TORONTO (U SPORTS) – Zach Sawchenko of the Alberta Golden Bears men's hockey team and Haley McDonald from the Acadia Axewomen women's basketball squad are the U SPORTS Male and Female Athletes of the Week for the period ending Mar. 3, 2019.
In a battle for the Canada West title, bragging rights among the conference's top netminders were also up for grabs. Alberta's Zach Sawchenko and Saskatchewan's Taran Kozun, who tied this season in save percentage (.926) and shutouts (five), took centre stage, with Sawchenko winning this round in the crease. After an uncharacteristic four goals against Friday night in a 4-2 Game 1 loss, Sawchenko was unbeatable the rest of the way for the Bears, who earned wins Saturday and Sunday night to claim their 28th Canada West title. Saturday night, Sawchenko stopped 20 shots, as the Bears skated to a 3-0 victory. The former Moose Jaw Warrior was even better Sunday, stopping 29 Saskatchewan shots in a 1-0 Alberta win. Next up for Alberta, is the Cavendish Farm University Cup March 14-17 in Lethbridge, Alta., where the CW champs will look to defend their national title.
A third-year kinesiology student from Port Williams, N.S., McDonald led the Axewomen to their second consecutive AUS women's basketball championship title this past weekend in Halifax. She was named Championship MVP after averaging 31.0 points per game over the course of three playoffs games. In Acadia's 74-54 win over the Dalhousie Tigers Friday, McDonald scored 13 points and added three assists, three steals and two rebounds. Saturday, the Axewomen defeated the second-seeded UPEI Panthers to advance to Sunday's championship final. McDonald had a historic performance, scoring 51 points in the win to break a 42-year-old AUS conference record. She was named Subway Player of the Game. In Sunday's championship win over the Memorial Sea-Hawks, McDonald had a double-double with 29 points and 10 assists to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. In addition to championship MVP honours, she was also named a tournament all-star. Prior to the playoffs, McDonald was named an AUS first team all-star for her regular season performance. McDonald and the Axewomen now head to Toronto for the U Women's Basketball Final 8 Presented by COMDA.COM, where they will take on the Saskatchewan Huskies in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT