It was a year of firsts for the Huskies women’s hockey team. After finishing second in the Canada West division regular season with an 18–4–6 record, the Dogs continued their superb play in the playoffs to capture their first-ever Canada West title — doing so in style. Facing their provincial rivals, the University of Regina Cougars, in the final the two teams battled for 17 periods over three games before the Huskies emerged victorious. The championship game, which needed four hours and 53 minutes to be decided, set a record for longest-ever Canada West women’s hockey game. The team went on to win their first-ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport medal after finishing third in the national championship. This is a young team, meaning this could be a dynasty in the making.
After suffering a disappointing loss in the quarter-final round of playoffs, the Dogs returned to the ice ready to play. As the host of the University Cup, the Huskies gave the home crowd something to cheer about. The Huskies followed up their 3–2 defeat of the McGill University Redmen with a 9–0 trouncing of the University of Windsor Lancers to advance to the final. Waiting for the Huskies in the championship game were division rivals, the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Although the Dogs fell 3-1, fighting their way to a silver medal proved the team’s bite was as big as their bark. The 2014 edition also broke the tournament all-time attendance record, drawing in 41,089 fans over seven games.
Going on a tear to open their season, the Huskies women’s basketball team won 11 of their first 12 games. However, it was in playoffs that the Dogs would really shine. The women downed the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the quarter-finals to advance to the semifinals. The Huskies defeated the University of Regina Cougars 64–52 and the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades 67–56 in the final to claim their third Canada West title in team history. They also finished fifth in the CIS championship.
The Huskies men’s team opened their season by winning nine of their first 10 games and finished the regular season ranked second in the Canada West division with a 15–7 record. A bronze medal in the Canada West playoffs sent the Dogs to the CIS championships after receiving a wildcard berth where the team finished fifth. All of the Huskies’ key players still have eligibility meaning next year could see an even stronger team.
After opening with two wins for the first time since 1998–99, the Huskies women’s volleyball team went on to have one of their best seasons in years. The Dogs finished eighth in Canada West with a 9–13 record and earned major wins over the University of Alberta Golden Bears and the Brandon University Bobcats. With the team only losing one player – fifth-year captain Candace Hueser – the Dogs’ improved play should be a mark of good things to come.
After a rocky start, the Huskies used a strong second half of the season to finish fifth in the Canada West division advancing to the post-season. After returning from the mid-season break, the Dogs won six in a row and seven out of ten overall, to finish the regular season with an 11–11 record. Unfortunately, their up-and-down play cost them in the playoffs where the team fell to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in the quarter-finals.
Netting 26 goals over 12 games during the regular season, the Huskies women’s hockey team set a new single-season points record. The Dogs’ 8–2–2 record landed them fifth in the Canada West division and sent the team to the playoffs for the second time. Against a formidable opponent, the reigning CIS champions the Trinity University Spartans, and the Huskies lost 2-0 in the quarter-finals.
The Huskies booked their first-ever appearance in the CIS championships after finishing second in the Canada West division. With an 8–5–2 record, the Dogs advanced to the playoffs leading the Prairie division. In the post-season, the Dogs defeated the University of Victoria Vikes in semifinal action before falling to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the Canada West final. The Huskies ran up against tough competition in the national tournament and finished sixth.
Nine of the Huskies wrestling team’s members advanced to the CIS championships after finishing in the top three of their division at the Huskie-hosted Canada West finals. Annie Monteith grabbed the Dogs’ sole gold medal and was named the conference’s most outstanding female wrestler. Katie Dutchak, Taylor Follensbee, Dylan Bray, Theo Dow and Shane Johnson all claimed silver. Bronze medals went to Drew Kuhn, Malcolm Meekins and Andrew Johnson. Bray and Follensbee went on the earn bronze at nationals.
The Huskies men’s and women’s teams finished seventh in the Canada West division and 17th and 20th respectively at nationals. The top male finisher was Robert Bigsby with a time of 33:00.8 for ninth place in Canada West and 38th in the CIS. Tye Buettner was the top female Huskie who came 22nd in Canada West and 96th in the CIS with a finish of 24:22.3.
Track and Field:
Huskie athlete Taryn Suttie picked up gold and set a new CIS championship shot put record with a throw of 16.83 metres at the track and field nationals. Suttie also took home silver in weight throw. Other notable results from the CIS championships were Michelle Young’s gold medal in women’s 60 metre hurdles, Kendrick Hanna taking home the silver in men’s 60 metre hurdles and Lauren Taylor with a bronze medal finish in pentathlon.
Ending on a tough loss in the playoffs, the Huskies football team fell to the University of Manitoba Bisons 37–36 in the Canada West semifinal. The Dogs fought for a 12-point lead with less than 10 minutes of play remaining but failed to close out the win. The Huskies will look to end their playoff drought next year, since 2007 the team is 1–7 in the post-season. For the 2014–15 season, quarterback Drew Burko should return to the field for his third year with the team along with standout rookie receiver Mitch Hillis.
Photo: Katherine Fedoroff