Break’s over: Saskatchewan Huskies hitting the books, courts and rinks

Break’s over: Saskatchewan Huskies hitting the books, courts and rinks

Breadcrumb Trail Links U of S Huskies Local Sports

“This is where it gets right in the second half when we’re up against a lot of real quality teams here.”

Author of the article:

Darren Zary • Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Published on 01/05/2023 • Last updated 9 hours ago • 4 minutes read

Hear the conversation as University of Saskatchewan Huskies guard Gate Grassick has during the Canada West Conference Semifinals at the PAC vs. University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. Photo taken in Saskatoon, Sask. on Friday March 18, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix article content

With the University of Saskatchewan students returning to the classroom, huskie athletes are back in the gyms and rinks.

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The Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball team returns to the U Sports top 10 for the new year after two losses to the University of Regina Cougars temporarily knocked them out of the rankings in November.

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“The second half is going to be really tough here and there will be a lot of quality teams playing here,” said U of S head coach Lisa Thomaidis, whose team is home for two games this weekend before heading out for four away straight games.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to really test ourselves and see how much we’ve improved. We are looking forward to it.”

The Huskies (6-2) are currently ranked No. 7 in the country. They will open the second term with a two-game set against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack (1-7).

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“The top 10 is just a mathematical formula — we don’t give it too much importance at any point, especially now that it’s not a very reliable source, that’s for sure,” said Thomaidis, whose Huskies are hosting the WolfPack in Canada West Conference Games Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the PAC.

“The top 10 is the same as last year but different from previous years. It used to be a kind of opinion poll by trainers, and we often took part.”

The huskies have not been active over the holidays in terms of show play or travel.

“Trials were so late and since we were playing that weekend it just didn’t make sense to come right back and fly anywhere,” Thomaidis explained, adding that the Regina Cougars had to cancel their plans because of the annual holidays.

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“So maybe it was a good decision not to try and do anything. We will try to do something for sure next year.”

The Huskies, who are going through a bit of a rebuild this season, made no roster changes for the second half.

“We’re going to get back on track this weekend and fight the injury bug a bit to get people back to health,” Thomaidis noted.

“This weekend will be all about us. We’re concentrating on a few things offensively, trying to improve our team defence, communication and preparation for the period after that. It will be good to get back on the pitch in the PAC and hopefully people who are around will come out and support us and give us a good start.

Thomaidis added that it is important to start the second term on the right foot.

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“Every time we step on the gas again after a month’s break to be fit to compete, it’s about getting back to where we were before Christmas and starting on the right foot,” she said.

“It’s important and for us a lot of our newcomers have improved so we’re looking forward to being a kind of better version of ourselves in 2023 than we were in the first half of the season.”

All in all, Thomaidis is happy with where her team is at.

“We’re almost there. I think the real test will come here to see how we measure up, but we’ve been able to weather some storms that have seen people get injured and get in and out of the line-up.”

The Saskatchewan men (1-7) will also host the TRU WolfPack with games on Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 7pm

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In Canada West women’s hockey, Saskatchewan (10-5-3) hosts Trinity Western University Spartans on Friday and Saturday nights at Merlis Belsher Place.

Game time is 7 p.m

Saskatchewan head coach Steve Kook will coach his 400th game for Canada West this weekend.

Kook started with Huskie Athletics for the 2005–06 season; Since then, he has twice been recognized by U Sports as Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year and has guided the women’s hockey team to their first Canadian West Championship and U Sports bronze medal in 2014.

In Canada West men’s hockey, Saskatchewan (10-4-4) will visit the TWU Spartans this weekend in Langley, BC


The huskie volleyball teams are in Vancouver this weekend to play the UBC Thunderbirds. The men are currently fourth in Canada West with an 8-4 record. The women are 9th at 6-6.

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