EDMONTON, ALTA - Brayden Harris' Short-handed goal in the second period would prove to be the winner, as the NAIT Ooks defeated their cross-town rival MacEwan Griffins 2-1 in ACAC men's hockey action, Friday night at the NAIT Arena.
From puck drop to finish, like every other time these two teams have met over the past several seasons, it was a battle. It began as a back and forth gridlock in the first period as both teams took turns handling the momentum. It wasn't until 17:10 into the opening frame that a goal would be scored, as Tanner Younghans found the back of the net on the power play, to give the NAIT Ooks a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.
The second period would closely mimic the first as yet again both teams exchanged unsuccessful chances with only one goal being scored, which was ironically on the penalty kill when NAIT had a 3 on 2 rush resulting Brayden Harris beating Marc-Olivier Daigle along the ice.
The Griffins would pick up momentum in the third as the Ooks found themselves in penalty trouble. Ryan Baskerville cut the Griffin deficit to one on the power play as he beat Brendan Jensen. Jensen, however, would prove to be the deciding factor in this one as he stood tall in the final frame weathering the Griffin assault, giving his team the 2-1 victory.
Following the game Ooks head coach Tim Fragle said: "We played a very solid first 40 minutes, but in the third, we got into some penalty trouble and began to sit back and let them dictate the play. Brendan Jensen made some key saves for us down the stretch when we needed him most."
Players of the Game
NAIT Ooks - Brendan Jensen
MacEwan Griffins - Ryan Baskerville
The Big Picture
With the win tonight, the Ooks improve to 9-4 and sit 3rd in the ACAC two points back of the Red Deer Kings for 1st. The MacEwan Griffins fall to 9-3-1 and sit 2nd, one point back of 1st.
The two teams will now faceoff again tomorrow night at the Downtown Community Arena to finish off the first half of the season.