ACAC Men's Hockey Semi-Finals

ACAC Men's Hockey Semi-Finals

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

Stats are stats.

There are leaders in stats.

For example, Cale Kindrachuk of the Briercrest Clippers was tops in the 2018-2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) men's hockey category for penalty minutes as he was whistled down for 97 minutes.

Second place in this category went to SAIT Trojans' Parker Evans-Campbell with 79.

The difference between Evans-Campbell and Kindrachuk, with no disrespect, is that Evans-Campbell shines bright in another category.

That category is scoring.

While Kindrachuk had three goals and an assist in 28 games, Evans-Campbell managed an impressive 11 goals and 9 assists in 27 regular season games.

Scoring and serving time is nothing new to Evans-Campbell.

All one needs to do is look back a few years at his statistical performances.

The High River, Alberta native first took his talents to the Alberta Junior Hockey League Fort McMurray Oil Barons. During the 2012-2013 campaign he would tally 8 goals, 17 assists in 55 skates with 44 penalty minutes.

Of his introduction to Junior A hockey, Evans-Campbell, now 25, recalled: "It was pretty neat when I went to Fort McMurray on a tryout. I knew they would be losing a lot of forwards and they had 16 rookies that year, so it was pretty unique. They had a great rink and organization."

He was then traded to the Flin Flon Bombers (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) for two years (2013-2015).

During his time in Manitoba, the six-foot tall forward would chalk up 21 goals 47 assists in 108 games. He would be whistled down for 201 minutes.

Reminisces Evans-Campbell: "Flin Flon had been one of the teams that had been trying to recruit me out of Midget. So, I was definitely glad that I decided to report to them."

Along with goals and assists, one starts to notice that Evans-Campbell has a habit of spending time in the penalty box?

"I think it is because of my style of play. I know that my penalties are not stick infractions or because I am undisciplined. A lot of them are from battling hard and playing an aggressive style game and that can backfire sometimes."

"Even though I have got a fair amount of penalties, I am not going to change my game and I believe that it has not affected our team too much. The aggression I play with creates a lot of space for myself and my teammates."

A change of scenery for 2015-2016 with postsecondary hockey and books with Minot State University.

He saw the puck dropped in 28 games with 6 goals and 11 assists to go along with 56 penalty minutes at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II independent school.

Of his time with the Beavers, Evans-Campbell said: "Originally I was not going to go there but plans fell through for another school. I had a buddy there, so he talked to the coach. We traveled a lot and played against some really good teams and some teams that were not that good."

Enrolling at SAIT in 2016-2017, he would play a handful of games with the Innisfail Eagles in The Chinook Hockey League.

Joining the Trojans men's hockey roster last year, Evans-Campbell was in 20 games with 1 goal and 4 assists.

He had only 18 minutes whistled against him!

Evans-Campbell said he has had only one major injury to date which was during his second year of Midget hockey when he suffered a ruptured spleen after a hit.

"I also had mono (mononucleosis) at the time and didn't know. They didn't have to take out my spleen."

Of the upcoming series against the NAIT Ooks, he said: "Obviously NAIT is a great team and they always have been. For us, our major concern is special teams. It will come down to the special teams for the most part."

Semi-Final Series A

SAIT Trojans vs. NAIT Ooks

SAIT Trojans

17 wins 10 losses 1 overtime loss 124 goals for 90 goals against
Top Guns: Dean Allison 13 goals 25 assists 38 points Colton McCarthy 16 goals 18 assists 34 points Eric Krienke 18 goals 15 assists 33 points
The Puck Stops Here: Payton Lee 68 goals against 3.22 goals against average 702 saves 12 wins 9 losses

NAIT Ooks

20 wins 7 losses 1 tie 130 goals for 64 goals against
Top Guns: Jake Mykitiuk 12 goals 22 assists 34 points, Thomas Foster 9 goals 21 assists 30 points, Brayden Harris 13 goals 13 assists 26 points
The Puck Stops Here: Brenden Jensen 33 goals against 2.08 goals against average 448 saves 5 wins 1 tie

Haven't We Met Before?: In the four game regular season match-up the Ooks took three games outscoring their Calgary rivals 14-10 in the series.

Fri., March 15/19, 7:00 PM, SAIT @ NAIT, NAIT Arena
Sat., March 16/19, 7:00 PM, NAIT @ SAIT, SAIT Arena
Sun., March 17/19, If necessary, 6:30 PM, SAIT @ NAIT, NAIT Arena

Semi-Final Series B

Red Deer Kings vs. MacEwan University Griffins

Red Deer Kings

19 wins 7 losses 1 overtime loss 1 tie 132 goals for 87 goals against
Top Guns: Chase Thudium 18 goals 19 assists 37 points Lynnden Pastachak 11 goals 21 assists 32 points Dylan Thudium 13 goals 18 assists 31 points
The Puck Stops Here: Troy Trombley 87 goals against 3.06 goals against average 474 saves 12 wins 5 losses

MacEwan University Griffins

19 wins 7 losses 1 overtime loss 1 tie 135 goals for 58 goals against
Top Guns: Brett Njaa 14 goals 21 assists 35 points, Ryan Baskerville 10 goals 19 assists 29 points, Garan Magnes 14 goals 13 assists 27 points
The Puck Stops Here: Marc-Olivier Daigle 46 goals against 1.85 goals against average 679 saves 7 wins 1 tie

Haven't We Met Before?: In the four game regular season match-up the teams split down the middle with MacEwan holding a slight edge in goals for 14-13.

Thur., March 14/19, 7:00 PM, RDC @ GMU, Downtown Community Arena
Fri., March 15/19, 7:00 PM, GMU @ RDC, GWHCGC Arena
Sat., March 16/19, If necessary, 6:00 PM, RDC @ GMU, Downtown Community Arena