hree stars of the week: Hockey snipers snag first stars
- Veteran University of Saskatchewan forward Kaitlin Willoughby lifted the host Huskies to a series sweep of the Regina Cougars in the women’s hockey quarter-finals with four combined goals
- Mount Royal’s Connor Rankin posted six points in the Cougars’ three-game series win over the Manitoba Bisons in men’s hockey quarter-final action
- Also earning star honours this week were: Fraser Valley’s Kayli Sartori (female second star), Thompson Rivers Volodymyr Iegorov (male second star), Calgary’s Kelcey Leavitt (female third star), and Trinity Western’s Blake Scheerhoorn (male third star).
EDMONTON – Saskatchewan’s Kaitlin Willoughby and Mount Royal’s Connor Rankin are the Canada West First Stars of the Week following their quarter-final playoff wins over the weekend.
Willoughby was a one-woman scoring show for Saskatchewan, who downed provincial rival Regina in their best-of-three quarter-final playoff series.
The Prince Albert, Sask. product netted a hat trick in the Huskies’ 4-3 win Friday night in Game 1 of the series, before registering the game-winning goal the following night in a 2-1 win that clinched Saskatchewan’s sweep.
Rankin also had a big offensive weekend on the ice, as he also scored a hat trick Friday night, as the Cougars dominated the Manitoba Bisons 6-1
After a 3-2 loss Saturday night in which he recorded an assist, Rankin delivered Sunday in Game 3, scoring a goal and adding and assist to finish the weekend with four goals and two assists.
Also earning star honours this week were: Fraser Valley’s Kayli Sartori (female second star), Thompson Rivers Volodymyr Iegorov (male second star), Calgary’s Kelcey Leavitt (female third star), and Trinity Western’s Blake Scheerhoorn (male third star).
Female first star – Kaitlin Willoughby
Saskatchewan Huskies hockey
Prince Albert, Sask.
Arts & Science
Game log: Friday, February 17 – three goals in a 4-3 W vs. Regina / Saturday, February 18 – one goal in 2-1 W vs. Regina.
Fourth-year University of Saskatchewan forward Kaitlin Willoughby helped the Huskies to a sweep of the provincial rival University of Regina Cougars over the weekend, scoring four goals in the Canada West best-of-three women’s hockey quarter-finals.
The Arts & Science student from Prince Albert, Sask., netted a hat trick in the 4-3 Game 1 victory on Friday night. Willoughby scored at 48 seconds and 7:32 in the second period, as well as 6:52 in the third for the hat trick. A night later in a 2-1 win, Willoughby scored the game-winner at 16:25 in the third.
The Huskies will now face the UBC Thunderbirds in a semifinal series in Vancouver. Saskatchewan is the only team to defeat the T-Birds twice in the 2016-17 regular season.
Male first star – Connor Rankin
Mount Royal Cougars hockey
Game log: Friday, February 17 – three goals in 6-1 W vs. Manitoba / Saturday, February 18 – one assist in 3-2 L vs. Manitoba / Sunday, February 19 – goal and assist in 7-1 W vs. Manitoba.
The Cougars defeated the Bisons 2-1 in the Canada West quarter-finals this past weekend, due in large part to the play of second-year forward Connor Rankin. Rankin tallied six points (4G, 2A) in three games this past weekend.
On Friday evening, the league’s regular season scoring leader scored three times in Mount Royal’s 6-1 thrashing of the Bisons. Rankin’s hat trick was his third this season and second against Manitoba.
Mount Royal lost the second game of the series 3-2 on Saturday evening, but again Rankin was a major factor. Rankin set up Matt Brown’s power play goal to tie the game at 1-1 midway through the second.
In the series finale on Sunday, Rankin added two more points in the Cougars’ 7-1 rout of the Bisons to help clinch the series. The offensive outburst reignited the squad, who now have momentum heading into their semifinal series with the Saskatchewan Huskies, which opens Friday in Saskatoon.
Rankin is tied with Dryden Dow of the Calgary Dinos for the playoff scoring lead with six points.
Female second star – Kayli Sartori
Fraser Valley Cascades basketball
Game log: Friday, February 17 – 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block in 67-48 L vs. Calgary / Saturday, February 18 – 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals in 61-59 W vs. Calgary / Sunday, February 19 – 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, two blocks, two steals in 69-60 W vs. Calgary
Kayli Sartori helped the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team stage a stirring comeback to top the Calgary Dinos in the Canada West play-in round and extend their season.
The Dinos took Game 1 in Abbotsford on Friday, despite 19 points from Sartori, but the versatile fifth-year guard/forward from Chilliwack, B.C. led the Cascades all the way back to win the best-of-three series. She had a game-high 23 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 61-59 victory on Saturday, and stuffed the stat sheet in Sunday’s Game 3 with 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals as UFV prevailed 69-60.
The Cascades move on to face the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Canada West quarter-finals, with games set for Thursday (6:30 p.m., all times Central), Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m., if necessary) at the University of Saskatchewan’s Physical Activity Complex.
Male second star – Volodymyr Iegorov
Thompson Rivers WolfPack basketball
Game log: Friday, February 17 – 29 points, five rebounds, three steals, and three assists in 101-97 L @ Brandon / Saturday, February 18 – 20 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, three assists in 96-64 W @ Brandon / Sunday, February 19 – 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals in 94-81 W @ Brandon.
The underdog TRU WolfPack upset the host Brandon University Bobcats over the weekend in the Canada West play-in round to advance to the conference quarter-finals.
One of the big reasons TRU earned the three-game series win was the play of fifth-year forward Volodymyr Iegorov. A CW third team all-star last year, Iegorov has been the leader on and off the court for TRU all season.
This weekend he had a pair of double-doubles, as the ‘Pack took the Bobcats to the full three games in the play-in series.
The WolfPack now head to Calgary this week to play the Dinos in the quarter-finals, which open Thursday.
Female third star – Kelcey Leavitt
Calgary Dinos rugby 7s
Tournament log: Saturday, February 18 & Saturday, February 19 – four tries over six games at the Victoria CW Women’s Rugby Sevens Series Tournament, including two in the final – a 26-5 W over Alberta
Fifth-year Kelcey Leavitt made the most of her final Canada West experience, scoring 20 points on four tries over the weekend as the University of Calgary Dinos captured the first-ever Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series title, presented by B2Ten and Rugby Canada.
An impact player in every game for Calgary, she shone brightest during the final, scoring two tries as the Dinos rebounded from a 19-0 round-robin loss to defeat the Alberta Pandas 26-5 in the tournament final.
Leavitt’s other tries came in the tournament opener against Fraser Valley, as well as a pivotal game against host Victoria, who had beaten Calgary in the first tournament of the series and was on track to take the title at home. Instead, the Dinos upended the Vikes 12-5, taking the second seed into the final and ultimately winning the banner.
A 2012 Canada West 15s all-star, Leavitt was a key member of the Dinos’ first-ever conference 15s title last October.
Male third star – Blake Scheerhoorn
Trinity Western Spartans volleyball
Meet log: Friday, February 17 – 18 kills, four digs, and one ace in 3-1 L @ Winnipeg / Saturday, February 18 – 16 kills, seven digs, and one ace in 3-2 W @ Winnipeg.
TWU’s Blake Scheerhoorn had his most impressive weekend of the season, as he collected 34 kills while hitting .367 and picking up 11 digs. The fourth-year left side helped the No. 2-ranked Spartans to a weekend split on the road against Winnipeg.
Despite losing to the Wesmen in the first match of the weekend, Scheerhoorn was individually dominant, swinging for a season-high 18 kills. He followed that up by nabbing 16 kills the following night while guiding TWU to a critical five-set win. Scheerhoorn is now second in Canada West with a .324 hitting percentage and is the most efficient outside hitter in the conference.
With TWU’s road split, the Spartans (19-3) kept their hopes of a first-place finish alive as they look ahead to hosting the No. 1-ranked Manitoba Bisons (21-1) in the final weekend of the season. However, Scheerhoorn and the Spartans will need to earn back-to-back three-set wins over the Bisons to pass Manitoba for top spot in the conference.