August 1, 2021
Over the course of six years with Level 2 Championships from 1996 through 2001, one team raised the CCAA Championship Bowl on three occasions. Twenty years ago, the Mount Royal College Cougars captured their third national title in four seasons. Mount Royal's first gold medal performance was at the 1988 CCAA National Hockey Championship.
The 2000-01 ACAC hockey playoff pairings were not determined until the final weekend of the regular season. The Mount Royal College Cougars (22-5-1) occupied top spot for the final 11 weeks of the regular campaign to finish atop the standings for the first time since 1997-98.
In a rematch of the 1998-99 final series, Red Deer and Mount Royal hooked up in one semi final affair. Adam Loncan pocketed a pair and Moe Halat netted the winner as the Cougars shaded the Kings 5-4 in overtime. Derek MacLean's powerplay goal with 3:10 gone in third proved to be the difference as MRC edged RDC 3-2 and took the series in the minimum two games.
In a rematch of the 1999-2000 final series, NAIT and SAIT faced one another in the other semi final. The two teams traded home wins. Geoff Derouin blocked 33 shots and Mike Hofstand tallied twice as the Trojans blanked the Ooks 5-0. Tyson Schielke pocketed a pair as NAIT rebounded with a 6-1 win. In the series finale, Chuck Beaulieu netted the winning goal with 2:12 left in regulation as NAIT shaded SAIT 2-1 and ended the Trojans’ reign as CCAA champs.
For the first time in five seasons, NAIT and Mount Royal met in the championship final series. Six different Cougars scored in the series opener as they clawed to a 6-1 victory over the Ooks. Then, MRC’s Mike Prochazka netted the winner with 65 seconds left in regulation as Mount Royal edged NAIT 4-3. Derek Stuart's second goal of the game with 57 seconds gone in overtime gave Mount Royal a 5-4 win and a berth in the CCAA Championships at Kitchener. Moe Halat also chipped in a pair for the Cougars in the series clincher.
At the 2001 CCAA National Hockey Championship in Kitchener, Mount Royal outscored the OCAA champion Sault College Cougars 12-1 and the host Conestoga College Condors 14-1 in the round robin. Mount Royal won their third national title in four seasons with a 16-1 triumph over Conestoga in the tournament closer.