Three stars of the week: Battle of Alberta steals the spotlight

Three stars of the week: Battle of Alberta steals the spotlight

Canada West Communications

Highlights:

  • Calgary Dinos netminder Steven Stanford is the male first star of the week, after becoming the first goalie to shutout the Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton in a regular season game since 1964
  • Alberta women’s hockey forward Alex Poznikoff is the female first star of the week, after posting an eight-point weekend to lead the Pandas to a two-game sweep of the Calgary Dinos.
  • Also earning star honours this week were: Brandon’s Tyvon Cooper (male second star), Regina’s Diana Lumbala (female second star), UFV’s Manny Dulay (male third star), and Calgary’s Elysa Sandron (female third star). 

EDMONTON – Hockey stars Steven Stanford and Alex Poznikoff are the Canada West male and female first stars of the week respectively after their big weekends in the Battle of Alberta.

To say Stanford’s Saturday night performance against the Alberta Golden Bears was a long time coming would be an understatement for the ages, as the fifth-year goalie pulled off an historic feat in the second game of Calgary’s home-and-home series with their provincial rivals. 

The Dinos netminder backstopped his team to a 3-0 shutout, as Alberta was shutout on home ice in a regular season game for the first time in more than five decades. 

Stanford’s heroic 45-save shutout for Calgary win marked the first time since February 14, 1964 (5-0 vs. UBC) that Alberta had been shutout in a Canada West regular season home game and the first time since the 1980 Canada West playoffs (2-0 vs. Calgary) that the Golden Bears had been shut out in Edmonton by a Canada West opponent.

On the women’s side, Poznikoff had a weekend to remember. The second-year forward netted four goals and added four assists in the Pandas home-and-home sweep of the Dinos. The physical education and recreation student’s eight-point weekend propelled her into a tie for the conference scoring lead, with 24 points in 22 games. 

Also earning star honours this week were: Brandon’s Tyvon Cooper (male second star), Regina’s Diana Lumbala (female second star), UFV’s Manny Dulay (male third star), and Calgary’s Elysa Sandron (female third star). 

Male first star – Steven Stanford

Calgary Dinos hockey

Goalie

5th-year

Calgary, Alta.

Business

Game log: Friday, January 20 – 19 saves in a 2-1 L vs. Alberta / Saturday, January 21 – 45-save shutout in 3-0 W @ Alberta. 

Steven Stanford pulled off an historic feat Saturday night in Edmonton, as the Calgary Dinos netminder became the first goalie to shutout the Alberta Golden Bears on home ice in a regular season game in more than five decades. 

After taking a tight 2-1 loss Friday night at home, Stanford and the Dinos bounced back with a road win for the record books, as Calgary earned a 3-0 win over the Bears in Edmonton. 

The Alberta loss marked the first time since February 14, 1964 (5-0 vs. UBC) that the Bears had been shutout on home ice in a regular season game.

Stanford was spectacular in the game, particularly in the third period, as the fifth-year veteran held the fort in the final frame when the Golden Bears outshot the Dinos 22-3.

The 45 saves also tied Saskatchewan’s Jordon Cooke –  who posted a 45-save shutout against Alberta earlier this season (December 3, 2016 – 4-0 W) – for fourth-most in a Canada West shutout.

The Dinos now head east to Winnipeg to take on the Manitoba Bisons in a doubleheader Jan. 27-28. 

 

Female first star – Alex Poznikoff

Alberta Pandas hockey

Forward

2nd-year

Edmonton, Alta. 

Game log: Friday, January 20 – goal and two assists in 4-0 W vs. Calgary / Saturday, January 21 – three goals and two assists in 7-1 W @ Calgary.

Sophomore forward Alex Poznikoff is the Canada West female first star of the week following her big performance in a sweep over a provincial rival.

Poznikoff registered eight points in two wins over the Calgary Dinos, piloting the Pandas to 4-0 and 7-1 wins with a total of four goals and four assists. The second-year forward now leads Canada West in goals (13), is tied for the conference lead in points (24), and sits fifth in the nation in points as well. 

She helped stake Alberta to a 4-0 shutout win in Edmonton on Friday night with a goal and two assists, before leading the Pandas to a 7-1 victory on the road, registering a hat trick and two assists in the second half of the home-and-home.

She has now established career highs in goals, assists and points one season after earning 11 goals and 16 points in 28 games as a rookie. She is also riding a four-game point streak, having tallied 11 points, including five goals, over the course of the Pandas current five-game winning streak.

Poznikoff will take that red hot production and confidence with her to Almaty, Kazakhstan this week as she travels to represent Team Canada at the 2017 Winter Universiade. The biennial games kick off on January 28 when Canada plays China in opening round action, and conclude on February 8.

 

Male second star – Tyvon Cooper

Brandon Bobcats basketball

Guard

2nd-year

Middletown, NY 

Game log: Friday, January 20 – 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals in 95-91 W vs. Regina / Saturday, January 21 – 25 points, two rebounds and three assists in 95-85 W vs. Regina. 

Tyvon Cooper has quickly climbed the ranks as one of the elite guards in the Canada West conference. The 6-foot-1 American import has helped the Bobcats back into the playoff picture this season, thanks in large part to an offensive explosion in back-to-back wins over the Regina Cougars this past weekend.

Cooper’s double-double on Friday elevated the Bobcats in a hard-fought victory, as he put up 30 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Not only did he score when needed, but the Middletown, NY product also ran the point effectively, setting up his team mates with open looks, finishing with six assists. Cooper followed Friday’s performance with a 25-point night on Saturday. 

The weekend sweep of the Cougars gives Brandon a record of 7-9 which has them in the playoff race for the first time in five years.

Brandon is on the road this weekend for a two-game set on the west coast against the first-place UBC Thunderbirds.

 

Female second star – Diana Lumbala

Regina Cougars volleyball

Right side

2nd-year

Moose Jaw, Sask.

Arts 

Game log: Friday, January 20 – 21 kills, one ace, eight digs, eight blocks, and 26 points in 3-1 W vs. Winnipeg / Saturday, January 21 – 22 kills, four aces, five digs, four blocks, and 28.5 points in 3-1 W vs. Winnipeg. 

Diana Lumbala continued her sensational second half of the Canada West schedule by leading the University of Regina’s women’s volleyball team to four-set home wins in back-to-back nights at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. 

Lumbala tied a 15-year-old school record for points in a four-set match in Friday’s win, finishing with a total of 26 points off 21 kills, eight assisted blocks, and an ace. She finished with a blistering .556 hitting percentage with only one error on 36 attacks, and added eight digs to come up just short of a rare triple-double. 

And she broke that record on Saturday with 28.5 points after erupting for 22 more kills and adding four service aces to go along with four assisted blocks. She hit .340 in the win and also added five digs for the U of R. 

Lumbala’s totals over the two matches were nothing short of outrageous for a right side. She finished with 43 kills and only seven errors on 83 attacks for a .434 hitting percentage while also tallying 13 digs, one solo block, 12 assisted blocks, and five service aces.

 

Male third star – Manny Dulay

Fraser Valley Cascades basketball

Point guard

5th-year

Surrey, B.C.

Kinesiology/Physical Education

Game log: Friday, January 20 – 20 points, 5/12 from three-point range, five rebounds, and two assists in 73-71 W @ Alberta / Saturday, January 21 – 27 points, 8/10 from three-point range, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 95-78 L @ Alberta.

University of the Fraser Valley point guard Manny Dulay reasserted his status among the best shooters in the nation as the Cascades earned an impressive weekend split on the road vs. the U Sports No. 6-ranked Alberta Golden Bears. 

On Friday, Dulay led the way as the Cascades upset the Golden Bears 73-71, counting five three-pointers among his team-high 20 points. Dulay was even deadlier from distance in Saturday’s rematch, draining 8-of-10 attempts from downtown including several highlight-reel efforts from well back of the arc. Alberta, though, prevailed 95-78 to salvage a weekend split. 

Dulay’s sparkling senior season has him leading the nation in three-pointers with 55, and he’s rapidly climbing the Canada West all-time triples list. He currently sits fifth with 219 threes made in his career, and is on pace to pass Danny Balderson (Lethbridge Pronghorns, 1993-95, 1997-00) and Casey Archibald (UBC Thunderbirds, 2002-07) who are tied for third at 239. 

Dulay is also a talented playmaker who is tied for second in the conference in assists per game (4.6), and he ranks 12th in scoring (16.9 points per game). His Cascades (6-8) are back in action at home this weekend vs. the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Friday (8 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.) at the Envision Athletic Centre.

 

Female third star – Elysa Sandron

Calgary Dinos rugby 7s

Back row/wing

3rd-year

Winnipeg, Man.

Science

Game log: Saturday, January 21 & Sunday, January 22 – 63 points in six games (nine tries and nine converts) @ inaugural Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Edmonton.

The University of Calgary Dinos women’s rugby 7s team began their inaugural season with six games in Edmonton over the weekend. 

Calgary’s Elysa Sandron picked up where she left off during the 15s season, leading the tournament in scoring with 63 total points. Her best showing came in the opening game of the tournament when she scored three tries and added four converts for 23 points. She scored 14 points in the following two games and another 12 in Game Four. 

Calgary finished second at the first-ever Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series tournament, falling in the first-place match to the Victoria Vikes by a score of 12-5. 

The Dinos will next head to UBC for the second series tournament February 4-5.