Friday, 20 October 2017

Marshall’s surprising rise results in first shutout with Huskies

Sophomore goalie had no guarantees arriving at U of S

Goalie Chloe Marshall celebrates a shutout with her teammates.
    Chloe Marshall is enjoying a start that wasn’t supposed to happen with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team.
    A year ago, the Neilburg, Sask., product was tending goal in her rookie post-secondary season with the Northland College Lumberjills women’s hockey team, who are based out of Ashland, Wis. The Lumberjills were playing their inaugural season in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division three ranks and posted a 4-21 overall record.
    After that one campaign, Marshall, who had an .893 save percentage with the Lumberjills, elected to return to her home province and join the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team.
Chloe Marshall made 25 saves for the the Huskies on Friday night.
    “It was really expensive last year, and I thought financially it would be a better option to be here,” said Marshall, who stands 5-foot-7. “Hockey wise it is better.
    “I just knew it would get me farther academically and athletically.”
    Marshall came to the Huskies without any guarantees. The U of S women’s team had two solid sophomore netminders on their roster in Jasey Book and Jessica Vance, who were expected to be the odds on favourite options to replace graduated star veteran Cassidy Hendricks as the Huskies starting goalie.
    Instead of dwelling on the situation that was, Marshall went to work to prove herself. On Friday night at the ancient Rutherford Rink, she picked up her first career U Sports regular season shutout making 25 saves in a 1-0 victory over the U of Manitoba Bisons, who were rated eighth in the U Sports top 10 rankings.
    Including action in the regular season and playoffs, the Bisons had won six straight head-to-head encounters with the Huskies entering Friday’s game.
Goalie Chloe Marshall gets some help protecting the Huskies goal.
    “It is obviously a good confidence boost,” said Marshall. “It doesn’t mean that it is always going to be like that, but it is always a good like motivation to keep pushing and keep trying harder and just never stop.”
    The 19-year-old has won all three of her regular season starts with the Huskies, who improved to 3-1-1, posting a 1.33 goals against average and a .948 save percentage. She won all three of her starts in the pre-season, which included backstopping the Huskies to a 2-1 victory over the defending U Sport champion U of Alberta Pandas on Sept. 9 in a neutral site game in Athabasca, Alta.
    Marshall’s other two pre-season victories were shutouts.
    She admitted the early going with the Huskies has exceeded her expectations.
Defender Leah Bohlken had the Huskies lone goal on Friday.
    “It is definitely a surprise,” said Marshall. “I had a mentality where I didn’t really know what the situation was going to be like, but I just told myself to like fight for your spot and just never stop pushing and hope for the best.”
    The Huskies only goal on Friday came from defender Leah Bohlken at the 3:52 mark of the second period. Bohlken received a giveaway from a Bisons player in the U of M zone and promptly blasted the gift past Bisons rookie netminder Lauren Taraschuk.
    Taraschuk had a stellar outing herself making 20 stops as her team fell to 2-3.
    With the Huskies holding a slim edge, Marshall went to work to protect the lead against a Bisons roster that contains some very dangerous offensive players including forward Venla Hovi, who plays on Finland’s national women’s team.
Rookie Lauren Taraschuk made 20 saves for the Bisons.
    Near the halfway point of the second period, Bisons star fourth-year forward Alanna Sharman, who has averaged over a point a game in her U Sports career, cut through the Huskies skaters on a dangerous rush only to be turned away by Marshall.
    After Sharman’s chance, the Bisons manufactured a breakaway from fifth-year forward Alana Serhan, and she was turned away by Marshall. In the final seconds of the second period, Marshall denied a close in chance from a Bisons player to bailout a teammate who gave the puck away.
    Marshall admitted she gets pumped up when the pressure is on.
    “I love it,” said Marshall. “The more the pressure the better I play almost. I like thrive off of it.”
Huskies netminder Chloe Marshall covers up a loose puck.
    The pressure continued to come in the third, and Marshall made two close in saves late in the frame on Hovi.
    The Huskies puck stopper also had some luck, as the Bisons rang a shot off the post with just over four minutes to play in the third. Hovi also deflected a shot off the crossbar of the Huskies goal inside of the final two minutes of the third, when the visitors were working on a power-play. The Bisons failed to score on four power-play chances.
    Huskies head coach Steve Kook couldn’t say enough good things about Marshall’s performance
Chloe Marshall tracks a puck she deflected into the corner.
    “They (the Bisons) started to spring players out of the zone, and we started to watch the puck a little bit,” said Kook. “She (Marshall) saved us there and kept us in the game. It was fantastic for her.”
    Before moving to the post-secondary ranks, Marshall played two seasons with the Battlefords Sharks female midget AAA team from 2014 to 2016.
    She got shelled on a nightly basis, because the Sharks were one of the weaker teams in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League.
    Over her career with the Sharks, she posted a 6-24 record and managed to put up a respectable 3.27 goals against average, an impressive .914 save percentage and earn one shutout.
    While Marshall stopped a lot of pucks with the Sharks, Kook said his team didn’t keep strong tabs on her.
    “We didn’t really have a chance to watch a lot of her play,” said Kook. “I got some video tape from her coach down in the States.
Chloe Marshall pictured with a shutout game puck.
    “You can only tell so much from videotape. I had a good chance to meet with her in the summer. She was doing some goaltending camps and getting ready for the (Huskies training) camp.
    “That alone impressed me in the fact that she was willing to put that much work in and get herself prepared for the fall not knowing exactly what her role was going to be on this team. She’s earned and deserved what she has gotten so far.”
    For Marshall, she is just enjoyed every day as it comes.
    She said she loves the positive energy her teammates bring to the rink, and she is having fun playing alongside a large number of players she used to face in midget AAA.
    “It is pretty different going from being not enemies but not teammates to being teammates,” said Marshall. “It is kind of cool feeling to get to know other people and finally play with them.”
    The Huskies and Bisons go at it again on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Rutherford.

Stovin, Bisons rally past Huskies men’s team

Kohl Bauml gave the Huskies a third period lead.
    Brett Stovin, a former captain of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, helped back the U of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team to a surprising 4-3 come-from-behind overtime victory over the U of Saskatchewan Huskies.
    At the Wayne Fleming Arena on Friday night in Winnipeg, the Huskies, who are rated third in the U Sports top 10 rankings, led the Bison 3-2 late in the third period. The hosts potted the equalizer to tie things up at 3-3 with 15 seconds to play in the third as Stovin combined with Zach Franko to set up Kamerin Nault for a power-play goal.
    At the 3:07 mark of overtime, Stovin set up Franko to net the winner for the Bisons. Stovin finished the contest with three assists. His first helper came in the opening frame, when he set up former Blades teammate Nick Zajac to give the Bisons a 1-0 lead.
    John Lawrence and Josh Roach replied with singles before the opening 20 minutes expired to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead.
    Bisons forward Shawn Bowles scored the only goal in the second period to force a 2-2 tie.
    Just 92 seconds into the third, star centre Kohl Bauml scored to put the Huskies up 3-2, which set the stage for the dramatics at the end of the contest.
    Taran Kozun made 19 stops to take the loss in goal for the Huskies (4-0-1). Byron Spriggs turned away 34 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Bisons (2-3).
    The two team go at it again on Saturday night in Winnipeg.

Hilltops players take four major PFC awards

RT Kirk Simonsen, centre, protects Hilltops QB Jordan Walls, right.
    Saskatoon Hilltops players captured four major Prairie Football Conference awards on Friday.
    Right tackle Kirk Simonsen, who is also a fourth-year captain with the Hilltops, was named the PFC’s most outstanding lineman. Star fifth-year running back Logan Fischer took home honours as the most outstanding offensive back running the ball 121 times for 804 yards and scoring 11 rushing touchdowns during the 2017 regular season.
    Riley Pickett, who is in his third year with the Hilltops, was named the most outstanding defensive lineman leading the PFC with nine sacks. The graduate of Saskatoon’s Centennial Collegiate had 15 tackles, eight assisted tackles and one pass knockdown.
    Cody Peters, who is a fourth-year captain with the Hilltops, claimed the award for being the most outstanding defensive linebacker piling up 30 tackles, 12 assisted tackles and pass knockdown this season.
    The Hilltops (8-1) host the PFC final on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Saskatoon Minor Football Field against their provincial rivals the Regina Thunder (6-3).
    Thunder fourth-year veteran Levi Paul took home honours as the PFC’s most outstanding receiver hauling in 41 passes for 575 yards and scoring six touchdowns. The Thunder’s Eric Maximuik was named to the PFC’s all-rookie team on Friday as both a place kicker and punter. Maximuik made 9-of-15 field goal attempts and punted the ball 32 times for an average of 31.3 yards per kick.
    Edmonton Huskies head coach Iain McLean was named the PFC’s coach of the year for a second straight campaign guiding his team to a 7-1 regular season record. 
    Huskies quarterback Brad Launardt was named the PFC’s most outstanding quarterback, most outstanding offensive player of the year and most valuable player. Huskies linebacker Jassen Brown claimed honours as the most outstanding defensive player of the year.

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