CALGARY, ALTA., (Feb. 1, 2020) - The SAIT Trojans men's hockey team narrowly avoided an upset Saturday afternoon.
After falling behind 3-1 to the winless Portage College Voyageurs in the second period, SAIT stormed back and earned a 6-4 victory in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) action played at SAIT's Campus Centre.
"I think 2pm games are always tough, especially when you've just played the night before. We came out slow, and maybe last night's (8-2 win) indicated how we were going to come out today," said Trojans rookie forward Jared Power (1st year, Calgary, Business Administration), who scored a hat trick in Saturday's win. "We put ourselves in a little bit of a hole, but good teams find a way to get out of it and we did that."
SAIT moves to 12-6-1-3 on the year and sit in fourth place in the ACAC standings. Portage remains in last place at 0-21-1.
The Trojans controlled the play for the majority of the first period, but it was Portage who scored its only goal when they took advantage of an ill-advised pinch off the blue line by Kord Pankiewicz (3rd year, Leduc, Alta., Business Administration).
That led to a 2-on-1 going the other way where Adam Crowe kept the puck and fired it top shelf to beat Trojans goalie Cody Campbell (2nd year, Dewinton, Alta., Bachelor of Business Administration) with just 17 seconds left in the period.
The Voyageurs made it 2-0 just 45 seconds into the second period when Cole Keenleyside scored a power play goal from in close.
SAIT finally got on the board 70 seconds later when Rock Ruschkowski (2nd year, Calgary, Respiratory Therapy) backhanded a rebound past Portage goalie Taryn Kotchorek.
Portage regained their two-goal lead off another Trojans error, this one leading to a 3-on-1 where Brayden Dale beat Campbell above his right shoulder.
The goal signalled the end of the night for Campbell, who was pulled in favour of Kyle Dumba (1st year, Calgary, Business Administration).
By the end of the period, SAIT had tied the game thanks to goals by Power and Kevin Massy (4th year, Victoria, BC, Bachelor of Business Administration).
Once again, however, the hard-working Voyageurs would not go away. Keenleyside scored a beautiful goal, beating the Trojans defenceman and then going between his legs to beat Dumba to go up 4-3.
Minutes later, Keenleyside was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway. This time it was Dumba who came out on top, using his left pad to keep the puck out.
Sparked by this, the Trojans scored the next three goals - two of which were by Power (the second an empty-net goal, and the other by Joren Patenaude (2nd year, Calgary, Bachelor of Business Administration) off a fantastic pass in front of the net by Pankiewicz.
"We definitely had a lot of shots and some chances that weren't going in at first, but we it was just a matter of staying positive," said Power, whose 16 goals now have him in second place across the league. "It was tough, but usually when you see one go in, others start going in as well, and that was the case tonight."
SAIT has a bye this coming weekend, giving them two weeks off before resuming their ACAC regular season schedule with a home-and-home set against MacEwan University.