Briercrest men’s hockey showed that they can compete with the perennial ACAC powerhouses this weekend as they take a point from Augustana on the road Saturday night.
The weekend began with a high scoring affair Friday night. After Briercrest kept the score tight for the first two periods Augustana pulled away for an 11-4 win.
Augustana jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the first period with goals from Jeremy Beirnes, Godric Tham and Adam Johnson.
Briercrest quickly regrouped and responded with two quick goals to start the second period, cutting the score to 3-2. Less than a minutes into the second period rookie Brett Lafond scored his first ACAC goal on the powerplay from captain Josh Dufresne and rookie Justin Steenhof. Less than 30 seconds later fellow rookie Josh Anderson scored his second goal of season with helpers coming from Langford and Lafond. A minute and a half later Augustana responded with another goal from Johnson before Lafond scored his second goal of the period, assisted by Anderson, to once again cut the Briercrest deficit to one at 4-3. Augustana extended their lead off two goals from Craig Cornelson and Beirnes to end the second period with a 6-3 lead.
Augustana continued to extend their lead in the third period with two quick goals from Matthew Foster and Brad Bourke to extend their lead to 8-3 and end Briercrest goaltender Christian Mueller’s night. Mueller stopped 32 of 40 shots he faced in 43:40 of action. Augustana continued their scoring ways against Mueller’s replacement in rookie Jameson Shortreed, scoring three goals on ten shots to end the period and pushing their lead to 11-3 off two more goals from Johnson and one from Tham before Briercerst’s Anderson scored his second goal of the night with 26 seconds left in the third period, off an assist from Manny Schellenberg, to make teh final score 11-4 for Augustana.
Briercrest highlights of the night were two goal and one assist performances from fellow rookies Anderson and Lafond.
Unhappy with how the Friday night game ended, Briercrest responded quickly out of the gate in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss to Augustana on Saturday, Oct. 5 taking a 2-0 lead just over half-way through the first period off two goals from assistant captain Manny Schellenberg. The first goal was assisted by rookie Micah Abbott and the second on the powerplay from rookie Jacob Baribeau and Erik Robitaille.
Augustana continued to pressure Briercrest in the second period, after peppering Briercrest rookie starter Connor Dobberthien with 23 shots in the first period they put 18 shots on him in the second and were able to even the score up at 2-2 off goals from Jeff Lorenz and Devon Hobbs.
Adam Johnson continued his hot hand for Augustana by giving them their first lead of the game 6:11 into the third period before Briercrest’s Brett Lafond responed with his third goal of the weekend on the powerplay from Lucas Ford and Abbott to send the game to overtime.
Overtime was short lived as Scott Aucoin scored for Augustana 25 second into the period giving them the 4-3 overtime win.
Rookie goaltender Connor Dobberthien was Briercrest player of the game stopping 50 of 54 shots on goal.
After a weekend full of penalties against Portage the prior weekend, the Briercrest-Augustana series was a very clean affair with only five total penalties called on Saturday afternoon. Briercrest went three for seven on the powerplay during the weekend and two-for three on Saturday afternoon. After allowing goals on both penalty kills on Friday Briercrest was able to stop Augustana on both opportunities on Saturday.
Briercrest will now be hosting the defending ACAC Champion NAIT Ooks this coming weekend, Oct. 11-12, beginning Friday at the Barkman Arena at 7:00 pm. If you cannot make it to the game you will be able to see a live stream at www.sportscanada.tv or find updates on the Briercrest Hockey Facebook page.