Playoff bound: U of S Huskies men’s hockey team clinch playoff berth with 9-0 win over Regina Cougars

University of Saskatchewan Huskies forward Carter Stebbings (15) collides with University of Regina Cougars forward Logan Barlage (27) during Canada West conference men's hockey action Saturday at Merlis Belsher Place. (Michelle Berg/Saskatoon StarPhoenix). PHOTO BY MICHELLE BERG /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

by Jaime Lammerding/Darren Zary

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

It was a clean sweep for University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s and women’s hockey teams over the provincial rival University of Regina Cougars during the weekend.

The Dogs made sure of that Sunday night with a convincing 9-0 win in Canada West men’s action at the Brandt Centre in Regina, where the U of S squad scored two power play goals and added two short-handed markers to improve its record to 13-5-0.

Saskatchewan clinched a playoff spot with the two points for the win and can not finish lower than sixth in the conference standings.

Justin Ball led the way Sunday with a hat-trick, which included a short-handed tally in the second period to make it 5-zip. Liam Keller had his first two goals of the season, also including a shorty. Chantz Petruic, Carter Stebbings, Cade Hayes and Mark Rumsey added singles for Saskatchewan, which led 2-0 and 6-0 by periods and outshot Regina 36-21.

Jordan Kooy made 21 saves for the shutout.

Vince Loschiavo and Dawson Holt each contributed three assists for the Huskies, who were 2-for-5 on the power play. The Cougars went 0-for-2.

Earlier Sunday, the U of S women edged Regina 2-1.

After scoreless first and second periods, Kennedy Brown and Sophie Lalor scored in the third period for the Huskies who improved their record to 12-5-0-1, fourth in Canada West.

Both Huskie teams made a triumphant return to the ice at Merlis Belsher Place, defeating their provincial rival Regina Cougars in front of a hometown crowd during their first Canada West action of the new year.

Saskatchewan’s Camryn Drever earned her fourth shutout of the 2023-24 season in the women’s game Friday, stopping all 30 shots from the opposing Cougars in a 3-0 win. The Huskies three goals of the game came from Mallory Dyer, Jacquelyne Chief and Kara Kondrat.

In the men’s game Saturday, Chantz Petruic scored the game-winning goal at 15:59 of the third period to give his team a 5-4 victory before 1,420 fans at Merlis Belsher Place.

Thanks to goals from Shane Collins, Keaton Sorensen, Vince Loschiavo and Reed Jacobson, the Dogs led 4-2 entering the third period, but Cougars were able to tie it up at four midway through the frame.

Saskatchewan goalie Roddy Ross made 17 saves on 21 shots.

It was a battle between the two top teams in the Canada West as the No. 1 Alberta Golden Bears visited the No. 2 Huskies in men’s volleyball on the weekend.

Unfortunately for Saskatchewan, the results didn’t go their way in either of the games as they lost 3-0 (20-25, 18-25 and 18-25) on Friday as well as 3-2 (24-26, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 10-15) on Saturday.

Emmett Graham led the Huskies in kills on both nights, recording 12 and 18, respectively.

The losses drop the U of S to a 9-5 record, but still maintain its second-place ranking.

On the women’s side, the Huskies also hosted the Alberta Pandas, but fell three straight in back-to-back games, losing 23-25, 23-25 and 9-25 on Friday, and then 13-25, 19-25 and 17-25 on Saturday.

Abbey Klein recorded a team-high eight kills in the first game, while Oliva Mattern picked up a six in the second game.

Saskatchewan’s record drops to a 5-9 on the season, placing them in seventh.

Four Saskatchewan players in PWHL

Four Saskatchewan players are donning the colours of the new Professional Women’s Hockey League, which began its first season on Jan. 1.

The league includes six teams, with Saskatoon’s Emily Clark and Sophie Shirley playing for Ottawa and Boston, respectively, while Prince Albert’s Kaitlin Willoughby and Brooke Dobson play for Toronto and New York, respectively. There are also teams in Minnesota and Montreal.

All six teams saw action in the first week with New York winning the league opener 4-0 over Toronto, Montreal defeating Ottawa 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 2, Minnesota winning over Boston 3-2 on Jan. 3, Toronto picking up a 3-2 victory on Jan. 5 and Minnesota shutting out Montreal 3-0 on Jan. 6.

Shirley recorded an assist in Boston’s loss on Jan. 3.

Zablocki competing with Canada at U18 worlds

Team Canada, including Prince Albert forward Stryker Zablocki, got off to a strong start at the Women’s Under-18 World Hockey Championship in Switzerland, recording an 11-0 victory against Germany on Saturday as well as an 8-1 win over Czechia on Sunday.

Zablocki earned an assist in the Sunday game.

Canada is part of Group A for the tournament and will face Finland on Tuesday to wrap up round robin action before playoffs begin on Thursday. The final is set for January 14.

Doubles team competes in Wisconsin

Saskatoon’s Kirk Muyres and curling partner Laura Walker of Edmonton were at the MadTown Doubledown mixed doubles competition in Wisconsin on the weekend.

The duo finished in third after losing to Wisconsin pair Rebecca and Matt Hamilton 6-5 in the semifinal.