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Hockey Huskies hope to measure themselves against reigning Canada West champion Bears

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It’s time to take out the yardsticks.

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Hockey sticks will be stocked with rulers and tape measure this weekend when the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hosts arch-rival University of Alberta Golden Bears in U Sports pre-season men’s hockey at Merlis Belsher Place Friday and Saturday.

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Game time is Friday 7:00 PM and Saturday 4:00 PM.

“I know U of A has added some good players,” said Huskies freshman head coach Brandin Cote, who officially takes over from Mike Babcock.

“They have also lost some key figures. We saw their band play U of C last weekend. They are the same old U of A in terms of playing very fast. They have some skill and they have depth. We will certainly have our work in front of us, but our boys are up for the challenge. We played some really competitive games with them. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to take our game to another level, which I know we can do, just set the bar and see where we are.”

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Fans get another taste of the Hockey Huskies 2022-23 edition, minus a handful of players sidelined due to injury.

The Dogs have added a handful of newcomers to the lineup. They include forwards Liam Keeler (Red Deer Rebels, WHL), Cael Zimmerman (Calgary Hitmen, WHL), Mark Rumsey (Estevan Bruins, SJHL), Carter Stebbings (Swift Current Broncos, WHL), and Caleb Dolman (Briercrest College), as well as defender Colby Jaquet (Dauphin Kings, MJHL).

“We’re a little light (in numbers) but we also injured a few guys that we knew wouldn’t be back right away,” said Cote.

“Chantz Petruic is still rehabilitating his knee from his ACL injury. Dawson Holt also had a bit of a setback with his recovery from his injury.

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“Then, of course, if you get a guy like Zane Franklin a little later in the summer, those are things you can’t really control. At the same time, I like the guys we have. I like Keeler. I like Zimmermann. I think Mark Rumsey is going to be a very good player. He scored both games. He’s really good. Colby Jaquet is a man that takes some time, but he has some skill and ability, and we knew he was going to be more of a projection guy for the future.

“We still want a few guys. We recently added Carter Stebbings from Swift Current. He decided to forgo his senior year of major junior. He could have gone to junior A and probably could have been a dominant boy, but he decided to come back and go to school. He is another man to our depth that will be important when we go here. ”

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The Huskies have parted ways with Franklin, as well as Captain Gordie Ballhorn, Carter Folk, Donovan Neuls, Wyatt Johnston, Parker Gavlas and Travis Child.

Cote said there is a possibility the Huskies could add a player or players for the second half.

“There’s always a chance of that,” he said. “It just depends on how that all plays out. But I know for a fact that we had a handful of guys that we recruited here who went to the East Coast League or American Hockey League and there could be potential to go back someday.” to come, but we go with the group that we have.

“I feel like we have a strong, solid leadership group. We have almost 20 returning guys for sure. We didn’t necessarily have to replace much. The guys who moved on were key figures, but there are also key figures who are now in their second year and know what’s going on. We have some guys who weren’t in a leadership group last year who are entering those leadership roles.”

dzary@postmedia.com

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