Briercrest hockey loses to NAIT in Home opening alumni home coming weekend
A boisterous crowd at Briercrest College’s Barkman Arena saw a spirited effort by the Briercrest Clippers come up short against the NAIT Ooks.
First period action appeared to follow a familiar script, with NAIT tilting the ice and registering thirteen of the first fifteen shots on net. Stellar play by second year goaltender Connor Dobberthien kept the Ooks at bay until the twelve minute mark, when Tanner Dunkle put the visitors ahead. NAIT added another goal four minutes later, sending them into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Undaunted, Briercrest began to grind out some small victories against the Ooks in the second period. Dirk de Waal, Stephen Langford, and Josh Anderson created some good scoring chances, and new addition Aaron Armstrong drew two penalties with his speed to the net. Manny Schellenberg ignited the crowd at the fifteen minute mark when he converted a feed from Anderson and Armstrong to put Briercrest on the board. Captain Josh Dufresne hit the post with ten seconds left in the period, foreshadowing the luck the Clippers were to have in the final frame. The teams headed into the second intermission with NAIT leading 2-1.
NAIT came out hard in the third and was able to capitalize early. Although Briercrest competed hard, two unlucky bounces in the span of three minutes had the guests effectively put the game out of reach at 5-1. The teams traded late goals, Briercrest tallying on a laser off the stick of Langford assisted by de Waal, to end the game at 6-2 for the Ooks.
Despite the result, Briercrest showed some real progress under first year coach Jamie Ramer. The team showed defensive improvement and a confidence in their ability that will surely grow as they continue to gel together.
Players of the game were Tanner Dunkle for the Ooks, and Connor Dobberthien for the Clippers.