Friday, 21 October 2016

Forsberg blasts Huskies to OT victory

Rearguard scores twice in comeback over Pronghorns

Jesse Forsberg celebrates his OT winner.
    A pair of Jesse Forsberg point blasts broke the hearts of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team.
    On Friday night at the ancient Rutherford Rink, the Pronghorns led the host University of Saskatchewan Huskies 2-1 going into the third period before Forsberg stepped up to the forefront. At the 11:55 mark of the third, the third-year defenceman wired a point blast past Pronghorns goaltender Garret Hughson to tie the contest up at 2-2.
    The contest proceeded to go to overtime, and at the 3:31 mark of the extra session while working on a four-on-three power play, Forsberg drove home the winner from the point to give the Huskies to a 3-2 victory.
    During the Huskies first five games, Forsberg has jumped out to a fast start netting three goals and three assists. The Waldheim, Sask., product is looking to surpass his Canada West career high totals of three goals and seven assists recorded in 16 regular season games last season.
    Forsberg’s heroics allowed the Huskies, who are rated third in the U Sports top 10 rankings, to find a way to improve to 4-1 against a foe that came out playing at a high level.
    In the opening frame, the Pronghorns had the Huskies pinned for lengthy stretches in their own zone holding a 17-6 edge in shots on goal. Thanks to stellar play of netminder Jordan Cooke, the hosts exited the first 20 minute locking in a 1-1 draw.
    Third-year centre Justin Valentino beat Cooke on the power play during a net scramble to put the Pronghorns up 1-0. The Huskies gained some traction when Logan McVeigh and Carson Stadnyk combined to set up Michael Sofillas for his third of the season to force a 1-1 tie with 2:50 remaining in the first.
Josh Roach charges into the offensive zone for the Huskies.
    The teams played an even second, but Cooke had to make a few bailout saves, when the Huskies made a number of turnovers in the centre ice zone.
    One of those turnovers did result in Valentino’s second of the night to give the Pronghorns a 2-1 edge with 6:07 to play in the second. After U of L received a giveaway in the centre ice zone, Valentino score after his side applied a stretch of sustained pressure in the offensive zone.
    The Huskies came out flying in the third playing their best hockey of the contest. After Forsberg picked up the equalizer, he almost didn’t have a chance to be the overtime hero.
    In the dying seconds of the third period, Huskies captain Kendall McFaull was set up alone at the side of the Pronghorns goal, but Hughson stretched over to deny the scoring chance.
    Cooke made 33 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Huskies. Hughson turned away 30 shots to take the extra time setback in goal for the Pronghorns, whose record moved to 1-1-1.
    The two teams go at it again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Rutherford.

Huskies women’s team wins fourth straight

Kaitlin Willoughby zips up ice for the Huskies.
    The U of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team won their fourth straight game overcoming a hot opposing goaltender.
    On Friday night in Lethbridge, U of Lethbridge Pronghorns netminder Alicia Anderson had a sensational outing making 43 saves, but the Huskies, who are rated 10th in the U Sports top 10 rankings, weren’t kept at bay forever. They skated away with a 4-2 victory.
    Aislinn Kooistra gave the Pronghorns a 1-0 lead at the 5:40 mark of the first.
    The Huskies found the equalizer with 3:11 to play in the first, when sophomore winger Courtney Cormack netted her first of the season.
    U of S surged ahead 3-1 in the second, when fourth year veterans Kaitlin Willoughby and Kori Herner both netted singles. Jodi Gentile scored for the Pronghorns to cut the Huskies edge to 3-2 heading into the second intermission.
    Sophomore forward Shyan Elias scored for the Huskies on the power play in the third to help the visitors seal victory. Former Swift Current Wildcats star netminder Jasey Book turned away 14 shots to pick up her first career regular season victory for the Huskies in her first start. The Huskies improved to 4-1 with the win.
    The Pronghorns fell to 1-3-1 with the loss.
    Anderson, who is in her second season with the Pronghorns, has stopped 160-of-169 shots in three starts in the current campaign to post a .947 save percentage and a 2.98 goals against average. She has faced an average of 56 shots a game.
    The two teams go at it again on Saturday in Lethbridge.

CIS re-branded as U Sports

The U Sports logo.
    On Thursday, the governing body for university sports in Canada launched a re-brand of its name and logo.
    From now on, the governing body that was known as Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) will now be known as U Sports. The U Sports name will be used in both English and French. It oversees the competition involving teams at 56 universities, a total of around 12,000 student athletes, about 500 coaches and 21 national championships in 12 different sports.
    The logo is a simple standing “U” with a maple leaf in the middle. The maple leaf in the new logo evolved from a unique leaf found on an old CIAU (Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union) letterhead from the 1980s. The governing body for university sports in Canada ran under the CIAU name until switching to the CIS name in 2001.
    The change comes under the watch of current U Sports CEO Graham Brown, who was hired in the fall of 2015.
    In recent years, there has been some talk about changing the name for the governing body for university sports in Canada to a moniker that was viewed as less clunky. The U Sports name definitely achieves that objective.
    While it is not normal for a league to change its name in the middle of a season, the change still came during the early stages of the university sports season in Canada. The streamlined name comes just in time before most of the fall semester only sports begin their respective playoff cycles.
    The early reviews for the new name have been good, so here is hoping the re-branded U Sports will be able to attract more national attention and sponsorships it deserves.

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