Clippers drop season opener

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Katie Brickman
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NAIT Ooks in Caronport for home opener on weekend

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Facing one of the league’s best teams to open the season wasn’t going to be an easy task, but coming out sluggish didn’t help the Briercrest Clippers either.

“We came out and were pretty flat on Friday night,” stated Dalton Stoltz, coach for the Clipper men’s hockey team. “They are a great team and it was their home opener and they were ready to go and we weren’t.”

The Clippers travelled to Calgary to play the SAIT Trojans in Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference hockey league action over the weekend.

On Friday, the Clippers dropped an 11-1 decision to the Trojans with Brenden Whitehawk providing the lone goal.

“They scored six goals in the first period and we just weren’t ready to compete. We gave up four in the second and one in the third. They backed off a bit in the third,” explained Stoltz.

With such a young team this season, Stoltz believes that could be part of the reason the Clippers were so flat and on their heels throughout the game.

“We had 13 guys in the lineup and that was their first ACAC game. I think they got acquainted quite early and slowly stopped the bleeding,” he said.

On Saturday, the Clippers simply ran out of gas with a more skilled Trojans team. Whitehawk provided the offence in a 7-1 loss. The Trojans scored three goals in the first, one in the second and three more in the final frame.

“Our lack of legs caught up with us in the third and them being a good, deep team, they took advantage of that,” said Stoltz.

The Clippers knew before heading to Calgary how difficult the weekend was going to be and will look at these two games as a learning curve and a way to see what areas that need improvement.

“I think we took some strides forward in the weekend with our defensive zone, I thought it got better. I think our special teams have a long way to go, but that’s where we are at and it was a learning curve against one of the best teams in the league,” he said. “We know what it is going to have to take to compete at this level and we are looking forward to bringing the work ethic and the systems along and developing into a program that can compete.”

The Clippers will host NAIT this weekend for their home opener at the Barkman Arena in Caronport. The NAIT Ooks also won both of their games this weekend by a wide margin.

“They are a great team and it will be a good challenge for us and we look forward to playing in front of our home arena and some of the best fans in the ACAC,” said Stoltz.

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