Huskies Hulak Scores Late To Give Dogs Win

Derek Hulak scored on a breakaway with two minutes and two seconds
remaining in regulation to lift the fifth-seeded and tournament host University of Saskatchewan Huskies past the No. 2 Acadia Axemen 3-2 in the second game of Pool B at the CIS men’s hockey championship in front of 8,104 delighted fans at Credit Union Centre, Friday night.

With the win, Saskatchewan (1-0) ties Windsor (1-0) atop the Pool B standings. The Huskies and the Lancers, who beat Acadia (0-2) 4-2 on Thursday, will square off on Saturday at 7 p.m. Saskatchewan Time, live on Sportsnet 360, with the winner advancing to the championship final on Sunday.

The Huskies were skating in their first game in 26 days after being eliminated in the first round of the Canada West playoffs by UBC on Feb. 23.

Hulak, the reigning Canada West player of the year and scoring champion with 48 points in 28 league games, corralled team captain Brennan Bosch’s pass in the neutral zone and came in down the left wing, cut hard to the middle, evaded the poke of goaltender Evan Mosher and slide the puck into the open cage sending the pro-Huskie crowd into euphoria.

“This one definitely ranks up there,” said Hulak, when asked to rate how this goal compares to others he has scored in his career.

The Axemen, who came into the tourney as Atlantic conference champs, pulled their goalie with 1:50 remaining in the game but were unable to get the equalizer. A late hooking penalty against Brett Thompson with 1:08 left sealed Acadia’s fate.

It was a back and forth affair with both teams losing one goal leads through the
first 40 minutes of play.

Acadia opened the scoring on a power play goal at 3:40 of the first period when Liam Heelis, the CIS player of the year, scored his second marker of the tournament. Heelis received the puck at the top of the left face-off circle and stick handled his way to the slot before beating Huskie netminder Ryan Holfeld on the glove side.

Saskatchewan answered less than two minutes later when Cody Smuk finished off a great play from Bosch. Bosch stole the puck behind the Axemen’s net and brought it out to the top of the crease and laid a drop pass for Smuk, who fired the puck past Mosher.

The Huskies took their first lead of the contest midway through the first period on a power play goal from Bosch. Hulak circled the Axemen’s zone and found Bosch in the high slot, whose wrist show found its way through a screen and into the back of the net.

With four minutes to go in the second frame, Leo Jenner made it 2-2 after finishing off a great individual play from Heelis. Heelis dangled his way through the Huskie defensive corps to create a 2-1 rush before making a perfect saucer pass to Jenner, who buried the one-timer.

The Huskies win sets up a semi-final scenario for their game against Windsor
Saturday night.

The loss officially eliminated the Axemen, who finish the tournament 0-2.

“The outcome wasn’t what we wanted,” said Heelis. “The guys battled hard and we have unbelievable group of guys in our change room. It was definitely a learning experience for all of us here.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys… it’s arguably the best group of guys I’ve ever coached,” said Darren Burns, head coach of Acadia.

Both goalies made key saves to keep the game close. Holfeld finished the contest with 26 saves in the winning effort, while Mosher made 27.

Hulak was named player of the game for the Huskies, while Thompson  earned the honour for the Axemen.

The PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op resumes Saturday at 2 p.m. Saskatchewan Time with the final game of Pool A between the top-ranked Alberta Golden Bears and the No. 4 McGill Redmen. The winner will play Saskatchewan or Windsor for the CIS banner on Sunday.

SCORING SUMMARY

Boxscore:

FIRST PERIOD

1. ACA Liam Heelis (2) (Brett Thompson, Chris Owens), 3:40 PP
2. SSK Cody Smuk (1) (Andrew Bailey), 5:29
3. SSK Brennan Bosch (1) (Derek Hulak), 9:50 PP

PENALTIES:

Hobbs (SSK) interference, 2:32;
Hulak (SSK) roughing, 6:00;
Gibbons (ACA) interference, 7:50;
Jenner (ACA) high sticking, 9:13;
Heelis (ACA) holding, 11:19;
Gibbons (ACA) boarding, 12:24;
McCallum (SSK) hooking, 13:35.

SECOND PERIOD

4. ACA Leo Jenner (1) (Liam Heelis, Brett Thompson), 15:58

PENALTIES:

Dulle (SSK) high sticking, 1:03;
Cazzola (ACA) slashing, 7:36;
Thompson (ACA) tripping, 13:41;
Cazzola (ACA) high sticking, 19:52.

THIRD PERIOD

5. SSK Derek Hulak (1) (Brennan Bosch), 17:58

PENALTIES:

Heelis (ACA) checking from behind, 10-minute misconduct, 2:17;
McDonald (SSK) tripping, 14:23;
Thompson ACA) hooking, 18:52.

GOALS (by period)
SSK 2-0-1: 3
ACA 1-1-0: 2

SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
SSK 6-11-11: 28
ACA 9-11-10: 30

POWER PLAY:
SSK 1-9
ACA 1-5

GOALTENDERS
SSK – Ryan Holfeld (W, 1-0, 30 shots, 28 saves, 2 GA, 60:00)
ACA – Evan Mosher (L, 0-2, 28 shots, 25 saves, 3 GA, 59:21)
ACA – Empty net (0 GA, 0:39)

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
SSK: Derek Hulak
ACA: Brett Thompson

REFEREES: Nathan Wieler, Scott Ferguson

LINESMEN: Mike Roberts, Sean Dufour

ATTENDANCE: 8104

START: 7:10
END: 9:20
LENGTH: 2:10

POOL STANDINGS, SCHEDULE & RESULTS (LOCAL TIME)

Pool A standings (after 2 of 3 games)

GP       W        L          GF       GA      PTS
1. ALB             1          1          0          3          2          2
1. McG            1          1          0          3          2          2
3. CAR            2          0          2          4          6          0

Pool B standings (after 2 of 3 games)

1. WSR            1          0          0          4          2          2
2. SSK             1          1          0          3          2          2
3. ACA            2          0          2          4          7          0

Thursday, March 20
13:00 Pool A #1: Alberta 3, Carleton 2
19:00 Pool B #1: Windsor 4, Acadia 2

Friday, March 21
13:00 Pool A #2: McGill 3, Carleton 2
19:00 Pool B #2: Saskatchewan 3, Acadia 2

Saturday, March 22
14:00 Pool A #3: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 4 McGill (Sportsnet 360 &
19:00 Pool B #3: No. 3 Windsor vs. No. 5 Saskatchewan (Sportsnet 360 &

Sunday, March 23
13:30 – Final

 

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