Briercrest settles for a weekend split with SAIT
SAIT was less than saintly, but in Saturday's rematch with the Briercrest Clippers they were able to come away with a win.
One day after the 7-3 shellacking administered by Briercrest, the guests showed intensity from the drop of the puck. Less than two minutes into the game, they were rewarded and took a 1-0 lead. Discipline continued to be an issue for the Trojans, and they took the first of eight penalties a few minutes later. Briercrest struggled to create sustained pressure against a more determined defensive effort by the guests, however, and they were unable to capitalize. A highlight-reel glove save by Christian Mueller brought a roar from the bench and the crowd, so the visitors resorted to throwing the puck on the net and going after rebounds. Three times this tactic worked, and they skated off the ice with a 4-0 lead after one period of play.
Briercrest began the second frame with a powerplay after a post-whistle cheap shot, but were unable to solve SAIT netminder Bolton Pouliot. A great hit by Mark Langford then helped swing the momentum for the home team. Shortly afterward, Briercrest had a great scoring opportunity on a partial breakaway, but the save was made. The score remained 4-0 going into the second break.
Briercrest showed great heart in the third, skating hard and grinding out small victories. Chad Davidson nearly peeled the ads off the boards with his speed, and Micah Abbott showed the ability to stickhandle in a phone booth as he made plays coming out of his own zone. A great effort by Ricky Seidel led to a penalty shot being awarded, and he made no mistake- lasering a shot past Pouliot's glove to get Briercrest on the board. A threatening rush by Josiah Friesen and another quality chance by Brett Lafond lifted the fans out of their seats, but SAIT was able to prevail 4-1.
Despite the result, the Clippers take some tangible positives out of the weekend series. They showed last year's silver medallists and the rest of the league what they're capable of, and were physically assertive against a team whose strategy rests heavily upon intimidation. They'll now hit the road for a pair of games versus the Grant MacEwan University Griffins next weekend.
Players of the game were Ricky Seidel for Briercrest, and Brandon Egli for SAIT.
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