It’s exam season at the University Saskatchewan which means Huskies athletes are replacing practice sessions with cram sessions.
At the semester break, four of the eight Saskatchewan Huskie teams currently in action are nationally ranked, with men’s hockey leading the way at number three.
The Dogs are second in the Canada West with a 13-2-1 record and fifth-year forward Josh Roach leads the conference in scoring.
He and teammates Kendall McFaull, Logan McVeigh and Jordon Cooke have all been selected to play for a team of USports all-stars that will face Canada’s prospective junior team in a pair of exhibition games ahead of the World Junior Hockey Championship later this month.
On the women’s side it’s been an up-and-down first half. The Huskies have struggled to score but thanks to the three-headed goaltending monster of Jessica Vance, Jasey Book and Chloe Marshall, who have six shutouts between them, they’ve allowed the fewest goals in the conference.
The women’s basketball team has picked up where it left off last season, when it won a second straight Canada West title.
The Huskies are in first place at 9-1 and leading scorer Summer Masikewich (16.4 points per game) has the best shooting percentage in the conference, making 61.6 per cent of her field goal attempts.
It’s been a much different story for their male counterparts. Injuries and unexpected departures have left the Dogs shorthanded and they’ve won just two of their first ten games.
Despite their struggles the Huskies have shown a lot of grit and with some healthy bodies and at least one new recruit expected to join the lineup for the stretch run a playoff appearance is still a possibility.
On the volleyball court, the women are 6-6 and on pace for their first Canada West playoff appearance since 2002 after winning their last three matches prior to the break.
The men, who have posted double-digit win totals in five straight seasons, are in danger of seeing that streak end with just three victories so far in 2017-18. There is reason for optimism though, as all three wins came in the Huskies last four games.
As for the U of S wrestlers, both squads are nationally ranked. The women are a threat to repeat as Canada West champions after claiming their first title a season ago. The men should also contend for a banner at February’s conference championship meet.
Add it all up and there’s a lot to watch for in the new year with more than one Huskies team looking like a legitimate national championship contender.