July 23rd, 2019

A closer look at teams competing in the USPORTS Cup

By Lethbridge Herald on March 14, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald
A look at the teams taking part in the U SPORTS Cavendish Farms 
University Cup:
1. Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West 24-3-1)
The reigning USPORT champion and top-seeded Golden Bears won’t have 
to travel far to compete for their second straight national title and 
fourth in the past six years. Alberta beat the Saskatchewan Huskies 
2-1 in the Canada West best-of-three final. The Golden Bears are led 
by Luke Philp — a former member of the Kootenay Ice and Red Deer 
Rebels of the Western Hockey League — who had 21 goals and 45 points 
this season. On defence, Jason Fram — the Canada West Defenceman of 
the Year — had nine goals and 30 points, catching the attention of a 
few NHL teams. The Golden Bears include Taylor Cooper, who played for 
the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2013-14 and 2014-15 before wrapping up 
his WHL career with the Regina Pats.
2.  University of New Brunswick Reds (AUS 25-3-2)
The Reds head west to Lethbridge as the second seed and the Atlantic 
University Sport champions, coming off a 25-2-3 regular season and a 
5-0 showing in the post-season. Prior to the Golden Bears U SPORTS win 
last season, the Reds won the national title the year before in 
2016-17. They come to Lethbridge seeking their eighth title. The Reds 
are led by AUS Player of the Year Chris Clapperton, who netted 14 
goals and 47 points. Teammate Tyler Boland earned AUS Second All-Star 
team honours with 19 goals and 38 points.
3. Queen’s University Gaels (OUA East 18-10-0)
The Gaels beat the Guelph Gryphons for this year’s OUA championship 
and earn a top-three seeding heading to Lethbridge. The team won 18 
games in the regular season and comes into the weekend looking for 
their first USPORTS championship. They are led by Slater Doggett, 
whose 21 goals and 34 points earned him the OUA East Player of the 
Year award. On the blue-line, the Gaels boast Spencer Abraham, a two-
time OUA East Defenceman of the Year. He had six goals and 19 points 
this season.
4. University of Guelph Gryphons (OUA West 13-11-4)
Coming off a finals appearance in the Ontario University Athletics 
season, the Gryphons grab the fourth seed heading into this year’s 
championship. The team went 13-11-4 in the regular season and 6-3 in 
the post-season. A former Hurricane made his way east to play for the 
Gryphons. Seth Swenson played 25 games with the Hurricanes in the 
2013-14 season and enters his fifth year in Guelph. He had two goals 
and 11 points this season. Scott Simmonds led the Gryphons in scoring 
with nine goals and 25 points and was an OUA West First Team All-Star. 
Mikkel Aagaard led the OUA in post-season scoring with eight goals and 
16 points and spent some time in the American Hockey League.
5. Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West 25-3-0)
The Canada West finalists come into this year’s nationals off a 25-
win season. Their sole U SPORTS title came in the 1982-83 season. The 
Huskies willl be capably backstopped by Taran Kozun, the Canada West 
Goaltender of the Year who registered 20 wins and five shutouts. Up 
front, the Huskies boast Jesse Forsberg, a fifth-year veteran, Canada 
West First Team All-Star and former Seattle Thunderbird and Prince 
George Cougar who had six goals and 21 points this season. The Huskies 
have a trio of former Hurricanes, Michael Sofillas, Jaimen Yakubowski 
and Carter Folk. Sofillas played for the Hurricanes from 2009-2013, 
while Yakubowski laced up in Lethbridge from 2011 to 2014. Folk is the 
most recent Hurricane, having played with the club from 2013-2016.
6. St. Francis Xavier X-Men (AUS 15-12-3)
After finishing second to the Reds in the AUS championship, the X-Men 
bring a 15-12-3 record to this year’s championship. In goal, the X-
Men boast Chase Marchand who earned the USPORTS Goaltender of the Year 
award with a 16-5-0 record, a 2.38 goals-against average and a .924 
save percentage. Holden Cook led St. Francis Xavier in scoring with 13 
goals and 29 points. The X-Men’s only USPORTS title was in 2004.
7. Carleton University Ravens (OUA East 18-5-5)
The Ravens placed third in the OUA and are coming off an 18-win season 
as the team seeks its first USPORTS title. Jacob Smith netted 17 
goals and 35 points to lead the Ravens. Alexandre Boivin was the 
assists leader for Carleton with 14 and was second in team scoring 
with 34 points.
8. University of Lethbridge Pronghorns (Canada West 9-17-2)
The hosts come into the championship following a Canada West quarter-
final loss to the Calgary Dinos. Still, it was the Horns first playoff 
appearance since the 2011-12 season. The Pronghorns were paced by 
graduating veteran Justin Valentino’s nine goals and 27 points, while 
goaltender Garret Hughson was a workhorse in goal. The product of 
Foremost led the Canada West in saves with 778. Three former 
Hurricanes — Sam McKechnie, Russ Maxwell and Jonny Hogue — are on 
the Pronghorns roster. McKechnie’s father, Dana, was a member of the 
Pronghorns’ 1994 nationals-winning team. The younger McKechnie played 
for the Hurricanes from 2011-1013. Maxwell, from Magath, laced up with 
the Canes from 2010-2015. Hogue tended goal for the Hurricanes in the 
2013-14 season.

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