One of the most dominant teams in Canadian post secondary hockey history took the ice in the 1980’s and in the process set five Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) records en route to winning league and national championships with a "complete perfect season".
En route to posting an unblemished mark of 25 wins, no losses, and no ties in the regular season, NAIT set records for most goals (222), most assists (343), most points (565), most wins (25), and fewest losses (0) that still stand today. The Ooks led the league with fewest goals against (57).
In the best of five ACAC finals, NAIT recorded three victories (5-2, 7-2 and 3-2) over the Red Deer College Kings to win their second of four consecutive league titles. The Ooks had advanced to the final with a pair of overtime wins (4-2 and 4-3) over the Camrose Lutheran College Vikings in the best of three ACAC semi finals.
At the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships in Moose Jaw, NAIT notched three more wins. In preliminary action, the Ooks downed the Cariboo College Chiefs 8-2 and the Seneca College Braves 5-2. In the championship final, the Ooks thumped the Cegep de Victoriaville Vulkins 9-2 to capture their first of two straight CCAA championship titles on March 30th, 1985.
In addition to posting 33 wins, no losses and no ties (during a record 53 game winning streak against ACAC rivals in the regular season and the post season), the Ooks amassed 11 wins, two ties, and two losses in exhibition play.
During the Christmas break, the Ooks traveled to Switzerland. After tying SC Zurich 8-8 in the first game of the tour, NAIT won the next four including a 5-3 decision over the eventual 1984-85 Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) champion York Yeomen on December 29th, 1984 in Adelboden to bring home the Altjahres Cup.
The teams that ranked number one for most of the season in university and college hockey – the University of Alberta and NAIT – battled in the inaugural Face Off game on March 19th, 1985 in front of 13,354 attendees. The game set an attendance record for an amateur hockey game in Edmonton. (The Golden Bears rallied for a 5-4 come from behind victory at the Coliseum. The U of A also posted a 3-2 win over NAIT in September.)
Overall, the Ooks outscored the opposition 367 to 120 en route to a record of 44 wins, two losses, and two ties.
The Ooks will be inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in Red Deer on Saturday, June 9th.
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The Ooks were not the only CCAA champion to accomplish the "complete perfect season" en route to becoming national champions. The College of Cape Breton Capers from Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1977-78 and the St. Clair College Saints from Windsor, Ontario in 1975-76 were also unbeaten and untied in the regular season, conference playoffs, and nationals. Only the 1972-73 University of Toronto Varsity Blues have been perfect in the regular season and the post season in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) competition.
Only two men’s college varsity hockey teams south of the border have accomplished the feat and won a national title. The 1969-70 Cornell University Big Red captured the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I title, the 1983-84 Bemidji State Beavers took the NCAA Division II title.