Vikings capture hockey crown

(Camrose) The Augustana Vikings won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Hockey Championship for the first time since they turned the trick during the inaugural ACAC tournament in 1975.

The win came after an intense double-overtime game against the NAIT Ooks on March 23.

“I cannot begin to explain how incredibly proud I am of this group right now,” said Vikings coach Blaine Gusdal after the game. “Right from the coaching staff to our training staff and every single player�everyone went above and beyond for an entire season, preparing for a moment like this.”

The Vikings went into the March 23 game against the Ooks with a 2-1 series lead. Assistant captain Dan Hope opened up the scoring only minutes into the first period. The Ooks scored on a power play in the second period to tie up the game.

The Vikings answered back almost immediately when captain Torrie Dyck was able to beat Ooks netminder Shannon Szabados. NAIT tied it up at 2-2 early in the third period, pushing the game into overtime for the second night in a row. Vikings goaltenderJoel Danyluk made two very big saves in the first extra frame, keeping his team in the game and forcing a second overtime. After nine shots on net, Dean Prpick was able to sink the Ooks and claim victory for the Vikings.

Danyluk was awarded player of the game after his exceptional play throughout the playoffs. Dyck and the team’s assistant captains�Daniel Hope, Ryan Cornforth and Richard Dupre�were the first to raise the ACAC Championship cup.

“To see the boys celebrating as champions, and especially as Vikings champions, is something I will never forget,” Gusdal said after the game. “It’s a very special feeling for me, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here and so thankful for all our loyal supporters. Thank you Vikings Nation. After 37 years, we are once again on top.”