EDMONTON, Alta. – The NAIT Ooks defeated the SAIT Trojans 4-3 in their home opener on Saturday night in the NAIT Arena, sweeping the opening weekend of the season.
Coming off of an overtime win last night in Calgary, the Ooks came out flying in their home opener as Tanner Younghans took a feed from Devon McAndrews and rifled it past Cody Campbell 3:44 into the first period. Then an onslaught of goals came as Eric Krienke scored for SAIT to tie the game. Immediately following that, Jake Mykitiuk gave the Ooks a 2-1 lead, Tyler Maltby then re-tied the game beating Ooks' Jordan Papriny. Brandon Lawson put NAIT back up shortly after that. Four goals in four minutes saw the Ooks up 3-2 after 20 minutes.
In the second period, the offense would cool off as both teams exchanged chances with no goals. The only goal in the was by NAIT captain Colton Waltz, as he beat Cody Campbell short side five-hole 9:28 into the frame. Waltz's would be the end of the night for Cody Campbell, as Trojans head coach Tyler Drader elected to put in the first-year goalie Kyle Dumba. Ooks had a 4-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
It was the Trojans who started the scoring in the final frame as Cory Santoro beat Jordan Papirny five-hole off of a neutral zone turnover thirteen seconds into the period. Ryan Piche came very close to putting NAIT up by two on the penalty kill, but he lost the handle following a brilliant move on a breakaway. The Trojans found themselves on the power-play late as Dylan Stewart took a penalty in the final minutes of the game. The Ooks penalty kill would get the job done as they were able to hold on for a 4-3 victory.
Despite outshooting the SAIT significantly in back-to-back games, the Ooks found themselves just squeaking out two wins. NAIT moves to 2-0-0 after sweeping SAIT in the opening weekend of the ACAC men's hockey season.
"We knew to go into the year scoring was going to be our issue. We put a lot of pucks on their goalies in both games this weekend but had two close calls," said Ooks head coach Tim Fragle. "Overall happy with the weekend though, anytime you can get two wins against a team like SAIT is a big positive."
Players of the game:
NAIT Ooks - Colton Waltz
SAIT Trojans - Kyle Dumba
NAIT Ooks vs. Portage Voyageurs – Oct.18 – 7:00 pm
SAIT Trojans vs. Briercrest Clippers – Oct.18 – 7:00 pm