Huskies first for home ice

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Nicole Betker

Already sealing a date in the Canada West postseason, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s hockey team looks to inch closer to securing home ice.

The Huskies will get their chance in a weekend series against the University of Calgary Dinos Friday and Saturday at Rutherford Rink.

In the Canada West, six teams are granted life in the playoffs. The top two teams receive byes through a quarter-final series and home ice in semifinals against the winners of the quarter-finals.

The Huskies (15-5-2) sit tied for second with the Manitoba Bisons, while Calgary is in fifth at 12-11-1. To control securing one of the top two spots the Huskies need to win five of their remaining six games.

“For the last 10 years in a row, we have come into the first week of February with first place in sights and, we’ve watched first place disappear,” said Huskie head coach Dave Adolph. “This year our team has been solid all year. We need to play our game and make sure we do the things we do well every shift. Home ice is so important in a three-game series.”

Calgary swept the Huskies in the first meeting between the teams in Calgary in 2011-12 with a 4-3 overtime victory and a 3-2 win. Since 2005-06, the Huskies are 20-11 against the Dinos including three playoff series.

As a team the Huskies have scored a league-high 85 goals with 36 of those coming from Canada West leading scorers Derek Hulak, Kyle Bortis and Kyle Ross. The three sit one through three in the league scoring race. Hulak leads the conference with eight goals and an impressive 29 helpers. Bortis has tallied 14 goals and 20 assists, while Ross has added 14 goals and 13 assists.

Calgary has also had strong offence in the season led by Taylor Stefishen with 11 goals and 10 assists and Brock Nixon with nine goals and eight assists. Rookie Dylan Hood has also chipped in on the 63 Dinos goals scored this season with six goals and nine assists.

Ryan Holfeld and David Reekie have equaled time in net for the Huskies each starting in 11 games. Holfeld has posted a .923 save percentage and a 2.40 goals against average with eight wins, while Reekie’s save percentage is .92 and goals against average is 2.69 in seven wins.

Dustin Butler has played in 18 games for the Dinos tallying an 11-6 record with a .897 save percentage and a 2.31 goals against average. Backup Kris Lazaruk and rookie Jacob DeSerres have appeared in eight games.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For tickets, call 306-966-1111 or visit huskies.usask.ca.

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