July 1, 2019


Twenty years ago, the Mount Royal College Cougars became only the second team in CCAA hockey history to repeat as conference champions and national champions in consecutive years.

In the preseason, the Mount Royal College Cougars came out on top at the SAIT Eye Opener Classic.

In the regular season, the Cougars placed third with a record of 18 wins and 10 losses behind the Red Deer College Kings and the SAIT Trojans.

In the conference playoffs, Mount Royal met Augustana in one best of three quarter flnal series. Ryan Bennato notched two goals as the Cougars triumphed 5-3 in game and Darren Krueger netted the winner as the Vikings won 5-4 in game two. Jason Sexsmith tallied twice for Mount Royal in a 5-1 deciding game victory.

The Cougars swept the SAIT Trojans in the best of three semi final series. Dion Hagan tallied twice in a 4-1 win and Derek Descoteau completed the hat trick in a 6-2 victory.

Mount Royal then retained the ACAC title with a 3-2 championship series triumph over Red Deer. The Kings took the series opener 5-3. Ryan Bechard netted the game winner as the Cougars evened the set with a 4-3 victory. Red Deer then responded with a 3-2 win. Sheldon Szmata's marker at 7:26 of double overtime gave Mount Royal a 7-6 triumph to set the stage for a winner take all game in Red Deer. MRC captured their ninth league title as Szmata got the hat trick as the Cougars defeated the Kings 9-3.

At the 1999 CCAA National Hockey Championships in Kitchener, Ontario, the Cougars posted a perfect record of three wins and no losses. Leigh Walker, Ryan Bennato, Rob Smashnuk, and Ryan Edwards each tallied twice as Mount Royal humbled the OCAA champion Cambrian College Golden Shield 12-4. MRC assured themselves of a berth in the championship final with five special team goals en route to a 6-2 triumph over the host Conestoga College Condors. Dustin Lattery paced the Cougars with two goals. MRC then met Conestoga in the winner take all finale. Dustin Lattery, Craig Fitzgerald, and Sheldon Szmata each pocketed a pair for the Cougars while Jason Fricker recorded the shutout in a 6-0 win.

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