Griffins claim historic first Canada West win in debut after 4-3 victory over Regina

Captain Ethan Price scored one of MacEwan's four goals in a victory over Regina on Friday night (Arthur Images).
Captain Ethan Price scored one of MacEwan's four goals in a victory over Regina on Friday night (Arthur Images).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

REGINA, Sask. – The historic moment was not lost on MacEwan men's hockey head coach Mike Ringrose, even if it was far from perfect.

While not playing their best hockey by any stretch of the imagination in their Canada West debut, the Griffins still earned a result they will never forget.

When the horn sounded on a 4-3 win for the Griffins, it officially marked the program's first-ever Canada West victory.

"We're happy to get a win," said Ringrose. "It certainly wasn't our best effort, but our group was determined to find a way to win. In the end, we were able to do that.

"We won't dissect the win too much. We'll enjoy this one. It's obviously a big moment for the program. We'll put it aside quickly and get ready for tomorrow."

On the strength of rookie goaltender James Porter's 11 first-period saves, the Griffins survived a slow start and got to work during a special four-minute span in the second period.

On goals by Colin Schmidt – who gets the distinction of scoring the first one in the program's Canada West history – Riley Brandt and Ethan Price, the Griffins built a healthy 3-0 lead by the 7:46 mark of the middle frame.

Brandt's goal really stands out to Ringrose as the one that set the tone as he took a pass with speed up the middle and beat Regina goaltender Brandon Holtby.

"It was (Loeden) Schaufler to Brandt and he made a real nice shot," said Ringrose. "That was a big moment for us. It put them on their heels for a few minutes and we were able to get one more not long after."

Regina fought back with a pair of goals by Tanner Nagel, including one on a 5-on-3 powerplay, before Kobe Mohr scored the game-winner on a powerplay 6:26 into the third period. Regina pulled within one on Conner Chaulk's tally at 11:30, but Porter shut the door from there, finishing with 29 saves.

"We just didn't seem to execute on all cylinders tonight outside of a period of eight or 10 minutes in the second period," said Ringrose. "In that time we were pretty good and found a way to score three times. It put us in the driver's seat the rest of the game. Ports was exceptional in the pipes and we were able to pull together and get the win."

The teams will meet in the rematch on Saturday (3 p.m., Canada West TV presented by Co-op).