Chris­tiansen’s bank shot on the money for Huskies

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Sports - By Doug McConachie

Huskies 4, Thun­der­birds 2

A pair of early power-play goals got the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan Huskies off to a strong start Fri­day against the Bri­tish Columbia Thun­der­birds, but in the end it took a fluke goal to pre­serve a 4-2 vic­tory in their Canada West con­fer­ence hockey sea­son opener at Ruther­ford Rink.

Sec­ond-year vet­eran Shaye Chris­tiansen, who scored the Huskies’ open­ing goal five min­utes into the game, pre­served the vic­tory af­ter the Huskies let a 3-0 lead al­most dis­ap­pear.

Chris­tiansen, from Can­wood, grabbed a loose puck be­hind the UBC net and her pass in front de­flected in off goalie Lisa Lafre­niere’s pad to give the Huskies a two-goal lead.

“Any­thing on the net is good,” Chris­tiansen said. “They count whether they’re pretty or not.”

Kelly Graw had made it 2-0 at 7:39 of the first pe­riod with the T-birds two play­ers short. Thir­teen min­utes into the sec­ond pe­riod, rookie Car­men Ready of Win­nipeg took a per­fect cen­tring pass from Cali Hop­kins seems to my team

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to be strug­gling with was there for me and snuck a shot just inside Saskatchewan a 3-0 lead.

But three min­utes later Amy de Bree scored short-handed on a 1-on-1, ri­fling a 20-foot riser inside the post past Erin McKay. Then 48 sec­onds later, the Huskies turned the puck over at the B.C. blue-line and Alisha Chow blasted a 20-foot shot to the far side on a 2-on-1 break, cut­ting Saskatchewan’s lead to 3-2.

McKay, in her fifth sea­son as a Huskie, got a cou­ple of breaks when the T-birds banged two shots off the post, but she also made two huge saves on break­aways by Emily McGrath-Agg.

“She made some good saves,” McGrath-Agg said. “I felt we didn’t pen­e­trate the net (on our power-play chances).”

The Huskies killed ev­ery one of their mi­nors. B.C. was as­sessed 16 penal­ties.

“Last year we strug­gled at the end of get points (to get into the play­offs) . . . we wanted two points out of our home-opener,” McKay said.

“Ev­ery­body penal­ties, but tonight.”

The teams meet again tonight at 7 p.m.

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—SP Photo by Dave Sto­bbe

Cali Hop­kins of the Huskies sets up Car­men Ready for a goal against Lisa Lafre­niere of theThun­der­birds

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