CAMROSE, ALTA, (March 7, 2019) - Things didn't go the SAIT Trojans way Thursday night, and now they find themselves in a must-win situation.
The Trojans opened up their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) men's hockey best-of-three quarter-final series with a tough 2-1 loss to the host University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings.
"Two good teams played tonight, but they won a lot of battles," said Trojans head coach Brent Devost. "If we win a few more battles, things might look a little different. . . We just need to take care of the puck a little better and be a little smarter."
Game 2 will go Friday night at SAIT. Puck drop is set for 7pm.
The opening period was dominated by the hometown Vikings. Sloppy passes in their own end forced SAIT goalie Payton Lee to bail his team out with a handful of good saves.
"On the road, you expect to be out on your heels a bit and they did that to us," Devost added. "We didn't take care of the puck very well."
Despite it being scoreless after 20 minutes, SAIT trailed in shots 20-9.
The second period had considerably more action, as the teams combined for all three goals in the game - the first two coming from the Vikings thanks to Jimmy Sheehan and a power play marker from Jarod Hovde.
SAIT finally got on the scoreboard with just under seven minutes remaining when Dean Allison snuck a wraparound past Vikings goalie, Curtis Skip.
"We had two guys on the puck, finished a check and it ended up in the back of their net. That's what we need to do more of," Devost stated. "If we do, we can beat this team."
In the third, SAIT pushed and pushed, but could not get anything to go. With minutes left, a shot by Slater Ransom was mishandled by Skip, but the puck trickled wide of the net.
"We started to turn over the puck in the second and the third, and exploit them, but we didn't do enough of it," Devost finished. "That's my message to the guys; manage it better and get on top of them."