Three stars of the week: Saskatchewan’s Cooke, UNBC’s Louka named top stars

Three stars of the week: Saskatchewan’s Cooke, UNBC’s Louka named top stars

Canada West Communications


  • Saskatchewan Huskie men’s hockey netminder Jordon Cooke is the CW Male First Star of the Week after leading the hockey dogs into first in the conference
  • UNBC’s Vasiliki Louka is the CW Female First Star of the Week after two well-rounded performances for the Timberwolves women’s basketball squad
  • Louka is the first UNBC athlete in school history to earn the top spot in the weekly Canada West stars
  • Also earning star honours this week were: Calgary’s Thomas Cooper (male second star), UFV’s Kayli Sartori (female second star), Lethbridge’s Mike Pierzchala (male third star), and UBC’s Maddison Penn (female third star). 

NEW WESTMINSTER – An outstanding goaltending performance and a school first highlight this week’s Canada West stars of the week.

Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey goaltender Jordon Cooke is the CW Male First Star of the Week, while UNBC women’s basketball player Vaailiki Louka is the CW Female First Star of the Week for the period ending December 3

Cooke backstopped the Huskies to a home sweep of the Alberta Golden Bears in a showdown between the conference’s top two teams over the weekend in Saskatoon. The Leduc, Alta. native made a combined 65 saves, including a 45-save shutout Saturday, to lead the Huskies into the December break in first-place. 

Louka is the female first star after a pair of double-doubles, as the Timberwolves beat the Thompson Rivers WolfPack for the first time in three seasons. The Athens, Greece product combined for 37 points and 28 rebounds in the home sweep and is the first-ever UNBC athlete to claim the top spot in the Canada West weekly stars. 

Also earning star honours this week were: Calgary’s Thomas Cooper (male second star), UFV’s Kayli Sartori (female second star), Lethbridge’s Mike Pierzchala (male third star), and UBC’s Maddison Penn (female third star).


Male first star – Jordon Cooke

Saskatchewan Huskies hockey



Leduc, Alta.


Game log: Friday, December 2 – 20 saves in 4-1 W vs. Alberta / Saturday, December 3 – 45-save shutout in 4-0 W vs. Alberta.

Third-year University of Saskatchewan goaltender Jordon Cooke made 65 combined saves in a weekend sweep over rival the University of Alberta Golden Bears to put the Huskies in first place. 

The Leduc, Alta, product and reigning Canada West Player of the Year made 20 saves in Friday’s 4-1 win. On Saturday, Cooke recorded his second shutout of the season, making 45 saves in a 4-0 win.  His only blemish in the weekend series was on a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush for the Golden Bears on Friday.

With the win, the No. 3-ranked Huskies are 10-3-2 at the December break and two points clear of the Mount Royal Cougars for top spot in Canada West. Cooke and the Huskies return to the ice on January 6 at home against the Mount Royal Cougars.


Female first star – Vasiliki Louka

UNBC Timberwolves basketball



Athens, Greece

Environmental Studies 

Game log: Friday, December 2 – 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists in 89-82 W vs. Thompson Rivers / Satuday, December 3 – 22 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in 68-57 W vs. Thompson Rivers.

The UNBC women’s basketball team had a historic weekend, as third-year post Vasiliki Louka’s domination propelled the Timberwolves to a two-game sweep of the TRU Wolfpack.

Prior to the weekend, UNBC had not defeated Thompson Rivers in three seasons, but Louka’s 14-point, 15-rebound, four-assist performance was crucial Friday, as she dominated the paint and the T-Wolves beat the slump with an 89-82 victory. 

The native of Athens, Greece followed that up with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks as the Timberwolves made it two in a row over TRU with a 68-57 decision. 

In both games, Louka led all players in minutes played, totaling 68 minutes over the weekend.  The 6-foot-three forward is now averaging 15.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.1 block per game – all top ten marks in Canada West. 

The Timberwolves resume regular season play on January 6th and 7th, when they visit the University of Lethbridge.


Male second star – Thomas Cooper

Calgary Dinos basketball



Chattanooga, Tenn.


Game log: Thursday, December 1 – 27 points and six rebounds in 87-83 W @ Mount Royal / Saturday, December 3 – 32 points and 10 rebounds in 109-92 W vs. Mount Royal. 

The No. 3 University of Calgary men’s basketball team wrapped up the first half of the season with a home-and-home Crowchild Classic series against the Mount Royal Cougars over the weekend, winning both games to improve to 7-1 on the season. 

Veteran Thomas Cooper led all players in both matches to help the Dinos complete the sweep of their crosstown rivals. On Thursday on the road, the Arts major scored a game-high 27 points and added six rebounds to give the Dinos the 87-83 win. At the Jack two nights later, Cooper had arguably one of his best outings of the season, scoring 32 points and recording 10 rebounds for the double-double. Calgary won the contest 109-92.

The Dinos head south for two tournaments over the break before New Years and will continue the Canada West season against the Alberta Golden Bears January 5-7.


Female second star – Kayli Sartori

Fraser Valley Cascades basketball



Chilliwack, B.C.

General Studies 

Game log: Friday, December 2 – 20 points, six rebounds, four steals, two assists in 75-62 L vs. Brandon / 29 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists, two blocks in 68-66 W vs. Brandon.

Kayli Sartori had a huge weekend for the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball team as they picked up a weekend split on the road vs. the Brandon Bobcats.

On Friday, Sartori scored 20 points and added six rebounds, four steals and two assists, but the host Bobcats pulled away down the stretch for a 75-62 victory. 

On Saturday, Sartori – the reigning Canada West scoring champ and a second team All-Canadian in 2015-16 – racked up 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, to go with eight rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists as the Cascades earned a 68-66 victory.

The fifth-year standout currently sits third in Canada West in scoring (18.9 points per game) and is also among the conference leaders in rebounding, assists, blocks and steals. 

The Cascades are off for the Christmas break, and return to action Jan. 6-7 at home against the MacEwan Griffins.


Male third star – Mike Pierzchala

Lethbridge Pronghorns basketball

Small Forward


Lethbridge, Alta.


Game log: Friday, December 2 – 24 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and one assist in 89-81 W @ Trinity Western / Saturday, December 3 – 23 points, five rebounds and one block in 100-84 W @ Trinity Western.

Third-year forward Mike Pierzchala combined to score 47 points to go along with 21 rebounds to help the Lethbridge Pronghorn men’s basketball team earn a two-game road sweep of the Trinity Western Spartans over the weekend.

Friday night, Pierzchala tied for a game-high 24 points with teammate Zac Overwater and recorded his second double-double of the season, grabbing a career high 16 rebounds in the Pronghorns 89-81 win over the Spartans. The Lethbridge, Alberta native also recorded five steals and one assist.

The next night, Pierzchala scored another 23 points on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting and a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe in the ‘Horns convincing 100-84 win to complete the sweep.

At the mid-point of the Canada West season, Pierzchala is averaging 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. 

The Pronghorns head into the semester break sitting tied for fourth in Canada West at 6-4 and will return to conference action January 6th and 7th, hosting the UBCO Heat.


Female third star – Maddison Penn

UBC Thunderbirds basketball



Avoca Beach, Australia


Game log: Friday, December 2 – 18 points and eight rebounds in 72-57 W vs. UBCO / Saturday, December 3 – 37 points and eight rebounds in 90-69 W vs. UBCO.

Maddison Penn continues to shine for the UBC Thunderbirds.

The guard from Avoca Beach, Australia, posted 55 points and 16 rebounds in two UBC wins over UBC Okanagan in Vancouver over the weekend.

Penn scored a team-high 18 points and added eight rebounds to pace the Thunderbirds in their 72-57 win on Friday at War Memorial Gym. 

She then posted a career-best 37 points, the fourth-most in a game in UBC history, on Saturday, as the T-Birds cruised past the Heat 90-69. For the second straight game, Penn also had eight rebounds. 

With her performance on the weekend, Penn is now the top scorer in the Canada West, with an average of 22.6 points a game. She is also fourth in the conference in three-point shooting with a 40 per cent average.