OLDS — It’s do or die for the Olds College Broncos women’s hockey team.
With the regular season now complete, the Broncos’ focus shifts to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC) playoffs, where they will face the NAIT Ooks in a three-game semifinal for the second straight season.
The opener will take place on Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at NAIT Arena in Edmonton, with Game 2 happening on Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Olds Sportsplex.
If necessary, the decider would occur on Sunday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Edmonton.
In last season’s playoffs, the Broncos outlasted the Ooks over three games to advance to the ACAC championship series, with the road team winning every game of the series.
The Broncos (7-8-5) turned a corner in January under first-year head coach Matt McKnight, with five of the team’s seven victories coming in the second half of the season after going winless in their first five outings.
Olds College has also played NAIT (15-2-3) tightly this season, with three out of five matchups requiring overtime at minimum, including a shootout win for the Broncos on Feb. 18 in Edmonton.
Up front, reigning ACAC women’s hockey rookie of the year Hailey Hoogkamp paced the team with six goals and shared the team lead at nine points with defender Ali Macaulay.
Sydney Jack is next up at eight points, providing a solid base up the middle with Jerika Pashniak and Ireland Greenhough on either side.
Between the pipes, the task will fall to the goaltending duo of Cienna Kinghorn and Lacey Friesen, a January addition from Marquette, Man., as they look to contain NAIT’s firepower, headed by the trio of Cheyanna Harden (20 points), Bre Martin (17 points) and Michaella Kibblewhite (16 points).
This article, edited by the Albertan, was written by Olds College sports Information and Esports coordinator Geordie Carragher.