Image Credit: Alberta Golden Bears/UBC Thunderbirds
(ISN) – NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – Alberta Golden Bears hockey forward Brett Ferguson and UBC Thunderbirds basketball guard Kris Young were named Canada West First Stars of the Week, the conference announced today.
Both came through with huge performances when it mattered most, leads their squads to conference championships over the March 5-8 weekend. Ferguson scored four points and assisted on the late championship-deciding tally as the Golden Bears swept the Calgary Dinos to complete the three-peat and a 52nd Canada West men’s hockey title for the Edmonton squad. Young was clutch for the Thunderbirds as UBC fell behind to the Saskatchewan Huskies early in the women’s basketball Gold Medal game, before she willed the team back and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner with seven seconds remaining to cap off a 21-point, eight-rebound, six-assist performance.
This marks the third time in the 2014-15 season that Young was honoured as conference Star of the Week. She previously was named First Star for the week of November 10 and Third Star for the week of February 2.
Also honoured this week for women’s sports are Alberta’s Lindsey Post (hockey) and Saskatchewan’s Dalyce Emmerson (basketball). In men’s, Victoria’s Marcus Tibbs (basketball) and Saskatchewan’s Ben Baker (basketball) were selected for Second and Third Stars, respectively.
First Star: #8 Brett Ferguson, Alberta (Hockey)
Fourth-year University of Alberta Golden Bears forward Brett Ferguson is the Canada West First Star of the Week, following his performance over the March 5-8 weekend.
Ferguson scored four points and assisted on the late championship-deciding tally, leading the Bears to a sweep of the Calgary Dinos for the three-peat and 52nd Canada West title.
The Business student caromed a shot off teammate Jamie Crooks to restore a one-goal lead 30 seconds after the Dinos tied it early in game one on Thursday, adding a power-play marker in the second before notching his third point in the final frame on another Crooks tally. Ferguson’s three-point effort led all players in Alberta’s 5-2 win in game one.
On Saturday, the Vibank, Sask. native intercepted a Dinos pass at centre ice, and then split the Calgary defence pairing with his tape-to-tape pass to a streaking Stephane Legault at the Dinos’ blueline, as the rookie forward netted the championship-winning goal with only 2:10 left on the clock, securing the Bears’ third-straight and 52nd Canada West title.
A member of last year’s CIS Championship All-Tournament team as well as the WHL Graduate of the Month for March 2014, Ferguson leads Alberta in this post-season with five assists and six points.
He and his teammates head to Halifax for the national championship this weekend as defending champions and will be aiming for the 15th CIS title in team history.
Second Star: #3 Marcus Tibbs, Victoria (Basketball)
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball team captured their 15th Canada West title this weekend, March 6-7, after defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies and Fraser Valley at the Canada West Final Four. With the conference victory the Vikes will enter this weekend’s CIS Championship as the No. 4 seed.
Fourth-year point guard Marcus Tibbs was pivotal in the win as the Seattle, Wash. native added 15 points and 11 assists in the team’s 86-61 win over Fraser Valley to qualify for their third-straight Canada West final.
In the Canada West Final on March 7 the Vikes trailed for most of the game until a late surge powered Victoria to victory. Tibbs led the team with 25 points and seven assists in 37 minutes played to lift the Vikes to Canada West gold.
The Vikes men will play Dalhousie in their opening round of the CIS National Championship beginning on March 12.
Third Star: #5 Ben Baker, Saskatchewan (Basketball)
Canada West Defensive Player of the Year Ben Baker helped the Huskies to a silver medal finish at the conference Final Four tallying 41 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists in the weekend tournament at the PAC in Saskatoon.
In Friday’s semifinal 81-75 win over the UBC Thunderbirds, the fifth-year guard recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. In Saturday’s 70-67 loss to the Victoria Vikes in the final, the Kinesiology student tallied a team-high 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. He also had three blocks and one steal.
The Huskies enter the CIS Final 8 hosted by the Ryerson Rams seeded No. 8 and will face the Carlton Ravens at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday in a CIS quarter-final.
First Star: #6 Kris Young, UBC (Basketball)
Canada West Outstanding Player of the Year Kris Young produced one final masterpiece in her last game ever at UBC’s War Memorial Gymnasium, hitting the league title-winning shot as part of a 21-point, eight-rebound and six-assist performance in a 69-68 Thunderbirds win over the Saskatchewan Huskies in the conference championship game.
After grabbing a rebound off a missed Saskatchewan free throw, Young took the ball coast-to-coast, sinking a jumper off the glass with 7.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, wiping out a deficit that had been as large as 13 points in the third quarter.
Young scored 13 of her 21 points in the final quarter, as part of UBC rally. The Thunderbirds trailed for almost the entire game after falling behind 16-4 from the opening tip. In fact, UBC led for a grand total of 45 seconds against Saskatchewan.
The night before, Young was knocked out of the semifinal matchup against Alberta for the equivalent of a quarter with a gash over her eye. But she played through the injury and tallied six points, seven rebounds and a team-high three blocks to help the Thunderbirds to a 72-59 win.
UBC is now in Quebec City, preparing for the CIS women’s basketball Final 8 at Laval University. The second-seeded Thunderbirds will open the event on Thursday against Ryerson at 11:30 a.m. PT.
Second Star: #33 Lindsey Post, Alberta (Hockey)
Third-year University of Alberta Pandas hockey goaltender Lindsey Post is the Canada West Second Star of the Week, following her performance over the March 5-8 weekend.
Post stopped 40 of 41 shots and posted her first-ever post-season shutout as the Pandas swept the Manitoba Bisons for their 12th conference title in team history and first since 2010.
The Physical Education & Recreation student held the Bisons off the scoresheet in game one on Friday, making 21 saves, including a crucial right toe save off Manitoba forward Nicole McGlenen late in the game, to record her first playoff clean sheet by a 4-0 score.
On Saturday, the Chelsea, Que. native made several incredible saves in the second and third periods to give Alberta a chance to win, continuing with a game-saving stop with 30 seconds left before the Pandas won 3-1 to claim their 12th conference title in 18 seasons of play.
The two-time Canada West All-Star and 2014 CIS All-Canadian has a 1.49 goals against average and .924 save percentage in four post-season games after earning 10 shutouts in the regular season, a Canada West record.
Post and her teammates head to Calgary this weekend for the national championship, with the netminder seeing her first CIS tournament action in her career.
Third Star: #13 Dalyce Emmerson, Saskatchewan (Basketball)
Fourth-year University of Saskatchewan Huskies forward Dalyce Emmerson was a dominant presence during the team’s silver medal run in the Canada West women’s basketball Final Four over the March 5-8 weekend.
The Kinesiology major set the tone last Thursday with a steady diet of inside scoring and rebounding, finishing with 15 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to overwhelm the Victoria Vikes defence and lead the Huskies back to the conference title game.
Emmerson once again was pivotal in the Gold Medal game as the Huskies established a 13-point lead in the second half, but were unable to hold on to the lead against the host UBC Thunderbirds. Emmerson did not go away quietly, notching another double-double with 11 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.
Emmerson and the Huskies now have their sights set on the national championship, starting with a date against the Alberta Pandas on Thursday evening, March 12.