Thursday, 14 March 2019

Hounds bounce Bears from SFMAAAHL playoffs, advance to face defending champion Stars

Kaitlyn Ross made 21 saves in a series-clinching win for the Hounds.
    The Notre Dame Hounds appear to be hitting their top stride at the right time.
    On Wednesday at the Duncan McNeill Arena in Wilcox, Sask., the host Hounds made good on their second chance to eliminate the Prince Albert Northern Bears from the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs. The Hounds jumped out to a 4-0 lead and skated to a 5-1 victory in Game 4 of a best-of-five SFMAAAHL first round series.
    The win allowed the Hounds to take the best-of-five set 3-1.
    Notre Dame had a chance to end the series on Monday in Prince Albert, but the Bears staved off elimination with a 3-2 victory.
    In Game 4, the Bears only goal came when forward Jadyn Kushniruk, who was playing in her final season of midget AAA eligibility, scored with less than a minute to play in the second period to cut a 4-0 Notre Dame lead to 4-1.
    Forward Sophie Young scored the Hounds first goal and recorded two assists to lead Notre Dame offensively. Kaitlyn Gilroy, who is an underage 14-year-old rookie forward, scored twice for the Hounds including her squad’s fifth goal at the 3:17 mark of the third period to dampen any hopes of a Bears comeback.
    Claire Nimegeers and Ally Kosteniuk each had a goal and an assist for Notre Dame. Kendra Zuchotzki had two assists for the Hounds.
    Star netminder Kaitlyn Ross made 21 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Hounds.
    Lexi Beuker turned away 13 shots to take the setback in goal for the Bears.
Sophie Young had a goal and two assists for the Hounds.
    The Bears finished the regular season with a 17-9-2, while the Hounds had a 12-13-3 record.
    Prince Albert made it to the SFMAAAHL championship series in three of the last four years winning the league title in 2017 and ultimately advancing to the Esso Cup female midget AAA national championship tournament.
    The Bears and Hounds met a year ago in a best-of-five SFMAAAHL semifinal series, where Prince Albert prevailed in four games.
    The Hounds advance to play the defending SFMAAAHL champion Saskatoon Stars in a best-of-five SFMAAAHL semifinal series. Notre Dame doesn’t get much time to rest as Game 1 is set for Friday at 8:15 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.
    The Stars finished first in the SFMAAAHL with a 27-1 record. Saskatoon won all four regular season encounters with Notre Dame, and all of those contests were played in February.
    The Stars prevailed over the host Hounds 3-1 in the championship game of the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament held last December in Wilcox.
    Game 2 of the SFMAAAHL semifinal series between the Stars and Hounds is set for Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Duncan McNeill Arena in Wilcox. Game 3 is slated for Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place.
    The Stars haven’t played a game since downing the Hounds 6-0 on Feb. 17 in Wilcox.
    The other SFMAAAHL best-of-five semifinal series sees the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats, who were 17-10-1 in the regular season, taking on the Regina Rebels, who were 17-7-4 in the regular season. Game 1 of that series is set for Saturday at 4:45 p.m. at the Co-operators Centre in Regina.

Huskies end Cinderella run of Gryphons

Evan Fiala scored for the Huskies on Thursday.
    The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team made the clock strike midnight on the Cinderella run of the University of Guelph Gryphons.
    On Thursday at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alta., the fifth-seeded Huskies dumped the fourth-seeded Gryphons 6-1 in a quarter-final contest at the David Johnston University Cup U Sports national championship tournament.
    The Huskies entered the University Cup posting a 25-3 record to top the Canada West Conference regular season standings. In the process, the Huskies set new team records for most wins in a regular season at 25 and most standings points in a regular season at 50.
    U of S fell in the deciding third game of the Canada West Championship series 1-0 to the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
    The Gryphons finished fifth in the Ontario University Athletics’ West Division with a 13-11-4 record before going on a tear in the OUA playoffs. They advanced to the OUA championship game falling 4-1 to the Queen’s University Gaels.
    In Thursday’s quarter-final match, the Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period by goals from Logan McVeigh and Evan Fiala. The goal for Fiala, who is a rookie defenceman, was the first of his U Sports career.
    Carson Stadnyk scored his first of the game on the power play at the 1:46 mark of the second period to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead.  
    Scott Simmonds, who topped the Gryphons in regular season scoring, potted a goal for his side at the 7:53 mark of the second to cut the Huskies lead to 3-1.
    Wyatt Johnson scored on the power play to give the Huskies a 4-1 advantage before the second period ended.
    In the third, Stadnyk netted his second of the game and Levi Cable collected a single to round out the scoring for the Huskies.
Collin Shirley had four assists for the Huskies on Thursday.
    Collin Shirley had four assists for the U of S. Johnson had a pair of helpers to go with his goal for the Huskies.
    Captain and star offensive-defenceman Jesse Forsberg had a pair of assists for the Dogs.
    Taran Kozun turned away 31 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Huskies. Andrew Masters turned away 21 shots to take the setback in goal for Gryphons.
    On Wednesday, Kozun was named the U Sports goaltender of the year and a first team all-Canadian all-star. Forsberg took home honours as a second team all-Canadian all-star in his final season of U Sports eligibility.
    With the win, the Huskies advance to the “frozen four” portion of the U Sports national championship tournament taking on the top-seeded Golden Bears in a semifinal contest on Saturday at 1 p.m. local time at the Enmax Centre. The game will be shown live on Sportsnet 360 at 1 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
    The Golden Bears dumped the host and eighth-seeded University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 7-1 in the late quarter-final game on Thursday.
    On Wednesday, Golden Bears star centre Luke Philp was named the winner of the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the player of the year for U Sports. He was also named a U Sports first team all-Canadian all-star.
    Golden Bears blue-liner Jason Fram took home honours as the defenceman of the year for U Sports and was named a first team all-Canadian all-star. U of A left-winger Grayson Pawlenchuk was named to the U Sports all-rookie team.
    The title game for the University Cup is set for 6 p.m. local time Sunday at the Enmax Centre and will be shown live on Sportsnet 360 at 6 p.m. Saskatchewan time.

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