals and cruised to an 8-3 victory.
    U of M’s lead lasted to the 4:49 mark of the opening frame, when Huskies rookie forward Kohl Bauml netted his 10th goal of the season to tie things up at 1-1. Just 15 seconds later, Jaimen Yakubowski potted his second goal of the season to put the Huskies up 2-1.
    Before the opening frame ended, rookie forward Andrew Johnson netted a pair of goals just 17 seconds apart from each other to give the Huskies a 4-1 lead. At the 11:46 mark of the second, Josh Roach scored on the power play to put the Huskies up 5-1 and pretty much put the competitive phase of the contest on ice.
    Jordan Fransoo, Michael Sofillas and Cameron Blair potted singles to round out the Huskies scoring. Fransoo’s tally came on a pretty tick-tack-toe passing play, when the hosts were working on a two-man advantage. Bauml and defenceman Connor Cox picked up the helpers on that fancy tally.
Jordan DePape and Brett Stovin, who is a former captain of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, picked up singles to conclude the scoring for the Bisons.
Jordan Fransoo potted a beauty power-play goal for the Huskies on Friday.
    Jordon Cooke made 23 saves to earn the win goal for the Huskies. The victory in net was the 17th of the season for Cooke, who is one win shy of equaling the club record for wins in a season. The team record of 18 goaltending wins in a season is held jointly by Jeff Calvert (1998-99) and Ryan Holfeld (2012-13).
    Rookie Justin Paulic stopped 36 shots going the distance in goal for the Bisons, who fell to 10-11-2.
    The Huskies stretched their winning streak to eight games and improved to 20-3. They hit the 20-win mark in the regular season for the third time in team history.
    The last time the Huskies won 20-or-more games in a regular season came back in 1999-2000, when the Dogs posted their best ever regular season record at 22-3-3.
    U of S also sits eight points up on the University of Alberta Golden Bears for first place in the Canada West standings. With the Golden Bears dropping a 6-4 decision to the University of Calgary Dinos on Friday night in Edmonton, the Huskies need to earn just three points in the standings in their final five regular season games to lock up first overall in Canada West.
    The Huskies could cement first overall on Saturday night, if they beat the Bisons (7 p.m., Rutherford Rink) and the Golden Bears fall in any fashion at home against the Dinos.
    NOTE – U of S was without standout fifth-year defenceman Zak Stebner, who is nursing a leg injury.

Huskies women’s team ends skid

Brooklyn Haubrich drives to the net for the Huskies.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team brought their four game losing streak to an end on Friday night in Winnipeg.
    Having been snakebitten around the net in recent weeks, the Huskies, who are rated 10th in the CIS top ten rankings, scored three times on the nine shots they had on goal to slip past the host University of Manitoba Bisons 3-1.
    Huskies rookie forward Shyan Elias, who is from Winnipeg, picked up her first CIS regular season goal at the 8:45 mark of the opening frame. Just under two minutes later, fourth-year forward Lauren Zary picked up her career high seventh tally of the campaign to give the visitors a 2-0 edge.
First-year forward Brooklyn Haubrich potted the only goal in the second to put the Huskies up 3-0. Alanna Sharman replied with the Bisons loan goal in the third.
    Cassidy Hendricks made 22 saves to earn her 10th win in goal of the season for the Huskies (12-8-3). The fourth-year netminder became the first goalie in the history of the Huskies women’s program to win 10 or more games in a season in four straight campaigns.
    Rachel Dyck made six stops in goal for the Bisons (10-11-2).
    These two teams will go at it again on Saturday in Winnipeg.
    NOTES - On Wednesday, the Huskies announced Danielle Nogier, who is the captain of the Saskatoon Stars female midget AAA team, has committed to play for the U of S in the 2016-17 campaign. Known for her work as a defensive forward, Nogier has five goals and two assists for the Stars, who lead the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League with a 20-4 record.
    Her brother, Nelson, is a standout defensive defenceman with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels and is a draft selection of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Danielle's father, Pat, played goal for the Huskies men's hockey team from 1988-91.
    The Huskies were without captain Paige Anakaer, who is nursing a leg injury, on Friday.
    Feisty forward Marley Ervine played in her 131st career regular season game on Friday for the Huskies to equal Kandace Cook for first on the club’s all-time list.

Stars learn about defeat

Abby Shirley charges into the offensive zone for the Stars.
    The Saskatoon Stars aren’t used to defeat, especially when it is suffered at the hands of a come-from-behind effort by their opponent.
    After winning the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League championship last season, the Stars picked up where they left off this season leading the SFMAAAHL with a 20-4 record. The fourth setback might have been the toughest one.
    Last Sunday at the Agriplace Arena, the Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the visiting Prince Albert A & W Bears and held a decisive edge in shots on goal and territorial play through the contest’s first 30 minutes. With 7:05 to play in the second, the Bears scored on the power play to gain some traction, and the momentum of the game turned completely around.
    Prince Albert scored on another power play before the second period concluded to tie things up at 2-2 and potted a third power-play marker with 12:42 to play in the third to go up 3-2. The 3-2 Bears edge held up as the final outcome in the contest.
    While the Stars had lots of time to get the equalizer, it seemed they were trying to immediately create two or three breakaways to get a goal. In doing that, they played right into the defensive shut down game the Bears began to employ, which resulted in a number of turnovers in the centre ice zone.
    After the game ended, the youth of the Stars team came to the surface. A lot of the players broke out in tears. Most of that reaction stems from the fact the majority of the players on Saskatoon roster are around age 15.
    The disappointment energy was opposite of the bounce off the wall happiness energy the Stars displayed when they won the SFMAAAHL title.
    In the setback to Prince Albert, the Stars were reminded of a fact that former Saskatoon Blades head coach and general manager Lorne Molleken often alluded to in that there are two teams on the ice trying to win a hockey game. He often gave credit to the fact the opponent has some good players who will make some outstanding plays to help their side.
    The big lesson for the Stars is to not get discouraged or go in a shell when a good opponent does something great. When an opponent does something great, it presents an opportunity to respond in a good fashion to show perseverance.
    The Stars have a strong coaching staff and a strong parent group, so the players will have good support in going through this learning experience. If the Stars win all of their last four regular season games in regulation, they will still finish first overall in the SFMAAAHL.
    They return to action on Saturday night, when they host the Melville Prairie Fire (7-13-1) at 7:45 p.m. at the Agriplace Arena. The Stars and Prairie Fire will also meet on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at the Agriplace Arena.

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