(ISN) – For the first time in Canada West history, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies will meet the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns in a men’s hockey playoff series.
The matchup in the best-of-three quarter-final series begins Friday at Rutherford Rink. The winner of the series will advance to the Canada West semifinal against either the Alberta Golden Bears or Manitoba Bisons. 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.
Saskatchewan (19-6-3) finished the 2011-12 season in third place, while Lethbridge (7-18-3) took the sixth and final playoff spot. It is the 17th straight season the Huskies have appeared in the Canada West postseason. In the last two years, the Huskies have struggled in the first round losing in three games. This is the first playoff appearance for Lethbridge since 2008-09.
Since 1984-85, the Huskies are 76-29-11 against Lethbridge including four wins in six meetings in 2011-12.
As a team the Huskies have scored a league-high 109 goals with 44 of those coming from Canada West leading scorers Derek Hulak, Kyle Bortis and Kyle Ross. The three finished one, two and four in the league-scoring race. Hulak led the conference with 11 goals and an impressive 33 helpers. Bortis tallied 17 goals and 22 assists, while Ross added 16 goals and 17 assists.
Lethbridge’s offence has come from Dustin Moore with 16 goals and 17 assists. Winston Day Chielf pitched in adding nien goals and 11 assists, as well as Taylor Gal with eight goals and 12 assists.
Ryan Holfeld and David Reekie equaled time in net for the Huskies throughout the regular season each starting in 14 games. Holfeld has posted a .930 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average with 10 wins, while Reekie’s save percentage is .911 and goals against average is 2.68 in nine wins.
Scott Bowles has played in 26 games for the Pronghorns tallying a 7-19 record with a .880 save percentage and a 4.24 goals against average.
Game 1 puck drop is 7 p.m. Friday at Rutherford Rink. Game 2 is set for Saturday and Game 3, if necessary, is Sunday. Both games start at 7 p.m. at Rutherford Rink. For tickets, call 306-966-1111 or visit huskies.usask.ca