Saturday, 30 November 2019

Vance picks up 18th career shutout for Huskies

Jessica Vance makes one of her 21 saves in goal for the Huskies.
    Jessica Vance just continues to cement herself as one of the all-time greats in the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey program.
    On Saturday at Merlis Belsher Place, Vance turned away all 21 shots she faced to back the Huskies to a 1-0 victory over the Mount Royal University Cougars before 556 spectators. The fourth-year netminder earned her 18th career regular season shutout with the win.
    Besides holding the team record for career regular season shutouts with the Huskies, Vance now sits alone in third spot for the most career shutouts in the history of the Canada West Conference. 
Jessica Vance has 18 career regular season shutouts for the Huskies.
    Vance is one shutout ahead of former University of Manitoba Bisons goalie Stacey Corfield, who collected 17 shutouts over five seasons from 2005 to 2010.
    “It is pretty good I guess,” said Vance, who is in her third season with the Huskies. “Just going into every game, my goal is to get the team the win.
    “It is nice to have that individual side along with it. All that matters is we get the wins, and hopefully, our team can go far this year.”
    During her career with the Huskies, Vance has appeared in 51 regular games posting a 33-12-5 record, a 1.11 goals against average and a .951 save percentage to go with her 18 shutouts. The 22-year-old Prince Albert, Sask., product has the second most regular season victories in the history of the Huskies women’s hockey program.
Cougars LW Tianna Ko and Huskies G Jessica Vance collide.
    She has the fifth most regular season career saves in team history at 1,095 and has played the fourth most career minutes in goal in regular season action at 3,071.
    “I know about it, but I just try not to play attention,” said Vance about her milestones. “I think knowing it just gives me confidence.
    “I try not to think about it during the game or anything like that. I just want to get the win for my team.”
    In Saturday’s win over the Cougars, Vance showed how good her focus was as the only shot she had to face in the first period came off a breakaway.
Leah Bohlken had the Huskies only goal on Saturday.
    With just under five minutes to play in the opening frame, the Huskies first power play of the contest expired, and the Cougars were able to pass the puck up to defender Tori Williams as she stepped out of the penalty box. She was serving a minor infraction for holding.
    Williams jetted up ice, but was stoned by Vance on the scoring opportunity.
    Huskies fifth-year offensive defender Leah Bohlken said that bailout stop was big for her team. The Huskies held a 12-1 edge in shots on goal over the opening 20 minutes and the domination would have gone for naught has the Cougars scored on their one breakaway chance.
    “If the puck ends up in the back of the net, it kind of takes your momentum right down,” said Bohlken. “To have her (Williams) pop out of the box there and get the puck and Vance made that huge save, that just continues on the momentum and makes it even stronger.
The Huskies celebrate Leah Bohlken’s goal.
    “That is like a huge pick me up for everyone after she makes a save like that. It was a good chance that Jess stopped.”
    Just 14 seconds into the second, Bohlken wired home her fourth of the season on a midrange drive to give the host side a 1-0 lead.
    After Bohlken’s goal, the Cougars hit another gear trying to find the equalizer.
    Vance stopped 12 shots in the second period and eight shots in the third to preserve the shutout win for the Huskies. She said she didn’t expect the game to swing like it did.
    “I’ve never played in a game like that before,” said Vance. “That was pretty crazy.
    “You just have to stay focused. That is obviously something that I work on. It worked out good for me today.”
    Bohlken said she has been impressed with the milestones Vance continues to accumulate with the team.
Bailee Bourassa jets into the offensive zone for the Huskies.
    “She has been a huge part of this team obviously,” said Bohlken. “With her getting shutouts, it means we only have to score one goal.
    “That is huge for anybody in our league. Goals are hard to come by. With her getting those shutouts, that helps us each and every game, because it means we don’t have to score as many goals to win.
    “Watching her through her successes, everybody is behind her. Every time she does well, I know she always gets a tap on the pads from everyone, and we are all really supportive and happy that she is doing so well.”
    Zoe DeBeauville turned away 21 shots to take the setback in goal for the Cougars, who fell to 8-8 to sit fifth in the Canada West Conference.
    The Huskies have won three straight games to improve to 9-4-2-1.
Zoe DeBeauville makes one of her 21 stops in goal for the Cougars.
    They are tied with the University of Alberta Pandas (10-6) for second and third in the Canada West standings with 29 standing points.
    The Pandas compiled their 29 points on nine regulation victories and one extra time win. The Huskies collected their 29 points on eight regulation victories, one extra time win and three extra time losses.
    The two squads sit four standings points behind the University of Calgary Dinos for first place and are only seven standings points ahead of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns for sixth place.
    The Huskies are departing on that note for their exam and Christmas break.
    “Knowing that the conference is so tight, if we keep playing how we can, it is in our hands basically,” said Vance. “It is how tight it is.
The Huskies celebrate their win on Saturday.
    “We come away with a couple of wins on lots of the weekends we can finish first. It is anyone’s hands.”
    Bohlken believes her team has to be happy with how things have gone leading up the exam and Christmas break.
    “I think it has been really good,” said Bohlken. “Going into the Christmas break, this is definitely what we wanted was to come off the weekend with a sweep.
    “Any weekend where you can get a sweep is huge. Sitting tied for second, honestly right now, that doesn’t mean a whole lot, because you lose two games and you can fall to sixth. We know that after the break we have to pick up right where we left off here.
    “It is a really nice momentum builder here, and as long as we keep going the way that we are going, I think we are going to peak at the right time.”
    The Huskies return to action on Jan. 3 in the new year, when they travel to Edmonton to face the Pandas.

Banged up Huskies win eight straight

Andrew Johnson had a goal and two assists for the Huskies on Saturday.
    The U of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team have mastered overcoming the injury bug as well as their opponents.
    On Saturday, the Huskies won their eighth straight game downing the Mount Royal University Cougars 3-2 at the Flames Community Arena in Calgary, Alta.
    The Huskies won Saturday’s game dressing just 17 skaters, which is one under the full complement of 18. Those out of the lineup with various ailments included defencemen Colby Harmsworth and Cody Spagrud along with forwards Jordan Tkatch, Donovan Neuls, Kohl Bauml and Wyatt Johnson.
    Fifth-year forward Andrew Johnson was in on all of the Huskies goals collecting one goal and two assists in the win.
    He gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the first period and setup linemate Levi Cable for the squad’s second goal at the 2:07 mark of the second to give the visitors a 2-0 edge.
Taran Kozun made 26 saves in goal for the Huskies on Saturday.
    Rookie forward Sean Richards scored for the Cougars before the second period ended to cut the Huskies lead to 2-1.
    At the 7:27 mark of the third, Johnson set up linemate Layne Young to put the Huskies up 3-1.
Richards set up linemate Chris Gerrie for a Cougars goal that cut the Huskies lead to 3-2 with 1:42 remaining in the third period. The Cougars were unable to net the equalizer after that tally.
    Taran Kozun made 26 saves to pick up with win in goal for the Huskies. The Huskies are tied with the U of Calgary Dinos for the second and third place spots in the Canada West Conference with identical 11-3-2 records.
    Wyatt Hoflin turned away 34 shots to take the setback in goal for the Cougars, who drop to 10-4-0-2 and sit fourth in Canada West.
    The Huskies will now have lots of time to try and get healthy as they head into their exam and Christmas break. They return to action on Saturday, Jan. 3 in the new year when they host the U of Alberta Golden Bears (14-2) at 7 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place.

Machart named overall MVP for Huskies football

Adam Machart was named the Huskies overall team MVP.
    If you are in the running for the Hec Crighton Trophy, it is almost an automatic you will be the team MVP for your U Sports football program.
    After a record season, running back Adam Machart was named the overall most valuable player for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team at the team’s award banquet held Friday night at the Hilton Garden Inn.
    Machart carried the ball 156 times for 1,330 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
    He set a Huskies team record for most rushing yards in a regular season and most combined yards in one regular season at 1,534.
    He was a Canada West all-star, a unanimous selection as the Canada West player of the year and a U Sports all-Canadian all-star. Thanks to being the Canada West player of the year, Machart was in the running for the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding player in U Sports football.
    The Hec Crighton ultimately went to University of Western Ontario Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant.
    The Huskies team offensive most valuable player award went to quarterback Mason Nyhus. In his third year of eligibility and first year starting for the team, Nyhus completed 138-of-228 passes for 1,739 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions during the regular season.
Nelson Lokombo, right, was the Huskies defensive MVP.
    Defensive back Nelson Lokombo claimed the Presidents’ Trophy as the U Sports defensive player of the year this season. Naturally, Lokombo was named the Huskies defensive player of the year.
    Lokombo topped the Huskies with four interceptions, and he returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns during the regular season.
    The Abbotsford, B.C., product posted 23.5 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and four pass breakups during the regular campaign as well.
    Lokombo was a Canada West all-star, the Canada West defensive player of the year and a first team all-Canadian all-star.
    Defensive tackle Evan Machibroda claimed the Huskies team award as lineman of the year. The fifth-year veteran piled up 22 total tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery during the regular season.
    Machibroda was a Canada West all-star, the most outstanding lineman in Canada West and a first team all-Canadian all-star.
Ramsey Derbas was the Huskies freshman of the year.
    Outside linebacker Ramsey Derbas was a unanimous selection for rookie of the year in Canada West, and he took the Huskies freshman of the year award. The 18-year-old led the Huskies with 43 total tackles to go along with an interception and a half sack.
    Fourth-year running back Jace Peters captured honours as the Huskies special teams play of the year.
    Fourth-year defensive back Clovis Lumeka was named the Huskies most improved player.
    Outside linebacker Ben Whiting captured the Huskies coaches award. In his fifth and final season with the Huskies, Whiting finished third on the team with 39.5 total tackles.
    The Huskies finished second in the Canada West Conference regular season standings this season with a 5-3 record.
    They downed the U of Alberta Golden Bears 28-23 in a Canada West semifinal match before falling 29-4 to the eventual Vanier Cup champion U of Calgary Dinos in the Canada West final.

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