It was a wild two nights for the NAIT Ooks men’s hockey team, as they took down the second-place Augustana Vikings in a midweek home-andhome affair. The first game took place Wednesday night, a 4-1 victory, before the Ooks won 5-4 in overtime on the road the following evening. The Ooks improve to 12-0-0-0, well ahead of the rest of the pack in the ACAC.
Plenty of shots
Wednesday started off well for the Ooks, as while both teams got plenty of shots on net, Jordan Wood scored his seventh goal of the season midway through the first period. Shortly after, Vikings centre Boyd Wakelin was dispatched with a ten minute misconduct following a checking-from-behind penalty, but Augustana squared up the game at 1. Period two saw much of the same back-and-forth action from both teams, with Cameron continuing to stop the Vikings’ offense whilst Connor Hoekstra added his fourth of the season for the lone goal of the period. Although Vikings goaltender Andy Williams had been playing very well up to this point, a collision with NAIT forward Klarc Wilson had left him shaken up. He stayed in the game, but allowed two more goals in the third period to NAIT defencemen Dallen Hall and Tyler Yaworski. NAIT outshot Augustana 52-37.
A tougher task was in store for the Ooks as they travelled to Encana Arena Thursday night to battle the Vikings. NAIT started out rough, as the Vikings scored two goals in the first six minutes. The Ooks struck back, however, as captain Scott Fellnermayr made it a 2-1 game midway through the first. Two late goals gave the Vikings a 4-1 lead heading into the second period, leading Kyle Birch to come in for Cameron. NAIT was able to dictate the play for the majority of the second period and received two goals just 30 seconds apart, from Tanner Dunkle and Trace Elson. The Ooks killed off a five-on-three Vikings’ power play to start the third and Tyler French scored the tying goal with just 2:53 on the clock in the third period. In the four-on-four overtime, John Dunbar ripped one past Augustana goaltender Curtis Skip to give the Ooks the incredible comeback win. With the sweep, the Ooks increased their lead on Augustana to seven points in the standings and NAIT will next face the fifthplace Concordia Thunder this weekend in a home-and-home series. Puck drop is this Saturday at the NAIT Arena is 6 p.m.
The NAIT Ooks women were also in action this weekend but fared badly against the Grant MacEwan Griffins, losing 5-1 and 3-2 in a shootout. The lone goal for the Ooks on Friday was scored by Chelsea Gauchier near the end of the second period, while the Ooks were down 2-0. The third began with a rough start for the Ooks as MacEwan scored early and, with a late third period goal, the writing was on the wall.
Saturday’s game was much more competitive on behalf of the Ooks, as much of the play was contained along the boards with few breakouts for either side. Ooks captain Breanna Frasca was all over the ice in this game and was the lone goal scorer for the Ooks, with one in the first and one in the second to give the Ooks a 2-0 lead. Following that goal, MacEwan decided to pull goaltender Morgan Glover for Sandy Heim, who held the Ooks scoreless.
Late in the second, the Griffins got a bit of momentum heading into the third and cut the deficit in half. A goal by ACAC leading scorer Michelle Pochapsky tied the game at 6:53 of the third and sent the game to a shootout. After the shootout went scoreless for five rounds, Shanya Shwetz was able to beat Tehnille Gard and then, with the chance to advance the shootout directly after, Veronica Kuzelova was unable to do so. Next up for the Ooks is a home and home against SAIT, with the game at the NAIT Arena taking place tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.