Saturday, 16 January 2016

Huskies hammer Dinos 8-3

Jaimen Yakubowski celebrates scoring a Huskies goal.
    No overtime dramatics were needed in this outing.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team proved to be too much for the University of Calgary Dinos to handle on Saturday night at the ancient Rutherford Rink. The Dogs scored early and often and skated away with a convincing 8-3 victory. One night earlier, the Huskies needed double overtime to slip past the Dinos 4-3.
    In Saturday’s contest, eight different players accounted for the eight Huskies tallies. The route started when Huskies captain Kendall McFaull tipped in a point shot from Josh Roach for a power-play goal at the 6:44 mark of the opening frame.
    Rookie forward Daylan Gatzke potted his first career Canadian Interuniversity Sport regular season goal to put the Huskies up 2-0 before the first period ended. Just 84 seconds into the second period, rookie forward Andrew Johnson netted his ninth goal of the season to put the hosts up 3-0.
    Johnson’s tally chased Dinos starting goalie Myles Hovdebo from the U of C net. He stopped eight-of-11 shots fired his way. Steven Stanford played the rest of the way in relief and stopped 18 of the 23 shots he faced.
    Actually, the Huskies netted their first goal on Stanford just 94 seconds after he entered the contest, when gritty rookie Jaimen Yakubowski popped his first career CIS regular season goal. The Dinos proceeded to use a timeout to try and regroup after that tally.
    The stoppage worked for a short time, as Kevin King scored for the Dinos to cut the Huskies lead to 4-1. The Dogs’ edge ballooned to 6-1 before the second period ended thanks to a short-handed marker by Kohl Bauml and a point shot power-play blast by rearguard Jordan Fransoo.
    Dylan Busenius and Chris Collins netted singles for the Dinos in the third, which cut the Huskies lead to 6-3 for a short moment. Cameron Blair and Parker Thomas replied with singles for the Huskies to round out the game’s scoring.
Jesse Forsberg had four assists and a plus-six rating on Saturday.
    Jordon Cooke made 27 saves to earn the win in goal for the Huskies, who improve their Canada West Conference leading record to 17-3. Cooke also has 15 goaltending wins on the campaign, which are three shy of equaling the Huskies team record for goaltending victories 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).
    The Dinos fell to 7-9-4 with the setback.
    While it seemed everyone that hit the ice for the Huskies was on a roll Saturday, their best player might have been sophomore defenceman Jesse Forsberg. Known for being a defensive defenceman, Forsberg quietly collected four assists on Saturday and was a plus-six in the plus-minus department.
    Saturday’s victory also allowed the Huskies, who are rated third in the CIS top ten rankings, to officially clinch a berth in the Canada West playoffs for the 20th straight year.
    U of S leads the overall Canada West standings with 34 points. The Mount Royal University Cougars and the University of Alberta Golden Bears sit tied for second place with 28 points coming from identical 13-5-2 records. All Canada West teams have eight games remaining in their respective regular season schedules.
    The Huskies return to action this coming Friday and Saturday, when they travel to Vancouver to take on the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (9-8-3).

OT heartbreaker in Calgary

Brooklyn Haubrich had the Huskies lone goal in Calgary on Saturday.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team dropped an overtime heartbreaker in Calgary on Saturday night.
    The Huskies, who are rated sixth in the Canada West top ten rankings, fell 2-1 to the host University of Calgary Dinos at the Father David Bauer Arena despite holding a 31-20 edge in shots on goal.
    The Dinos jumped out in front 1-0, when defender Stephanie Zvonkovic scored on the power play at the 7:50 mark of the opening frame. The Huskies evened things up at 1-1, when rookie winger Brooklyn Haubrich scored with 3:45 to play in the third period.
    At the 3:07 mark of overtime, Russian import Sasha Vafina scored the winner for the Dinos shortly after getting out of the penalty box having served a minor infraction for body checking.
    Cassidy Hendricks turned away 18 shots taking the overtime loss in goal for the Huskies. Hayley Dowling stopped 30 shots to earn the win in goal for the Dinos.
    With the overtime setback, the Huskies record moves to 11-6-3, which is good for fourth overall in the very tight Canada West standings. The Dinos, who have won three straight, still sit last in the eight-team Canada West Conference, but they improve to 6-10-4.
    The Huskies return home this coming Friday and Saturday, when they host the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (12-6-2) at 7 p.m. on both nights at the Rutherford Rink.

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