Huskies settle the score
Saskatchewan sweeps the Cougars men's hockey team to win the season series
The University of Regina Cougars men’s hockey team was looking to start off 2011 with a bang and, more importantly, a pair of wins.
The Cougars took on the Saskatchewan Huskies in a Canada West home-and-home series this weekend, in a battle of former teammates, provincial rivals and brothers. Coming into the weekend, the two teams were split with two wins apiece when facing each other and these games would prove to settle the score.
In the first game on Friday, the first period was not exactly action-packed. Both teams ended up leaving the period with goose eggs still on the board. The best scoring chance was seen from Regina’s Matt Strueby, whose team had a mere four shots on net in the first. The Huskies were able to more than double their chances, registering nine shots on net, but goaltender Adam Ward stayed strong for Regina in order to keep things even.
The second period saw more of the same, but with a few more quality chances from both sides of the ice. Regina was granted 47 seconds of 5-on-3 after Steven DaSilva and former Regina Pat Matt Delahey took tripping and hooking penalties one after the other for Saskatchewan. However, the hometown boys were unable to capitalize on this opportunity and spent a good portion of the power play chasing the puck rather than generating quality scoring chances.
Both teams were still held scoreless until Kyle Bortis of the Huskies was finally able to break through 12 minutes into the final frame when he ripped a snap shot past Ward. Bortis was able to put the Huskies up by two a mere six minutes later when he scooped up a rebound, brought it to his backhand, and flipped it past Ward to light the lamp once again.
The Cougars were successful at narrowing the gap, as Cody Gross got a shot past David Reekie just over a minute after Bortis’ second goal, thus cutting the Huskies lead in half. However, that was the only offence that the Cougars were able to generate, while Saskatchewan added one more empty-netter from Travis Brisebois to seal the deal.
The Cougars didn’t play a terrible game – they were getting chances, but as usual got no bounces.
The two teams squared off once again the following night in Saskatoon and Regina appeared to be ready to settle the score. Once again, the Cougars were denied the victory and the Huskies sailed to a 6-2 win. Carter Selinger and Neil Kodman provided offence for Regina, but the Cougars were never able to recover from the Huskies four-goal flurry in the first period.
Regina was handed two losses and zero points for their efforts this weekend. The Cougars now sit last in the conference at 6-12-0. Saskatchewan’s victories vaulted them into second place at 10-6-0.
These games marked the final meetings of the season between Regina and Saskatchewan The Huskies come out on top of the provincial battle winning four of six games in the series. Delahey was able to edge out former-teammates Strueby and Brett Leffler and Saskatchewan’s Brett Ward will have bragging rights over brother Adam.
The Cougars will now enjoy a bye week before heading out to the west coast to take on the UBC Thunderbirds on Jan 21-22.