Nicole Betker, University of Saskatchewan
SASKATOON – With a Game 2, 2-1 win Saturday night in Saskatoon's Rutherford Rink, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies completed a Canada West women's hockey quarter-final series sweep over provincial rival the University of Regina Cougars.
Game 1 hero and Huskies' regular season leading scorer Kaitlin Willoughby netted the game winner at 16:25 in the third period. Her shot bounced off the post and by Jane Kish after a turnover in the neutral zone. A night earlier in Saskatchewan's 4-3 in Game 1 win, Willoughby netted a hat trick.
Saskatchewan will now travel to Vancouver to meet the UBC Thunderbirds in a conference best-of-three semifinal series next weekend.
Bailee Bourassa had opened the scoring at 17:51 in the first period after her shot from the right faceoff circle made its way through traffic in front of Kish.
Regina's Jolene Kirkpatrick tied the game at 9:33 in the third period. She found the puck on a Cassidy Hendricks rebound stick side.
The Cougars continued the push to extend the series to a third game pulling Kish with 2:43 left in the third. Regina also had a big chance in the last minute of the game after Courtney Cormack took a cross-checking penalty in front of the Huskies' net. But they couldn't find the equalizer.
Hendricks finished the night making 31 saves for the Huskies in the win, while Kish stopped 21 in the loss.
The semifinal series begins Friday in Vancouver. Puck drop on Game 1 and 2 is 7 p.m. (Pacific). Game 3, if needed, is slated for 3 p.m. (Pacific)