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
U of S Huskies forward Bailee Bourassa skates back to the bench after scoring a goal in the third period of the U Sports women’s hockey at Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon, SK on Jan. 10, 2020. | Ashir Fazal

Track and field

The Huskies are off to what looks like a promising season based on their performance at the inaugural, newly-named Sanderson Classic last weekend. They took gold in eight events towards a 17 medal finish from the meet at the Saskatoon Field House. 

Four of their gold medals were won in the women’s event. Fifth-year Michelle Harrison landed the team two gold medals, one in the 60-metre event with an impressive 7.6-second dash and the other in the 4×200 metre team relay. Alongside Harrison on the relay team was Ashlyn Mooney, Kendra Farmer and Leadan Chartier. They are ranked second in Canada, showing great promise for the season to come. 

It was no surprise that Courtney Hufsmith won the gold medal in the 1000-metre race as she is ranked second in the country for the event. The 4×800 metre relay team also swept the competition and took home the fourth gold medal in the women’s events. 

The men’s events were as exciting with Josh Websdale taking gold in pole vault with a soaring 4.62-metre performance, and Scott McKerracher taking silver. First-year Michael Akintunde took first place in long jump with a 7.06-metre showing, followed by Landon Gill at 6.80 metres. 

Carter Cheveldayoff showed his strength with an impressive 15.55-metre weight throw earning him top spot. The final gold was presented to the 4×400 metre team who pulled ahead with only 42 milliseconds for first place. 

The team will travel to Edmonton this weekend to compete in the Golden Bear Open where they will continue to work on benchmarking against their U Sport open competitors. 

Men’s basketball

Men’s basketball started the 2020 year off strong by winning three of their four games, moving the team up to sixth in the Canada West standings with a season record of 9-3. 

The dogs took down the Trinity West Spartans in the first matchup of the year. Having most recently played the Spartans back in October 2018, the Huskies brought their top game again, taking a 98-70 victory on Jan. 3 and a 99-92 win on Jan. 4.  

Alexander Dewar was a key performer, sinking 19 points and 22 points respectively. JT Robinson made an exciting buzzer-beating 3-point shot seconds before the end of the second quarter of game one and then made 19 points and five rebounds in game two. 

The Huskies faced the University of Victoria Vikes last weekend for a two-game face-off, taking a win and a loss. Jan. 10 saw the Huskies break the Vikes’ hot streak with their first loss since November as the home team took the 78-71 win. 

But Jan. 11 put an end to the Huskies’ perfect 2020 start as they were defeated 94-74. The Vikes took advantage of their turnovers, scoring 17 points compared to the Huskies’ four. Robinson led the team with 26 points. 

Looking ahead, the Huskies will face the third-place Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg this weekend. 

Women’s basketball

U of S Huskies guard Katriana Philipenko dribbles the basketball before the U Sports women’s basketball action at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon, SK on Jan. 20, 2020. | Ashir Fazal

The women’s Huskies basketball team continues their hot season staying undefeated as they power through their first four games of 2020. They earned second in the Canada West standings, tied with the Calgary Dinos, 12-0. 

The Huskies dominated defensively in both games against Trinity West Spartans, allowing only 39 points scored against on Jan. 3 and 47 points scored against on Jan. 4. 

Summer Masikewich had an impressive performance, scoring 29 and 19 points for their 83-39 and 101-49 respective victories. In game two, the team soared offensively, shooting nearly 50 per cent through the game. 

In the first home games of the season, the team continued to show their dominance last weekend. Masikewich, Sabine Dukate and Libby Epoch drove the team offensively in the first game, leading the Huskies to a close 73-68 victory. The teams fought for the lead with the Vikes taking control in the first quarter, but the Huskies regained control in the second and third. The Vikes tried to close the lead, however, it was not enough to avoid defeat.

Jan. 11 gave the Vikes another chance against the Huskies, but showed the same outcome as the Huskies dominated 102-72. Dukate added another 22 points to her record, moving into fifth all-time Huskie regular-
season with a total of 1,385 points. This milestone moves her one spot ahead of current Huskie assistant coach Allison Fairbrother. 

The Huskies will travel confidently to Winnipeg this weekend as they compete in two games against the Manitoba Bisons.

Men’s hockey

The men’s hockey team started the year facing off against the 2019 Canada West champions, the Edmonton Golden Bears at home on Jan. 3 and 4. Taking a 3-0 loss to end their nine-game winning streak in game one, the Huskies came back with a 5-0 redemption win for game two. 

The Golden Bears took an early lead in the first period and bested the Huskies, securing the win with another two goals in the final frame while shutting out the dogs. 

The second matchup gave the Huskies an opportunity for redemption. The team did not squander as the 2019 Men’s First Team All-star Carson Stadnyk scored the first goal, setting the team up for an early lead. Again, Stadnyk found the back of the net in the third period. The team lit up, scoring an additional three goals by Collin Shirley, Jeff Faith and Levi Cable. 

Facing the Lethbridge Pronghorns last weekend, the Huskies were able to take control, winning 5-2 and 8-3. The two wins earned the team third place in the Canada West standings, tied with the Calgary Dinos with an impressive 14-4-2. They sit four points behind the Golden Bears.

In the first game against the Horns, Taran Kozun secured the win defensively with 22 saves while defensemen Sam Ruopp shined with a goal and an assist. 

The Huskies closed off the two-game series with a strong offensive win with Collin Shirley scoring a hat-trick in his time on the ice. 

The team has a big weekend ahead as they travel to Calgary to face the Dinos in a tie-breaking series where they have a shot at securing second place in the Canada West standings. 

Women’s hockey 

The road trip to Edmonton proved to challenge the women’s hockey team as they forfeited a series loss to the Alberta Pandas in consecutive one-goal games.  

First-year Kate Ball led the team off with their first goal of the series. Unfortunately, the team was outdone by the Pandas as they fell 2-1. 

In the second game, the Huskies showed a promising start with Abby Shirley and Bailee Bourassa scoring in the first and second period, respectively. In the back and forth game, the team fought hard but lost momentum in the third period where the Pandas ultimately took the game 3-2. 

In the first games back at Merlis Belsher Place, the Huskies put their two losses behind them and bested the Lethbridge Pronghorns to secure a third-place spot in the Canada West standings with a 10-6-1-0 record. 

The Huskies faced the Lethbridge Pronghorns for the first time since their loss to the team on Oct. 19, 2019. The first game of the series united the team with a win, courtesy of key performances by Bourassa, Elizabeth Salyn, Rachel Lundberg and Emily Upgang. Fifth-year Salyn recorded her first two-goal game this season to propel the team in their 3-1 lead. 

In the second matchup, the Huskies shutout the Horns 2-0 with Camryn Drevor blocking 16 shots on net. This is the second shutout recorded this season by this second­-year goaltender. 

The team sits at third place in the standings behind the first-place Dinos and second-
place Alberta Pandas. Coming off their last two wins, the team hopes to use that momentum as they face-off the Dinos next weekend at home.  

Men’s volleyball

Men’s volleyball started 2020 against the MacEwan Griffins at home, winning the first game in an exciting 3-0 sets and losing their footing in the game two to forfeit 0-3 sets. 

In a Huskie career-high performance, third-year outside hitter Levi Olson put up an impressive 10 kills in game one. An aggressive offense by Connor Murray and Daven Pascal stopped the Griffins’ momentum in the second set that was accompanied by a game-high 15 kills by fifth-year middle Daulton Sinoski. 

The Griffins broke their 10-game losing streak by winning three identical sets in game two at 25-23. The Huskies’ top performers were Sinoski and Murray with 16 and 11 kills, respectively. 

The Huskies will welcome the fifth-place Winnipeg Wesmen for a two-game matchup on Jan. 17 and 18 at the Physical Activity Complex. 

Women’s volleyball 

The women’s volleyball team faced off with the MacEwan Griffins on Jan. 3 and 4, resulting in a 3-1 defeat and 3-0 win to secure the team’s sixth place spot in the Canada West standings, tying with the Alberta Pandas with 9-5. 

Unfortunately, the Huskies’ performance fell short as the Griffins took the first two sets with 25-21 and 25-20 and the fourth set with 25-22. In the second game of the series, the Huskies were determined to take the game against the fourth-place Griffins. 

Head coach Mark Dodds attributed the win to the improved defensive play. On the defensive, Shae Beaulieu was strong, getting 20 and 18 digs, respectively. Offensively, fourth-year outside hitter Emily Koshinsky rose as a leader hitting 14 kills in both games, bringing her total Huskie-career points to 1,009. 

The Huskies kept the win at home with three straight sets scoring 26-24, 25-23 and 25-21. Travelling to Winnipeg, the team looks strong against the sixth-place Wesman.  

Alayna Moxness

Photos: Ashir Fazal

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