September 1, 2019
Thirty years ago, a host hockey team capped off a night to remember as a post-secondary institution became the first to have two teams place first at a pair of CCAA National Championships on its own campus within a matter of hours. On March 18, 1989, the NAIT Ooks Men's Basketball Team and the NAIT Ooks Men's Hockey Team won national championships.
In the regular season, the Ooks placed second with a record of 15 wins, 7 losses and two ties behind the Red Deer College Kings who posted 18 wins, 4 losses and two ties.
In the best of three conference semi final series, the Red Deer College Kings eliminated the SAIT Trojans in two games with wins of 9-4 and 4-1 while the Ooks ended the reign of the defending CCAA champion Mount Royal College Cougars in two games with victories of 7-2 and 9-1.
In best of five conference final series, the Kings took a commanding series lead with 2-0 and 8-3 triumphs. The Ooks then prolonged the series with a 5-2 victory before Tim Willoughby gave the Kings their first league title in six seasons with a goal 53 seconds into the second overtime to lift RDC to a 3-2 win.
At the CCAA National Championships held at the NAIT Arena in Edmonton, the participating teams were divided into two pools.
Both the Ooks and the Kings went undefeated in preliminary play. Murray Bokenfohr and Craig Sterzer each tallied twice as NAIT downed Mount Royal 8-3. Robin Dube's four goal performance paced the Ooks to another 8-3 victory -- this time over the Humber College Hawks. RDC outworked and outscored the SIAST Beavers 12-2. Bill Peters chipped in a pair as the Kings tamed the BCIT Cougars 9-1.
In semi final action, Tim Willoughby tallied twice as Red Deer tripled Humber 6-2 while J.C. MacEwan completed the hat trick as NAIT outscored the SIAST 12-4.
The CCAA championship final was a rematch of the ACAC championship series. NAIT's Scott Melnyk completed the hat trick as the Ooks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score a 5-4 win. John Hart and Randy Wong also scored for the Ooks while Murray Toews, Cam Bowles, Darren Cota and Chad Kisslinger answered for the Kings. NAIT's Rob McKinley blocked 25 shots as the Ooks overcame off ice adversity to capture their fourth CCAA national championship.