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U of R Cougars' men's hockey team making strong push for playoffs


The University of Regina men’s hockey team have moved themselves into a playoff spot after a strong performance in the month of January.

The team went 5-3 in the first month of 2023 and will look to finish strong with just four games left in the regular season.

“I feel like just after Christmas time it was kind of a reset. We came out and won four games right off the bat,” explained Cougars’ defenceman, Carson Sass.

“I think the second half we’ve been coming together as a team and we’re starting to get some results and it’s always exciting going down the stretch in a playoff race. Hopefully we can get it done in the last two weekends here,” said Adam Evanoff, Cougars’ goalie.

This weekend, the team will now split a home and home with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, which will mark the completion of the “U-Prairie Challenge.”

The head-to-head friendly rivalry competition between Saskatchewan’s two USPORTS athletic programs will wrap its inaugural year with both the men’s and women’s hockey teams going head to head.

“Usually it’s a good battle. We’ve had a lot of close games with them over the past few years so we’re hoping to continue that this weekend,” said assistant captain, Brennan Riddle.

Evanoff came to the Cougars’ in 2022-23 after he spent a year playing senior hockey in Loreburn when the U of S decided to go another route with their goalies. A win against what would have been his former squad would mean even more.

“That would be something special,” he said. “I’m not going to focus on the result too much, we’re just going to try and focus on the moment but yeah, obviously it would mean a little bit more,” said Evanoff.

“I think it would be huge for him. I know he was there for a bit, I don’t know exactly what happened but I think it would be good for him to get a win,” said Sass.

“We’re supporting him all the way and he’s been playing great. He’s held us in [games] a good chunk of the season so I’m sure he’ll be ready to go against the U of S,” added Riddle.

Evanoff has been in net for all 5 of the Cougars’ wins in January, which include a stellar performance in the team’s 3-2 overtime victory on the road against the University of Alberta last weekend.

“That was cool. Their barn was pretty rowdy and it was awesome going in there and get one, we needed the win. Hopefully we can take advance of all the points we got and make the playoffs here,” said Evanoff.

Right now, the Cougars sit in the sixth and final playoff spot but only hold a one point lead over MacEwan and Manitoba. Their last four games will be pivotal if they hope to make a post-season run.

“Hopefully we can sneak in and do some damage. I think if we just keep the same mentality, it will pay off in the playoffs. These are kind of desperation games for us so we don’t have to turn that switch on once playoffs come around, we’ll have already been playing desperation hockey,” said Riddle.

The Cougars will hit the road to play in Saskatoon on Friday and back home on Saturday at the Co-Operators Centre. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m. for both games. Top Stories

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