May 1, 2020

A CHAPTER CLOSES

Thirty years ago, the NAIT Ooks entered nationals without a loss in conference regular season and post season play. The only blemish on the Ooks record was two regular season ties in 29 contests.

While the Ooks record was noteworthy, the ACAC Selects almost pulled a major upset when they held a 4-3 lead over the Canadian National Team in an exhibition game late in the third only to have the Dave King squad rebound with four goals in the final 4:21 to get a 7-4 win.

In one best of three ACAC semi final, the Red Deer College Kings met the Mount Royal College Cougars. The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series opener only to have the Kings bounce back with five unanswered goals including two by Tim Toews to record a 5-2 triumph in Calgary. Red Deer completed the sweep with a 5-3 win over Mount Royal.

In the other best of three ACAC semi final, the Ooks faced the Camorse Lutheran College Vikings. Marty Volcan, Mark Thiessen, and Mark Hilton tallied in NAIT's 3-2 victory over Camrose. The Ooks then advanced to the next round with an 8-1 triumph.

In the ACAC best of five final series, RDC faced NAIT. Blaine Peerless, Greg Geldart and Lonnie Spink scored in the series opener to pace the Ooks to a 3-1 win. Former King Todd Lorenz notched two powerplay goals against his ex-teammates as the Ooks recorded a 4-3 win. Jeff Leyer responded with a pair for the Kings in a losing effort. The Ooks then wrapped up the series with an impressive display of dominance outshooting the Kings 24-2 and taking a 4-0 lead. Clark Polglase and Ivan Krook each tallied twice for the Ooks as they became ACAC champions.

The Ooks then travelled to Saskatoon to meet the Kelsey Institute Amaruks to decide who would go to the CCAA Championships in Ontario. Mark Thiessen got the natural hat trick as NAIT thumped Kelsey 9-1. Todd Lorenz then pocketed a pair for the Ooks in a 5-3 win over Amaruks to win the best of three series.

In the CCAA National Hockey Championships at Etobicoke, the Ooks faced the Humber College Hawks. Greg Geldart netted the winner in the third overtime to give the Ooks a 2-1 triumph in the series opener. Gino Lostracco's goal late in the third lifted the Hawks to a 2-1 victory and set the stage for a winner take all contest. The Ooks trailed 2-1 and 3-2 before Mark Hilton's goal in the second overtime gave the Ooks a 4-3 win and their fifth CCAA championship.

There would be no CCAA National Hockey Championship in 1991.


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