by Daniel Herrick, Sports Information Assistant
February 19, 2014, Saskatchewan (ISN) – For the first time in history, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies will host in the Canada West postseason. The No. 10 ranked Huskies take on the No. 6 ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in a Canada West best-of-three semifinal series this weekend in Saskatoon’s Rutherford Rink.
Game Date: February 21, 22 & 23* (*if necessary)
Game Location: Rutherford Rink, 7pm Webcast: canadawest.tv
Game Location: Rutherford Rink, 7pm
• Saskatchewan swept UBC on the final weekend of the regular season to move ahead of the T-Birds for second in the conference to secure a bye and home-ice advantage for the semifinals.
• Saskatchewan hosted a consolation final series in the Canada West postseason in 2002–03. The Huskies have never hosted a playoff series in which they could advance to the next round.
• Saskatchewan (No. 10) and UBC (6) are two of three Canada West teams ranked in the CIS Top 10. Alberta (5) joins the two schools in the weekly rankings.
• The weekend features the top two scorers in the Canada West regular season in UBC’s Tatianna Rafter (38 points, 20G/18A) and Saskatchewan’s Cami Wooster (31 points, 16G/15A).
• Saskatchewan is 11-1-2 at Rutherford Rink this season, the only regulation loss coming 2-1 to Mount Royal on opening weekend.
• Huskie forward Kaitlin Willoughby led all rookies with 25 points this season, finishing fourth overall in the conference.
• The two rosters boast 10 of the conference’s top 20 scorers.
• The winner of the series will move on to the Canada West Final next weekend against the winner of the Alberta Pandas-Regina Cougars series.
Since 2009-10, Saskatchewan is 13-5-2 against UBC, including a 8-1-1 record at home. UBC won both meetings in Vancouver earlier this season, while Saskatchewan took both meetings at home to close out conference play.
NO. 6 UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA THUNDERBIRDS
With a pair of one-goal victories, the UBC Thunderbirds return to Saskatchewan just two weeks since their last visit, for a Canada West semifinal series.
After trailing twice in game one against the Calgary Dinos in their quarter-final series, UBC managed to score in overtime to get a 3-2 win. In game two, a goal with just over one minute remaining lifted the T-Birds to a 4-3 win and a semifinal berth.
Tatiana Rafter won the 2013-14 Canada West scoring title with 20 goals and 18 assists. Nicole Saxvik finished in the top five in scoring with 24 points. The two combined for four points in the first round.
Danielle Dube played in 18 games for the T-Birds, posting a 2.17 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Dube played in game one of the quarter-final series while Danielle Lemon made 17 saves in game two to collect the win.
No. 10 UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES
After enjoying a first-round bye, the Saskatchewan Huskies are set to host their first playoff series in program history this weekend.
Saskatchewan has now reached the playoffs in seven straight seasons.
Fifth-year forward and captain Cami Wooster led the Huskies in the regular season with 31 points on 16 goals and 15 assists. Kaitlin Willoughby finished an impressive rookie season with 10 goals and 15 assists. Julia Flinton was the top scoring blue-liner with 16 points.
Cassidy Hendricks and Karen Lefsrud proved to be one of the league’s top goaltending duos in 2013-14. Hendricks played the bulk of the games in her second year with the Huskies. The second year goalie posted three shutouts while going 11-4-3 with a 1.77 goals against average. In her first year with the squad, Lefsrud finished the season with a 7-2-1 record and a .947 save percentage, while also recording three shutouts.