Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Huskies’ Dheilly pumped for first Hardy Cup dance

Nicholas Dheilly charges on to the field with the Huskies.
    The third time ended up being a charm for Nicholas Dheilly when it came to experiencing his first U Sports post-season win.
    Last Saturday, the star defensive end had three solo tackles and two pass break ups helping his University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team down the University of Alberta Golden Bears 28-23 in a Canada West semifinal contest. 
    The win propelled the Huskies (6-3 overall) into the Canada West Conference championship game - the Hardy Cup - to face the University of Calgary Dinos (7-2 overall) this coming Saturday in Calgary, Alta.
    The two sides played in last year’s Hardy Cup in Calgary with the Huskies posting a 43-18 victory.
Unlike most of his Huskies teammates, Dheilly hadn’t experienced the thrill of post-season victory at the U Sports level. He is playing through his third year of U Sports eligibility after spending his first two seasons with his hometown University of Regina Rams in 2016 and 2017.
    In 2016, the Rams fell in a Canada West semifinal 40-34 to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at Taylor Field in the Saskatchewan capital. 
Nicholas Dheilly (#99) hits a Dinos ball carrier.
    In 2017, the Rams were again eliminated from the playoffs in a Canada West semifinal contest falling 28-21 to the Thunderbirds in Vancouver, B.C.
    “I’ve never played in a Hardy Cup,” said Dheilly. “On the Rams, we lost first round in playoffs every time, so this is a hell of an experience to be with the Huskies and this kind of group of guys and the coaches and play my first Hardy Cup at the U Sports level.”
    Early in 2016, Dheilly committed to joining the Huskies but had a change of heart over summer and elected to suit up for the Rams.
    A graduate of Regina’s Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School, Dheilly turned heads with the Rams. He was named the rookie of the year for the Canada West Conference in 2016.
    In 2017, Dheilly was named a Canada West all-star piling up 6.5 sacks with the Rams that tied a team record for sacks in a season that was originally set by Akiem Hicks in 2011. Hicks currently stars as a defensive tackle with the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
    Following that 2017 campaign, Dheilly decided he needed a change of scenery. He played last season in the CJFL with the Okanagan Sun registering eight sacks in five regular season games.
Nicholas Dheilly had five sacks for the Huskies.
    Having sat out of U Sports for a full season, Dheilly was able to join any program he wanted to. As he is eligible for the CFL Draft this coming spring, Dheilly decided to get back together with the Huskies expected they would have another strong campaign.
    After winning the Canada West title, the Huskies made it the Mitchell Bowl last season and fell to the University of Western Ontario Mustangs 47-24 in the U Sports semifinal contest.
    “I came to this school to win games and get to the Hardy and kind of like play in bigger games,” said Dheilly. “I couldn’t be happier about this team and how they played (last Saturday) to get us to where we need to be.”
    During the Huskies eight regular season games, Dheilly posted five sacks and 17.5 total tackles. For his efforts, Dheilly was again named a Canada West all-star.
    He was an all-star selection along with Huskies fifth-year defensive tackle Evan Machibroda. Dheilly has enjoyed playing on the Huskies defensive line along with Machibroda and defensive end Riley Pickett.
    “It is me, Machibroda and Riley (Pickett),” said Dheilly. “We run a three-man front.
    “We rush three a lot. They (the Huskies coaches) put a lot of pressure for us to get to the quarterback with three, and I think we’ve done a great job. We have a great D-line.
Nicholas Dheilly (#99) closes in on a Golden Bears ball carrier.
    “We have a great D-line coach (Tony Michalchuk) and great defensive coordinator (Warren Muzika) who sets up great plays for us, so I am not worried about anything with us.”
    Now the Huskies will be looking to Dheilly, Machibroda and Pickett to disrupt Dinos star fifth-year quarterback Adam Sinagra. Appearing in seven regular season games with the Dinos, Sinagra completed 159-of-256 passes for 2,014 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
    The Huskies downed the Dinos 29-15 in the only regular season meeting between the two sides on Sept. 27, and the U of S defence forced Sinagra to leave that contest due to injury.
    Dheilly is ready to get things rocking in the upcoming meeting between the two sides.
    “We got Calgary, right,” said Dheilly. “It is just another rematch for the Hardy Cup in Calgary, and I can’t wait.”

Machart takes playoff player of the week honour

Adam Machart scores a touchdown for the Huskies.
    The accolades keep adding up this season for U of Saskatchewan Huskies star running back Adam Machart.
    On Monday, Machart was named the Canada West Conference offensive player of the week for his performance in the Huskies 28-23 victory over the U of Alberta Golden Bears in last Saturday’s Canada West semifinal contest.
    In that contest, Machart ran the ball 23 times for 162 yards and scored one touchdown. He also caught five passes for 42 yards.
    Machart had a dream regular season for the Dogs. The skilled and tough running back carried the ball 156 times for 1330 yards and eight touchdowns to break the Huskies team record for most rushing yards in one regular season.
    In the passing game, Machart caught 20 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He piled up 1,534 all-purpose yards to set a new Huskies team record. Machart was named a Canada West all-star for the current campaign.

Lokombo picks up defensive player of the week nod

Nelson Lokombo, right, charges off the field after making an interception.
    Nelson Lokombo was a force in the secondary for the U of Saskatchewan Huskies, and that allowed him to pick up a weekly Canada West Conference accolade.
    On Monday, the third-year defensive back was named the Canada West player of the week on defence for his performance in the Huskies 28-23 win over the U of Alberta Golden Bears in a Canada West semifinal contest held last Saturday.
    In that win, Lokombo recorded seven total tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
Lokombo was named a Canada West all-star this season.
    In the Huskies eight regular season game, Lokombo posted 23.5 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and four interceptions. He returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns.

Blades’ captain Wouters tabbed for Canada Russia series

Chase Wouters will play in the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
    Saskatoon Blades captain Chase Wouters is going to skate with some of the WHL’s best in front of a national audience.
    On Tuesday, Wouters was named to Team WHL’s roster for the CIBC Canada Russia series. The 19-year-old centre has played in all of the Blades 18 regular season games collecting 10 goals and seven assists helping the team post a 9-7-1-1 record.
    Wouters is playing in his fourth full season with the Blades, and he has appeared in 214 career regular season games with the club posting 49 goals and 79 assists for 128 points. He was the WHL Eastern Conference scholastic player of the year in the 2017-18 campaign.
    Wouters was played on the WHL squad along with Edmonton Oil Kings forward Josh Williams.
    The two are taking the spots that were originally given to forward Kirby Dach and Peyton Krebs.
    Dach hasn’t returned to the Blades to play his 18-year-old season, because he cracked the roster of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks on a full-time basis.
    Krebs, who is a star 18-year-old centre, hasn’t suited up for the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice this season after injuring Achilles in an off-ice training session during the off-season.
    The first two games of the Canada Russia series were split between team QMJHL and Russia. On Monday, Russia downed the QMJHL 4-3, and the QMJHL rebounded with a 4-3 overtime victory on Tuesday.
    Team WHL faces the Russians on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre and on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre in Prince Albert, Sask.
    All games of the Canada Russia series are being broadcast nationally on Sportsnet. The event is used by the staff at Hockey Canada as a final evaluation before sending invites for the main selection camp for Canada’s world junior team.
    The Blades return to action on Friday, when they host the Red Deer Rebels at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre.

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