MONCTON, N.B. - Brent Twordik and Curtis Austring scored first-period goals as the Saskatchewan Huskies coasted to a 4-1 win over the Brock Badgers at the Canadian university men's hockey tournament Friday.
The win sets up a first-place showdown between Saskatchewan and the top-seeded New Brunswick Varsity Reds on Saturday, with the winner advancing to Sunday's final. The Reds beat Brock 6-1 on Thursday to improve to 20-0 in 2008 and 32-1-0-1 overall.
"UNB is obviously on a roll," said Saskatchewan forward Derek Endicott. "They have a lot of momentum coming into this tournament. It would be huge to beat them. That's what we're here for."
In Friday's late game, the second-ranked Alberta Golden Bears kept thier title hopes alive with a convincing 7-3 victory over the third-seeded McGill Redmen.
The Varsity Reds and Huskies have a recent history at nationals. New Brunswick edged Saskatchewan 2-1 in last year's tournament, one the Reds went on to capture.
"We came in here and were really disappointed with the way we played that first game," said Twordik, the Huskies' captain. "I think we spent a full year getting prepared to come back here and get the job done.
"It just happens that UNB is in our pool (again). We're going to give it everything we've got."
Endicott and Casey Lee had the other goals for Saskatchewan, which held a deciding 37-16 edge in shots, including 27-3 over the first 35 minutes.
Ryan Del Monte replied for Brock on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the third.
This is Brock's first trip to the CIS championship and the team realized it was in tough to advance.
"I refuse to let today define Brock's season, we accomplished a lot this year," said Badgers head coach Murray Nystrom. "I think it was pretty evident in our two games which team had the least amount of experience here."
In the Alberta win, the Golden Bears (1-1) scored four times in the second period to take control, and keep its hopes alive for first in Pool B.
Ian McDonald had a hat-trick to lead the Alberta charge. Jesse Gimblett, who also had two assists, Jason Fransoo, Ben Kilgour and Dylan Stanley had the other goals for the Golden Bears, who outshot the Redmen 50-24. Blue-liner Harlan Anderson added three helpers."
Guillaume Demers had two goals to lead the Redmen (0-1). Shawn Shewchuk rounded out the scoring.
McGill faces the sixth-seeded Moncton Aigles Bleus Saturday night to close out the round-robin. Moncton, which beat Alberta 2-1 in overtime on Thursday, can clinch first in Pool B and a spot in Sunday's final with a win.
A McGill win, and all three teams finish at 1-1, with goals-for-and-against differential being the first tie-breaker.
"We all know McGill is going to have to do us a favour by winning," McDonald said. "We're not sure if we want to go watch the game live, watch it on TV or watch it at all." McGill, despite the lopsided loss to Alberta, feels it still has a shot at making Sunday's final.
"Why not. Why not," questioned McGill head coach Martin Raymond. "This tournament is not over. We're going to give our best (against Moncton) and see what happens."