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June 1, 2022

THE CCAA CHALLENGE CUP

Thirty years ago, the Ontario and Alberta champions participated in a CCAA sanctioned event that has been recognized inconsistently by the national governing body over the years. When the timeline was posted on the national governing body's website in conjuction with its 40th Anniversay, the the 1992 CCAA Challenge Cup gold medalists were acknowledged as national champions. Now, there is no mention of the event in the national governing body's list of national champions.

The 1992 CCAA Challenge Cup was an attempt to reboot competition at the national level after five provinces made their final appearances between 1986 and 1989.

The Georgian College Grizzlies of Barrie, Ontario entered the event as back to back OCAA champions. Georgian placed second in the regular season before sweeping a best of five semi final series against Sheridan College Bruins and a best of five final series against Seneca College Braves.

The NAIT Ooks of Edmonton, Alberta captured their third consecutive ACAC title and hosted the event. The Ooks finished atop the regular season statndings prior to sweeping the Mount Royal College Cougars in a best of five semi final series and edging the SAIT Trojans by winning the deciding game of the best of five final series. The Ooks also downed the eventual 1991-92 CIAU champion University of Alberta Golden Bears twice in exhibition action and placed third at the Viking Cup.

The SAIT Trojans of Calgary, Alberta secured a spot in the event by advancing to the conference final after winning a best of five semi final series three games to two against the Red Deer College Kings.

NAIT downed SAIT 8-3 and Georgian 7-1 in the round robin portion of the event to advance to the final. Georgian defeated SAIT 10-4 in round robin action, but dropped a 7-1 decision to the Trojans in the semi final. Alec Sheflo recorded the shutout as NAIT blanked SAIT 5-0 in the final.

NAIT's shutout victory in the gold medal game capped an incredible run where the Ooks won six straight championships at the conference and the national level. In addition to three straight ACAC titles, the Ooks also won the CCAA National Hockey Championship in 1989 & 1990. There was no CCAA sanctioned event in 1991. The CCAA National Hockey Championship would be revived as a level two championship in 1996.


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