by Daniel Herrick, Sports Information Assistant
February 6, 2014, Saskatchewan (ISN) – The No. 10 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies will decide their playoff seeding with a weekend series against the conference first place and No. 6 ranked UBC Thunderbirds at Rutherford Rink.
Entering the final weekend in the regular season, the Huskies (16-4-6) sit in third place with 38 points, just one behind the second-place Alberta Pandas and three behind the first place UBC Thunderbirds.
Depending on the outcomes this weekend, Saskatchewan would either host a best-of-three quarter-final series February 14-16 or earn a bye to the Canada West best-of-three semifinal hosted on February 21-23. No matter which weekend the Huskies host, the games would be played at 7 p.m. each night at Rutherford Rink.
With a sweep in regulation this weekend Saskatchewan can clinch a home semifinal.
Three points separate first through third in the Canada West women’s hockey standings heading into the final weekend.
Saskatchewan (No. 10) is one of three Canada West teams ranked in the CIS Top 10. UBC (6) and Alberta (7) join the Huskies in the weekly rankings.
The weekend features the top two scorers in the Canada West in UBC’s Tatianna Rafter (36 points, 19G/17A) and Saskatchewan’s Cami Wooster (28 points, 14G/14A).
Saskatchewan is 9-1-2 at Rutherford Rink this season, the only regulation loss coming 2-1 to Mount Royal on opening weekend.
Huskie forward Kaitlin Willoughby is the leading all conference rookies in scoring with 22 points and is fourth overall in the Canada West.
First-year Huskie goalie Karen Lefsrud leads the CIS in save percentage at 0.947.
Since 2009-10, Saskatchewan is 11-5-2 against UBC, including a 6-1-1 record at home. UBC won twice last season in Saskatoon and has taken both meetings in Vancouver this season.
NO. 6 UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA THUNDERBIRDS (20-5-1)
Winners of four straight games, the UBC Thunderbirds have their sights set on top spot in the conference.
The T-Birds have struggled away from home this season with a 7-5-0 record.
Tatiana Rafter leads the Canada West scoring race with 36 points on 19 goals and 17 assists. Nicole Saxvik is also in the top five in scoring with 22 points.
Danielle Dube has played in 16 games for the T-Birds, posting a 2.08 goals against average and a 0.929 save percentage. Dube is 13-2-0 this season.
No. 10 UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES (16-4-6)
With a weekend sweep over the Calgary Dinos on the road last weekend, Saskatchewan holds their playoff seeding fate in their own hands against UBC this weekend.
Fifth-year forward and captain Cami Wooster will play her final regular season games in Rutherford Rink this weekend. Wooster is second in conference scoring with 14 goals and 14 assists. Kaitlin Willoughby has put together an impressive rookie season with 22 points, doubling the next highest rookie’s total, sitting fourth in overall scoring.
Cassidy Hendricks and Karen Lefsrud have been a consistent tandem in goal for the green and white all season. Both have posted three shutouts on the campaign and feature goals against averages that are top five in the conference at 1.76 and 1.34 respectively. In her first season with the Huskies Lefsrud leads the Canada West and the CIS in save percentage at 0.947.