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March 1, 2024

RETURNING TO RED DEER TO REUNITE

For the third time in less than 12 years, the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks hockey team will reunite in Red Deer for a hall of fame induction and this time they will be joined by the 1983-84, 1985-86 and 1986-87 Ooks. The first team in ACAC hockey history to win four consecutive conference titles will be entering the ACAC Hall of Fame on May 10th.

After five back to back champions fell short in winning a third consecutive conference title in the first two decades of play, the future ACAC Hall of Fame members became the first team to win three -- and then four -- ACAC championships in a row. The 1983-84 to 1986-87 Ooks compiled a combined regular season and post season mark of 119 wins, 14 losses and one tie for a winning percentage of .892 -- the highest in ACAC men's and women's hockey history over four seasons. With an average scoring margin of 4.52 goals per game, they had the most goals for and the fewest goals against in each of the four regular seasons and never trailed in an ACAC playoff series.

At the CCAA National Hockey Championships, the 1983-84 to 1986-87 NAIT Ooks won the most national titles (2) and the most games (10) while posting the widest average scoring margin (3.62 goals per game), the longest winning streak (7 games), the best average placement (2.25) and the highest winning percentage (.769) of the five teams from across the nation to compete in at least four consecutive CCAA National Hockey Championships as conference champions.

Three conference record winning streaks are within the record setting championship run. A 42 regular season game winning streak -- which began on December 4th, 1983 and ended on October 19th, 1985 -- was also a part of a 52 game winning streak encompassing regular season and post season action versus ACAC rivals. The 10 playoff wins within the 52 game winning streak were also a part of a 16 playoff game winning streak which began on February 23rd, 1984 and ended on March 6th, 1987.

The Ooks also etched their names in the CCAA record books. The team won an unmatched seven straight at nationals from March 28, 1985 to March 25, 1987. NAIT also posted 34 straight victories in the regular season and post season against CCAA competition from October 26, 1984 to October 19th, 1985. The latter streak included the 33 wins by the 1984-85 Ooks who were perfect in the ACAC regular season, the ACAC playoffs and the CCAA National Hockey Championships.

In addition to the four straight ACAC titles, the future hall of famers also posted back to back triumphs at the national and international levels. The 1984-85 and 1985-86 Ooks came out on top at the CCAA National Hockey Championships after downing the eventual CIAU champions en route. The 1983-84 and 1985-86 Ooks were the only team to raise the Viking Cup in consecutive tournaments at Camrose, Alberta.

For the 1984-85 Ooks, its déjà vu all over again as the team headed to Red Deer for induction into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame on June 12th, 2012 and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on May 26th, 2017.

The May 10th event will not be the first time the 1983-84 and 1986-87 Ooks celebrated in Red Deer. Like the 1984-85 Ooks, each raised the Bill Henry Jr. Memorial Trophy at the Red Deer Arena after sweeping the Red Deer College Kings in the best of five final series to become ACAC champions and earn a berth at nationals. On a related note, the 1985-86 Ooks swept the Kings in a best of three semi final series. 

In seventy days, team members from the four time conference champions will congregate for the first time and celebrate the recognition of a record setting run.


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