Trojans sweep Thunder in bid for Drive for Five
The SAIT Trojans are one step closer to ACAC history.
Seeking an unprecedented fifth straight championship, the team was paced to a 6-3 victory Friday night by a Trevor Bailey hat trick, completing the sweep of the Concordia Thunder in their ACAC semifinal series.
The Trojans now await the winner of the Mount Royal and Augustana series still currently underway.
There was no love lost between the Trojans and Thunder, as they set the tone for a physical game early in the first that continued through to the final whistle.
The game boiled over midway through the second period when Concordia responded to a post-whistle shot by Trojans forward Shane Lust. A melee ensued and punches flew, resulting in SAIT forward Ryan Hyland’s ejection from the game.
The Trojans seemed a different team when they emerged from the locker room following the second intermission. Captain Kevin Lessard broke a 2-2 tie just 16 seconds into the third period with a beautiful deflection right in front of the net.
Mike Ullrich scored a highlight reel breakaway goal less than a minute later, and from there the Trojans were well on their way to victory.
The Trojans could have a big layoff before the finals, which gives them more time for preparation and to get everyone healthy. If the other series goes the distance, the team could be facing a two week break before the finals.
“We got some guys that are a little hurt, and this will give them all a chance to rest up,” said defenceman John Malin.
Despite the team’s league leading offense, head coach Ken Babey credits the team’s defensive play as a key to their success both in the regular season and during playoffs.
“We’re very good defensively,” he said. “(Goaltender) Scotty Orth has done a good job for us, but the guys in front of him are letting him see most of the shots. The defense group is doing a good job and everyone is back-checking.”
Thus far, it’s been a picture-perfect season for this Trojan team, as they went 21-2-3 in the regular season and saw their coach become the all-time ACAC wins leader.
A record fifth straight championship only seems like an appropriate way to cap it all off.