SF 2: 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup:
Second period six-pack has Huskies playing for gold
FREDERICTON (U SPORTS) – The No. 6 Saskatchewan Huskies stunned the No. 2 StFX X-Men with an 8-0 shutout victory in the second semifinal game of the 2017 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup to advance to the national final on Sunday. Seven different players scored for the Huskies, who avenged last year's 2-1 triple overtime semifinal loss to StFX.
University Cup website: www.universitycup.ca
The loss was the most lopsided one of the season for the X-Men, who up until this point were undefeated at 8-0 in AUS and U SPORTS playoff games. They will re-group and focus on the bronze medal match against conference opponents Acadia Sunday at 9:30 am.
The Huskies opened the scoring just under four and a half minutes in on a goal by Jesse Forsberg (Waldheim, SK) as he slipped in a puck behind X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS).
Although outplayed in the first period, the score remained 1-0 in favor of Saskatchewan who held a slight 8-7 shot advantage.
The stunning second period saw the Canada West finalists rack up six goals againt the AUS champion X-Men, beginning with a goal by Levi Cable (Hudson Bay, SK) at 1:54 as he took a pass in front of the X net and beat Marchand.
Carson Stadnyk (Saskatoon, SK) added to the lead at 4:29, followed by Logan McVeigh (Kenaston, SK) at 10:17. Parker Thomas (Winnipeg, MB) scored the fifth Huskies goal at 12:32, forcing the X-Men to pull starting goalie Marchand for Brandon Hope (Canton, MI).
Still in the second, the Huskies added a sixth tally, when Wyatt Johnson (Saskatoon, SK) scored at 18:38 on a 2-on-1 with Connor Gay (Saskatoon, SK), before Connor Cox's (Lethbridge, AB) power play buzzer-beater with just three seconds left.
Up 7-0 after 40 minutes, the period marked an unexpected turn of events as the Huskies netted six goals on 12 shots. The X-Men had nine shots in the middle frame but the damage was done.
McVeigh added his second of the game and eighth for the Huskies at 4:50 of the third, scoring off a scrum in front of Hope while on the man-advantage.
Shots finished at 30-26 in favour of the Huskies.
Saskatchewan All-Canadian goaltender Jordon Cooke (Leduc, AB) recorded his second straight shutout after blanking the York Lions 1-0 in overtime in the quarter-finals on Friday night.
"When you have guys laying down, blocking shots, that makes my job so much easier," said Cooke, who was named the U SPORTS Goaltender of the Year at a ceremony Wednesday night.
X-Men head coach Brad Peddle was succinct in his explanation of the outcome.
"Bizarre," he said. "It's a tough one to explain. First period, we are pretty even. In the second period, they capitalized on every chance we gave them. They brought tight checking and everything they threw at the net seemed to go in."
Saskatchewan coach Dave Adolph said he did not expect such a dominant performance.
"We matched their intensity in the first, but did a lot of the right things in the second, like getting guys in the right spot, to make things click for us," he said.
StFX was 0 for 5 on the power play, while Saskatchewan went 2 for 6.
The Huskies will now play the host UNB Varsity Reds for U SPORTS gold at 1:00 pm Sunday, while StFX plays Acadia at 9:30 am for bronze.
Adolph, the 2017 U SPORTS Coach of the Year, said it's fitting that the teams that occupied the top two spots in the U SPORTS rankings most of the year will now meet for all the marbles.
SSK Jesse Forsberg (1) (Connor Gay, Wyatt Johnson) 04:29
Lawrence (SSK) cross-checking 08:31
MacDonald (StFX) tripping 12:04
SSK Levi Cable (2) (Kohl Bauml) 01:54
SSK Carson Stadnyk (1) (Jordan Fransoo, Levi Cable) 04:29
SSK Logan McVeigh (1) (Colby Harmsworth, Parker Thomas) 10:17
SSK Parker Thomas (1) (Andrew Johnson, John Lawrence) 18:38
SSK Connor Cox (1) (Carson Stadnyk) 19:57 PP
Stadnyk (SSK) roughing 08:05
Iafrate (StFX) roughing 08:05
Lawrence (SSK) high sticking 12:35
Needham (StFX) holding 15:11
Cook (StFX) roughing after whistle 19:16
Forsberg (SSK) roughing after whistle 19:16
Kontos (StFX) roughing after whistle 19:16
Yakubowski (SSK) roughing after whistle 19:16
MacDonald (StFX) roughing after whistle 19:16
SSK Logan McVeigh (2) (Kendall McFaull, Michael Sofillas) 04:50 PP
McFaull (SSK) holding 00:41
Studnicka (StFX) tripping 03:43
Spears (StFX) roughing 10:15
Iafrate (StFX) elbowing major, game misconduct 11:19
Hoyles (StFX) interference 17:50
Lishchynsky (SSK) holding 18:01
Fransoo (SSK) tripping 18:49
McVeigh (SSK) high sticking 18:49
Locke (StFX) high sticking 18:49
McFaull (SSK) high sticking 19:22
GOALS (by period)
SSK 1-6-1: 8
StFX: 0-0-0: 0
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
SSK 8-12-10: 30
StFX 7-9-10: 26
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
SSK - Levi Cable
StFX - Craig Duininck
Start: 4:13 pm
End: 6:45 pm