Three Stars: Strang, Butler, Seke earn honours

Three Stars: Strang, Butler, Seke earn honours

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Men's hockey student-athlete Ethan Strang is the MacEwan Athletics first star of the week after recording four goals and an assist in a weekend home-and-home series against the Alberta Golden Bears.

Strang scored twice in each of the two contests against MacEwan's cross-town rival to reach 10 goals on the season, breaking his own program record for the most by a Griffin in a Canada West season.

Women's volleyball outside hitter Arden Butler and men's basketball wing Joel Seke are the second and third stars of the week, respectively.

This is the second time Strang has made the Three Stars list this season after earning first-star honours on Oct. 24. Both Butler and Seke are appearing for the first time in 2023-24.

 Ethan Strang celebrates after scoring his first of two goals against Alberta on Saturday (Derek Harback photo).

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

Cochrane, AB, second-year, Arts

It was a five-point weekend for Strang, who continues to prove he's one of the best players in Canada West.

Last Friday at Clare Drake, Strang scored twice in the first period – 1:05 into the game on a short-side shelf shot and 1:11 before the intermission when he potted his own rebound on a breakaway – to stake the Griffins to an early 3-1 lead. He finished with four shots in MacEwan's 5-3 loss.

On Saturday at the Downtown Community Arena, Strang was buzzing again, scoring the Griffins' first of the game 5:41 into the contest on another rebound goal, this time off Rylan Lefebvre's shot. 

He then scored MacEwan's third of the contest in the second period, picking a puck out of a net-front scramble and finding twine for his record-breaking 10th tally of the campaign, passing his own record of nine in a season, set in 2022-23.

Strang added an assist on a goal 1:13 later when he had the first tip on Sean Comrie's powerplay point shot before Ryley Appelt added another one to put it past goalie Matt Berlin. Strang finished the contest with five shots in an 8-5 loss for MacEwan.

For the season, he is now leading the Griffins in scoring with 10 goals and 14 points in 18 games.

The Griffins are now on semester break before resuming action on Jan. 5-6 vs. Calgary.

 Arden Butler had 30 kills over two matches against Mount Royal on the weekend (Daniel Zappe photo).

2nd STAR: Arden Butler, OH, women's volleyball

Edmonton, AB, third-year, Arts

Butler was on the bench to start MacEwan's series at Mount Royal University, but quickly became one of the key figures in the Griffins' two-game weekend sweep of the Cougars.

With the Griffins trailing 21-15 in their opening set last Friday, Butler came into the match and began to change the momentum. While it was too late for MacEwan in the opening set, which they lost 25-17, Butler spurred to a 3-1 victory (17-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22) with 15 kills on a .400 hitting percentage, adding an ace, four digs and a block, while accounting for 16.5 points.

On Saturday, Butler started and was a big reason why the Griffins again beat MRU 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21) as she recorded 15 kills on a .179 hitting percentage, adding an assist, seven digs and two blocks, while accounting for 16.0 points.

For the season, Butler, who has mainly come off the bench so far, is sixth on the Griffins with 47 kills (but second in kills/set – 2.24).

The Griffins head into the semester break firmly in a playoff position at 9-3. Their next action is at home on Jan. 5-6 when they host 10-2 Manitoba.

 Griffins' rookie Joel Seke came off the bench to score 30 points in two games against UBC on the weekend (Eduardo Perez photo).

3rd STAR: Joel Seke, W, men's basketball

Edmonton, AB, first-year, Science

Seeing action for the first time at home in his Canada West career, the rookie showed off his promising potential with a fantastic weekend for the Griffins against UBC at the David Atkinson Gym.

Seke put up 30 points across two games for MacEwan in just the third and fourth games of his career after making his U SPORTS debut on the road at UNBC on Nov. 17.

With the Griffins trailing big heading early in last Friday's 84-67 loss to the Thunderbirds, Seke came off the bench and scored 16 of his 18 points in the second quarter. He nearly nabbed a double double, adding nine rebounds and two steals.

In Saturday's 96-63 loss to UBC, Seke co-led the Griffins with 12 points, adding three rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench.

For the season, he's averaging 9.0 points/game and 4.8 rebounds/game (both fifth on the Griffins).

MacEwan is on semester break and will return to action Jan. 5-6 when they cross the river to meet cross-town rival Alberta at the Saville Centre.