Category Archives: Top Stories

Saskatchewan Rushes Into The Play-offs

The two-time defending Champion’s Cup winners have secured their spot in the 2017 NLL playoffs as the Saskatchewan Rush topped the Buffalo Bandits 17-14 on Saturday night.
In a rematch between the teams that clashed in last season’s NLL Final, the Rush racked up their highest first-half offensive output of the season and then quelled a comeback bid by the Bandits in the fourth quarter. The victory also pushed Saskatchewan (9-4) ahead of Colorado by 2½ games for top spot in the West Division.
Rush leading scorer Mark Matthews, playing with severe pink eye in both eyes, torched the Bandits for nine points (2 goals, 7 assists), while the Rush also got hat tricks from both Adam Jones and first overall pick Ryan Keenan. The Matthews-Jones-Keenan left-side trio combined for 19 points.
“It’s good to clinch and now we can start focusing on getting home-floor advantage,” said Jones. “It was a good team win and we took some steps in the right direction on the offensive end.”
The Bandits (5-8) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the opening quarter, but the Rush responded with four straight goals in a span of 1:57 including a terrific individual effort by rookie Mike Messenger as he busted his way past a Buffalo defender and then outmaneuvered goalie Anthony Cosmo. Before the first quarter wrapped, Keenan’s first of the night gave the Rush a 5-3 lead and chased Cosmo to the bench in favor of backup Davide DiRuscio.
Saskatchewan kept their offence fired up in the second. Jones fired a shot through the legs of DiRuscio to make it 6-3, and Adrian Sorichetti followed 59 seconds later with a slick play as he faked a pass to a trailing teammate and instead cut towards the net and slipped a shot through. Mitch Jones’ high shot eluded Aaron Bold to get a goal back for Buffalo, but the Rush went right back to work when Jones whipped a long shot home to make it 8-4. The fast-break opportunities kept coming for the Rush and Sorichetti made it 10-5 when he finished off a feed from captain Chris Corbeil.
Buffalo got a late power-play tally from Ryan Benesch to cut the Rush lead to 10-6 at halftime, and the Bandits put away two quick goals early in the third. But once again, the Rush responded to a Bandits threat. Jones registered his hat-trick tally as he unleashed a rocket through a screen to make it 11-8. Matthews was the integral part of the next two goals which came 30 seconds apart. His long-range bullet hit the back of the net and he then took on the role playmaker setting up Curtis Knight for the quick-stick strike and his first of two second-half markers.
Trailing 13-9 after three, the Bandits cued up a comeback attempt, kicking off with Nick Weiss’ shorthanded tally on a breakaway and followed by Kedoh Hill who was able to take advantage of a miscue pass from Bold. Buffalo closed the gap to 14-13 when Weiss lunged from behind the net to score, but Saskatchewan’s final response was enough to kill the Bandits’ rally.
Matthews quick-sticked a feed from Church to make it 15-13 – a play set up by Jones outworking two Buffalo defencemen to a rebound in the slot. Only 36 seconds later, Keenan’s on-the-run shot trickled over the line after getting away from DiRuscio, and the Rush rookie collected his hat trick two minutes later as he stepped into open space and gunned a shot past the Buffalo netminder.

And The Nominees Are….. Huskie Athletics

Huskie Athletics is proud to announce the nominees for the Major 7 Awards to be handed out at the 2017 Huskie Salute on March 31 at TCU Place.

The Major 7 Awards are handed to those athletes who have had outstanding seasons for the green and white, as well as made big contributions on the field, in the classroom and in the community during their time with the Huskies. Huskie Athletics will also honour Canada West All-Stars and Major Award Winners, U SPORTS All-Canadians and Major Award Winners and fifth-year athletes, as well as hand out the Trainer of the Year award.

And the nominees are…

Howard Nixon Trophy – Male Rookie of the Year

AUDIO: Quiet NLL Deadline Day – Rush GM Explains

The National Lacrosse League’s trade deadline came and went on a quiet Monday.

Colorado, Calgary and Buffalo combined on one three way deal involving two players and multiple draft picks and that was it.

Buffalo traded traded Brad Self to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for Creighton Reid and their fourth round selection in the 2019 Entry Draft. The Bandits then turned and dealt Reid to the Calgary Roughnecks in exchange for their second round selection in the 2019 Entry Draft and their fourth round selection in the 2017 Entry Draft.

League parity was sighted by most insiders as the reasoning by the lack of movement with no clear buyers and sellers.

Saskatchewan Rush G-M and Head Coach Derek Keenan admitted that his phone was ringing last week prior to the weekend’s games that saw Calgary collect a pair of wins to tighten up the West Division standings, while Rochester kept pace with Buffalo with a key win on Saturday night.

You can hear the complete conversation with Keenan here

Rush Mammoth Comeback Falls Short In Denver

The Saskatchewan Rush orchestrated a stirring second-half comeback attempt but it ultimately fell short as the Colorado Mammoth survived to capture a 14-11 verdict in Denver on Saturday night.
Colorado, which had dropped both games to Saskatchewan earlier this season, let a pair of five-goal leads get away as the Rush stormed back, but the Mammoth prevailed by coming alive in the fourth quarter. The loss prevented the two-time defending league champion Rush from clinching a spot in the 2017 playoffs although they remain first in the West Division.
Playing less than 24 hours after beating Calgary at home on Friday night, the Rush held a 2-1 lead after the first quarter, but then for the second straight game, they ran into penalty troubles. The Mammoth scored seven goals in the second quarter, including three on the power play. Jeremy Noble led the Colorado charge registering a natural hat trick in the span of 5:18 with this third straight marker coming on the man-advantage as he launched a shot over the shoulder of Rush goalie Aaron Bold to make the score 7-3. Eli McLaughlin closed out the Mammoth’s scoring barrage in the second as he slam-dunked a shot from behind the Saskatchewan net. The goal was initially waved off for a crease violation, but went in favor of the Mammoth on a coach’s challenge video review.
Colorado’s 8-3 halftime lead disappeared in a flash during the Rush’s offensive siege in the third quarter. Mark Matthews got the Rush rolling with a shot that beat Mammoth goalie Dillon Ward, and right after a return goal from Colorado’s Callum Crawford, Saskatchewan’s Robert Church grabbed the ball off a scramble and beat a screened Ward to make the score 9-5. After Ben McIntosh used a screen to slide a shot to the far corner, Church posted his second with a shorthanded tally as he squeezed past two defenders before firing a shot home.
Former Rush Zack Greer answered back on the same Colorado power play, but the Rush engineered a second straight three-gun run that was launched by Adam Jones as he fought off a defender to snare a rebound and then lunge towards the crease before slipping a shot past Ward. McIntosh’s laser from outside closed the gap and the Rush then knotted things up 10-10 when Church completed his hat trick as he beat Ward through the legs for his league-leading 17th power-play goal.
Marty Dinsdale’s second of the night – a shifty effort right in front of the Colorado net – gave the Rush their first lead since the first quarter, but Noble tallied his fourth of the game with a power-play strike that tied the game 11-11. The Mammoth stomped their way back into control on a goal by Jacob Ruest’s and the hat-trick tally from Greer. Crawford iced the result just moments after Ward shut the Rush down for a final time with a spectacular stop in tight on McIntosh with 2:12 remaining.
“It was not as much physical fatigue as mental fatigue which caused some lack of discipline that took us out of it,” said Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan.
“I’m proud of the way we came back in the second half and we got a lead, but I think we ran out of gas in the fourth. I’m still happy with the effort and the way we battled back.”

Rush Body Slam Roughnecks To Move A Win Away From Play-off Berth

With Brett the Hitmen Hart in attendance for Lacrosse Out Bullying Night, the Saskatchewan Rush moved to within a win or Calgary loss away from clinching a play-off spot thanks to a 13-10 victory.

The Saskatchewan Rush surrendered six power-play goals but got a timely shorthanded goal from captain Chris Corbeil and ultimately captured a 13-10 win over the Calgary Roughnecks on Friday night.

The Rush (8-3) won their seventh straight regular-season meeting against the Roughnecks (4-9), and the two-time defending Champion’s Cup title-holders moved one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. Saskatchewan can lock up that spot with a win over Colorado on Saturday night. Corbeil’s goal – his second of the game – came on a well-timed defensive effort by Kyle Rubisch, who intercepted a pass in the Saskatchewan zone and tossed a pass ahead to Corbeil. The Rush skipper raced in and bounced a shot behind Calgary goalie Christian Del Bianco to give Saskatchewan a 12-9 lead. Dan Taylor iced the victory with his second of the night as he picked the corner on a shot with 59 seconds left in regulation before a sold-out crowd of 15,039 at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan Ready To Rush To A Pair Of Games On The Weekend

The Saskatchewan Rush have a long road ahead of them this weekend, literally.

The defending NLL champs, fresh off their bye week will host Calgary tonight at Sasktel Centre (Ball Drop is at 7:30pm on 98 Cool).

The 7-and-3 Rush will look to add to the woes of the Roughnecks who have lost two straight and are in the basement of the West Division.

Following the game Saskatchewan will hop a flight to Denver to play the Colorado Mammoth, who sit second, right behind the Rush.

A win by Keenan’s Crew at home coupled with a Calgary loss on Saturday to New England, OR a Rush win in Denver and Saskatchewan will clinch a play-off spot.

In addition to the contest tonight it’s Lacrosse OUT Bullying night featuring Brett The Hitman Hart.

Here’s are the numbers heading into tonight’s contest:

B-T Called To The Hall

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum’s stellar Class of 2017 features the Canadian Football League running back with the most consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, the game’s leading passer, one of its’ top tacklers, its all-time leading receiver, an Alberta football stalwart and a legendary university coach from Saskatchewan.

“Every class is special and this one is exemplary,” said Mark DeNobile, Executive Director of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum (CFHOF), as he officially announced the names of this year’s inductees at a celebration event at the new Mosaic Stadium.

“The Inductees are Kelvin Anderson, Anthony Calvillo, Mike O’Shea and Geroy Simon in the player category. In the Builder category, long time administrator Stan Schwartz and recently retired Coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Brian Towriss have been selected.”

The introduction of the class is one of the highlights of Mark’s CFL Week, a new series of signature events that celebrate Canadian football and herald the approach of the upcoming Canadian Football League season, which kicks off this June. Formal induction ceremonies for this year’s CFHOF class will be held later this year, at the Hall of Fame game in Hamilton on September15th and during the week prior to the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw in Ottawa.

Here’s a closer look at its members:

BRIAN TOWRISS, BUILDER

A former defensive tackle for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies,

Huskies Name Flory Head Coach – FULL AUDIO

Scott Flory will lead a new era of Huskie football at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

You can hear the entire news conference as well as the post-conference scrums with Head Coach Flory, and receiver Mitch Hillis right here.

The 40-year-old former nine-time Canadian Football League all-star and three-time Grey Cup champion has been hired as the new head coach of the U of S Huskies football team.

Flory, who also served as head of the CFL Players Association following a 15-year professional playing career, is a former Huskie football standout who helped lead the team to two Vanier Cup national championship titles in 1996 and 1998 and has spent the previous three seasons serving as the Huskies’ offensive co-ordinator. He takes over from Brian Towriss, who had served as Huskies head coach for the past 33 years and left the program as the winningest university football coach in the country.

For Flory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to serve as the head coach of the football program that helped develop him into a CFL star.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be selected as the head coach,” said Flory, who played five seasons with the Huskies from 1994 to 1998 and was twice named a CIS All-Canadian. “As a University of Saskatchewan football and engineering alumnus, I left this school and football program with the life skills necessary to be successful. After my playing career was over, being a head coach was a career aspiration of mine and to do it at my alma mater is a dream come true.”

Flory was selected following an extensive search that included applicants from across North America. The selection committee was chaired by Chad London, the dean of the College of Kinesiology, and also featured former Huskie and current CFLer Patrick Neufeld, Football Canada president Kim Wudrick, Huskie athletic director Basil Hughton and U of S women’s basketball and national team head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

London said Flory was the perfect fit to give the historic program a fresh new start.

“We were looking for the best possible coach to lead the program and Scott’s vision for the future is the change we needed at this time,” said London. “Obviously credentials and experience were important, but we were also looking for the right fit for our student-athletes, for our university and for our community. Scott is passionate, inspiring and dedicated and is truly committed to the development of our student-athletes. He also knows what it takes to win and return the program to national prominence.”

A native of Regina, Flory was a third-round draft pick of the Montreal Alouettes in the 1998 CFL draft and went on to twice earn the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman award. He is excited to bring a new approach to Huskie football, while also continuing to build on the traditions and commitment to excellence that the program has always been known for.

“As a student-athlete, Huskie football taught me the meaning of maturity, responsibility, hard work, respect and the commitment to excellence necessary to be a champion,” said Flory, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the U of S. “In respecting what I learned, this is a big opportunity for this program to grow, change and move forward. There will be a shifting approach to how we handle football. Everything will be under the microscope, analyzed and changed, if necessary, in order to pursue excellence.”

The Huskies posted a 5-3 record in the Canada West conference last season before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Calgary Dinos. The Huskies will return to the field for the first time under Flory when the team kicks off spring camp in May at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

Doubles Done In Saskatchewan?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have traded the CFL playing rights of international quarterback Darian Durant to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for a fourth round selection (32nd overall) in the 2017 CFL Draft and a conditional 2nd round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft.

Durant spent the previous 11 seasons with the Green and White after originally joining the team ahead of the 2006 season. Through 157 career regular season games, the University of North Carolina product sits second among franchise quarterbacks with 3,519 attempts, 2,186 completions, and 28,136 yards while sitting third with 149 passing touchdowns.

The 34-year-old carries a 58-54-1 record in 113 career regular season starts.

He was named a West Division All-Star in 2009 and 2013 and is a two-time Grey Cup champion winning in 2007 and 2013.

Huskies Name Interim Head Coaches

Huskie Athletics is pleased to announce University of Saskatchewan alumni Brian Guebert and Scott Flory as the interim co-head coaches for football.

Guebert has spent the past four seasons as special team coordinator for the squad, while Flory has been the offensive coordinator since 2014. Both were previously full-time assistant coaches with the football program.

“Scott Flory and Brian Guebert are strong choices for the interim head coach position,” said athletic director Basil Hughton. “Both have been a part of the Huskie family as student-athletes, alumni and assistant coaches, as well, they have excellent coaching resumes. The student-athletes are our top priority and we feel this will create stability and support for them during this transition time.”

The two will work in conjunction to coordinate all aspects of preparation and training for the 2017 football season.

“Both Coach Flory and Coach Guebert have made positive impacts to our student-athlete careers,” said Kyle Siemens, quarterback and team captain. “As former student-athletes, they know firsthand what it takes to be successful as a student and an athlete.”