Considerable rookie risk. Handsome rookie reward.
That was the story for the SAIT Trojans men’s hockey team on Thursday, as the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) handed out its all-star awards for the 2012-13 season. The Men of Troy took a serious chance this winter, overhauling the roster and welcoming 17 ACAC freshmen into their ranks.
Final verdict? The next four weekends of ACAC playoffs will tell the tale. But on Thursday, that move got a ringing endorsement from the conference’s coaching fraternity — because among the five Trojans christened all-stars, three of them are in their first go-round in SAIT red and white.
Goaltender Mike Tadjdeh (1st year, Calgary, welding technician, AJHL Okotoks) and defenceman David Watt (1st year, Duchess, Alta., pre-employment carpentry, AJHL Brooks) were named ACAC first-team all-stars, while blueliner Colton Semenok (1st year, Banff, Alta., pre-employment carpentry, AJHL Brooks) was selected to the second team. A couple of Trojan veterans also got the ACAC all-star treatment: captain and forward Garrett Watson (4th year, Calgary, bachelor of business administration accounting) was tapped for the first team, while assistant captain and forward Clinton Pettapiece (5th year, Christina Lake, B.C., power and process operations, CIS Wilfrid Laurier) earned a spot on the second team.
The Trojans (21-3-4) begin a best-of-five ACAC semifinal series against the defending conference champion University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings (19-5-4) on Friday, March 1 at SAIT Arena at 7 p.m.
On the women’s side, veteran Trojans forward Becca Glackin (3rd year, Red Deer, Alta., medical laboratory assistant) was named an ACAC first-team all-star on Thursday.
Through the full 2012-13 regular season, Tadjdeh compiled the ACAC’s second-best goals-against average (1.75) and the conference’s best save percentage (93.3), while finishing tied for most wins, with 15.
Tadjdeh has been nearly unbeatable, though, down the homestretch — with a 1.12 goals-against average, 96.2 save percentage, and two shutouts during an eight-game span to end the regular season.
Semenok (7-16—23) and Watt (5-14—19) finished first and second in point production among SAIT defenceman, with Semenok tied for second on the club roster with five power-play goals.
Watson finished the regular season tied for the conference lead with 22 goals — an eye-popping 11 of them on the power play — and ranked fifth among ACAC point producers with 37. He also enters playoffs on a nine-game points streak, having piled up 15 points (11-4—15) during that prolific stretch.
Pettapiece finished the 2012-13 campaign third in ACAC points — 42, including 11 goals — and just one point back of the conference lead, after finishing the 2011-12 campaign tied for the ACAC points lead with 39.
Glackin, meanwhile, was the Trojans’ leader in goals (7) and co-leader in points (12), ending up tied for sixth and 10th, respectively, in those categories across the ACAC. The Women of Troy finished out of the playoffs with a 3-11-4 record.
Friday night’s series opener between the Trojans and Vikings will be broadcast by the Trojans Productions crew, and shown both on the SAIT Arena’s jumbo LED screen and on the web at http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/sait-trojans-hockey
Friday’s game will also be the SAIT Trojans game of the week on Shaw TV Calgary. Shaw cable subscribers will be able to watch the live-to-tape broadcast on cable Channel 10 on Saturday, March 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 from 7 to 9 a.m.