Huskies look to make impact in first series of second half

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by Nicole Betker

January 2, 2014 (ISN) – One game over .500 after the first half of the season, the University of Saskatchewan men’s hockey team will look for more consistency in the second half of the season. The Huskies open with a two game series against the Manitoba Bisons at Credit Union Centre.

THE HEADLINES

• The series will mark the eighth and ninth games at Credit Union Centre for the Huskies since 2011-12. The games at the rink are to help the team prep for hosting the 2014 CIS PotashCorp University Cup presented by Coop March 20-23.

• Saskatchewan is 6-1-0 at Credit Union Centre since 2011-12. The lone loss came on October 21, 2011 3-1 to the Lethbridge Pronghorns. It is the first time the Huskies have hosted Manitoba at Credit Union Centre since 2011-12.

• With 27 points, Saskatchewan’s Derek Hulak leads Calgary’s Chris Collins by just three points for the conference scoring lead. Hulak won the scoring title in 2011-12 and was named a CIS First Team All-Canadian.

• Neither team enters the weekend ranked in the top 10. Alberta (2) and Calgary (1) are the only Canada West teams in the poll.

• Huskie goalie Ryan Holfeld has started all 16 games in 2013-14 and has recorded a conference best three shutouts and 415 saves.

THE SERIES

Since 2005-06, the Huskies are 28-16-1 against the Bisons in regular season action. Earlier in the season, the teams split their meetings in Winnipeg. The Bisons won 4-1 on October 11, while the Huskies won 5-0 the next night.

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA BISONS (7-8-1)

Manitoba closed the first half of the season with a split against the No. 2 ranked Alberta Golden Bears in November and won three of their last four prior to the break.

Aaron Lewadniuk leads the Bisons with six goals and 11 assists, while Jesse Paradis has tallied 13 points and Brendan Rowinski another 12 for Manitoba.

Joe Caligirui has posted six of the Bisons wins in the season with two shutouts. Deven Dubyk has started in seven games for Manitoba with a 1-4 record.

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (8-7-1)

The Saskatchewan Huskies found a stride to close out the first half of the 2013-14 season winning four of their last six games.

Saskatchewan also found offensive power outscoring their opponents 26-15 in the games.

Derek Hulak continues to hold on to the conference scoring lead with 27 points, after recording seven assists in the final weekend of 2013. Kenton Dulle leads the team with seven goals and has 16 points.

Ryan Holfeld has started all 16 games for Saskatchewan and leads the conference in shutouts with three, while posting a .920 save percentage and 2.25 goals against average.

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