Three Stars: Strang, Osunde, Kirwer earn honours

Ethan Strang led the Griffins with four goals in a two-game weekend sweep over Trinity Western (Joel Kingston photo).
Ethan Strang led the Griffins with four goals in a two-game weekend sweep over Trinity Western (Joel Kingston photo).

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Men's hockey student-athlete Ethan Strang is the MacEwan Athletics' first star of the week after scoring four goals in two games against Trinity Western on the weekend.

Strang scored twice in the Griffins' 6-2 win over the Spartans on Friday before also lighting the lamp two times in their 5-1 win on Saturday.

Men's basketball student-athlete Matthew Osunde and women's hockey student-athlete Shyla Kirwer are the second and third stars, respectively.

It's Strang's second appearance of his rookie season on the Three Stars list, having previously been honoured as second star on Dec. 6. Osunde is getting recognition for the third time in 2022-23 after being named second star Nov. 22 and third star Jan. 10.

Kirwer is also being honoured for the second time, having previously been named third star on Sept. 20.

1st STAR: Ethan Strang, F, men's hockey

Cochrane, AB, first-year, Open Studies

Strang led the Griffins to their first weekend sweep of the season by scoring four of their 11 goals against the Trinity Western Spartans.

The former Grande Prairie Storm star netted two-straight goals in Friday's 6-2 win over the Spartans, scoring twice just 1:10 apart in the second period. 

Strang struck on the powerplay for MacEwan's fifth goal of the season at 13:41 of the middle frame when the puck deflected off a defender, up in the air and in, and scored again at 14:51 when he walked over the blueline and wired a shot past TWU goaltender Raphael Audet.

In Saturday's 5-1 win, Strang scored twice again. He opened the scoring for the Griffins 4:51 into the second period, picking a defender's pocket and scoring from the middle of the slot, before tallying MacEwan's fifth of the contest on a third period backhander.

For the season, Strang leads the Griffins with eight goals, which sets a new single season record for the program's Canada West era, surpassing the seven that Riley Brandt had in 2021-22.

Strang will lead MacEwan into a home series vs. UBC on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (5 p.m., both Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV).

Matthew Osunde rolls in a bucket against Alberta on Saturday night. He scored a career-high 25 points (Eduardo Perez photo).

2nd STAR: Matthew Osunde, PG, men's basketball

Morinville, AB, second-year, Science

Never coming off the court against the Alberta Golden Bears in Saturday's 71-61 loss, Matthew Osunde produced one of the most memorable single-game performances in the program's recent history.

The second-year point guard scored a game-high 25 points, narrowly missing a double double with nine rebounds, while adding four assists, four steals and a block. Beyond the numbers, his defensive effort was even better, leading the Griffins to limiting their cross-town rivals to the co-lowest point total they've had this season. 

Also, in Friday's 82-60 loss to Alberta, Osunde had five points, eight rebounds, two steals and an assist in 33 minutes on the court.

For the season, the Strathcona high school product is leading the Griffins by averaging 12.7 points per game, 6.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Osunde and the Griffins head out on the road this weekend for two games at Manitoba on Friday (7 p.m. MT) and Saturday (6 p.m. MT, both Canada West TV).

Griffins captain Shyla Kirwer went 60 per cent in the face-off circle and had two points in a weekend split at Trinity Western (Joel Kingston photo).

3rd STAR: Shyla Kirwer, F, women's hockey

Sherwood Park, AB, fourth-year, Science

Team captain Shyla Kirwer led MacEwan's strong effort in earning a split at the Trinity Western Spartans on the weekend with two points and a huge performance on the faceoff dot.

In Friday's 2-1 loss, Kirwer scored the Griffins' lone goal in the second period when she redirected Rian Santos' shot past Spartans goaltender Kate Fawcett.


In Saturday's 3-1 win, Kirwer won the faceoff back to Shaelyn Hopkins, who passed to Rebecca Thiessen for the empty-netter that would seal the victory.

On the weekend, Kirwer won 60 per cent of her faceoffs and played a huge role on a Griffins' penalty-kill unit that didn't allow any power-play goals against on 10 Spartans' opportunities.

For the season, Kirwer is second on the Griffins in scoring with seven points in 22 games.

She leads MacEwan back out on the road this weekend as they visit UBC on Friday (8 p.m. MT) and Saturday (4 p.m. MT, both Canada West TV).