Battle of Alberta
SAIT and NAIT reignite rivalry at centennial game
The spotlight centennial game was nothing short of excitement and unpredictability.
The SAIT Trojans men’s hockey team fell to its Edmonton rivals, the NAIT Ooks, 4-3 on Oct. 15, in a thrilling three on three double overtime game, which could have gone either way.
Trojans head coach Dan Olsen stated how he felt his team let up whenever they found themselves ahead, allowing the Ooks to bounce back and gain momentum.
“We have to make sure when we get go-ahead goals, we don’t take them easily and take penalties,” Olsen said.
“We have to keep our foot on the gas pedal.”
The Trojans started the game off a bit slower than what Olsen would have liked, but the pace picked up as the game went on.
“We were a bit tentative and there was some standing around too much to start,” Olsen said.
“A little bit of nerves, but we settled down after the first 10 minutes.”
In a game that saw one of the biggest crowds in recent memory, Olsen stated that the energy helped the team stay energized and play hard.
“It was awesome, besides the final a couple years ago, it was one of the best crowds we’ve had,” Olsen said.
“The staff did a great job firing people up with the giveaways.
“It helped our boys work a little bit harder.”
Discipline was a factor for both teams as penalties were assessed back and forth throughout the game, something Olsen was not too surprised about.
“Both teams were competing and playing hard,” Olsen said.
“Sometimes out of that comes penalties.”
With the loss, the Trojans fall to 3-3 on the year, while the Ooks improved their record to 4-2.
Despite the loss, Olsen found areas in his team’s game that he was pleased with, specifically their power play, as the team scored twice with the man advantage.
“We were moving the puck around better and the support was there. We’re starting to shoot more too,” Olsen said.
“Last year, nobody was willing to shoot,
now, we are getting pucks on net and have someone there to hassle the goalie.”
Olsen also recognized the fact that there were areas in their game that they have to improve on in order to have a successful season, the first is in the defensive zone, the second is communication.
“There were some weaknesses in our own zone that we have to clean up,” Olsen said in regards to several bad giveaways that occurred on several occasions.
“Off-ice, they always talk, they’re never quiet. We get them on ice and there’s no communication.
“With that you get duplication and hesitation.
“We clean that up, and we’ll be okay.”