Three Stars: Kirwer, Row, Johnstone earn honours

Shyla Kirwer had a five-point weekend in leading the Griffins to a weekend series sweep over NAIT (Joel Kingston photo).
Shyla Kirwer had a five-point weekend in leading the Griffins to a weekend series sweep over NAIT (Joel Kingston photo).

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Women's hockey student-athlete Shyla Kirwer is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week after her performance in leading the Griffins to a sweep over cross-town rival NAIT on the opening weekend of the season.

Kirwer scored four goals and added an assist as the Griffins beat the Ooks 10-5 and 2-1.

Other athletes recognized this week include second star Kiana Row of the women's cross-country team and third star Seth Johnstone of the men's soccer team.

It's the first time this season that Kirwer has been named to the MacEwan three stars list.

Row makes her fourth appearance of 2019-20 – including impressively finishing as second star for a third-straight week. She was also named first star on Sept. 10.

Johnstone is being honoured for the second time this season, having also been named third star on Sept. 17.

1st STAR: Shyla Kirwer, F, women's hockey

Sherwood Park, AB, second-year, Science

The opening weekend of her second season in the ACAC couldn't have gone any better for Shyla Kirwer, who posted four goals and an assist in the Griffins' sweep of their cross-town rivals NAIT.

In Friday's season opener at NAIT Arena, Kirwer scored the first hat trick of her post-secondary career and added as assist as the Griffins exploded for a 10-5 victory over the Ooks. Kirwer accounted for MacEwan's first, fifth and seventh goals of the game in one of, if not the, highest offensive outputs by one team in ACAC women's hockey history.

In Saturday's rematch at Edmonton's Downtown Community Arena, Kirwer scored the winning goal with 4:51 left in the game to deliver a 2-1 MacEwan victory.

The output has Kirwer tied with teammate Chantal Ricker – who also had a five-point weekend (three goals, two assists) – atop the ACAC scoring race through the first weekend.

MacEwan next hosts SAIT on Friday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena) and visits them in Calgary on Saturday.

2nd STAR: Kiana Row, women's cross-country

Beaumont, AB, first-year, Nursing

Row continued her impressive fall season of competition, finishing as the top post-secondary student-athlete in a race for the second time this season – this time at the ACAC Grand Prix #5 in Camrose on Saturday.

Row ran the 6K on the hilly course in 24:01 to top all ACAC runners – including defending CCAA national champion Sophia Nowicki of Lethbridge – and every competitor from Canada West rival Alberta, which also fielded a team in the race.

A special honourable mention goes to teammate Emma Steele, who finished second among post-secondary competitors, just eight seconds back of Row.

Former Griffins star Vanessa Trofimenkoff won the race as an open competitor in 22:33.

Row's rookie season has also included finishing as the top post-secondary athlete at the ACAC Grand Prix #1 last month in Edmonton and finishing second among university competitors against NCAA competition in Seattle last weekend.

Next up for the Griffins country team is the Canada West championship in Calgary on Oct. 26.

Kiana Row finished as the top post-secondary competitor at the ACAC Grand Prix #5 in Camrose on Saturday, just eight seconds ahead of teammate Emma Steele, left (Linda Miller photo).

3rd STAR: Seth Johnstone, GK, men's soccer

Edmonton, AB, third-year, Commerce

Johnstone continued the stellar final season of his university career by stopping another penalty kick to lead MacEwan to a 2-2 draw at Calgary on Sunday.

Among his 10 saves in a game the Griffins were outshot 12-7 was a diving stop to rob Eryk Kobza from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute.

That save allowed MacEwan to tie the contest in the 88th minute and earn a result that secures the season series against the Calgary Dinos.

Johnstone also stopped a penalty kick on Sept. 14 to preserve a 1-1 draw with Thompson Rivers University.

Johnstone's 53 saves to date on the season is tied for sixth most in Canada West, while his save percentage (.757) is tied for fifth.

The Griffins will close out their 2019 Canada West campaign with a pair of home games this weekend – Saturday vs. Lethbridge (12 p.m.) and Sunday vs. Saskatchewan (12 p.m., Clarke Stadium, both games on Canada West TV presented by Co-op). The latter is MacEwan's Senior Day and Johnstone will be one of five graduates feted following the contest.

Seth Johnstone stopped his second penalty kick of the season to help MacEwan earn a 2-2 draw against Calgary on Sunday (Chris Piggott photo).