Friday, 27 January 2017

Zary ends goal drought, becomes Huskies latest OT hero

Huskies captain Lauren Zary, right, celebrates her OT winning goal.
    REGINA - Lauren Zary was relieved to see a lengthy personal goal-scoring drought come to an end, and as a bonus, it came to an end in dramatic fashion.
    On Friday night at the Co-operators Centre in Regina, Zary’s University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey was locked in a 1-1 draw in overtime with the host University of Regina Cougars, and the visitors were carrying play in the four-on-four extra session. With 34 seconds to play in the frame, talented rookie forward Bailee Bourassa slipped a smart pass to Zary down low.
    The Huskies captain proceeded to get around Cougars goalie Morgan Baker and tuck home the winning goal to give the green and white a 2-1 victory. The win marked the fourth time this season the Huskies earned an extra time victory.
    Zary’s tally also ended a personal goalless drought that spanned 11 games. Her previous goal came way back in the first semester on Nov. 18 in a 5-3 home victory over the U of Calgary Dinos.
    “I definitely got the monkey off my back,” said Zary, who has five goals and 13 assists in 23 games so far this season. “I feel like maybe I haven’t put in as many pucks as I have wanted to these past couple of games.
    “It was a nice pass by Bailee (Bourassa), and I was fortunate enough to be able to go around the goalie and get that in.”
Huskies captain Lauren Zary controls the puck in the offensive zone.
    Zary’s goal ended what was at times a choppy game between the Huskies and Cougars, who were both missing key players. U of S was without star forward Kaitlin Willoughby, who has joined Canada’s women’s hockey team for the FISU Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Offensive defender Leah Bohlken and two-way forward Elizabeth Salyn were both out due to injury.
    The Cougars were without Jaycee Magwood, Kylie Gavelin and Alexis Larson, who also joined Canada’s team for the Winter Universiade. U of R dressed just 16 skaters due to injuries.
    With the absences, the Huskies managed to jump out to a 1-0 lead just 24 seasons into Friday clash, when rookie forward Emily Upgang netted her third goal of the season. U of S almost went ahead by two goals in the opening 20 minutes when Cougars rookie goalie Morgan Baker gave the puck away to Huskies fifth-year forward Rachel Johnson. Baker bailed herself out by turning away Johnson’s drive from the front of the goal.
Rachel Johnson wins a race for a loose puck for the Huskies.
    In the second period, Huskies standout netminder Cassidy Hendricks went to work, as the Cougars came with a big push back. Hendricks turned away Cougars fourth-year forward Bailey Braden on a breakaway and made a couple bailout saves off giveaways by her teammates.
    “It was a little stressful to be honest,” said Hendricks. “I just like spoke to my team and let them know we have this.
    “We have to be confident. You just have to like not think about it. It is going to happen either way.
    “Hockey is a game of mistakes. You just have to stay cool and confident.”
    After those big stops, the Cougars forced a 1-1 tie with 4:30 to play in the second, when fifth-year forward Meghan Sherven netted her first of the campaign.
    Hendricks made a couple of big saves at the start of the third, before the Huskies hit high gear and the Cougars started to show some fatigue. Zary and Bourassa both had sound scoring chances for the U of S, and inside of the final minute of the third, fourth-year forward Kori Herner was stopped on a chance when she was in alone on Baker.
Emily Upgang was all smiles after scoring the Huskies first goal.
    “When they tied the game up there, I feel like it kind of kicked the fire under us in that third period and overtime,” said Zary. “We have to win this game. I definitely feel like we’re the better team. We are a better team, when we are playing how we can play.
    “I think the girls really beared down there in that overtime. We knew we had to win this game, and we just wanted to.”
    The Huskies had the only five shots in overtime, and Zary potted the winner on the fifth chance.
Hendricks made 18 stops to pick up the win in goal for the Huskies (13-7-3). Baker turned away 25 shots taking the loss in goal for the Cougars (12-10-1).
    “I am just so glad we got the win,” said Hendricks. “I always just hate playing against Regina for some reason.
    “Knowing they swept us earlier in the season, it was just so much more satisfying to get it.”
    The two teams go at it again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the ancient Rutherford Rink on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.

Hendricks moves into third all-time in Canada West wins

Huskies goalie Cassidy Hendricks holds off Cougars forward Bailey Braden.
    Hendricks picked up a cool milestone in Friday’s win.
    The North Vancouver, B.C., product picked up her 55th career regular season victory to move her alone into third place for career victories in the Canada West Conference. Hendricks passed former U of Alberta Pandas netminder Dana Vinge, who recorded 54 victories from 2006 to 2010.
    Lindsey Post, who is completing her fifth season with the Pandas, sits second in Canada West career victories with 59 wins. Stacey Corfield tops the Canada West career wins list with 64 victories playing goal for the U of Manitoba Bisons from 2005 to 2010.
    “I honestly didn’t know until (Huskies assistant coach) Dave (Westbury) just told me now,” said Hendricks about the milestone. “That is pretty impressive that I’ve been given so many opportunities to play that much and get those wins.
    “I don’t really put it on myself. It was a team effort type of thing. I am just grateful.”
    In her career, Hendricks has posted a 55-41-13 record, a 2.05 goals against average, a .923 save percentage and 12 shutouts in 112 games.

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