Saturday, 5 January 2019

Bohlken delivers in clutch for Huskies in 3-2 win over Dinos

Leah Bohlken scored the winning goal for the Huskies on Saturday.
    Leah Bohlken has developed a habit of being in the right place at the right time for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Women’s Hockey team.
    On Saturday night at Merlis Belsher Place, the Huskies found themselves in a 2-2 tie in the third period with the visiting University of Calgary Dinos in a U Sports regular season contest. While working on the power play, Bohlken, who is a fourth-year defender, swooped down from the point to collect a loose puck in front of the Dinos net.
    The loose puck was the result of a rebound from a shot taken by Huskies third-year forward Emily Upgang.
    Bohlken got to the puck and fired it into an empty cage with 5:53 to play in the third period. 
The Huskies celebrate Leah Bohlken’s winning goal.
    Her goal stood up as the winner to allow the Huskies to skate away with a 3-2 victory before 504 spectators.
    “That was nice to put that one in,” said Bohlken, who leads the Huskies with three game-winning goals this season. “Upper (Upgang) came up to me after, and she was like, “Finally, I assisted one of yours,” so I thought that was pretty funny.
    “She is always down in front of the net working hard. Our coaches have been telling us to get into those gritty spots. It is not going to be nice to be there, but get there.
    “I just kind of crashed the net. I was in the right place at the right time, so it was good.”
    Saturday’s win allowed the Huskies to sweep their weekend series with the Dinos. U of S claimed Friday’s encounter at Merlis Belsher Place by a 3-0 final.
Diane Hitchings celebrates giving the Dinos an early 1-0 lead.
    The two contests were the first games for both sides since returning from their respective Christmas breaks.
    Besides sweeping the weekend series, the Huskies won all four of their regular season encounters with the Dinos in the 2018-19 campaign.
    With Saturday’s win, the Huskies improved to 11-6-1 to remain fourth in the Canada West Conference. The Dinos fell to 2-14-2 to remain last in Canada West.
    “Whenever you can get a sweep over another team, that is huge, especially in our league with it being as close as it is,” said Bohlken, who has team high seven goals to go along with four assists appearing in all of the Huskie 18 regular season games. “Especially coming back after Christmas, you want to start your second half out well.
Shyan Elias had a pair of assists for the Huskies.
    “I think that we did that.”
    The Dinos, who upset the Canada West leading 15-3 University of Alberta Pandas last Nov. 23 in Calgary, proved to be pesky against the Huskies on Saturday.
    U of C jumped ahead 1-0 on a goal by fourth-year forward Diane Hitchings, who potted the rebound of a shot taken by linemate Taylor Beck.
    Before the first period ended, the Huskies evened things up on the power play at 1-1, when sophomore forward Abby Shirley fired home the rebound of a shot taken by linemate Shyan Elias.
    The Huskies finished the night going 2-for-7 on the power play. They were 2-for-5 on the power play in Friday’s win.
    “To put some in off the power play, that is huge,” said Bohlken. “The second night is always tough, because they have a chance to look at your power play and see what you do and see where you put the puck.
The Huskies mark Abby Shirley’s second period equalizer.
    “It is hard to adjust that. Maybe the first couple of power plays we were kind of getting used to like how they were playing us differently and taking away seams. We realized that we need to just calm down a little bit and find different seams.”
    The Dinos retook the lead at the 6:02 mark of the second, when a turnaround shot by U of C forward Sage Desjardins fooled Huskies rookie netminder Camryn Drever to give the visitors a 2-1 edge.
    Just when it appeared the Dinos were going take a one-goal advantage into the third period, Shirley tied things up at 2-2 with her second of the night coming with 48.5 seconds remaining in the second period. Again, she fired home the rebound of a shot taken by Elias.
Emily Upgang tried to score the winning goal on this chance.
    That set the stage for Bohlken to net the winner in the third period.
    Drever stopped 15 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Huskies. Kira Wasylak turned away 28 shots to take the setback in goal for the Dinos.
    With the sweep of the Dinos complete, the Huskies turn their attention to their next two games against their provincial rivals the University of Regina Cougars (8-7-3).
    The two teams meet this coming Friday at 7 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place and this coming Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Co-operators Centre in Regina.
    “Coming off two wins is great,” said Bohlken. “Regina being our provincial rival, it is going to be a tough game. It always is.
The Huskies celebrate their 3-2 victory on Saturday.
    “One home game and one away game, which is a nice change up from playing either two at home or two away. I think we just have to start focusing for it. We kind of have momentum now.
    “We know what we are doing is good, and it is working. We just need to go and refine what we have been doing, make those like little passes and make a few tweaks and get ready for Regina.”

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