Written by: Tony Brar - www.tonybrar.com
Tonight's biggest story occurred before the game even started. Concordia, currently holding the last playoff spot in the ACAC, lost their number one goaltender during warm-up; Tanner McCorriston suffered an upper-body injury after taking a shot up high. Head Coach Dan Glegloff was forced to start Garrett Storms, who only saw 20 minutes of action coming into this game.
Meanwhile, NAIT Head Coach, Tim Fragle, continued to deploy seven defensemen while his forward group recovers from significant injuries. However, tonight's Top-7 did not include workhorse Corey Chorneyko. The Ooks Captain joins Menard, Hauptman and Waltz on the shelf, as NAIT has been suffering from the injury bug as of late.
Despite the key injuries, NAIT, led by their tremendous depth, skates away with two wins in their home-and-home series versus the Thunder.
Following a 6-2 win on Friday at the Clareview Arena, the Ooks found themselves down early. Just one minute in, Thunder Forward Matt Martin picked up his first goal of the season after a nifty deflection.
The Ooks, led by ACAC leading scorer Jake Mykitiuk, then rallied with six unanswered goals. Mykitiuk adds to his point totals with a four-point performance (1 Goal, 3 Assists).
Matt McNeil netted his 4th of the season, and the Ooks' first goal of the night, off a set face-off play. Brayden Harris, one of the best faceoff men in the league, recorded his seventh assist and 10th point on the play.
Soon after Issac Farrah put the Ooks up 4-1, Tanner Younghans (ACAC's Player of the Game) put his skills on full display. The NAIT Forward scored 2 goals just 13 seconds apart, including a backhand beauty to give the Ooks a 6-1 victory.
"Tanner, he's got a lot of grit and that's one of the reasons we recruited him. He plays a gritty game, which we felt like last year, we lacked a little bit. The scoring of late has been nice. He's been playing a heavy game and we like that," Head Coach Tim Fragle stated following the win.
The NAIT Ooks skate away with a sweep of the home-and-home, outscoring the Thunder 12-3 over the weekend.
- Interesting stat regarding Defenseman Ty Stanton. Over his last 12 games, he seems to be more productive in games he starts:
- 9 Games as a starter: 5G, 11A, 16 PTS
- 3 Games as a non-starter: 0G, 1A, 1 PTS
Stanton, who was a starter tonight, recorded two assists tonight. He was fantastic on both sides of the puck.
- The ACAC's Top-2 point producers went head-to-head all weekend. Here's how they fared in the two games:
- Jake Mykitiuk: 1G, 4A, 5 PTS
- Adam Wheeldon: 1G, 0A, 1 PTS
Mykitiuk adds a little cushion over the weekend, leading Wheeldon 35-30 in the ACAC scoring race.
- Goaltender Nathan Park earned his ninth win of the season, improving his record to 9-3-1. Park was relied on early as the Ooks struggled to find their rhythm. NAIT's number one netminder, owns a 2.40 GAA & .913 Sv%.
- The dynamic duo of Adam Wheeldon and Phil Dillon are spectacular to watch. Although they went pointless tonight, both forwards created chances all night. Wheeldon and Dillon are 2nd and 5th in league scoring and are currently 2nd among scoring-duos in the ACAC.
- Tyler Berkholtz & Tanner Butler (RDC): 58 PTS
- Adam Wheeldon & Phil Dillon (CUE): 57 PTS