Ice Chips: Huskies look to stay ahead of 'Horns in tight playoff race

Ice Chips: Huskies look to stay ahead of 'Horns in tight playoff race

Canada West Communications

To get you set for the first weekend of Canada West women's hockey action in 2016, here are some storylines from around the conference in the latest edition of Ice Chips.

 

Huskies aim to start strong in 2016

Huskies Athletics

SASKATOON - As they open the second half of the Canada West women's hockey season, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies look to keep pace in a tightly contested playoff race when the host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns at Rutherford Rink this weekend.

THE HEADLINES

  • Saskatchewan was ranked No. 7 in the final CIS poll before the semester break. The Huskies were the lone team from the Canada West to crack the Top 10.
  • As teams enter the back end of the season five points separate first from seventh place in the conference standings. Alberta and Manitoba lead the standings with 28 points, followed by UBC with 27 points, Saskatchewan with 26 points, Regina with 25 points and Mount Royal and Lethbridge with 23 points each.
  • The Huskies have excelled on the power-play this season, leading the CIS having converted on 29 percent of their opportunities.
  • Friday night, the women's hockey team will be participating in their eighth annual Play For The Cure night. This year, the Huskies have chosen to support Andrea Dipple's "Dollars For Dipples" fundraising campaign as she battles cancer and KidSport in honour of men's hockey alum Cody Smuk. During Friday's game, the Huskies will wear special Play For The Cure jerseys donated by the Herner Family. The black on the jerseys honours Smuk, while the orange brings awareness for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in support of Dipple. The jerseys will also feature a box with Dipple's initials and a second box with 'Smuk 24'. The game worn jerseys can be purchased at a silent auction during Friday's game.
  • Friday night is Free Youth Night.

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Dinos look to start New Year on winning note

Kelly-Anne Roberts, Dinos Athletics

CALGARY- The University of Calgary Dinos are looking to start the new year off in the win column as they face the University of Regina Cougars this weekend, Jan. 8-9th.
 
The Dinos have been struggling to win games; their record now sits at 3-13. The Dinos will play majority of the rest of the regular season at home. Before the Christmas break the Dinos were only home for five games.
 
With the first half of the regular season completed Calgary looks to start the new year on a high note as they prepare to host the 2016 National Tournament here in Calgary in March.

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Pandas open 2016 with battle against Bisons

Connor Hood, Bears and Pandas Athletics

EDMONTON - After completing a solid first half, posting a 9-6-0-1 conference record, the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team will kick off 2016 with a series against the Manitoba Bisons (also 9-6-0-1) this weekend at Clare Drake Arena.

Not only does the series have significance as the first conference games of the New Year, but will also be a battle of the top two seeds in the Canada West standings.

The two-game set will also be the second series between these two clubs this season. The Bisons won a tightly contested 2-1 match in the opener in Winnipeg, before the Pandas stormed back with a resounding 4-0 win.

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T-Birds seeking quick start to 2016 as they host Cougars this weekend

Aaron Martin, UBC Athletics

VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds women's hockey team (7-5-2-2) are aiming to get 2016 started off right, as they prepare to take on the visiting Mount Royal Cougars (6-7-2-1) in a set of back-to-back contests this weekend. The opening puck drop on Friday, January 8 is set for 7 p.m. (PT), while the game on Saturday, January 9 is set for a 3 p.m. start time. Both games will take place at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
 
The T-Birds finished 2015 with an uneven stretch of games, going 3-2-0-1 in their last five contests of the calendar year. The 'Birds were hit-or-miss on offence during that stretch, scoring 3+ goals three times, and getting blanked in regulation three times (though they won a double overtime against Saskatchewan 1-0 in on November 14). UBC finished 2015 with a home split against Calgary, winning 3-2 on Nov. 27 before losing 4-3 in overtime the next day.
 
The 'Birds feature two of the top 20 Canada West scorers in forward Rebecca Unrau (Humboldt, Sask.) and Kathleen Cahoon (Calgary). Unrau's 13 points in 16 contests, with eight goals and five assists, has her seventh in the conference, while Cahoon's six goals and four assists are good for 14th in the scoring race.

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Women's hockey weekend schedule:

Fri. 8 Lethbridge   Saskatchewan   7:00 PM CST
  Regina   Calgary   7:00 PM MST
  Manitoba   Alberta   7:00 PM MST
  Mount Royal   UBC   7:00 PM PST
Sat. 9 Manitoba   Alberta   2:00 PM MST
  Regina   Calgary   3:00 PM MST
  Mount Royal   UBC   3:00 PM PST
  Lethbridge   Saskatchewan   7:00 PM CST

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