Three Stars: Strang, Sank, Kilbreath earn honours

Three Stars: Strang, Sank, Kilbreath earn honours

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Men's hockey student-athlete Ethan Strang is the MacEwan Athletics first star of the week after leading the Griffins to two huge victories over the Regina Cougars.

Strang recorded two goals and two assists in back-to-back wins over the team that's chasing the Griffins for the final playoff spot in Canada West.

Women's hockey goaltender Brianna Sank and women's basketball guard Noelle Kilbreath are the second and third stars, respectively.

Strang appears on the Three Stars list for the fourth time this season, having previously been first star on Oct. 24, Dec. 5 and Jan. 9. 

Sank makes the list for the second-straight week, following a third star mention on Jan. 23, and earns the honour for the third time in 2023-24, having also been named first star on Oct. 6.

Kilbreath is being honoured for the fourth time this season after being named third star Nov. 7 and Jan. 9, and first star Jan. 16.

Ethan Strang was one of four Griffins players to have four-point weekends vs. Regina as he finished with two goals and two assists in a pair of blowout victories (James Maclennan photo).

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

Cochrane, AB, second-year, Arts

Also earning Canada West men's hockey player of the week for his efforts, Strang had two goals and two assists in MacEwan's weekend series sweep of the Regina Cougars.

The Grande Prairie Storm product was one of four Griffins players with a four-point weekend, so an honourable mention goes to three others with standout performances.

Samuel Simard tied the program record for the most points by a Griffin a Canada West game when he had a goal and three assists on Friday. Vincent Scott had two assists on Friday and two goals on Saturday, and Loeden Schaufler finished the weekend with four assists.

In Friday's 7-2 win over the Cougars, Strang's second period powerplay snipe was redirected in by Carter Chorney to tie the contest 2-2. Strang also had the Griffins' final goal of the contest when he scored on a penalty shot with a highlight-reel move.

In Saturday's 6-2 victory, Strang again had a goal and an assist, picking up a helper on Kole Gable's opening goal and then scoring MacEwan's fourth of the contest with a powerplay one-timer in the second period.

For the season, Strang is up to 24 points in 26 games (tied for 13th in Canada West) and has 12 goals (tied for eighth). Both are program records at MacEwan.

The Griffins will finish the regular season this weekend at Manitoba on Friday (6 p.m. MT) and Saturday (2 p.m. MT, both Canada West TV).

Brianna Sank made 32 saves for her fifth-career shutout as she led MacEwan to a 1-0 win over Regina on Saturday (Calvin Hui photo).

2nd STAR: Brianna Sank, G, women's hockey

Ardrossan, AB, fourth-year, Commerce

Another weekend, another standout performance from Sank, who continues to keep the Griffins in hockey games.

The veteran goaltender picked up fifth shutout of her university career (and fourth in Canada West) when she made 32 saves to lead the Griffins past the Regina Cougars 1-0 on Saturday. MacEwan was outshot 32-11 in the contest.

In Friday's 3-0 loss, Sank stopped 25 of 28 shots.

In her past four games, stretching back to Jan. 19-20 at Saskatchewan, she has 121 saves on 127 shots for a sizzling .953 save percentage.

For the season, Sank is now up to a 3.36 GAA and .896 save percentage, while playing 1,195:21, the third-most minutes in the conference.

The Griffins will conclude the 2023-24 season with a pair of home games this weekend against Manitoba (Friday, 7 p.m. and Saturday, 3 p.m., both Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV).

Noelle Kilbreath scored 34 points in two games at Winnipeg on the weekend (David Larkins photo).

3rd STAR: Noelle Kilbreath, G, women's basketball

Calgary, AB, fourth-year, Science

Kilbreath led the Griffins with 34 total points during a weekend series at the Winnipeg Wesmen, while also recording her first double double of the season.

In Friday's 57-46 loss, the veteran guard posted 17 points and 11 rebounds – the second double double of her Canada West career – also adding two assists, a steal and a block in 36 minutes on the court.

In Saturday's 65-49 defeat, Kilbreath again led the Griffins with 17 points, adding three rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block in 32 minutes.

For the season, Kilbreath leads MacEwan with a 15.5 points/game average (seventh in Canada West) and is second on the Griffins in rebounds (5.4), first in assists (1.6) and first in steals (1.9).

The Griffins hit the road again this weekend for a pair of contests at UBC Okanagan on Friday (6 p.m. MT) and Saturday (5 p.m. MT, both Canada West TV).