The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Huskies Athletics update

By in Sports & Health

It was a provincial rivalry weekend at home for the Huskies over Nov. 22 and 23 with the University of Regina Cougars paying a weekend visit to campus.

While the Physical Activity Complex and Merlis Belsher Place hosted the hockey and basketball teams, volleyball travelled on the road to the Trinity Western University to battle the prestigious Spartans. 

Lastly, a handful of Huskie football players earned national recognition for their stand out efforts in 2019.

Time to get caught up before final exam season takes over. 

Basketball 

Kyla Shand. | Supplied by GetMyPhoto.ca/ Huskie Athletics

Men’s basketball was undefeated through their first five games of the season before Regina won game two of their recent weekend series, 103-74. 

It was the first matchup of the season between Saskatchewan and Regina, having most recently played each other in the quarterfinal round of the Canada West playoffs last season. The Huskies were the victors in that series.

Saskatchewan is one of the three teams in the 17-team conference that has surrendered just one game this season. The University of Manitoba Bisons and University of Alberta Golden Bears are the other one-loss teams.

Fifth-year guard JT Robinson is leading the team in scoring with 18.3
points-­per-game. Second-year forward Kessler Bishop is grabbing 11.3 rebounds-per-game, fourth in the conference with 67.9 per cent shooting from the floor.

Head coach Lisa Thomaidis’ women’s basketball team is a perfect 6-0 after their weekend sweep of the Cougars. It was a rematch of the Canada West championship game last season that saw the Huskies beat Regina 53-49 for their third conference title in four years.

The number one ranked team in the country has been wiping the floor with the competition. Their lowest margin of victory is a substantial 14 points.

Fifth-year guard Sabine Dukate’s 16 points-per-game leads the team while third-year guard Katriana Philipenko is shooting 53.8 per cent from the floor, including 50 per cent from three-point range.

Next up for both basketball teams is a matchup on the road at the Thompson Rivers University to take on the Wolfpack.

Following the holiday break, both teams will travel to Trinity Western University to take on the Spartans.

Hockey 

Jared Dmytriw. | Supplied by GetMyPhoto.ca/Huskie Athletics

Men’s hockey swept the Cougars in their home-and-home series this past weekend, winning 3-1 in Regina for game one and 2-0 in Saskatoon for game two. 

First-year forward Jared Dmytriw scored both goals for the Huskies in game two during the third period. Dmytriw has an active streak of 12 points in the past six games played, all of which have resulted in wins for Saskatchewan. The rookie has the second-most points in the conference amongst all first-year players.

Second-year Huskies goalie Travis Child started his fourth game of the season in game two, recording his second shutout of the year.

After starting the season with 20 penalties committed over the first two games, Saskatchewan has straightened out their infraction issues since then. They sit second in penalty minutes with 165.

Saskatchewan is tied for third with a 9-3 record, excelling on the defensive end of the ice allowing the second-fewest goals against.

For head coach Steve Kook and women’s hockey, they continue to struggle to string together consecutive wins to bring them above .500. The Huskies split their second straight weekend series after a loss at home, followed by a win on the road against Regina. 

Fittingly, Saskatchewan is the only team in the Canada West that holds an even goal differential. Even given that, the Huskies sit tied for fourth place with just four points separating them and the first-place University of Calgary Dinos.

Fourth-year forward Bailee Bourassa leads the team with 10 points, six of which were earned on the powerplay. Bourassa has also been the most active shooter in the conference with 61 shots on net.

Women’s hockey will host the Mount Royal University Cougars at home for the final weekend of 2019 action, while the men will travel to Mount Royal for their weekend series.

The first weekend of action in 2020 will see men’s hockey battle perennial rival Alberta Golden Bears at home, while the women’s team will travel to Alberta to take on the Pandas.

Volleyball

Men’s volleyball dropped both of their games on the road against the Trinity Western Spartans, falling to 5-5 on the season. 

Despite their middle of the road collective performance thus far, third-year outside hitter Dylan Mortensen continues to play well with the third-most kills in the conference. Fifth-year middle Daulton Sinoski is fifth in the conference for blocks per set with 1.12.

Things are not totally grim for this team as first-year head coach Sean McKay still has plenty of time to improve his team’s current sixth-place position in the standings. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

It is a brighter story for women’s volleyball, as head coach Mark Dodds has the Huskies playing arguably their best volleyball since he arrived at the helm in the 2015-16 season.

Saskatchewan split their weekend series on the road at the number one ranked team in the country, the Trinity Western Spartans. 

The Huskies won that game three sets to one but dropped the second game, three sets to one. The game one victory was just the second win against the Spartans in Dodds’ tenure.

Second-year middle Mandi Fraser is the most efficient hitter in the conference, converting 38.3 per cent of her attacks. Fourth-year outside hitter Emily Koshinsky is sixth in Canada West for kills per set with 3.24.

When these teams return to action in January, they will host MacEwan University Griffins to kick off the second half of the Canada West season.

Football Awards

Five Huskie football players earned first team All-Canadian status for their stand out performances in 2019, the most out of any team in the country. 

The Huskies group includes running back Adam Machart, defensive tackle Evan Machibroda, offensive linemen Connor Berglof and Mattland Riley, along with defensive back Nelson Lokombo.

Lokombo also took home the top defensive honour in the country, the Presidents’ Trophy as the U Sports defensive player of the year. The last Huskies player to win this award was the team’s current defensive co-ordinator Warren Muzika in 1998-99.

Surprisingly, Machart did not take home the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding football player in U Sports, despite running for 1330 yards to etch his name in the history books with the 12th most rushing yards in a  single-season. 

Western University Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant won the award after recording 2,738 passing yards along with 438 rushing yards, with 20 total touchdowns.

Tanner Michalenko/ Sports & Health Editor

Photo: Supplied by GetMyPhoto.ca/ Huskie Athletics

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