The NAIT Ooks hockey program holds a very rich history. There is one team in particular that shines amongst the rest – the 84-85 men’s Ooks. The team won all their regular season games, swept their opponents at the nationals and capped off their season with a perfect 33-0-0 record.
The season prior saw the Ooks losing the championship by one goal. They were hungry and with most of the team returning for the 84-85 season, they won gold.
For 34 years, few college teams have been able to replicate what the Alberta Sports Hall of Famers (only CCAA team to be inducted) had been able to achieve.
Perry Pearn coached the NAIT Ooks for 14 seasons, gaining six conference titles and six national championships, one of those seasons coached was the 84-85 season. Perry felt that the Ooks had the best forecheck in the ACAC, bringing the pressure to the team’s side was their specialty. There was other parts of their game they felt led to their success.
“Eighty hits a game would set us up for success along with no more than 20 turnovers a game. With both we were winning 90 per cent of our games.”
The 84-85 Ooks are one of five North American post secondary hockey varsity teams to go undefeated in regular season and postseason games. This feat stands through 213 teams and four different leagues. Of the five, the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks had the most wins.
“It put college hockey on the map in my opinion.”
This was Ron Amoyotte’s response when asked about the impact of the team. Ron was in his rookie year with the Ooks coming off a national championship with his junior team. “Coming from juniors, I thought it was going to be a let down. It turned out to be a great experience with great hockey.” Ron was captain for the next two seasons. During his tenure he won three ACAC and two CCAA championships.
During the Christmas break of the season the Ooks took place in their first European tour. The team collected four wins and a tie in Switzerland. The Ooks ended up beating eventual Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU) champion, York University Yeomen for the Altjahres Cup. This win made the Ooks the first team in its CCAA national hockey championship season to down a university team in its CIAU (now U Sports) national hockey championship season.
In the national championship, the Ooks faced the U of A Golden Bears in a Ronald Mcdonald Charity game at Northlands Coliseum. This series was called Face-Off. During this game both teams faced off in front of an attendance of 13,354. This game set an attendance record for a hockey game featuring two Canadian post secondary teams that still stands. The series would continue seven more times.
Through the regular season the 84-85 Ooks managed to break six conference records — most goals (222), most assists (343), most points (565), most wins in a 25 game regular season (25), fewest losses (0), and highest winning percentage (1.000). These records have yet to be broken. The team holds a prestige within college sports that should be known.
Since then, the 2015-16 men’s hockey team also went undefeated, with a 36-0-0 record en route to an ACAC championship.
– Tre Lopushinsky