Hulak named Tournament MVP, but Koper leads Alberta to gold

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March 25, 2014, EDMONTON (ISN) – Derek Hulak of the Saskatchewan Huskies has been selected Canada West 1st Star of the Week after being named CIS Tournament MVP at the 2014 University Cup men’s hockey championship in Saskatoon.

Levko Koper is the week’s 2nd Star after scoring twice, including the game-winner in Sunday’s gold medal final. A pair of curlers from the CIS championships also receive weekly honours.

MEN

1st STAR: #19 Derek Hulak, Saskatchewan (Hockey)

Home: Saskatoon, SK

Height: 5-11

Year: 4th

Academic: Business

Fourth-year University of Saskatchewan forward Derek Hulak almost had the perfect season… almost. While the Huskies men’s hockey team came up just short at the 2014 University Cup, finishing second, Hulak finished atop the tournament scoring list with four goals and a pair of assists in three games to claim Tournament MVP honours on Sunday night.

On Friday, Hulak assisted on a first period goal by Brennan Bosch to put the fifth-seeded Huskies up 2-1 on #2 seed Acadia and, late in the third period, tied 2-2, he scored the game-winner to put Saskatchewan into a true semifinal situation on Saturday night. Hulak was named the Huskies’ Player of the Game.

Saturday’s match-up with Windsor looked terrific on paper, but Hulak and the Huskies struck early and often before running away with a 9-0 win over the #3 Lancers. By the 4:41 mark of the second period, Saskatchewan led 3-0, with Hulak scoring twice and adding a helper. The home side cruised from there, scoring will to secure a spot in Sunday’s gold medal final at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. For the second game in a row, Hulak was Player of the Game.

Sunday’s final against Canada West champion and #1 seed Alberta was a classic match-up that lived up to expectation. In a fast-paced, intense game full of scoring opportunities, Alberta led 2-0 in the second period when the fourth-year Saskatoon product scored at 16:38 to cut the deficit in half. In the third, Alberta held on before adding a goal with just over five minutes to play, giving Saskatchewan a second-place finish.

Hulak was 2013-14 Canada West Player of the Year, won the Dave “Sweeney” Schriner” Scoring Trophy and was named February’s Canada West-WHL Graduate of the Month.

2nd STAR: #40 Levko Koper, Alberta (hockey)

Timing is everything, and Alberta forward Levko Koper had it on Sunday as the third-year forward scored twice for a 3-1 gold medal victory by the Golden Bears in the University Cup gold medal game.

To open the tournament, Alberta faced off against the Carleton Ravens on Thursday, coming away with a narrow 3-2 decision. Koper assisted on the Bears’ first goal and finished the game +1.

The Golden Bears played McGill on Saturday in what proved to be a true semifinal after the Redmen defeated Carleton on Friday. Alberta was challenged to beat McGill goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, who was ultimately named a Tournament All-Star, but came away with a nail-biting 3-2 double-overtime victory to qualify for Sunday’s final

Playing in hostile territory against the hometown Saskatchewan Huskies in Sunday’s final, the former Spokane Chief added to Alberta’s lead with a game-changing shorthanded goal at 15:19 of the second period for a 2-0 edge. In the final frame, up 2-1, Koper managed to beat Huskies goaltender Ryan Holfeld with under six minutes to go for the insurance marker and a 3-1 lead. Koper was named Alberta’s Player of the Game.

Alberta went on to claim a record 14th CIS University Cup championship, its first since 2008.

3rd STAR: Matt Dunstone, Manitoba (curling)

University of Manitoba first-year curling skip Matt Dunstone, a 2013 Canadian Junior men’s champion, led his team to a CIS/CCA title at the Callie Curling Club in Regina on Sunday.

After advancing to the final with a 6-1 record in round-robin play following five consecutive victories, Manitoba faced fellow 2012 Canadian champion Brendan Bottcher and the University of Alberta in the gold medal final, where they prevailed 7-5 in a back-and-forth game that went to extra ends. A steal of two points in the 11th secured the victory.

The win for Manitoba also earns them a ticket to Granada, Spain to represent Canada at the World University Games in 2015.

WOMEN

1st STAR: Kelsey Rocque, Alberta (curling)

Home: Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Height: 5-1

Year: 2nd

Academic: Phys.Ed. & Recreation

Kelsey Rocque guided the University of Alberta curling team to a silver medal at the 2014 CIS/CCA championships in Regina.

The tournament had two draws each in men’s and women’s events on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the final round robin draw on Saturday morning. Semifinals took place Saturday night.

Playing at the Callie Curling Club, Alberta (6-1) finished first during the round robin portion of the tournament, advanced straight to the final and met a tough Carleton Ravens (5-2, 1-0 playoffs) team that ultimately prevailed 9-4 in Sunday’s gold medal game.

Rocque is the cousin of Marcel Rocque, a four-time Brier champion as Canadian men’s curling champion and a three-time World champion.

Next Stars of the Week: September 2014

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