Huskie’s Vie for First Round Bye

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(ISN) – Already sealing a date in the postseason, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s hockey team have their sights set on clinching a first round bye with victories in the final regular season weekend.

The No. 7 Huskies will face provincial rival the Regina Cougars in a home-and-home series meeting Friday in Saskatoon and Saturday in Regina.

Entering the weekend in third place, the Huskies (17-6-3) sit one point behind the Alberta Golden Bears (18-6-2). Winning twice against the Cougars (5-18-3) could put the Huskies in a top spot depending on the outcome of the Golden Bears- Lethbridge Pronghorns. An Alberta Golden Bears loss, combined with two Huskie wins would put them in second. Saskatchewan could also leapfrog to first, if the Manitoba Bisons and Alberta Golden Bears each drop their last two games and the Huskies win.

In Canada West men’s hockey playoffs, the first and second place teams receive a bye to the semifinal. The third and fourth place teams host a quarter-final series against the fifth and sixth place teams. The winners of the series’ will face off against the top two in the semis.

Since 2006-07, the Huskies are 25-7 against the Cougars including two weekend sweeps earlier this season. Regina is the lone team on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

As a team the Huskies have scored a league-high 97 goals with 40 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 10 goals and an impressive 30 helpers. Bortis has tallied 14 goals and 22 assists, while Ross has added 16 goals and 16 assists.

Regina’s offence has come from Terrance DeLaronde with 10 goals and seven assists. Matt Strueby has pitched in adding eight goals and seven assists. Rookie Tyler Henry has also chipped in with four goals and 10 helpers.

Ryan Holfeld and David Reekie have equaled time in net for the Huskies each starting in 13 games. Holfeld has posted a .928 save percentage and a 2.20 goals against average with nine wins, while Reekie’s save percentage is .907 and goals against average is 2.81 in eight wins.

Lucas Gore has played in 21 games for the Cougars tallying a 5-15 record with a .894 save percentage and a 3.71 goals against average.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Saskatoon and 7 p.m. Saturday in Regina at The Co-operators Centre. For tickets in Saskatoon, call 306-966-1111 or visit huskies.usask.ca. 

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