EDMONTON, ALTA., (March 17, 2019) — The SAIT Trojans men's hockey team saw their season come to an abrupt halt Sunday night.
Playing in the deciding Game 3 of their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) semifinal series against the host NAIT Ooks, the Trojans were handed a lopsided 7-2 loss to lose the series 2-1 and close out their 2018/19 campaign.
"Very disappointing the way we came out," said Trojans head coach Brent Devost. "They got a quick lead on us, and when we had chances we couldn't bury them. They continued to play like the No. 1 seed like they are, and it just slipped away from us."
NAIT took Game 1 of the series 2-1 on Friday night in Edmonton, while SAIT put together a 5-3 win Saturday night at home to extend their season.
On Sunday however, the first period was all NAIT, as the hosts came out flying and controlled the play for the majority of the first 20 minutes of play.
Their speed gave them numerous odd-man rushes on which they scored – two of them coming from Jake Mykytiuk trailing the play, the third by Tanner Dunkle on the power play right after SAIT failed to score on a four-minute man advantage of their own.
The second period was no better, as the Ooks scored three of their four second-period goals with a Trojans player in the penalty box.
Jordan Davies scored twice in the second period, while Ooks teammates Brandon Ralph and Brayden Harris also tallied.
"The special teams battle is critical, and we just weren't able to finish on it like they did," Devost added.
SAIT finally got one back with five minutes left in the period on a power play of their own when Colton McCarthy scored from the slot.
The Trojans started the third well with a goal from Estian Coetzee, who finished off a nice passing play from Matt Houston to cut the lead to 7-2.
That's how things would end Devost's first season behind the bench for the Trojans.
"I'm proud of the way these guys won the first-round series against Augustana, and proud of them for extending this one to Game 3," he said. "It's tough to swallow how we played in this deciding game. Maybe we ran out of gas a little bit."