Athletes of the Week: UNB’s Masters, Manitoba’s Taraschuk honoured


Javon Masters of the UNB Varsity Reds and Lauren Taraschuk from the Manitoba Bisons are the U SPORTS Male and Female Athletes of the Week for the period ending Mar. 4, 2018.  

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Masters, a fifth-year guard from Kitchener, Ont. was named the AUS conference MVP for the third time in his career heading into the Subway AUS Men’s Basketball Championship at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S. He was also named an AUS first team all-star for the fifth consecutive year.

In Saturday’s championship semifinal, Masters was named Subway Player of the Game after scoring 20 points and adding nine assists, three rebounds and three steals in UNB’s 96-83 win over the Memorial Sea-Hawks. In Sunday’s championship final, the Varsity Reds downed the StFX X-Men 84-81 to capture UNB’s first conference title since 1967.

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Masters was named championship MVP after finishing with 28 points, eight rebounds and four assists. He was also named a tournament all-star.

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The Bison women’s hockey team won the 2017-18 Canada West women’s hockey championship over the weekend with a two-game sweep of the Saskatchewan Huskies in the CW Final, with goalie Lauren Taraschuk backtopping the Herd to a pair of wins. She made 43 combined saves with a shutout in overtime Game 1, as she extended her playoff scoreless streak to 259:30 before eventually giving up a goal in Game 2. 

The rookie started the CW women’s hockey final with a 25-save shutout in Manitoba’s 1-0 overtime win in Game 1. The next night, the Winnipeg native did not give up a goal until late in the second period, making 18 saves to preserve a 5-2 Game 2 victory and clinch the championship on home ice.  The 6-0 goalie leads the nation in playoff stats with a 0.54 goals-against average, and a .969 save-percentage.

The win was Manitoba’s third CW women’s hockey banner in the program’s 21-year history. The Bisons now prepare to play at the 2018 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship hosted by Western University from Mar. 15-18.

Male Nominees

  • CW: David Kapinga, basketball, Calgary
  • OUA: Zane Grossinger, volleyball, Queen’s
  • RSEQ: Jenning Leung, basketball, McGill
  • AUS: Javon Masters, basketball, UNB (winner)

Female Nominees

  • CW: Lauren Taraschuk, hockey, Manitoba (winner)
  • OUA: Alina Dormann, volleyball, Toronto
  • RSEQ: Alex Kiss-Rusk, basketball, McGill
  • AUS: Emma Ciprick, volleyball, Dalhousie

- Player bios courtesy U SPORTS member conferences