Three Stars of the Week: Calgary’s Pearce, Saskatchewan’s Dally earn spotlight

Three Stars of the Week: Calgary’s Pearce, Saskatchewan’s Dally earn spotlight

Canada West Communications

NEW WESTMINSTER - University of Calgary hockey forward Elgin Pearce and University of Saskatchewan basketball forward Laura Dally are the Canada West Male and Female First Stars of the Week respectively for the period ending Sunday, February 21.

A former Medicine Hat Tiger, Pearce tallied a total of five goals over the weekend, as Calgary skated out of Winnipeg with a three-game quarter-final series win over the Manitoba Bisons. 

Pearce’s five-goal output equalled Manitoba’s entire offensive production, as Calgary scored Saturday (2-1) and Sunday (6-1) wins to keep their season alive after dropping Game 1 Friday 3-1 in the Manitoba capital. 

In her final regular season weekend, Dally put together a pair of games to remember. The Bright’s Grove, Ont. product netted 35 points Friday night – the most in a Canada West game since 2013 – and added another 19 the following game, helping Saskatchewan earn a split with Regina, which was enough for the Huskies to lock up first in the Pioneer Division and the No. 1 seed heading into the Canada West women’s basketball playoffs. 

Also earning star honours this week were: TWU’s Kayla Gordon (female second star), Thompson River’s Josh Wolfram (male second star), Manitoba’s Venla Hovi (female third star), and Manitoba’s Luke Herr (male third star).


Male First Star – Elgin Pearce

Calgary Dinos hockey



Port Coquitlam, BC


Game log: Friday, February 19 – goal in 3-1 L vs. Manitoba / Saturday, February 20 – two goals in 2-1 W vs. Manitoba / Sunday, February 21 – two goals in 6-1 W vs. Manitoba

The University of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team came back from a Game 1 loss to upset the Manitoba Bisons in three games and advance to the Canada West semifinals.

Elgin Pearce was unstoppable for the Dinos over the quarter-final weekend series. The third-year forward scored five goals in the series – singlehandedly equalling the Bisons’ series output.

Pearce was the lone goal scorer in the Dinos’ 3-1 loss in Game 1 before scoring both of Calgary’s goals in a 2-1 win the following night to even up the series at one and keep Calgary’s season alive. On Sunday in a do-or-die Game 3, the Dinos were on fire, winning the game 6-1. Pearce scored two goals in the third period, including a power play goal to give the Dinos an important 3-1 lead.

With the upset series win, the Dinos move on to face the No. 3 Saskatchewan Huskies in the conference semifinals. The best-of-three series runs Friday, February 26 through Sunday, February, 28.


Female First Star – Laura Dally

Saskatchewan Huskies basketball



Bright’s Grove, ON


Game log: Friday, February 19 – 35 points, six rebounds, and three assists in 83-78 L vs. Regina / Saturday, February 20 – 19 points, one rebound, and five assists in 81-72 W vs. Regina.

Fifth-year University of Saskatchewan guard Laura Dally helped the Huskies lock up top spot in the Pioneer Division with a weekend split on the road against the No. 5-ranked Regina Cougars.

Dally opened the weekend with an impressive 35-point performance Friday. The Bright’s Grove, Ont. native finished the night 5-of-9 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Dally added six rebounds in the game and dished out three assists to go along with a steal and a block on the defensive end.

On Saturday, the fifth-year Kinesiology student scored 19 points, helping the Huskies to an 81-72 win and top spot in the division. Dally distributed five assists on the night and played all but two minutes of the contest.

The No. 2-ranked Huskies earned a bye this weekend and will host the winner of UBC and Fraser Valley in a Canada West quarter-final at the PAC next weekend.


Male Second Star – Josh Wolfram

Thompson Rivers WolfPack basketball



Kamloops, BC


Game log: Friday, February 19 – 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in 77-66 W vs. UBCO / Saturday, February 20 – 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks in 88-79 W vs. UBCO.

Josh Wolfram made his final home regular season weekend one to remember.

The Kamloops native was dominant in both contests, as the WolfPack clinched the Explorer Division title and Wolfram ended up second in the Canada West in points per game (19) and fifth in rebounds per game (9.6), thanks to 45 points over TRU’s two-game sweep of UBCO.

The WolfPack now have almost two weeks off before hosting either Regina or Winnipeg in the Canada West quarter-finals, beginning March 3 at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops.

Female Second Star – Kayla Gordon

TWU Spartans basketball



Prince George, BC


Game log: Friday, February 19 – 15 points, seven rebounds, and one steal in 86-63 W vs. Lethbridge / Saturday, February 20 – 35 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and one block in 78-62 W vs. Lethbridge.

In two must-win games, Trinity Western third-year forward Kayla Gordon came up with her biggest weekend of the season. The Business student shot 64.5 percent from the field, scoring 50 combined points, while pulling down 16 combined rebounds to lead the Spartans to a weekend sweep, 86-63, 78-62, on the road against the Lethbridge Pronghorns.

The two victories extended the Spartans winning streak to four games and helped TWU secure their first playoff spot since 2008.

Gordon had 15 points and seven rebounds in Friday’s 86-63 win. Then on Saturday night she put the team on her back for a 78-62 win. In Saturday’s win to clinch a playoff spot, Gordon tied the TWU points recording scoring 35 points going an impressive 14-for-18 from the field. In addition she grabbed nine boards, had two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in the historic win.

Gordon’s 35 points is a career best and tied Saskatchewan’s Laura Dally for the highest point total in a Canada West game since 2013 when Brandon’s Cassie Cooke scored 39 points.

The Spartans finished the regular season at 8-12 and are headed to Victoria to play the University of Victoria Vikes in a best-of-three play-in series this Friday through Sunday.


Male Third Star – Luke Herr

Manitoba Bisons volleyball



Winnipeg, MB

Kinesiology & Recreation Management

Game log: Friday, February 19 – 42 assists, three aces, three blocks and three digs in 3-1 W vs. Calgary / Saturday, February 20 – 27 assists, ace, two blocks and four digs in 3-0 L vs. Calgary. 

Requiring at least a victory to lock up second place in the Canada West standings, the Manitoba Bisons got what they needed on the road against the Calgary Dinos over the weekend, as the Herd locked down second with a key Friday night victory.

Four-year setter Luke Herr was outstanding over the weekend. The Winnipeg native had 69 assists, seven digs, five total blocks, four service aces while adding 7.0 points while starting and playing in all seven sets.

Manitoba started the weekend with a 3-1 win on Friday, as Herr controlled the game with 42 assists, three service aces, three total blocks, three digs and one kill.

The next night, Herr continued to play well despite playing with a different starting lineup in a game that had no impact on the standings. Herr posted 27 assists, one service ace, two total blocks, and four digs in three sets

Herr finished second in Canada West in assists per set at 11.10 while playing in all 24 conference matches for the 19-5 Bisons.

Manitoba now hosts the Mount Royal Cougars from February 25-27 in best-of-three quarter-final action.


Female Third Star – Venla Hovi

Manitoba Bisons hockey



Tampere, Finland

Extended Education

Game log: Friday, February 19 – two shots in 3-0 L vs. Saskatchewan / Saturday, February 20 – two goals in 5-1 W vs. Saskatchewan / Sunday, February 21 – game-winning goal in 2-1 5OT W vs. Saskatchewan.

The Bison women’s hockey team made history over the weekend, as they played in the longest Canada West hockey game in history Sunday night.

Game 3 of Manitoba’s best-of-three quarter-final with Saskatchewan was an epic five-overtime game, with Venla Hovi scoring the game-winner to end the longest conference hockey game at 9:02 of the fifth overtime, converting on a nice two-on-one to end the 139:02 marathon match.

Hovi, 28, had an impressive weekend as after a tough 3-0 Game 1 loss to start the weekend. The Finnish Olympic team member helped the Bisons fight off elimination the following two nights in Saskatoon.

In Game 2 on Saturday, Hovi notched the game-winner and had two goals, while going +5 on the night. In Game 3, Hovi scored the game-winner and assisted on Manitoba’s other goal, in a game that stretched into Monday morning.

The Bisons now travel to play at Alberta in the Canada West semifinal best-of-three playoff series February 26-28 in Edmonton.