The two teams have dominated the university hockey landscape in our part of the country since the 1996-1997 season; Alberta the big winner with 17 Canada West titles in that time.
“It’s good that Saskatchewan is in the league, they push us every year,” said Bears general manager Stan Marple. “They’re great competition and Dave [Adolph] does a good job there.”
Over the last two decades, the rivalry between the two programs has grown — the two teams have faced each other over 500 times.
“Where do I begin,” said fifth-year forward Stephane Legault. “It’s heated, intense… two really good teams that we know what to expect from each other, we know we’re going to get each other’s best every time we play.
“It seems like the intensity is there every time.”
In the last 22 years, the Bears and Huskies have duked it out 16 times for the conference championship. The bears have won it 11 times.
This year, the series is in Saskatchewan as the Huskies finished atop the conference standings. It’s bad news for the Bears who have won just once in five Canada West finals in Saskatoon.
“The funny thing about that is the group that won that Canada West championship is the core of our team right now,” said Marple. “We happened to have a really big recruiting year three years ago and when they were rookies those guys actually went in to Saskatchewan and we were able to win Canada West in the dog pound. It took us three games but we got it done.”
The best of three series kicks off Friday night.