Griffins score huge 5-2 win over Cougars to complete first Canada West weekend sweep

James Porter Jr. makes one of his 37 saves for the Griffins on Saturday (Arthur Images).
James Porter Jr. makes one of his 37 saves for the Griffins on Saturday (Arthur Images).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

REGINA, Sask. – Not content with one win on their Canada West debut weekend, the MacEwan men's hockey team went out and earned a sweep of the Regina Cougars with a 5-2 victory on Saturday afternoon in the Queen City.

Unlike their historic first U SPORTS win on Friday – a 4-3 triumph where they got away without their 'A' game – the Griffins took nothing for granted in the rematch.

Crushing the Cougars early with a wave of pressure that led to 18 first-period shots, the Griffins spring-boarded off a 2-0 lead after 20 to the driver's seat throughout the contest.

"We liked our game much better today," said head coach Mike Ringrose. "We were able to take last night's effort and clean a few things up, especially in the first period and first half of the game tonight.

"We put together a more complete performance. We're excited by the results and happy to get the four points."

Both Riley Brandt and Brecon Wood scored twice for the Griffins, while James Porter made 37 saves in the victory.

"Ports was a star for us all weekend," said Ringrose of the rookie goaltender came out of the series with 66 total saves and a .930 save percentage. "He was exceptional both nights and made some really big saves when he was counted on down the stretch tonight.

"Riley had a couple of goals on the powerplay and drove our offence there. Brecon chipped in with a couple, too. It was a more complete effort from guys up and down our lineup."

Brandt now has three on the year for the Griffins, coming into the program as advertised after leading the nation in scoring with 21 goals in 28 games for Royal Military College in 2017-18.

Riley Brandt came up big for the Griffins with two powerplay goals in Saturday's victory (Arthur Images).

Wood, a rookie this season after splitting his junior career between the Western Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League, was really switched on in Saturday's contest, scoring MacEwan's second and third goals, the latter the game-winner.

"He's a one-shot scorer," said Ringrose. "He just needs one opportunity to put it in the back of the net; he was able to get a couple tonight and made good on both of them.

"I didn't like his game the first night, but he responded with a really solid game tonight and was rewarded with two goals, so it was nice to see."

Jordan Taupert also scored for MacEwan – the first of his Canada West career after recording 28 points in 28 games as a Griffins rookie in the ACAC in 2019-20.

MacEwan now returns to Edmonton for their long-awaited Canada West home opener vs. Calgary on Oct. 22 (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).