Briercest hockey loses in Home Opener
By: Kyle Legouffe
Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 was the home opener for Briercrest Hockey. They played host to the NAIT Ooks. The hometown crowd came out in a strong fashion to support their Men’s Hockey Team. Briercrest came out to the ice with an electric response from the crowd and as each player was introduced in the opening ceremony the crowd showed their support. The first period saw two penalties for each team as well as NAIT grabbing a 3-0 lead.
Going into the second period NAIT went up 7-0 and at the 11:23 mark is where things got heated. It started with a scrum after the whistle as both Michael Westfall of NAIT and Pierre Landry of Briercrest got double minors for roughing. As the refs were trying to sort out those penalties Kyle Harris of NAIT grabbed Mitchell Townsend of Briercrest and they threw some fisticuffs. Also, during the second period Feature Athlete and team captain of Briercrest Josh Dufrense showed his leadership by throwing the body as he had 5 massive hits right in front of the crowd, which got them, pumped up.
The final stanza is where Briercrest showed the most fight and determination. A bright spot for Briercrest Hockey was that Branden Whitehawk was able to keep his goal a game pace in tact. The goal began off some strong work from Manuel Schellenberg who went hard into the NAIT corner with the puck and fought for posession. Schellenberg then cycled the puck to Adam Voth who quickly fed the puck to Whitehawk in the slot, where Whitehawk quickly deposited it past NAIT goalie, and team Canada Women's National Team member, Shannon Szabados. NAIT added two more goals and the final score was 9-1.
Jesse Chenard faced 79 shots and was able to make some great saves that energized the hometown crowd. The players of the game were Dante Borrelli from NAIT as he had 2 goals and 2 assists, and for Briercrest it was Branden Whitehawk as he was the only goal scorer for Briercrest. Szabodos made 8 saves in the win for NAIT.
This game was the return of the aforementioned Manuel Schellenberg for Briercrest, he was a target in the third period for NAIT as they tried to get under his skin, but Schellenberg was able to stand strong and place each player on their rear end. That did not sit well with NAIT, so they decided to target the head of Schellenberg after the whistle. Teammate Adam Voth did what any teammate would do and that is jump in to defend. This shows that Briercrest will not back down in the midst of a war and will come back hard for the rematch Saturday at 2pm.