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Briercrest Clippers pick up key win over Portage in ACAC men’s hockey

Clippers split weekend set with Voyageurs, falling 4-3 in over time before taking 3-1 victory in rematch at Barkman Arena; men’s and women’s basketball both lose pair to St. Mary’s 
The Clippers men's hockey team picked up three out of four points this past weekend in ACAC action.

There might be two months remaining on the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference men’s hockey schedule, but it’s already shaping up to be a solid campaign for the Briercrest College Clippers.

The Caronport-based squad put together another solid weekend Friday and Saturday at the Barkman Arena, falling 4-3 in overtime to the Portage Voyageurs before rebounding with a 3-1 victory in the rematch.

As a result, the Clippers are now in striking distance of the upper echelon of the ACAC standings -- their 5-6-1-0 record sees Briercrest two points back of fourth-place NAIT and Concordia and three points back of Augustana for third.

It was a bit of a tough one in the weekend opener, as the Clippers took a 2-0 lead out of the first period and led 3-2 through two before Portage tied things up midway through the third. 

Blake Astorino scored the game-winner for the Voyageurs in overtime.

Jake Dale and Cole Stevenson scored for Briercrest in the first, and Reagan Poncelet made it 3-0 midway through the second before Portage scored goals 59 seconds apart late in the period to pull within one.

Brayden Dale scored his second of the game for the Voyageurs at 8:32 of the third to tie the game 3-3.

Kolter Pawlick stopped 26 shots in taking the loss, the Clippers had 36 shots on Portage’s Alex Brousseau.

There were no big comebacks in the rematch Saturday. 

Caleb Grandfield gave Briercrest a 1-0 lead in the first period, Dale made it 2-0 early in the second and Jacob Arsenault finished things off with an insurance goal early in the third.

Portage’s Gavin Mattey scored their lone goal with three minutes left in the second period.

Dominik Tmej had 22 saves for Briercrest, Jacob Gnidziejko stopped 33 for Portage.

The Clipper’s mens’ basketball team didn’t have a lot of luck on their side against Calgary-based St. Mary’s University, falling 98-66 on Friday and dropping a 113-82 decision Saturday at Margaret P. Reimer gymnasium.

The opening contest saw the Clippers trail 28-15 after the first quarter, 54-32 at the half and 76-48 through three quarters.

Oroma Bongomin led the Clippers with 14 points, while Moose Jaw product Danny Mullens scored 13 off the bench and hauled in seven rebounds. Matthew Bryant also had 13 points and added eight rebounds, while Central grad Riley Seaborn had a 12-point night. Fellow Cyclones product Kaedyn Banilevic picked up an assist.

Caleb Jipp led St. Mary’s with 24 points. Vanier grad Riley Follensbee had a rebound in four minutes of work for the Huskies. 

Things were far closer in the early going of Saturday’s game, as St. Mary’s held a three-point lead after the first quarter and led 56-45 at the half. A 30-19 surge after the break saw the Huskies pull away, though, and they’d go on to their comfortable win.

Brock Dewsberry went off for St. Mary’s, scoring 41 points on 12 of 16 shooting, including eight three-pointers.

Bryant had a solid game of his own for Briercrest, putting up 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists; Bongomin picked up 19 points and Corbin Gegenbach added 12. Seaborn had nine points and seven rebounds, Banilevic a pair of offensive rebounds.

The Clippers are now 1-9 on the season and tied for seventh place in the South Division.

The Clippers women’s basketball team found themselves in a pair of close battles with St. Mary before falling 79-58 on Friday and dropping a 79-70 decision Saturday.

The opening match was as close as could be for three quarters -- the Huskies led by one at the half and by three heading into the final 10 minutes, but St. Mary would outscore the Clippers 24-6 to pull away.

Amber Fichtner led BC with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Brooklyn Martens had a 15-point outing. Melissa Ellis scored 11 off the bench. 

Andria Stitt led St. Mary’s with 33 points.

The rematch followed much the same pattern, with a difference: the Huskies led 33-31 after the first quarter, but the Clippers would go into the break with a 38-37 lead and would extend their edge to 54-52 heading into the final frame. There, it was much the same as Friday, as St. Mary’s put together a late surge to outscore the Clippers 27-16 and take their nine-point win.

Martens had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Briercrest, Fichtner added 14 points and nine rebounds, Dori Sunderland 12 points and Ellis 10. Maddison Beattie added 10 points and seven rebounds.

The losses dropped the Clippers to 5-5 on the season, good enough for a tie for fourth place in the South Division, two points back of second-place St. Mary’s and SAIT.

The Clippers volleyball teams weren’t in action this weekend but return to the court for a two-game set against Lethbridge College during the Dec. 2 weekend.

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