The men’s hockey team finished the first half of the season undefeated and did so in a dominating fashion, winning the final two games over the Briercrest Clippers 8-0 and 10-1. First-year Trace Elson showed off his talent against the Clippers, scoring hat tricks in both games.
NAIT head coach Mike Gabinet expressed his pride in his team but also stressed that the work is not over. “We still have a lot of room for growth and improvement,” he said.
The men aren’t back in action until Jan. 8 but you can be sure they will look to come out even stronger in the second semester. The Ooks solidified their spot at the top as the only team left undefeated in the ACAC.
The women’s hockey team came out last week looking to prove that they are a playoff contender in the ACAC. The Ooks picked up their first sweep of the season, beating the Olds Broncos 5-1 and 4-2. The entire team looked strong in the two games as they worked together to take down the last place Broncos. Livia Lucova, a secondyear student, was on fire in the games, scoring a goal in the first game and netting herself a hat trick in the second. Head coach Deanna Martin was especially proud of her team.
“I think it’s a great way to finish and go into the break,” she said. “I am pleased to achieve our first sweep of the season. We will have to come back ready, to ensure we maintain a playoff position.”
The Ooks currently sit in fourth place in the division but look to finish off the year with a strong second semester.
The men’s basketball team rounded off the weekend with a sweep of the Concordia Thunder. Friday night, the Ooks walked away with a 95-67 win. Connor Dolson has looked strong since his return, contributing 23 points in the win. Also, first year Ook Jackson Jacob, who has been a dominant factor for his team all season, scored 17 points in the Friday night win. Saturday brought more of a nail-biter as the teams battled it out in quadruple overtime, with the Ooks finally coming out ahead 104- 102. NAIT’s Adrian Curtis was awarded player of the game honours on Saturday as he scored 10 points in the overtime periods.
After the sweep this weekend, the Ooks finish the first semester at 10-2 overall. This record puts them just one win behind the Keyano Huskies, who currently sit in first place in the North Division.
The women’s basketball team also pulled off a sweep over the Thunder, closing out the games 70-47 and 80-59. The Ooks defence, which has been so strong all season, combined with fantastic shooting from long range, pushed the Ooks over the top in their first win over Concordia.
Shea-Lynn Noyes was awarded player of the game for her strong play both offensively and defensively. Saturday night brought more of the same play style from the Ooks but Concordia battled hard in the first half to keep a close gap of 33-25.
The Ooks exploded in the second half though, scoring 47 points and taking the win over the Thunder. Rai Hooper was given player of the game, showing off not only her shooting but her ability to rebound as well. This sweep improved the women to 10-2 and are currently in the same situation as the men, sitting at second place in the North.
The Ooks fought hard this weekend to pull off two 3-1 victories over the Concordia Thunder. The matches were seemingly duplicates, with the Ooks winning in the first set, dropping the second and closing with wins in the third and fourth. NAIT continued to show their offensive power with three players scoring double digits Friday, and four players getting double digits Saturday. That game also saw the return of Brandt Thul, who got his start in the game. Thul had been sidelined by injury, but looked happy to be able to be playing again and he was also awarded player of the game for his play Saturday night.
“It was a great way to end the fall and we showed great poise down the stretch,” said coach Doug Anton after the game.
Anton also stated how strong the Concordia team looked in these matches.
“Their record doesn’t really reflect the quality of team they are.”
These wins place the Ooks in fourth place going into the break.
The women finished the first half of the season with dominant sweep of the Concordia Thunder with two 3-0 wins. These victories showcased the skill the women’s team offers not only offensively but defensively as well. Joslyn Peters racked up 25 kills throughout the weekend, while Candace Hughes and Lauren Smith made large contributions defensively. Head coach Benj Heinrichs said “discipline is going to be key in the second half.” These two wins also put NAIT back in the fierce playoff race, sitting just one win back of qualifying in fourth place.