In the zone
Trojans men’s hockey continues to build on a strong season
Coming off a bye week can prove to be a tough task. It tests the resilience of a team to overcome the rust of a week off to push for the win.
For the SAIT Trojans men’s hockey team, they demonstrated how resilient they are by skating away with a tightly contested 3-2 win over the Red Deer College Kings on Jan. 27.
The Trojans started the game off strong, and were then able to prevent scoring chances to ensure they added another win to their impressive 17-3-2 record.
“The first 10 minutes we started off really crisp,” head coach Dan Olsen said.
“We lost our focus a little bit in the third by getting caught up in the scrums.”
Special teams played a major role in securing the win, as their penalty kill stood tall, at key moments of the game to prevent a game tying goal.
Coming back from winter break, this was something that Olsen wanted to work on for the second half of the season, which paid dividends.
“We’re keeping it simple, keeping the diamond and box tighter,” Olsen said.
“[We] didn’t give up opportunities for passes to get through the seams.”
Two of the three Trojans goals were scored on the power play, which Olsen has been looking to build and improve on all season long by setting up and keeping the puck moving in the zone.
“We have to make sure we outwork their penalty kill for those two minutes,” Olsen said.
Dean Allison, Geoff Crisfield and Pat Martens all scored for the Trojans, while goaltender Bolton Pouliot had another strong performance turning aside 22 shots for the win.
With only six games left in the regular season, the Trojans look to continue their strong play to close out the year, while also gearing up for playoffs in search of a championship.
Olsen believes that these close, one goal games will not only build their overall confidence, but also help them prepare for playoffs.
“We have to make sure we build on being strong defensively and minimize position time in our zone.”
While the race to earn a bye in the first round of playoffs is on the line, the Trojans are looking to take it one game at a time and not overlook any of the teams, with an important matchup against the MacEwan University Griffins this weekend.
“In the back of our minds, we know what the standings are like,” Olsen said. “Every game is important now.”
And, with the importance of the final games, the task is for the team to continue to rack up wins while staying focused game in and game out.
“Our leadership group makes sure that guys are staying focused and ready,” Olsen said.
“We control our destiny.”