CALGARY, ALTA., (Nov. 30, 2019) - SAIT Trojans men's hockey head coach Tyler Drader has had enough.
His team gave up two power play goals in the final 12 minutes of play to lose 5-4 to the visiting Red Deer College Kings in the final game of the first semester of their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) regular season.
"It's frustrating. We have the same conversation every day, but we just can't control our emotions, plain and simple," he said after a game in which his team gave up 11 power play opportunities. "I think we have to start benching guys. . . You talk and you talk and you talk, and they say they won't do it, but they do it."
The Trojans finish the fall semester with a 6-5-1-2 record. Red Deer improves to 12-1-1.
"It's unacceptable," Drader continued. "You can't go 0-6 against the three top teams (NAIT, Red Deer College, MacEwan University). But, if you go back and watch, we were beating ourselves. I haven't watched a game this year where I thought we don't deserve to be here."
A back and forth opening frame saw the teams head to their dressing room tied 2-2. Scoring for Red Deer was Dylan Thudium and Chance Lonhjohn. Replying for SAIT was Parker Evans-Campbell (4th year, High River, Alta., Bachelor of Business Administration) and Joren Patenaude (2nd year, Calgary, Business Administration).
SAIT rookie Jared Power gave his team their first lead of the game less than three minutes into the second. The Trojans were able to hold that lead for the better part of the period before Kings forward Jacob Wozney scored on the power play to tie the game again.
In the final period, the Trojans took the lead again when Zach McNeill (3rd year, Calgary, Business Administration) potted one to put his team up 4-3.
After that, power play marker by Austin Hunter with 12 minutes left, and Chase Thudium with 7:30 left helped the Kings tie the game and then seal the victory.
The Trojans will have more than a month to think about what could have been in the first half, as they will not resume their ACAC schedule until Jan. 10 and 11 when they take on the first place NAIT Ooks in a home-and-home series.
"Everything that we do in the ACAC is about building for the playoffs," Drader stated. "Ultimately, we're going to have to beat the top teams along the way. I would rather learn these lessons now, and then play them in the playoffs and remember what it feels like for them to beat us because of things we did to ourselves."