The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team picked up right where they left off. After reaching the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship game, they started the 2014–15 season by grabbing a pair of wins over the University of Regina Cougars.
On Sept. 26, the Dogs had their home opener and did not disappoint the 541 spectators as they downed the visitors by a score of 2–0. Fifth year goaltender Ryan Holfeld stopped all 34 shots he faced for his seventh career CIS shutout.
Rookie forward Rhyse Dieno opened the scoring with 9:21 to go in the first period. The former Red Deer Rebel got in behind the defence and his backhander snuck past Cougar netminder Lucas Gore. Then with 5:39 left in the first frame, another rookie would tally to widen the Huskies lead to 2–0. Forward Michael Sofillas finished off a nifty passing play in front of the net for his first goal of the season.
Both teams would be held off the scoreboard for the remaining 40 minutes of play as the Huskies picked up win number one of the young season.
The following night in Regina, the Dogs picked up win number two as they rallied from a 2–1 deficit to take the second half of the home-and-home series 4–2.
The Huskies drew first blood again in this one as Sofillas scored a power play goal midway through the first period to give the Dogs a 1–0 advantage. The good feeling quickly dissipated when the green and white took three straight penalties to end the period.
The undisciplined play would cost them, as Cougars forward Tyler Penny buried a loose puck after a scramble in front to even the game at one. Less than a minute later, it appeared as if the Huskies would take back the lead but Dieno’s shot rang off the crossbar and stayed out.
Shortly after that, John Sonntag would beat Huskie goalie Jordan Cooke up high and gave the home team a 2–1 lead. Just a couple minutes later with the Huskies on the power play, it was Cougars forward Christian Magnus who would get a glorious scoring chance on a breakaway, but Cooke was there to turn him aside.
On the same power play, second-year forward Jesse Ross would bang home a rebound to tie the game back up at 2–2, and that would be the score after two periods of play.
Fifth-year defenceman Matthew Delahey would score the eventual game-winning goal off a harmless shot from the point that beat the screened Gore and made the score 3–2 for the Dogs. Less than three minutes later on a two-man advantage, Ross snapped home a shot for his second of the game and that would be the final goal of the game.
Gore stopped only 15 of 19 shots while Cooke was busy, as he faced 33 shots and turned away 31 of them.
With a 2–0–0 record, the Huskies find themselves in a three-way tie for first place in the Canada West conference after the first weekend of action. The Dogs will now turn their attention to a two-game set with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. UBC split its first two games of the season and will look to knock the Huskies from the ranks of the undefeated.
The Huskies will host the UBC Thunderbirds on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 with both games starting at 7 p.m. at Rutherford Rink.