EDMONTON – Newly crowned Canada West champions Zach Sawchenko and Summer Masikewich are the conference's first stars for the period ending Sunday, March 3.
- Alberta hockey goalie Zach Sawchenko and Saskatchewan basketball forward Summer Masikewich are the conference first stars after CW championship performances
- Also earning stars this week were: Robin Baghdady (BDN - MVB), Hilary Howe (TWU - WVB), David Kapinga (CGY - MBB), and Kirstin Chamberlin (ALB - WHKY).
- Masikewich was also named the CW female athlete of the month for February, while UFV wrestler Brad Hildenbrandt was named the male winner
Sawchenko posted two shutouts over the weekend, as the Alberta Golden Bears needed three games to get past the Saskatchewan Huskies in the CW Men's Hockey Final in Saskatoon. Sawchenko stopped all 49 combined shots he faced in Games 2 and 3, as Alberta earned their third straight CW banner.
Across the street in Saskatoon, Masikewich had a big night Friday, posting 18 points and 14 rebounds in Saskatchewan's 53-49 win over the Regina Cougars in the CW Women's Basketball Championship Game. The title was the Huskies' third in the last four seasons.
The pair will now move on as the Canada West nominees for the U SPORTS athletes of the week.
In addition to naming this week’s three stars, the conference also unveiled its February athletes of the month, as Masikewich took the women's honour, while UFV's Brad Hildenbrandy was named the male athlete of the month.
The pair now move forward for the U SPORTS athlete of the month vote, which will be conducted on social media later this week.
WOMEN'S ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: BB - Summer Masikewich / Saskatchewan
The third-year forward enjoyed a stellar individual month, helping power the Huskies to another CW title.
In six combined games over the month, Masikewich averaged 16.3 points and nine rebounds per contest.
Recently named the CW Defensive Player of the Year, the Arts & Science student was particularly dominany during Saskatchewan's semifinal sweep of the Lethbridge Pronghorns Feb. 21-22, combining for 42 points and 26 points.
MEN'S ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: WRES - Brad Hildenbrandt / Fraser Valley
It was a remarkable month of February for Fraser Valley Cascade wrestler Brad Hildenbrandt.
The fourth-year started the month Hildenbrandt by winning his third straight conference title in the heavyweight (120 kg) division, while also becoming the first Cascades men’s wrestler to be named CW Wrestling Male Athlete of the Year.
Hildenbrandt then completed a national three-peat, winning a third consecutive heavyweight title at the U SPORTS Wrestling Championships in Calgary Feb. 23.
The Surrey, B.C product was dominant against the nation's best, winning all three of his pool matches without allowing a single point against.
Game log (CW Final): Friday, March 1 – 4 GA in 4-2 road loss to Saskatchewan / Saturday, March 2 – 20-save shutout in 3-0 road win vs. Saskatchewan / Sunday, March 3 – 29-save shutout in 1-0 road win vs. Saskatchewan.
In a battle for the Canada West title, bragging rights among the conference’s top netminders were also up for grabs.
Alberta’s Zach Sawchenko and Saskatchewan’s Taran Kozun, who tied this season in save percentage (.926) and shutouts (five), took centre stage, with Sawchenko winning this round in the crease.
After an uncharacteristic four goals against Friday night in a 4-2 Game 1 loss, Sawchenko was unbeatable the rest of the way for the Bears, who earned wins Saturday and Sunday night to claim their 28th Canada West title.
Saturday night, Sawchenko stopped 20 shots, as the Bears skated to a 3-0 victory. The former Moose Jaw Warrior was even better Sunday, stopping 29 Saskatchewan shots in a 1-0 Alberta win.
Next up for Alberta, the University Cup March 14-17 in Lethbridge, where the CW champs will look to defend their national title.
Game log (CW Championship Game): Friday, March 1 – 18 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks in 53-49 home win over Regina
2018-19 Canada West Defensive Player of the Year Summer Masikewich got it done on both ends of the court this weekend, helping Saskatchewan claim a conference title on home court.
In a tight defensive battle that finished 53-49, the product of Calgary recorded 18 points, 14 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Huskies to their third Canada West womne's basketball title in the last four years.
With the teams tied at 35 entering the final quarter, Masikewich took over the game, scoring nine points and adding five rebounds in the final frame. A key defensive stop and rebound followed by a pair of free-throws clinched the game for Saskatchewan with just 14 seconds left to play.
Next up for Masikewich and the Huskies is their sixth-consecutive trip to the U SPORTS Final 8 where they will enter the tournament in Toronto as the No. 3 seed.
Game log (CW Semis): Feb. 28, 2019 – 9 kills, 3 digs, 3 digs in 3-0 home home loss to Mount Royal / March 1, 2019 – 16 kills, 5 digs, 3 blocks in 3-1 win over Mount Royal / March 2, 2019 – 15 kills, 2 digs, 1 ace & 1 blocks in 3-0 home win vs. Mount Royal.
Robin Baghdady and the No. 1-ranked Bobcats were in tough against the No. 5 Mount Royal Cougars after dropping the opening match of the Canada West semifinal series on Thursday. The rookie outside found a new level to his game on Friday and Saturday, leading the Bobcats on offence to win consecutive matches and book their spot in the Canada West Championship Game.
Baghdady had match-highs in kills on both Friday and Saturday, as the Bobcats took six out of seven sets after being swept on Thursday. The bounce back performance by Brandon was sparked by Baghdady’s six kills in the first set on Friday.
Baghdady’s play was consistent with his performance all season long, as the Swiss star has been a crucial piece to the Bobcats’s success this season, ranking among the conference’s best in kills, attack efficiency, and aces.
The series win over the Cougars means the Bobcats will host the Canada West Championship Game for the first time in program history. The final will take place on Friday, Mar. 8 as the Bobcats welcome the Trinity Western Spartans.
Game log (CW Semis): Thursday, Feb. 28 – 17 kills, 8 aces, 12 digs, 3 blocks in home win over Alberta / Friday, Mar. 1 – 18 kills, 8 digs, 2 assists in 3-1 home win vs. Alberta.
Third-year star Hilary Howe helped lead the Spartans to a sweep of Alberta in the Canada West semifinals, as Howe averaged 4.38 kills per set, 2.00 aces per set and 2.5 digs per set over the weekend.
Howe’s impressive performance included a Game 1 effort in which she earned eight aces, equaling the second best single-match ace total in Spartans history. As the Spartans leading offensive weapon, the Calgary product was instrumental in guiding TWU to the Canada West Championship Game for the third time in the last five years.
All told, she finished the two-match series averaging 5.56 points per set. Through TWU’s first four playoff games, Howe is third in Canada West with 3.81 kills per set.
The Spartans will now prepare to travel to Calgary to take on the Dinos in the conference title game Friday at 5 p.m. (PST).
Game log (CW Championship Game): Saturday, March 2 – 19 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals in 90-75 home win over UBC
The University of Calgary Dinos completed a perfect 25-0 campaign in Canada West, capped off on Saturday afternoon with their eighth conference championship in school history.
The Dinos defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 90-75 in front of a packed Jack Simpson Gym, with senior guard David Kapinga stepping up.
With CW MVP Mambi Diawara being neutralized by UBC and the game’s leading scorer Brett Layton in foul trouble, Kapinga was the floor general Calgary needed in the title match.
Kapinga matched a season-high with 37 minutes played while scoring 19 points. His stat line also included five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The Dinos look to defend their first-ever W.P. McGee Trophy in program history when the 2019 U SPORTS Men's Basketball Final 8 tournament tips off on Friday in Halifax. Calgary will matchup against the Saint Mary's Huskies in the first game of the tournament.
Game log (CW Final): Friday, March 1 – 17-save shutout in 3-0 home win over Manitoba / Saturday, March 2 – 16 saves in 4-1 home win vs. Manitoba.
Winning their record 13th Canada West Championship, the Alberta Pandas were once again led by the stellar play of their goalie Kirsten Chamberlin.
Chamberlin finished the weekend with 33 saves across two games, as the Pandas swept the Manitoba Bisons 2-0 to win their first conference crown since 2015.
Chamberlin backstopped the Pandas to a 3-0 win in Game 1, finishing with 17 saves, including six in the third period to shutout the Bisons.
The Calgary, Alta. product followed that up with a 16-save performance on Saturday at Clare Drake Arena, as the Pandas took Game 2 with a 4-1 victory.
Through four playoff games in 2019, Chamberlin has posted a 4-0 record with a 0.50 goals against average and .974 save percentage.
Chamberlin and the U SPORTS No. 1-ranked Pandas will look for their second national title in three years, as they head to the University of Prince Edward Island March 14-17 for the national tournament.