Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – With a 3-1 win over the visiting University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Friday night in Saskatoon's Rutherford Rink, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies got exactly what they needed to clinch a home playoff series.
Entering the weekend, the Huskies were holding on to a home playoff spot in a quarter-final series by one point over the Regina Cougars. The Saskatchewan win, combined with a Cougars loss to the Calgary Dinos sealed Saskatchewan's fourth place fate. The Huskies will host the quarter-final series next weekend.
With the win, Saskatchewan improves to 14-10-3. Lethbridge is 4-20-3.
Courtney Cormack opened the scoring for the Huskies on the power play at 5:14 in the second frame. After Saskatchewan kept the puck in the offensive zone, Cormack found a rebound off the Lethbridge goal post that she was able to slide in the net.
Kaitlin Willoughby added the Huskies' second goal at 15:58 on a turnover in the neutral zone.
Lethbridge's Delaney Duchek cut the lead in half at 6:20 in the third when a pass was intercepted in front of Saskatchewan netminder Cassidy Hendricks. Duchek was able to quickly beat Hendricks.
Emily Upgang scored the insurance goal at 15:40 in the third with a backhand shot.
Jessica Lohues made 25 saves for the 'Horns on the night, while Hendricks stopped 11 at the other end of the ice for Saskatchewan.
The two teams will battle again Saturday night in the final regular season game of the season. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.