By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey goaltender Joe Caligiuri named Canada West Male Third Star of the Week for the week ending February 23, 2014
This is the fifth time a Manitoba male athlete was selected for conference weekly honour so far this season and the second time this season for Caligiuri (named First Star of the Week for November 17, 2013).
The Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team (regular season: 12-12-4; playoffs: 2-1) defeated Mount Royal Cougars 2-1 in the best-of-three quarterfinal series at home on February 21-23. The Bisons only allowed five goals in three post-season games and goaltender Joe Caligiuri posted a shutout, named twice as star of the game and leads the conference in playoff goals-against-average and save percentage after the series.
To begin the weekend, the Winnipeg native was stellar in the nets despite a 3-2 loss in the second overtime as he posted a 52 save performance and named third star in the longest game in Bison men’s hockey history.
In game two, the fourth year veteran gained the win with 22 saves in a 4-2 win this past Saturday. Caligiuri might have left his best play for the deciding game Sunday as he posted a 24 save shutout during a 2-0 win and was rewarded with a first star selection for his effort.
After the first round of the 2014 Canada West playoffs, Caligiuri is first in Canada West with 1.47 goals-against-average and .951 save percentage while being tied for first with one shutout.
Manitoba now advances to the 2014 Canada West Semi Final best-of-three playoff series against the No. 4 Calgary Dinos (21-4-3) on the February 28-March 2 weekend. The best-of-three playoff semi-final series will be played at Calgary (Father David Bauer Arena) and starts on Friday, February 28 with puck drop at 8 p.m. CT for game one. Game two will be on Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m. CT and, if necessary, game three scheduled for Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. CT.
Bison Notes: This is the fifth time a Manitoba male athlete was selected for this conference weekly honour during the 2013-14 season (First Star: Joe Caligiuri – men’s hockey on November 17, 2013; Second Star: Ian Duval – men’s hockey on January 5, 2014; Second Star: Adam Jonckheere – men’s volleyball on February 2, 2014; Second Star: Jordan DePape – men’s hockey on February 9, 2014).
(With files from the Manitoba Bisons)