Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Huskies seek redemption in rematch with Bisons

Mason Nyhus and the Huskies are set for the Bisons.
    The Bisons game stench remains for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team.
    The Huskies, who are rated seventh in the U Sport Top 10 rankings, came into the current campaign with a tonne of excitement and optimism after winning the Canada West Conference title last season. The high hopes were put on ice during Week 1 of the regular season.
    The Huskies traveled to Winnipeg, Man., on Aug. 30 to face the University of Manitoba Bisons in the regular season opener for both sides. The Bison exited IG Field with a convincing 43-19 victory.
    What hurt the Huskies most in that clash was their self-inflicted wounds. They lost the turnover battle 7-0 giving the ball away on three fumbles, two interceptions and twice on downs.
    The Huskies outgained the Bisons in total offensive yards 487 to 359, but the turnovers more than nullified the advantage in offensive yard gained.
    On Friday, the Huskies (3-2) will have a chance to bury that Week 1 encounter in their collective memories, when they host the Bisons (3-2) in another U Sports regular season contest at 7 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium.
    “Honestly, we got kind of punched in the mouth the last time we played them,” said Huskies quarterback Mason Nyhus. “I wish it didn’t happen.”
The Huskies defence aims to pounce on the Bisons.
    The Huskies are coming into their upcoming clash with the Bisons having downed the previously undefeated University of Calgary Dinos 29-15 last Friday at Griffiths Stadium.
    The Bisons have won two straight having slipped past the University of Regina Rams 27-26 last Saturday at IG Field.
    Star running back Adam Machart enters the clash with the Bisons lead all of U Sports in rushing with 712 yards coming on 86 carries and scoring five touchdowns. He expects his squad to have some extra jump for the battle with the Bisons after having beaten the Dinos.
    “It is a super big confidence booster,” said Machart. “Obviously, we kind of know what we are capable of, and I think we showed a little bit of that tonight.
    “We just have to keep on carrying that on.”
Adam Machart rumbles home for a touchdown.
    While the Huskies defence limited the Bisons to 359 yards of total offence in the Week 1 encounter, the Dogs didn’t like the fact they weren’t able to produce a single takeaway.
    Tom Whiting, who is a third-year linebacker, said he hasn’t forgotten what happened in the regular season opener.
    “You always have to keep it in the back of your mind just to dig into later,” said Whiting.
    Friday’s clash potentially has big ramifications in determining how the final Canada West standings could look. The winner of the battle between the Huskies and Bisons will still be in the thick of the race for first or second place and the chance to at least host one of the conference’s two semifinal playoff games.
    The Dinos and the University of Alberta Golden Bears are tied for first and second in the conference with identical 4-1 records.
    They face each other on Saturday at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
    The Huskies dropped a heartbreaking 19-17 decision to the Golden Bears in Edmonton, Alta., on Sept. 21.
The Huskies want to keep hitting higher gears as the season goes on.
    Huskies head coach Scott Flory said his team will eventually have to figure out how to be better away from Griffiths Stadium.
    “I just told the players that we just need to bottle what we are doing at home and take it with us on the road,” said Flory. “The concerning part for me is two of those road games where we showed up like that.
    “We’ll find a way to correct that.”
    For now, the goal for the Huskies is to have a better performance against the Bisons than what happened in Week 1. Nyhus said how that contest played out due to the errors the Huskies made should be enough to get his team going.
    “I guess I’ll use it for a bit of motivation just watching film and see what they did to us,” said Nyhus. “They are probably going to repeat it, so we’re going to have to beat it.”

Machart gets second player of the week nod

Huskies RB Adam Machart had a huge game against the Dinos.
    On Monday, it was déjà vu time for Adam Machart in the player of the week front.
    The star running back for the U of Saskatchewan Huskies football team was named the offensive player of the week for the Canada West Conference for the second time this season.
    Last Friday, Machart, who stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 185 pounds, had a huge game as the Huskies downed the previously undefeated U of Calgary Dinos 29-15 at Griffiths Stadium.
    In that contest, Machart carried the ball 23 times for 171 yards and one touchdown. On top of that, he hauled in three passes for 35 yards and one major score.
    The defensive player of the week for Canada West was U of Manitoba Bisons linebacker Reilly Gordon, and the special teams player of the week was U of Alberta Golden Bears kicker Jonathan Giustini.
    Machart’s previous offensive player of the week nod came after the Huskies downed the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 40-7 on Sept. 6 at Griffiths Stadium.
    So far this season, Machart has carried the ball 86 times for 712 yards and five touchdowns. He needs to gain one more yard to sit alone with the eighth best single season rushing yardage total in the history of the Huskies program. He has caught 14 passes for 137 yards and two major scores this season as well.
    Machart has equalled Doug Rozon’s performance in rushing yards from the 1997 campaign, when Rozon piled up 712 yards on 131 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Smith moves on from Huskies women’s hockey

Chloe Smith, centre, celebrates a significant goal at Rutherford in 2018.
    The last member of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team to ever score a goal at the ancient Rutherford Rink has moved on to be an alumna of the program.
    After two seasons, power forward Chloe Smith has decided to move her life in a different direction. The 20-year-old has elected to not rejoin the Huskies for a third season.
    On her Instagram account, Smith has tabbed herself as a Huskies alum and member of her hometown Swift Current Fire Auxiliary.
    Smith was an education major during her two seasons with the Huskies, but she always longed to pursue a career in firefighting. It really came off that a career in firefighting was something Smith really wanted in a deep way.
    While I don’t have any confirmation on this front, it would be a strong educated guess that Smith is likely following the firefighter path.
    Smith, who stands 5-foot-7, came to the Huskies after playing four seasons with her hometown Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats from 2013 to 2017 in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League.
    She appeared in 110 career regular season games piling up 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points. Smith is the 19th all-time leading scorer in the history of the SFMAAAHL.
    During her rookie campaign with the Huskies in 2017-18, Smith forever cemented her spot in the team’s history.
Chloe Smith in action for the Huskies last season.
    On Feb. 24, 2018, she scored the winning goal that broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Huskies a 2-1 victory over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in Game 2 of Canada West semifinal series.
    Smith’s second period goal in that contest allowed the Huskies to sweep the best-of-three series 2-0.
    That was the final game the Huskies women’s team ever play at the Rutherford Rink, and Smith holds the distinction of being the last member of the Huskies women’s team to score a goal in that facility and score the last women’s playoff series winner in that building.
    It seemed Smith might be Kaitlin Willoughby’s successor in becoming the Huskies next high profile star forward. Willoughby played out her final season of eligibility as Huskies captain in Smith’s rookie campaign.
    Willoughby had the Huskies first goal in the 2-1 victory over the Thunderbirds in that final game for the women’s program at Rutherford.
    A feature I put together on Smith that was posted on Sept. 23, 2017 is still my sixth all-time most viewed post surpassing 5,750 page views.
    Smith appeared in 26 regular season games in 2017-18 collecting three goals and three assists. She skated in 26 regular season game last season collecting three goals and five assists.
    While she was still looking for a breakout season offensively, Smith still had the potential to hit another gear in that department. If she has a change of heart, she still has three seasons of eligibility to use.
Chloe Smith will succeed in any path she takes in life.
    With all that said, it is likely tougher in the present day to be a U Sports athlete than it has at any time in history. U Sports athletes put in countless hours in the classroom and into preparing for their sport and honestly get very little recognition in the current day.
    When Canada’s media industry was larger, U Sports athletes received more recognition.
    If a U Sports athletes’ career goals do not match up with their path of study, the time comes to make a hard decision to move on, because it is hard to just take classes in or to play a sport.
    Smith is one of those who will be a great success in any path she takes in life.

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