Published Thursday April 7, 2016 Written by Gino De Paoli
Two former Okotoks Oilers will take centre stage in Tampa Bay Thursday night to decide who will go to the NCAA Division I Hockey finals this weekend.
Former defenceman Tariq Hammond will suit up for the Denver Pioneers while Rhett Gardner will lace up his skates for the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
Both were teammates in the 2013-14 season with the Oilers but will face each other one more time as they've both beat each other twice and tied once in the regular season.
Hammond says this is the defining rubber match for the Pioneers and Fighting Hawks with the loser's season coming to a halt.
“We've played them five times this year so we know what they're capable of and how they play and the style of their play,” he says. “We have beaten them before so that gives us a lot of confidence and we're really excited to get another crack at them and hopefully come out of the winning end and put ourselves in that national championship game.”
Gardner says it will be a war against Hammond's Pioneers.