The Pandas hockey team will open the New Year welcoming with the Saskatchewan Huskies to Clare Drake Arena this weekend. With both teams tied with 29 points on the season this weekend's match up could add some separation between between second and third place.
Alberta will host both series games this weekend starting at 7:00pm on Friday and closing the weekend out with a matinee at 2:00pm on Saturday, with both games being played at Clare Drake Arena.
The Pandas are currently four points back of first place in the Canada West standings with a 9-6-1-0 record. While this weekends rivals are not far behind. The Huskies who are 8-4-1-3, currently are tied with the Pandas for points, with the Pandas holding onto the tiebreaker for second.
Earlier this season the Pandas split the series with the Huskies in Saskatoon. Game one was a thrilling double overtime win with both Madison Willan and Autumn MacDougall finding the back of the net, while Alex Poznikoff netted the game winner. In game two the Pandas fell just short in a 2-1 loss.
The Pandas ended 2019 with a five-game winning streak that saw them score 18 goals and have only a single goal against. A streak that the Pandas hope to continue into the New Year.
This span saw goaltenders Kirsten Chamberlin and Halle Oswald post a combined 80 saves. Meanwhile, players Danielle Hardy and MacDougall recorded their first hat-trick in a Pandas jersey.
Poznikoff continues to show why she is the reigning U SPORTS Players of the Year. The fifth-year Panda currently leads the nation with 21 points in 16 games this season, while her 13 assists lead the conference.
Just 16 games into the 2019-2020 season, Poznikoff has managed to climb into sixth-place on the Pandas all-time points leader board with 122. Currently, she has 10 points in her last five games. Last season Poznikoff was able to put a total of 37 points on the board during the regular season and with 12 games remaining on the Pandas regular season schedule she could challenge her previous points total on the year.
This weekend will also celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the programs first national championship. In only the third season of program history the 1999/2000 Pandas secured their first national championship in what would be the first of 8 national titles.
Pandas players from that year will be in attendance, including newly inducted Canada West Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Bourgeois, to celebrate the momentous moment in program history that occurred just two decades ago.