Nicole Betker

The University of Saskatchewan Huskie women’s hockey team will look to gain some breathing room at the top of the standings in a weekend series against the Manitoba Bisons.

The Bisons will hit Rutherford Rink Friday and Saturday.

Entering the weekend, the Huskies have a hold on first place in the conference with 27 points – just three ahead of the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Pandas. The Lethbridge Pronghorns and Manitoba Bisons are still in the postseason hunt with 21 and 20 points respectively. Both Calgary and Manitoba have two games in hand, making this weekend’s series of extra importance.

“With just six games left in our Canada West schedule, we need to make sure to keep collecting victories to stay with the top teams,” said Huskie head coach Steve Kook. “We need to continue to play our best.”

Since 1997-98, the Huskies have a 20-43 record against Manitoba including a split in Winnipeg in their first meetings in 2011-12. The Huskies took a 3-2 overtime win and the Bisons won 4-3 on November 4 and 5.

Nellie Minshull and Maggie Litchfield-Medd lead the Bisons with 16 and 13 points each respectively. Minshull has tallied nine goals and seven assists, while Litchfield-Medd has eight goals and five assists. Addie Miles has also provided offence notching three goals and eight helpers.

Four Huskies sit in the Top 10 in conference scoring including Julie Paetsch, Cara Wooster and Danny Stone. Paetsch leads the Canada West with 11 goals and 14 assists. Wooster has added six goals and 12 assists, while Stone has tallied six goals and nine assists.

Tara Lacquette and Leiette Klassen have each played in eight games for the Bisons. Lacquette has recorded a 1.63 goals against average and a .924 save percentage, while Klassen has 2.20 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.

Mackenzie Rizos has started 13 games for the Huskies posting a 10-3 record. She has tallied a 2.19GAA and a .919 save percentage. Backup Vanessa Frederick has five games under her belt allowing just six goals. Each Huskie goalie has posted two shutouts.

Puck drop is 7 p.m. each night at Rutherford Rink. For tickets visit or call 306-966-1111. The game will be webcast on

Game Notes: University of Saskatchewan Huskie athletes are doing what they can to find a cure for cancer. In 2008, Huskie athletes began the initiative Play For A Cure in hopes of raising money for cancer research. The fundraising initiative has continued in 2011-12. Together Huskie athletes have raised more than $65,000. Each Huskie women’s hockey player has a Pink Huskie Play For A Cure jersey and is looking for alumni or fans to pre-purchase the game-worn jerseys. On Friday night, the Huskies will wear the jerseys against the Manitoba Bisons. The women’s hockey team will also be selling raffle tickets for a pink Play For A Cure Quilt. Check out the display near the Rutherford Rink concession.