NAIT Ooks Drop Home Opener To Kings

EDMONTON, ALTA.- Ferguson's third-period goal would be the decider, as the RDC Kings edge out the Ooks in a close 3-2 game Saturday night in the NAIT Arena. 

Red Deer opened up the game with an early Shorthanded goal when Jacob Wozney beat Brendan Jensen on a breakaway at the 3:16 mark of the first period. Wozney's goal would stand as the lone tally of the period as the Kings would head to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead at the end of the first. 

It was the Ooks who began the scoring in the second period when last year's ACAC scoring leader, Jake Mykitiuk scored at the 1:18 mark of the period. NAIT was not done there as first-year Austin Pickford scored his first ACAC goal 7:50 into the period to put the Ooks up 2-1. Ross Heidt added a late goal for the Kings to tie the game up at 2 as the teams headed to the dressing room after 40 minutes of play. 

The Kings broke the tie shortly after the puck dropped to begin the third period as Scott Ferguson scored on the power play 41 seconds into the period. The Ooks would find themselves with sustained pressure on the Kings for the last ten minutes of the game however the Kings would hold on to take the game 3-2. The Kings outshot the Ooks 38-31.

Following the game NAIT head coach Tim Fragle was asked about his team's overall performance "I think we deserved a better fate then we got tonight, but I do think it is a good wake up call for our guys." He went on to say "Kudos to Red Deer though, they have a good team and played well this weekend. We didn't respect them enough in my opinion. The margin for error is a lot smaller against good teams. Which is why we found ourselves on the losing end of two games that could've gone either way."

Austin Pickford was named Player of the Game for the NAIT Ooks while Ross Heidt took the honour for the Kings.

The Ooks will now play host to the Briercrest Clippers next weekend, while Red Deer will have a home and home with the Augustana Vikings.