June 4, 2017

FROM WALL OF FAMERS TO HALL OF FAMERS

The first Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) hockey team to enter a provincial sports hall of fame, the 1984-85 Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks, received their third honour within in a decade when they were inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on Friday, May 26th, 2017 in Red Deer. The induction followed ones onto the NAIT Athletics Wall of Fame in 2007 and into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

The team is the first and only one of the 62 Alberta based national hockey champions in men's hockey from the midget, junior, college, university, senior and professional ranks to win all their regular season and post season games.

While the Bemidji State University Beavers were in the midst of the longest winning streak in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) mem's hockey history, the number one ranked team in the CCAA was riding a 21 game winning streak heading into the 1984 CCAA National Hockey Championship at Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) champions won their initial contest at the event only to suffer a gut wrenching 3-1 loss to the Saint-Georges Seminary Condors before placing fourth.

Thirteen players from the defending conference champions returned in the fall forming the nucleus of the team that started the 1984-85 regular season with 11 straight wins.

During the Christmas break, the team embarked on the NAIT hockey program's inaugural European tour posting four victories and a tie. With a 5-3 win over the York University Yeomen to capture the Altjahres Cup in Adelboden, Switzerland, the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks became the first team in its CCAA national hockey championship season to down a university team in its CIAU (now U Sports) national hockey championship season.

Upon their return, the team posted 14 more victories on the way to establishing six current regular season conference records -- most goals (222), most assists (343), most points (565), most wins in a 25 game regular season (25), fewest losses (0), and highest winning percentage (1.000). The team also led the conference with fewest goals against (57) in the regular season.

After sweeping the Camrose Lutheran College Vikings in the best of three conference semi final and the Red Deer College Kings in the best of five conference final, an attendance record was set that still stands for a hockey game featuring two Canadian post secondary teams as 13,354 attended the first Face Off for the Ronald McDonald Cup between the Ooks and the University of Alberta Golden Bears at Northlands Coliseum.

The number one ranked team in the nation then travelled to the CCAA National Hockey Championship in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where they outscored the Cariboo College Chiefs 8-2, the Seneca College Braves 5-2 and the Victoriaville College Vulkins 9-2 to hoist the CCAA Championship Bowl. The team arrived back in Edmonton as the first varsity national hockey champions from Western Canada to have no ties and no losses in the regular season and post season.

A record eight players were named to conference all star teams on a squad which won 25 regular season games, 5 playoff matches, and 3 national championship tournament contests with 267 goals for and 74 goals against – a difference of nearly six goals per game on average.

The team has the most wins of the five national men's hockey champions from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), U Sports (formerly CIS and CIAU) and the CCAA to outscore their opponents in every regular season and post season game:

The team was the seventh to be enshrined in both the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and joined the 1947-48 Allan Cup Champion Edmonton Flyers, the 1950 World Champion Edmonton Waterloo Mercurys, the 1951 World Champion Lethbridge Maple Leafs, the 1952 Olympic Champion Edmonton Waterloo Mercurys, the 1962-63 Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings and the 1965-66 Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings.

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