A tenacious commitment to their gameplan paid off as the Briercrest Clippers knocked off the NAIT Ooks in overtime Saturday afternoon.
"We want to take pride in playing with pace, playing physical- 'playing Briercrest hockey' is what we call it," shared alternate captain Daine Milgate afterward. "We know it wears them down."
The ordinarily top-flight Ooks looked as if they had their wings clipped as Briercrest outshot the guests 41-28 and were only denied a bigger score by some solid goaltending by NAIT's Ryley Osland.
It was over six minutes into the game before Briercrest allowed a shot on goal to accompany the six they had fired at Osland. Landon Russell and Milgate made some huge hits and further reduced NAIT's already shortened bench. The visitors got a lucky bounce on a flutter shot by NAIT's player of the game, Mitchell Williams, and went to the dressing room after 20 minutes no doubt feeling rather sheepish at having a lead despite a 17-6 shot deficit.
From there, the Clippers took control. Kolter Pawlick shut the door for the home side and they attacked in waves. Caleb Grandfield, Zach Thususka, and Alex Pellerin all had dangerous chances before Jaedon Little went in aggressively on the forecheck and made a great pass to Jake Dale, who lasered a sharp-angle shot past Osler to tie things up.
A high-sticking penalty late in the third gave Briercrest a powerplay to start overtime, and Pellerin set up player of the game Reagan Poncelet for the winner. The roof nearly came off the Barkman arena as the crowd erupted with delight.
"We knew we had to do more of what we did yesterday," explained Poncelet. "The focus was intensity, team physicality, and skating for a full 60 minutes."
The Clippers will hit the road next weekend for a pair of games in Calgary against the SAIT Trojans before returning to close out the semester Nov. 25-26 against Portage College.