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U of S Huskies claim bronze in women’s hockey at U Sport nationals


“It’s just so special for her to get a medal and for her in her last year here, with her staying for another year, staying through COVID (pandemic) and making a decision to come back for a sixth year.”

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The University of Saskatchewan Huskies gave Bailee Bourassa a medal-winning send-off Sunday.

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Bourassa — captain of the U of S women’s hockey team and a six-year veteran of the program — had been previously denied a medal at the 2014 U Sports women’s hockey championship tournament.

This time, she secured a bronze medal as the Huskies blanked the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds 2-0 Sunday in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“I’m just so happy (for her),” said Saskatchewan head coach Steve Kook.

“Bailee’s been to a national championship in London four years ago and we came away as the other team standing on the blueline, watching the other team get a medal. That’s just heart-breaking.

“It’s just so special for her to get a medal and for her in her last year here, with her staying for another year, staying through COVID (pandemic) and making a decision to come back for a sixth year. Like she said in the dressing room, if you would have asked her if, at the beginning of the year, she thought we’d be here and her answer would be probably be ‘no.’

“It’s a special year for her and I’m happy she did it and got it.”

Kendra Zuchotzki and Jasper Desmarais scored for Saskatchewan, which led 1-0 and 2-0 by periods.

“I was just thinking about my last two-on-one yesterday (Saturday) where I didn’t shoot the puck,” said Desmarais. “I was thinking that I needed to shoot the puck this time and I’m glad I did because it was a nice goal. I was surprised myself.”

Desmarais is one of 14 players who were in their first year of U Sports eligibility this season.

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“It’s going to be pretty much the identical team next year so I’m super excited about the coming years with all these girls,” added Desmarais.

“We got really close as a team this past year and I think we had lots of chemistry within the team. We all love each other very much and we all wanted it. We all worked towards the same goal so it helped a lot that we are all very close — it’s like family.”

Camryn Drever made 17 saves for the shutout win.

Bourassa is the lone graduating player to use up all her U Sports eligibility on the Huskies. Abby Shirley graduates this spring but still has one more year of eligibility.

In any case, the future looks bright for the program.

“Hopefully,” said Kook. “That’s what we said in the locker room that we need to remember to understand and remember how special this feels and remember how hard it was to get here. You don’t know until you do this, how hard it is to get here.”

Saskatchewan also won bronze back in 2014 and placed fourth in 2018.

dzary@postmedia.com

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